Travel is tangible once again, and we couldn’t be more eager, ready, and willing to explore truly off-the-beaten-path wonders — like those in Nevada.
It’s easy to assume this US state is designated only to high-energy shows and bustling bars, but that’s not the case; the electric buzz of the Las Vegas Strip is just one aspect of the Nevada experience. The list of exciting and unconventional things to do is endless.
Broadening your Nevada knowledge can transform your next vacation, allowing you to merge the glitz and glamour of Vegas with the open road.
If golden-hour ghost town vibes, eclectic art, and adventure appeal to you, buckle up for a unique, memorable ride. To help, we’ve rounded up seven reasons why Nevada is one of the wildest and weirdest places you can go.
To kick off an unforgettable journey in Nevada, head to Seven Magic Mountains. This epic public art installation by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone is a 25-minute drive from the Strip, but it feels quite like a world away when you’re gazing at the vibrant exhibit amid the dusty desert landscape backed by mountains.
Each three-storey, multicoloured tower in the installation comprises materials found in the surrounding desert, and the unmissable hues of each structure showcase the contrast between the natural and artificial.
Pro tip: don’t forget your camera for the first of many photo-worthy stops.
Fans of all-things-extraterrestrial, this one is particularly perfect for you. In less than three hours, you can swap the magic of downtown Las Vegas for the bizarre grounds of Alien Country. Will you encounter members from a galaxy far, far away? We can’t say for sure.
Pro tip: when you take the Extraterrestrial Highway, you can stop at the Alien Research Center to learn more about UFO spottings, alien encounters, and more (you can also purchase some alien swag at the gift shop).
If you like the idea of facing your fears on vacation (who doesn’t?), it makes sense to stay at The Clown Motel in Tonopah. Take the state Route 375 from Alien Country to immerse yourself in a realm of creepy clowns.
The motel opened its doors back in 1985, and today, it’s home to one of the world’s largest private collections of clown figurines (over 2,000 of them) and memorabilia. When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by shelves of clowns in the lobby, and that’s just the beginning.
A spooky know-before-you-go: the motel is located next to Old Tonopah Cemetery.
In Nevada, you can continue the unusual-esque theme of your vacation with a stroll through a forest like no other: the International Car Forest of the Last Church. It’s essentially an open-air gallery filled with partially buried and stacked junk cars.
Mark Rippie, a Goldfield resident, together with artists Zak Sargent and Chad Sort, created the free-to-visit site with a vision of breaking the Guinness World Record for the world’s biggest car forest (pretty cool, huh?).
Pro tip: check out the car forest any time from sunrise to sunset to get a look at the detailed artwork on each vehicle.
When you’ve had your fill of industrial forest musings, hop back into your roadworthy vehicle and hit Highway 95 for another must-see Nevada stop with Goldwell Open Air Museum.
This one-of-a-kind sculpture park boasts seven massive statues you’ll want to see, including an exceptionally ghostly IRL version of the Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. There’s also a steel prospector and penguin standing at 24-feet-tall, a cinder-block-made pink lady at 25 ft, and more.
Pro tip: it’s free to visit the park, which spans almost eight acres and includes ample Instagrammable spots.
You could watch horror movies at home instead of going on a holiday, but where’s the fun in that? In under two hours from the Goldwell Museum, you’ll arrive at Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum. Located on East Charleston Boulevard, this attraction might be one of the scariest in Nevada.
While there are plenty of (g)host spine-chilling stories associated with the property, the items within it are equally as unsettling. Meander down winding hallways and into 30 rooms filled with startling artifacts to see why this must-visit spot has a place on the map.
Pro tip: this terrifying spot is also home to the Dybbuk Box (aka the world’s most haunted object).
Okay, when you’re all spooked out, brighten your vacation mode at The Neon Museum — an iconic kind of gallery that is so perfectly Vegas. It’s situated a convenient eight-minute drive from the Haunted Museum, making it an ideal next stop.
Once you’re there, prepare to be captivated by the lights of over 200 rescued historic neon signs from properties within the city, from the Moulin Rouge Hotel to Caesars Palace, and a slew of destinations in between.
Pro tip: to get the full effect of this mesmerizing extravaganza covering nearly two acres, join a guided tour at night.
If you’re ready to be dazzled by all that’s weird and wonderful in Nevada, visit expedia.ca to start planning your next getaway.