Drop a quarter in a slot machine, see a topless show, have coffee with an alien – wait a minute, one of these things is not like the others. There’s no such thing as typical in Vegas, but you already knew that. We wanted to see just how far we could push the offbeat envelope, so we put together a list of crazy and unique tours that are worth doing a double-take.
Chase little green men
Men in dark suits and sunglasses, stretches of lonely highways and the perfect place to conceal classified information you want to hide from the public. The Area 51 tour takes you down the Extraterrestrial Highway to some of the world’s most infamous UFO hot spots, and to the government’s top secret compound. But don’t go thinking you can waltz right through the front door. They’ve got armed guards, detection devices, listening devices and cameras mounted throughout the cacti Area 51’s perimeter. Signs reading, “Top Secret Military Facility, Keep Out, Use of Deadly Force Authorized” are scattered along the facility’s border with real men in black, or the much less fashion-forward camouflage, watching from blacked out SUVs. Not many people know the secrets behind the miles of fence line, except maybe a few of the former employees, some of which have written books that can be found at the Little A’le’ Inn, a restaurant and store you’ll stop at in Rachel, Nevada. It’s been featured on several television shows and “Independence Day” with Will Smith.
Join the Mile-High Club
Ladies and gentlemen, unbuckle your seatbelts because someone has reached full altitude and it’s about to get bumpy. The Love Cloud is the most convenient way to get frisky in an aircraft without worrying about pesky Homeland Security charges or getting put on TSA’s No-Fly list. Take it from us, this is not like the time you put a mattress in the back of your parents’ old van. The six-seat Cessna 421 has been customized into a four-seat romantic getaway with pillows, mattresses, blankets and a wireless sound system for music. Start streaming some sexy tunes because once you reach 5,280 feet, you’re going to start fogging up the windows. We’d tell you about all the beautiful scenery and landmarks you’ll fly over, but we’ve got a sneaky suspicion you won’t be paying attention, anyway. Have you been wondering about the pilot this whole time? Don’t mind him, he’ll be wearing noise-cancelling headphones and minding his own business in the cockpit (yeah, we had to say it).
Earn your wings
Speaking of cockpits, Sky Combat Ace offers tours for only the most serious of adrenaline junkies. If you’ve ever wanted to know what 250 mph or 8Gs felt like, the only thing left to do is ride into the danger zone with former fighter pilots. Don’t even think about having a breakfast burrito because you’re going to learn to loop and barrel roll in the cockpit of an Extra 330LC. Whether you could be considered the next Red Baron or maybe you’re a little closer to the Snoopy version, your skill level doesn’t matter with these instructors. You’ll go along for the ride or learn to master your own dog-fighting skills at 15,000 feet. You can even carry out your own aerial assaults on “enemy aircrafts” and ground targets. With all this lunch-lurching action, you may want to wait on those enchiladas.
Cruise on two wheels
Segway tours are taking over as the new eco-friendly travel method du jour. If you’ve ever seen a security guard on a Segway PT, chances are you’re a little curious to know what it’s like behind the wheel of one. Only it’s not a wheel, it’s a handlebar thingy. Cruise around on this two-wheeled, self-balancing personal transporter with an electric motor, and you’ll see more but be less tired. You’ll roll past iconic downtown locales like the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop from the “Pawn Stars” show and Rick’s Restoration on the History Channel. There’s also the sustainable and unique Downtown Container Park, the vintage-inspired Neon Boneyard and the Mob Museum. While you’re hot-rodding around, remember to watch for the average drunken tourist who hasn’t made it back to the hotel room just yet.
Chill with reality TV stars
Calling all couch potatoes, if you secretly can’t live without your nightly dose of reality television, the Reality TV Insiders Tour will feed your addiction. You’ll go inside the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop and the Toy Shack from the History Channels “Pawn Stars” show, head over to the “TANKED” warehouse from Animal Planet, and see the Welder Up garage from the Discovery Channel’s “Vegas Rat Rods.” There hasn’t been an ordinary day in Vegas since 1905, and that’s why this is the perfect location for all your juicy reality TV dreams. These are real, operating businesses that are so outrageous and unique, somebody decided they needed to show the rest of the world what goes on inside. And we’re pretty glad they did.
Become a highfaluting foodie
You can’t walk a block without tripping over a lavish Las Vegas buffet. But what you really want to know is, are all those celebrity chefs as good as you think they are? You’re about to find out. The Walking Gourmet Food Tour is a delicious option that lets you eat your way through the Strip’s swankiest restaurants. From tasty appetizers and world-renowned entrees to signature cocktails and mouthwatering desserts, your taste buds will be tingling the entire time. This tour partners with the top restaurants and executive chefs to give you a dynamic tasting experience wrapped up in a three to four hour-long foodie adventure. The four to six stops are at restaurants, bars and specialty shops. At each stop guests are served two to three ample-sized tastings and a pairing of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, with the final stop typically including the dessert. Let’s face it, you’d pretty much have to take out a second mortgage to pay for all these different delights off the menus.
Go up-up and away
This brings new meaning to living on the edge. It’s not every day that people get to help inflate and deflate a 10-story hot air balloon, but like we said earlier – there’s nothing ordinary about this list. In minutes, Vegas Balloon Rides take you 800 feet into the air for a sightseeing spectacle like no other. The balloon drifts over the southwest part of the valley, with picture-worthy views of the Las Vegas Strip and downtown, as well as Red Rock Canyon and the Spring Mountains. Talk about jealousy-inducing photos for your newsfeed, right? Just make sure you don’t stick your camera too far out of the basket, we’re pretty sure nobody’s case can survive a fall like that. Although this could be a super great time to test the company’s “life-proof” claims.