Must-See Vegas Attractions
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22 Must-See Vegas Attractions That Aren't on the Strip

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Must-See Vegas Attractions
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There is so much to do and see on the Las Vegas Strip that it can be difficult to break away from it. But once you do — whether it's because you're on a budget, don't gamble, or want a break from the hubbub — there's all sorts of attractions to explore. It doesn't matter if you're in Vegas with a bunch of friends or for a family reunion, because you'll find something everyone will love, from beautiful nature hikes to quirky museums, even if there are new coronavirus restrictions to keep in mind when headed over.

Sites like Tripadvisor and Vegas.com feature detailed user reviews, and you can frequently cash in on real deals on bookings.

Pinball Hall of Fame
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Pinball Hall of Fame

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When it's time to unwind after hiking it up and down the Strip, head to the recently relocated Pinball Hall of Fame. (It's now bigger and closer to the strip.) The guy who runs it just loves pinball, from vintage machines he's fixed up to the latest versions. It's just a ton of pinball machines in a big room, but it's free to get in, and you play with quarters. Find favorite machines and hunker down for an hour or two to try and beat the high score. Half the games — every other machine — are unplugged to encourage social distancing, and only 75 people are allowed inside at a time. Masks are required, too. 

Related: 11 Classic Pinball Games That You'll Flip Over

Downtown Container Park
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Downtown Container Park

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The Downtown Container Park is a hip open-air shopping center and entertainment venue built mostly out of recycled shipping containers, right down to a massive kids play area. There are plenty of places to eat, drink and shop, and movies and concerts take place in more typical times — though all entertainment is on hold while coronavirus continues unchecked. Look for the giant metal praying mantis sculpture (where in safer times there are drum circles and fire shows) and you'll know you're in the right place. You might consider joining a walking food tour of the downtown area where you can socially distance while sampling local bites off the beaten path.

Related: 10 Creative Abandoned Mall Makeovers

Haunted Museum
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The Haunted Museum

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Between the Strip and Downtown is Zak Bagans' The Haunted Museum. It's a cross between a haunted house, funhouse, and museum with 30 rooms that hold spooky collectibles, paranormal objects, and just plain creepy stuff such as the "propofol chair" from the room where Michael Jackson died. This one is not for children, and masks, a temperature check, and following social distancing guidelines are required for those who do go. Tours are at half-capacity, with only six allowed to a group.

Related: 20 Haunted Houses and Attractions That Are Actually Open This Year

Gold & Silver Pawn Shop
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Gold & Silver Pawn Shop

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If you're a fan of the TV show "Pawn Stars," a visit to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is a must. The shop itself is pretty small — it looks bigger on TV — and you're not likely to run into Rick, Corey, or Chumlee. But most Saturdays at noon you can meet Mark Hall-Patton, aka the Beard of Knowledge, which is a pretty good compromise. Masks are required for visitors. (You can also check out the Pawn Plaza next door where Chumlee has a candy shop.)

Related: 20 Household Items to Sell for Extra Cash

Dig This
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Dig This

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Though it may be a pricey venture, operating heavy machinery at Dig This can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Choose a bulldozer or an excavator, then live out childhood construction fantasies. You can tear, push, dig, and even play "bucket basketball." Kids as young as 8 can join the fun in a mini excavator. Customers will get their temperatures checked and gloves to wear during their visit; everything is done without contact, including instructions to operate the machinery that are given over headsets. But guests are asked to also wear masks.

Related: Act Like a Kid Again at These 22 Amusements for Adults

Grand Canyon National Park
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Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon is about a four-hour drive from Las Vegas. And while you could rent a car and go at your own pace, there are tour companies that will take you round trip for a less stressful experience. Some, such as Pink Adventure Tours, will even take you there and back by plane, helicopter, or boat for amazing views in 12 hours or less. All are still on the menu with coronavirus, but now the company advertises safety measures such as temperature checks, mask requirements, and see-through barriers between seats. Take your pick from a plethora of other tour choices on Tripadvisor.

