Explore off the beaten path with Las Vegas's best hidden gems

From wagon rides on remote ranches to possible alien encounters, these 10 hidden gems in Las Vegas will amaze you.

You've explored the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip, watched the dancing Bellagio fountains, and tried your luck at the casinos. Think that’s all of the fun activities that Vegas has to offer? Think again. The hidden gems and lesser-known attractions in Las Vegas range from a Pinball Museum to a Wild West ranch.

Among the treasure trove of surprises waiting to be explored are secret food tours, serene city parks, and intriguing art installations in the middle of the desert. Get ready to uncover a different side of Sin City with this roundup of 10 hidden gems in Las Vegas.

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1. Be charmed by the Seven Magic Mountains, a colorful desert oasis

Take a private trip to the Seven Magic Mountains and the Las Vegas Sign to explore a unique art installation featuring seven brightly colored totems envisioned by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. An expression of the interplay between natural and human habitats, the eerie location and the impressive size of the totems is impressive to see.

Highlights:

Time your visit to ensure you are at Seven Magic Mountains just before sunset, when the light is best for photo ops. You’ll return to Vegas in time to see the fabulous Las Vegas Sign all lit up.

Address and opening hours:

S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89054. Open 24/7.

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2. Find Vegas’ best flavors

While the crowds stick to the all-inclusive hotel buffets, travelers looking for alternative experiences get off the beaten path with this Secret Food Tour of Las Vegas. Embark on a flavorful adventure where you sample the best-kept gastronomic secrets in Sin City, all from the hands of a knowledgeable local guide and more than 20 celebrity chefs with world-class expertise in international cuisine.

Highlights:

Groups are kept small to ensure a sociable and friendly atmosphere at this tour, and private tours are also available upon request. The tour includes wine for a complete dining experience.

Address and opening hours:

The meeting point is the Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill inside Caesar’s Palace. Check in advance to find out the meeting time.

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3. Channel your inner marksman with a shooting lesson

You only need to walk one block from the Strip to enter a completely different world in a large military-style complex. At the Las Vegas Firearms Shooting Beginner’s Adventure, you can learn the art of shooting in a safe and controlled environment, always guided by expert instructors who have real experience in the field and who are certified to deliver a safe experience.

Highlights:

Your instructor will show you around the complex home to an extensive fleet of military vehicles, some of which date back to the Second World War. A souvenir T-shirt is included.

Address and opening hours:

Battlefield Vegas, 2771 S Sammy Davis Jr Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89109. Open daily 9:30 AM-6:00 PM, closes at 7:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

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4. Experience the medieval Tournament of Kings

Skip the famous singers for the Tournament of Kings Show at Excalibur. This epic Vegas show is a journey back in time that takes you to the realm of knights, kings, and epic medieval battles. Grab your seat and witness an extraordinary performance that will captivate you with its gripping storyline.

Highlights:

Your ticket includes a medieval-style dinner with Cornish game hen and other dishes that would have been fit for King Arthur and his knights.

Address and opening hours:

3850 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109. Shows take place in the evening, but times and dates vary throughout the year. Check before booking for up-to-date details.

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5. Experience the Wild West on an authentic ranch

Leave the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas behind and follow in the footsteps of 19th-century cowboys on the Grand Canyon Ranch Tour with horseback and wagon rides. As you make your way through the desolate desert landscapes, you’ll get a feel for what life was like for American pioneers and outlaws. During your stay, you can explore the area either with a horseback ride or riding a Wild West-style covered wagon.

Highlights:

This tour includes a stop at Hoover Dam, so you can combine a hidden gem and an iconic landmark on the state border between Nevada and Arizona into the same trip.

Address and opening hours:

3750 E Diamond Bar Rd, Meadview, AZ 86444. Open daily 8:00 AM-9:00 PM.

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6. Find paradise at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve

Only in Vegas you can find an oasis of peace a few minutes’ drive from busy casinos and crowded streets. Springs Reserve is a pleasant urban park that invites you to find a refreshing break from the typical Vegas scene and immerse yourself in tranquility. The park is home to botanical gardens, museums, and open-air exhibitions, in addition to multiple trails and shaded rest stops.

Highlights:

Take a stroll around Boomtown, a replica of a 1905 Vegas streetscape, which comes complete with a dress-up area so you can look the part.

