Discover NevadaLas Vegas tourists know they need to make time to see the Bellagio Fountains and head to Downtown Las Vegas for the Fremont Street Experience. They have to be prepared for deep crowds and long lines. I’ve lived in Las Vegas for over 40 years, and I’ve been to every corner of Southern Nevada. I enjoy the popular sights when friends come to town – but what about attractions not appearing in most travel guides? Here are some of my favorite places, including some hidden gems.

  1. Pinball Hall of Fame (1610 E. Tropicana Ave., Las Vegas, NV/ can browse and play the collection of nearly 200 vintage pinball machines in perfect working order. Open daily and free to enter, visitors can spend hours reliving their childhood memories and introduce new generations to the love of pinball.
  1. National Atomic Testing Museum (755 E. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas, NV/ The National Atomic Testing Museum is a national science, history and educational institution telling the story of America’s nuclear weapons testing program at the Nevada Test Site, the primary testing location of American nuclear devices. The Nevada Test Site hosted over 1,000 nuclear detonations between 1951 and 1992. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday.
  1. The Neon Museum (770 Las Vegas Blvd. North, Las Vegas, NV/ The nearly two-acre “Boneyard” houses over 200 discarded, donated and loaned signs telling the unique story of the development of Las Vegas and its rich history. The boneyard collection is only available to the public through one-hour-long guided tours reserved online.
  1. Springs Preserve (333 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas, NV/ The 180-acre cultural institution commemorates the vibrant history of the Las Vegas Valley and provides a vision for a sustainable future through award winning exhibits, habitats and gardens.
  1. Bonnie Springs Ranch (16395 Bonnie Springs Rd., Las Vegas, NV/ Originally built in 1843 as a stopover for wagon trains on the Old Spanish Trail, the ranch is located in the heart of Red Rock Canyon and includes a zoo, restaurant and replica of an 1880’s mining town.
  1. Valley of Fire State Park (29450 Valley of Fire Rd., Moapa Valley, NV/ Nevada’s oldest and largest state park contains spectacular rock formations, areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs.
  1. Pioneer Saloon (310 W. Spring Street, Goodsprings, NV/ The 1913 saloon mixes the history of Early Southern Nevada and Old Hollywood. Clark Gable drank here after the death of his wife, Carole Lombard, in a plane crash on nearby Double Up Peak.
  1. First Friday (Downtown Las Vegas/ This outdoor street fair in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District celebrates art, food, music and community.
  1. The Mob Museum (300 Stewart Avenue, Las Vegas, NV/ The Mob Museum offers a provocative, interactive and authentic view into the history of the battle between organized crime and law enforcement. Stories are brought to life through hundreds of artifacts and displays.
  1. Clark County Museum (1830 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson, NV/ fascinating site features a timeline of Southern Nevada from pre-historic to modern times and a collection of restored historic buildings depicting daily life from different decades.
  1. DISCOVERY Children’s Museum (360 Promenade Place, Las Vegas, NV/ The mission of DISCOVERY Children’s Museum is to provide a vibrant and engaging experience through exhibits and programs redefining Las Vegas as a city that values culture and the arts, an urban lifestyle and its children.