Related: Around the World in 20 Stunning Sunsets

Speed Vegas
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Speed Vegas

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If you've ever dreamed of driving a high-performance or exotic car but can't afford one of your own, Speed Vegas is for you. Drive laps around its banked track in Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Porsches. You can even ride along with a professional driver for a drifting experience in a muscle car. Customers must wear masks to help prevent the spread of coronavirus; a Speed Vegas worker said more cleaning is being done too. 

Related: 12 Cars That Cost More Than $1 Million

Neon Museum
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Neon Museum

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One of the most well known off-Strip attractions is the Neon Museum, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of Las Vegas' vintage neon signs. The "Boneyard" includes hundreds of signs arranged like murals, which makes walking among them totally surreal. Visit at dusk for the best photo and Instagram ops. Fewer visitors are allowed in at once these days to allow for social distancing, and all must wear masks.

Related: 50 Surprising Facts About America's Favorite Summer Tourist Attractions

Red Rock Canyon
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Red Rock Canyon

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For awe-inspiring nature that's closer to Vegas, head to Red Rock Canyon, just west of the city. There's a 13-mile scenic drive if you don't want to leave your air-conditioned car, but there's also hiking trails, campsites, and all the geology you could ask for. The visitor center and gift shop are closed temporarily, late exits and overnight permits are canceled, and fewer visitors are allowed in at a time, with a system of timed entries starting in November. You'll find tours that let you explore the area on everything from electric bikes, segways, and scooters to horseback.

Related: 15 Desert Vacation Spots to Heat Up Your Fall

Fremont Street
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Fremont Street

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Head north of the Strip to Fremont Street, also known as Downtown. It's a pedestrian street with a 1,500-foot canopy of light shows every hour at night. Many of the old school casinos can be found here, including Binion's and the Golden Nugget. There's shopping, zip lining along the canopy, free concerts, restaurants and plenty of "only in Vegas" attractions, including taking a free photo with a million dollars in cash. Individual attractions may have coronavirus policies in place — best to play it safe and wear a mask.

Related: Best 'Main Street' Shopping Districts in All 50 States

Mob Museum
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Mob Museum

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The National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement, known affectionately as the Mob Museum, is a top-notch facility. There are three floors of exhibits, including a speakeasy and a crime lab experience. Children are allowed, though only adults 21-plus can participate in experiences such as distillery tastings. Overall entry is at around one-third capacity, and individual exhibits will kept to half-capacity; masks and temperature checks are required to enter.

Related: Circus World and Other Weird Museums Across America and Beyond

Topgolf
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Topgolf

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Golf lovers who want a baller Vegas experience will find both at Topgolf. The swanky, high-end facility has multiple bars, lounges, pool, and cabanas, and a three-story driving range with views of the Strip. Thanks to the view, this may be the only range where prices go up when it gets dark out. Customers 10 and up must wear masks at Topgolf.

Related: 20 Must-Have Accessories for Your Golf Bag

pioneer saloon
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Pioneer Saloon

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About 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas is the Pioneer Saloon in a little town called Goodspring. It opened in 1913, making it one of the oldest bars in Nevada. Belly up and learn about the building's long, interesting history: Clark Gable drank here while waiting for news of his wife, who was lost in a plane crash nearby, movies have been shot here, there are bullet holes in the walls, and it's said to be haunted. The bar is kept at half-capacity these days, and masks are required until you're seated.

Related: The Oldest Bar in Every State

Sunbuggy Fun Rentals
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Sunbuggy Fun Rentals

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Rent an ATV or dune buggy from Sunbuggy and go off-roading. You can choose tours for adrenaline junkies by chasing an expert dune buggy driver, or opt for a sightseeing tour of the Valley of Fire instead. Kids are welcome on family-friendly dune buggy romps, but masks are expected of customers.

Related: 25 Epic Off-Road Adventures Across the U.S. and Canada

Ethel M Chocolates
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Ethel M Chocolates

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Ethel M Chocolates in Henderson, a Vegas suburb, offers factory tours where you can see how they source and produce the candy. (Group tours are canceled for now, but people wearing masks and mindful of social distance and invited to explore on their own.) Behind the factory is the largest botanical cactus garden in the Southwest. You can stroll through the 4 acres of cacti and succulents anytime. If you're there around the holidays, they even deck the plants in Christmas lights.

