Shit just got weird. For me, Las Vegas is all about the whimsical, the wild and the downright absurd.
Step outside your comfort zone and take a look at my top 5 weirdly wonderful things to do in Las Vegas.
Double Down Saloon
Light-years away from the superficial glitz and extravagance of the strip, is the Double Down Saloon. It’s a proper punk dive bar, covered head to toe in graffiti and posters. Here you can buy their famous ‘Ass Juice’, served in a tiny toilet and bacon martinis (yes, really) This place has great music, friendly people and cheap drinks. Just go with it and don’t be scared to enter, the bar staff are very friendly. The Double Down NEVER closes so if you’re in Vegas and want 24/7 punk rock, this is the place for you. Embrace the rebel in you, who needs sleep anyway?
Warning: This bar is an acquired taste, so if you want something more conformist best stick to the strip. If you want an adventure, aren’t afraid of sticky floors and want a kick-ass jukebox, do not miss this bar.
Heart Attack Grill
Where do I start with Heart Attack Grill? This place is so wrong on so many levels. It’s a sick and twisted burger joint that proudly (and hilariously) boasts about it’s ridiculously unhealthy food items. At the hospital-themed restaurant you eat your dinner wearing a hospital gown, the burgers are named after heart surgery procedures, the waitresses (all female) are dressed like nurse pin-ups and they give you a good spanking if you don’t finish your whole meal (Really) If you order wine it comes on an IV drip, and if you weigh more than 300 lbs you get your meal for free.
The darkly ironic humour is a great marketing strategy. We all know this kind of food is incredibly unhealthy and that consuming more than a whole days recommended calorie intake in a single burger is probably not the best lifestyle choice, but where better than Vegas to sinfully indulge?
This place is completely outrageous and the walls are adorned with morbid twists on classic movie posters. If you want a bizarre dining experience, head over to the Heart Attack Grill for an evening of unadulterated, shameless and gluttonous fun.
Is it un-PC? Yes. Was it fun? Absolutely.
The Artisan Boutique Hotel, Las Vegas
Number three on the weird list is the bohemian Artisan Hotel Boutique. Step inside the unassuming building into a dark, Gothic-inspired space, with vintage curiosities, 18th century style paintings and mirrors at obscure angles (even on the ceilings)
This is an adult-only hotel, with a ‘European’ pool (meaning you can go topless if you’re into that) This is definitely a party hotel, with pool parties that go on until the early hours, so don’t stay here if you want to get a restful sleep. You can even book the hotel out for an eccentric and extravagant private party.
The Mob Museum
Located in an old courthouse is the The Mob Museum, the national museum of organised crime and law enforcement. Delve into the criminal underbelly of American history and explore the world of bootlegging, drug trafficking and murder, a history that spans more than 100 years. Learn about the birth of the mob, prohibition, mobsters in Hollywood movies, how the Mafia helped build Las Vegas into the gamblers paradise it is today and how law enforcement fought back.
Peer into the felonious lives of some of America’s most notorious mobsters, such as Al Capone and view chilling artefacts, such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Wall, against which seven Chicago gang members were gunned down on Valentines day in 1929. This is a must visit for anyone who’s interested in the darker side of history, or anyone who loves a gangster movie.
5. Neon Museum
The strip of iconic neon lights is instantly recognisable as the gambling dreamland, a shimmering urban oasis in the middle of the Nevada desert. But what happens when Las Vegas signs are teared down to make room for modern replacements? They’re taken to the neon boneyard, where retired neon signs go to die. The Neon Museum is an eerie and nostalgic place, full of history. Walk around these huge, iconic signs from days gone by and learn about their past from the knowledgeable tour guides. This is in the Nevada desert, so it gets extremely hot. If you don’t cope well with heat, opt for the Night Tour, where you’ll see some of the signs that still function, illuminated in all their glory.