Life in Nevada is a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure story. You can scare your pants off on an adrenaline-inducing thrill ride one day and stumble upon an old-timey wild west bar the next. Whether chasing little green men or mining for slivers of gold, once-in-a-lifetime adventures are spread throughout the state. Some involve Nevada’s vices while others are steeped in historical and cultural significance. Which one will you choose?
1. Explore the world – Las Vegas
Talk about the adventure of a lifetime. See an Egyptian pyramid, a medieval castle, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and the canals of Venice all on one iconic stretch of road, the Las Vegas Strip.
2. Leap off a tall building in a single bound – Las Vegas
Step off a platform from 829 feet above the Las Vegas Strip on SkyJump Las Vegas, a controlled decelerator ride at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino. You'll feel just like a superhero.
3. Hunt for aliens at Area 51 - Rachel
Rumored to house extraterrestrials and their aircraft, Area 51 or Groom Lake is a secret military installation hidden near The Extraterrestrial Highway (State Route 375). Search for aliens, visit the Alien Research Center (pictured above) and chow down on some authentic alien jerky. If you don’t get abducted, be sure to hit up the Little Ale’inn in Rachel. It’s like the unofficial visitor’s center for alien conspiracy theorists.
4. Stake your claim – Northeast of Lovelock
Go prospecting for minerals, placer gold and gems at Rye Patch State Recreation Area.
5. Take a historic art walk - Ely
Tour outdoor murals and sculptures, which celebrate the city’s rich history, along the 11-mile Art Trail. Building the Charcoal Ovens (above) is a mural by Chris Keider. The ovens were used between 1876 and 1879.
6. View ancient wall art - Pyramid Lake, Fallon and Overton
The country’s oldest recorded petroglyphs (about 10,000 years old) are located at Pyramid Lake. Other places with rockin’ petroglyphs: Grimes Point Prehistoric Rock Art Site outside Fallon and the Valley of Fire in Overton.
7. Play in the sand - Fallon
For extra fun adventures, bring along your motorbike, ATV, or dune buggy, or simply hike on this massive dune comprised from sand from the ancient, dried-up Lake Lohontan.
8. Bet on the horses with mere quarters – Las Vegas
Very few gaming machines in Vegas take coins anymore. Sigma Derby is one of the few. This vintage, coin-operated horse racing game is even fun to play with friends. Only two originals remain: one at The D in downtown Las Vegas (pictured above) and one at MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. Don't forget to bring quarters.
9. Say “I do” in the Marriage Capital of the World with Elvis Presley as your officiant ...
10. … or head to the downtown Las Vegas Denny’s wedding chapel and get married there instead – Las Vegas
11. If that doesn’t work out, get a quickie divorce – Reno
Nevada (Reno, in particular) was known for years for its liberal divorce laws. Reno is no longer the only place to get a "quickie divorce," but its reputation remains.
12. Visit a prostitute, legally - Elko, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Storey and White Pine counties
13. Wet your whistle with ghosts - Goodsprings
The Pioneer Saloon is rumored to be haunted by old-west bar fight victims and an old miner. Even the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” team found evidence of ghostly activity inside.
14. Zip out of a 12-story slot machine – Downtown Las Vegas
Zip line 77 feet in the air or zoom horizontally 114 feet in the air underneath the world’s largest LED canopy on Slotzilla's zip and zoom lines at the Fremont Street Experience. Jackpot!
15. Feel the Burn – Black Rock Desert
Express yourself artistically (and burn stuff) among like-minded people at the annual Burning Man Festival ... and leave no trace behind.