Address and opening hours:

333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89107. Open Thursday to Monday, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM.

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7. Get extraterrestrial at Area 51

For decades, Area 51 has been one of those secret places that fire the imagination of anyone interested in mystery and extraterrestrial life. Now you have a chance to unlock the secrets of this off-the-beaten-path destination with an Area 51 full-day tour from Las Vegas. You might only be able to tour the area’s perimeter, but keep your eyes peeled: you never know who or what you’ll come across as you travel along the infamous Extraterrestrial Highway.

Highlights:

This tour includes transfers to and from Las Vegas in a luxury SUV, but don’t get too comfy and doze off – the ride takes you through some spectacular desert landscapes you won’t want to miss.

Address and opening hours:

You’ll be picked up from your hotel. Contact the guide to confirm pick-up times.

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8. Tour the locations of your favorite TV shows

If you can’t miss an episode of famous reality shows like Pawn Stars, Counting Cars, Vegas Rat Rods, or Tanked, you can’t leave Las Vegas without taking this VIP Pawn Stars, Counts Kustoms, and Shelby American tour. This is a four-in-one tour where you explore classic car collections, visit the WelderUp shop, and see the amazing customization work of Count’s Kustoms, as well as the Pawn Palace from the hit show “Pawn Stars.” These are all working businesses in Las Vegas, their star status hidden in plain sight.

Highlights:

Book a Meet and Greet tour to meet your idols in person, take photos with them, and get their autographs.

Address and opening hours:

The meeting point is Siren's Cove Boulevard outside the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino. Confirm the meeting time in advance.

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9. Discover a serene Mount Charleston resort

Vegas is surrounded by spectacular landscapes and natural hidden gems. Mount Charleston is the perfect getaway for anyone wanting to experience the lesser-known side of Nevada, a place where old forests welcome you and offer a break from the hectic pace of the city.

Highlights:

Cool air, mountain views, good food, and 50 miles of hiking trails await you here. Visiting in winter? Book a day trip to Mount Charleston from Las Vegas to visit Las Vegas’ premier ski and snowboard resort.

Address and opening hours:

2525 Kyle Canyon Rd, Mt Charleston, NV 89124. The Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM.

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10. Go vintage gamer at the Pinball Hall of Fame

Now that you’ve visited the top casinos in Vegas, your inner player may be craving more excitement. Head to the Pinball Hall of Fame for a fun session of arcade games at this treasure trove of nostalgia. Nearly 1,000 glorious pinball machines awaiting to be discovered by eager players like you.

Highlights:

Some of the restored pinball machines date back to the 1940s, and they’re available for play for just 25 cents.

Address and opening hours:

4925 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89119. Open daily 10:00 AM-9:00 PM. Closes at 10:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

FAQs

What are some lesser-known attractions in Las Vegas that are worth visiting?

If you’ve already been to Sin City’s main attractions, take some time to explore the Pinball Hall of Fame or take a day trip to the mysterious world surrounding Area 51. For a different type of performance, check the events calendar at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, one of the top-rated cultural venues in Las Vegas.

Are there any hidden or secret gardens in Las Vegas that I can explore?

You can find a tranquil escape and be surrounded by nature in Vegas. Head to the Botanical Gardens at Springs Preserve, easily reachable from downtown Vegas. Another highly recommended escape is the Acacia Demonstration Gardens, where you can find more than 10 themed green areas.

Can you recommend any hidden or secret viewpoints in Las Vegas with great views of the city?

You can get some scenic views of Las Vegas on the road to Red Rock Canyon. Make sure you book a guided tour so you can enjoy the views instead of having to focus on driving. Another option is the Vegas Skyline View, a scenic spot on East Lake Mead Boulevard.

What are some lesser-known neighborhoods in Las Vegas that are worth exploring?

Summerlin, located a few miles west of the downtown area, is a pleasant planned community that has a distinct upscale and laid-back feel. Not far from The Strip is the Arts District, well worth a visit if you’re into indie art and bohemian cocktail bars.

Can you recommend any hidden architectural gems in Las Vegas that are not as crowded as the famous landmarks?

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is an imposing building and a great example of Neo Art Deco architecture. Don’t miss the sleek interiors of Reynolds Hall. Public tours are available, but you need to register your interest in advance.