Friday, August 2, 2013

Las Vegas: 6 things to do besides party until you puke, from a native

Posted By on Fri, Aug 2, 2013 at 10:11 AM

We all know what all goes on in Las Vegas: the parties, the bad decisions, the drinking until you puke in the club, the gambling, and just all around being generally scandalous because it's Vegas, baby! But, if you're like me, that was fun many years ago and now you'd rather go adventuring than be caught dead in a nightclub.

I grew up in Las Vegas. It's my hometown. So, here are some adventures I'd recommend that do not involve the fist-pumping meat markets, sausage fests filled with rhinestoned Ed Hard-on shirts, or puke-shitting your way through a hangover that the city of sin is often associated with:

#1: Go to the dance and redefine the square

Hipsters are often accused of liking really obscure stuff but honestly, there are possibly few things less obscure than the randomly lively square dancing community in the Las Vegas Valley. Four times a year the local square dance groups put on a fancy dance and bring in a big-deal professional caller from out of town like this guy, Mike Sikorsky:



This is one of the best, most "honest fun" things out there to do, frankly.

#2: Drive right up and oogle Ivanpah Solar Power Facility & First Solar Stateline Farm


There's a huge difference between new energy and old, dirty energy companies when you drive up on their land. Both of these solar companies don't mind you being there snapping pics. In fact, Ivanpah has public roads you can drive on that go right through it. Yes, you do need an escort while it's still a construction zone (and because they have rigorous desert tortoise preservation programs) but if you stop at the gate and ask, they'll drive you through. It's a little bit of a drive but let me tell you, it is gorgeous there.

#3: People-watch at the Peppermill Restaurant & Lounge




There's a faux blooming cherry blossom orchard alongside the neon in the restaurant and water on fire in the lounge. Need I say more? This is a bit Vegas-y, but it's the glorious, kitchy side that is looked over the most.

#4: Pinball Hall of Fame


There's something about having Pinball Wizard in your ears and a fist full of quarters in your pocket. Blowing that cash on something other than slots is way  more rewarding and lasts way, way longer. This one is a good bang for the buck since there's no entry fee and you only pay for what you play.

#5: Take a soldering class at SYN Shop


Learning things has never gone out of style.  SYN Shop is located in downtown Las Vegas so it's surrounded by the flashy Vegas vibe but isn't actually contributing to it. Though, there are lasers and flashing lights, those are more likely laser cutters and Arduino controlled LED Cubes.

#6: Visit the Zombie Apocalypse Store


Because you can never be over-prepared. 

What do you like to do in Las Vegas when you go? List 'em in the comments! 

For more commentary, follow me on Twitter @dbirdy, for more photos peep my Flickr and to see all videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel here!


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