To make your trip to Las Vegas memorable, we did a little sleuthing. Try these unusual spots!
Ghost busters: Haunted Vegas Tour and Ghost Hunt buses guests to some of the most haunted locations in the city. Armed with equipment used by paranormal investigators, you’ll visit places such as the “Motel of Death,” where numerous celebrities expired over the years, and Liberace’s haunted dressing room. Tour leaves nightly from the Royal Resort at 99 Convention Center Drive at 9:30 p.m.; group tours are available; general admission, $69.25. Info: (702) 677-6499; [email protected].
Blast from the past: Atomic Liquors is a little bar and store with a big history. Once a hangout for mobsters and performers such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, it was also where locals went to watch government testing of nuclear bombs. In the 1950s and ‘60s, patrons went up to the roof with their libations to watch the desert sky light up. The landmark was closed in 2010; the new owners reopened it late last year. Check out the “bar-seum” and potent drinks. Open Wed.-Sun. and late nights; 917 Fremont St., Las Vegas; (702) 982-3000.
Burlesque beauties: Burlesque is alive and well in Sin City – in classic or “adult” versions. For example, there are cabaret-style burlesque shows at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino Thursday-Sunday, 9 and 10 p.m.; cover is $20 men, $10 women; general info (702) 894-7111. General admission tickets for the topless “X Burlesque” show, 10 p.m., at the Flamingo Las Vegas are $61.51, plus tax; info (855) 234-7469.
Need for speed: A must for race car driver wannabes. Dream Racing sends you around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in super cars (from $199) or actual Ferrari race cars ($499), (702) 637-9278. Exotics Racing gives you driving lessons and experiences with a fleet of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches; its Richard Petty Driving Experience teaches you how to drive NASCAR vehicles; (from $199), (702) 405-7223. The new American Muscle Car Experience sets you loose on a 30-mile stretch through Red Rock Canyon, $299, (877) 597-6403.
Hipster hangout: The Velveteen Rabbit in the Arts District is a cocktail lounge with a trendy vibe. Check out the trompe-l’oeil wallpaper and chatting areas filled with comfy reclaimed furniture, beer taps in the shape of hands, elegant elixirs and a beautiful Queen Anne cabinet behind the bar, filled with decanters. Not a dance scene, but there is music and outdoor seating. Open Mon.-Sun., 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; 1218 S. Main St., Las Vegas; (702) 685-9645.
Did someone say “zombies”? The Zombie Apocalypse Store located in Chinatown, has been described as having “a fantastical cornucopia of all you’ll ever need to survive when the shizz hits the fan.” From swords and axes, camping gear and foodstuffs to zombie training dummies (yeah, we looked that up, and they’re manikins you can practice on in preparation for a zombie invasion). Open 9 a.m.-9p.m.; 3420 Spring Mountain Rd., Las Vegas; (866) 784-7882.
Cool cars: It’s been called “the world’s largest classic car showroom,” and the Auto Collections at The Quad Resort & Casino (formerly the Imperial Palace) is an auto aficionado’s dream come true. You’ll find 250 classic, antique and special interest vehicles here, from the 1939 Chrysler that Johnny Carson rode to his senior prom to a sporty 1957 T-Bird and Rolls Royces. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; adult tickets, $11.95; 3535 Las Vegas Blvd. South; (702) 794-3174. (Free admission coupon at autocollections.com.)
Dive bar and proud of it: The funky Double Down Saloon sports walls plastered with psychedelic paintings and posters, TVs that flash bizarre videos and blasting music. Feeling adventurous? There’s a bacon martini shot for five bucks, $2 beers, and drinks with names you can’t say in polite society. Open 24/7, no cover charge. Located at 4640 Paradise Rd., one block south of Hard Rock Hotel; (702) 791-5775.
Mmm: Decisions, decisions – raspberry or coconut M&Ms? Purple or teal? M&M’s World has flavors and colors you won’t find in the local grocery store. If you’re a fan of these chocolate candies, this multilevel store will be a real treat. All sorts of M&M souvenirs here, and you can even make your own mix. Located in the Showcase Mall, 3785 Las Vegas Blvd. South; (702) 736-7611.