Roadside attractions in Vegas

It’s safe to say that Vegas, by definition, could be considered its own roadside attraction. It’s in the middle of nowhere, not all that easy to get to and definitely a bit of an oddball. The truth is, we can’t really use the traditional definition so we’ve scoured the city to come up with a list of Vegas attractions we think are worthy of being called “roadside” gems.

Bliss Dance photo courtesy of Barry Toranto.

Bliss Dance photo courtesy of Barry Toranto.

Bliss Dance

Embrace your inner EDM ballerina, because Bliss Dance is 40 feet of lean-mean-dancing machine. A fixture at the wildly popular Burning Man festival in the desert, the statue was recently relocated to the bright lights of Sin City and is definitely worth stopping at for a selfie. The statue weighs 7,500 pounds and has 3,000 LED lights that illuminate her swaying figure from the inside.

Crazy Girls statue photo courtesy of Jennifer Whitehair.

Crazy Girls statue photo courtesy of Jennifer Whitehair.

Crazy Girls Statue

If you like big butts and you cannot lie, you’re going to love the finely-toned cabooses of the legendary Crazy Girls. Getting naked is kind of our thing in Vegas, and each year thousands of people stop at Planet Hollywood for a little groping with these bronze G-string clad ladies. Feel free to get weird, it’s pretty much a Vegas rite of passage.

Praying Mantis photo courtesy of Steve Marcus.

Praying Mantis photo courtesy of Steve Marcus.

Praying Mantis

Another Burning Man alum, the 55-foot-tall Praying Mantis at Downtown Container Park is a legend in downtown Las Vegas. Nothing says roadside like hopping into the steel chamber and taking her for a spin. She stands not-so-stoically at the gates of this sustainable and artfully decked out attraction, guardian of shopping, eating and all other revelry. But the coolest part is, not only does she have some sick dance moves, her antennas spit fire balls into the air.

Flashlight photo courtesy of Sam Morris.

Flashlight photo courtesy of Sam Morris.

Giant Flashlight

You’re going to have to do a little trespassing to reach this big boy. Commissioned in 1978, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen created a 38-foot-tall flashlight on the campus of UNLV. Known for supersizing almost any everyday object, the pair of artists is also known for the giant spoon and cherry sculpture in Minneapolis. On his way into Vegas, Oldenburg said Vegas looked like a small patch of light in the dark desert and came up with the idea for the flashlight.

Typewriter Eraser photo courtesy of Aria.

Typewriter Eraser photo courtesy of Aria.

Scale X

The typewriter eraser at Aria is also an Oldenburg and Van Bruggen creation. If we’re being honest, many of you reading this won’t know WTF a typewriter eraser even is, let alone what it looks like. “Scale X” is 24 feet tall and another example of the two artists’ supersizing everyday stuff to a massive scale. This is located between the Mandarin Oriental and Aria, by the pedestrian bridge.

Manneken Pis photo courtesy of The D Las Vegas.

Manneken Pis photo courtesy of The D Las Vegas.

Manneken Pis

Flemish for “little man pee,” Manneken Pis is a curly-headed bronze statue with surprisingly sculpted abs and chubby thighs. And like so many others in Vegas, can’t seem to keep his clothes on or stop pissing in public. The statue at The D in downtown Las Vegas is one of three licensed replicas in the world. The original is in Belgium and often the centerpiece for many festivals.

Big Edge photo courtesy of Las Vegas Weekly.

Big Edge photo courtesy of Las Vegas Weekly.

Big Edge

CityCenter’s fine art collection is home to Nancy Rubins’ giant canoe cluster, also known as the Big Edge. Her artistic signature trait is using salvaged materials to create something extravagant.  For this piece, Rubins sculpted together hundreds of boats to serve as the centerpiece on Harmon Circle in CityCenter. It’s a mangled nest of awesomeness that measures 50 feet wide by 70 feet long and includes kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, surfboards and more.

Toy Shack photo courtesy of Vegas INC.

Toy Shack photo courtesy of Vegas INC.

Toy Shack

Yes. We’ll admit it. We’re at that age where we can start sentences with, “Back in my day…” and be dang proud of it. If you were a kid during the ’80s and early ’90s, you already know we had the best toys. And if you have kids (or still a kid at heart), Toy Shack at the Fremont Street Experience is definitely a must-see stop. Here you’ll find everything from “Beverly Hills, 90210” and Cabbage Patch dolls to My Little Pony figures (in every color imaginable) and Transformers. If you miss the days before the digital age took over (because we all didn’t have Gameboys), we promise it’ll be worth your while. A Vegas trip isn’t complete without a trip down memory lane.

Editorial contributions by Jeannie Garcia.

Did we forget your favorite? Add it to the comments below and see more Vegas attractions.

Comments

Born a Buckeye - raised a Hoosier. I grew up in a one-horse town that straddles the Indiana/Ohio state line and until 2006, was in two different time zones. There were three stoplights and a whopping 48 students in my graduating class. Fast forward a few years later, I was bitten by the travel bug and decided to head west. It seems like no matter how long I live here, there’s always something that still makes my jaw drop. That’s what I love about Vegas; you never know what you’re going to see next and that’s what makes living here so much fun. Basically, if you’re bored in this town, there’s something wrong with you…not the city. I’m an avid traveler with an incurable case of wanderlust so stay tuned for all the tours, attractions and shopping adventures that Sin City has to offer.