Related: 10 Sweet Chocolate Factory Tours With Free Samples

Discovery Children's Museum
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Discovery Children's Museum

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For an attraction that's sure to be a hit with kids, check out the Discovery Children's Museum. Play, creativity, and exploration are fostered throughout the three floors of hands-on activities. There are pirate ships to climb through, a Water World room, and even a Toddler Town for the little ones to explore — though certain interactive areas have been closed or removed if even the deep cleanings done every Monday won't be effective, such as with the sand the museum had before coronavirus. Only 175 people wearing masks can be inside at a time, and only after their temperatures are taken. Inside are new air filters and even more steps taken to ensure social distancing.

Related: 30 Fun Free Attractions for Kids Across the Country

National Atomic Testing Museum
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National Atomic Testing Museum

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Science lovers and history buffs adore the National Atomic Testing Museum. Its purpose is to tell the story of the nuclear weapons program at the Nevada Test Site, including world events that led to nuclear weapons, and the weapons' relevance today. You can even experience a simulated nuclear bomb blast — without the radiation, of course. The museum reopened in June after being closed for 10 weeks due to coronavirus. Small groups can take tours after they answer screening questions and wash or sanitize their hands. And visitors have to wear masks. 

Related: 15 Photos of Awe-Inspiring Memorials and Other Places Honoring Our Vets

Springs Preserve
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Springs Preserve

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In the middle of Las Vegas is the Springs Preserve, a 180-acre site of botanical gardens, amphitheater, museums, butterfly habitat, and waterworks. Besides strolling through the gardens, tickets include admission to the site's Nevada State Museum and Origen Museum, with their dinosaur bones and live animal exhibits. Though the numbers of people allowed in at any time have been lowered, visitors must still wear masks, practice social distancing, and look for the areas that are now designated for one-way walking traffic.

Related: Photos of Gorgeous Botanical Gardens in All 50 States

Valley of Fire State Park
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Valley of Fire State Park

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The Valley of Fire State Park is less than an hour from Las Vegas, and worth the trip. It gets its name from the vibrant red Aztec sandstone that's prevalent in the park among the drab limestone. There are ancient petroglyphs, petrified trees, and natural stone arches that make hiking and picnics a treat. It's worth getting up before dawn to experience sunrise over the red rocks, and you'll find full- and half-day hiking tours available in the area — as well as ATV and dune buggy excursions for the more adventurous. Rangers may close the park throughout the day if they feel it's at peak capacity for safe social distancing, and they ask visitors to wear a mask in indoors facilities or anytime they're near other people.

Related: The State Park You Don't Want to Miss in Every State

Mount Charleston
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Mount Charleston

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Skiing near Vegas? Yep! Head just 40 miles west of the city to Mount Charleston in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and you'll hit snow in winter. There's a few locations on the trails designated for snow play when there's at least a foot of snow. Camping and hiking up the almost 12,000-foot peak are great during the warmer months. The area's visitor center is closed, but coronavirus hasn't affected much else here — save for a request to wear masks if you get near other people.

Related: 13 Destinations for Cheap Skiing in 2020

Lake Mead
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Lake Mead

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Lake Mead is surrounded by a 1.5-million acre National Recreation Area with horseback riding, hunting, and lake-related fun: There are always boats, canoes, and kayaks on the lake, and fishing is allowed 24 hours a day. The area's visitor capacity has been lowered to let people stay more easily socially distanced, and visitors should wear masks around others.

Related: The Best Lakes in All 50 States

Hoover Dam
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Hoover Dam

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One of the most popular attractions in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is Hoover Dam. Finished in 1935, the dam is what created Lake Mead. Usually, there are tours you can take to go inside the dam and see how it works, and you can cross the top by car or on foot; at the moment, everything is closed to visitors. That doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other things to do in the area, including a full-day kayak tour on the Colorado River.

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