Vegas Off-strip Stuff

First Friday

If you’re lucky enough to be in town for a First Friday, there is an art walk downtown that’s worth checking out. I picked up a few fun things there. I think some of the galleries are open during non-first-Friday days, but the main allure for me was always the street party atmosphere of the event… live music, street food, people having fun… plus the artists tend to actually be on hand, which is cool.

Luv-It Frozen Custard

The Luv-It frozen custard stand on Oakey, just off the strip, is delicious, and sort of a local secret. Two different flavors every day, along with I think standard chocolate and vanilla. They’ve got a website with a calendar of flavors.

Imperial Health Spa

If you want a nice mellow spa experience, without any fancy fanfare (or the accompanying cost), I recommend the Imperial Health Spa, on Sahara at Maryland. $20 gets you up to 12 hours of access to the whole Korean bathhouse facility. There are two sections: gender segregated and gender integrated.

You go nekkid in the segregated section, which has showers, hot and cold tubs, steam room, dry sauna, salt scrub steam room, and dry salt sauna (the walls are made of pink himalayan salt bricks! <3). The salt scrub steam room is my favorite: scrub your body with salt and let it dissolve into your skin – 20 minutes is like spending a day at the beach! But make sure to ask for salt at check-in. They used to have a giant bowl sitting out for all-you-can-use, but they got stingy with it at a certain point.

The gender integrated section, upstairs, has a Korean cafe, relaxxy recliners, another dry sauna, a room full of what always look to me like stoves that you, like, bake yourself in (I dunno), and the room that I actually like upstairs: the clay ball room… giant beds of heated terra cotta balls that you lay in… it’s like a warm massage… totally dig it.

You can also opt to buy a body scrub while you’re there… I’ve gotten the scrub a couple times…. it’s quite…… aggressive. VERY intense. Very cleansing. But VERY intense.

Atomic Testing Museum

This is one of my favorite in town treats. On Flamingo, a bit east of the strip, The Atomic Testing Museum documents the history of the nuclear detonation testing which took place at the Atomic Test Site, about a hundred or so miles north of town.

Among the exhibits is a “4D” video of an atomic explosion – it blows a gust of air over you in sequence with the explosion. It’s kinda intense. Definitely cool in a wow I can’t believe how terrible we are as a people kind of way.

Pinball Hall of Fame

In keeping with the spirit of Las Vegas’ bizarre museum culture, there’s the Pinball Hall of Fame, which is a room full of pinball machines dating back to before they were all digitally fancified. I think they also have some old-school video game systems from, like, when I was a kid.

Unless you’re a mega-nerd, it’s probably not worth making a specific trip for it… but if you’re in the area and have some time to kill, it’s definitely worth the time. It is actually quite close to the airport, so it makes a perfect candidate if you’re looking for something to fill an hour before you start waiting for the plane!

Liberace Museum

Sadly, the Liberace Museum has closed. That would have been one of the first items at the top of my list, if it was still open. That was an awesome thing. I understand they are shopping for a new site, so, hopefully one day.