The brightly lit panorama of Las Vegas presents its visitors with opportunities to gamble away their home and life-earnings, party 24/7 in world-renowned clubs and bars, catch spectacular, death-defying performances and lay their eyes on unique sights on and around the Strip. As if these prospects weren’t thrilling enough already, Vegas is also a premier destination for rollercoaster and amusement ride aficionados, and those seeking other unforgettable, pulse-pumping experiences.
When the thrilling – and often, terrifying – rides at the Adventuredome Theme Park, the Stratosphere Tower and the wider Strip have been defeated, tourists can seek even more stimulation with activities such as rock climbing, sky diving, levitating in zero gravity, and swimming with sharks. Phew!
Here are some of the most popular Las Vegas attractions and activities for brave and adventurous types.
Located under a five-acre glass cupola, Adventuredome is the USA’s largest indoor theme park and boasts many rides the whole family can enjoy together. The park also features a handful of amusements suitable for the truest of adrenaline-junkies only, including the world’s only indoor double-loop, double-corkscrew rollercoaster Canyon Blaster, the rocking-meets-spinning Disk’O and the topsy-turvy, three-direction-whirling Chaos.
The Xtreme Zone of Adventuredome meanwhile, features indoor rock climbing and bungee trampoline-jumping. Adults looking to indulge in authentic rock climbing are catered for by various courses at Red Rock Canyon, discussed further down this page.
Top five Vegas rides for thrill seekers
Adventuredome is not the only place in Vegas tourists can send their adrenaline levels soaring. In fact, the viewing tower of hotel-casino Stratosphere is where some of the most extreme amusements can be found. Buzz hounds should definitely challenge themselves to a ride on each of the following (note: various minimum height restrictions apply):
- Insanity (Stratosphere Tower): A whopping 900ft up in the air and suspended 64 feet away from the Stratosphere Tower, Insanity provides a 70 degree, face-down, and 40 mph spinning view of Vegas’ concrete vista. This is the world’s second tallest thrill ride, behind Big Shot (below).
- Big Shot (Stratosphere Tower): This tower ride propels its passengers 160 feet up in the air at a speed of 45 mph, resulting in 4Gs of gut-wrenching force. Each time the ride shoots back down, negative Gs are felt, creating a ‘weightless’ experience like no other.
- Sky Jump (Stratosphere Tower): While it seems inaccurate to describe free-falling 855 feet towards the ground as a ride, it is certainly a frightening trial – even for those with the most bravado! Fortunately, there’s a bar situated close to the jumping platform, on the Tower’s 108th floor.
- X-Scream (Stratosphere Tower): This see-saw rollercoaster-to-nowhere comprises a short, 69-foot-long track, mounted to the base of the Tower’s pod. Riders travel 29 feet over the Tower’s edge, at a 30 degree, face-down angle as if about to hurtle to the ground 900 feet below. The ride then goes ‘backwards’, tipping equally the other way. Scary!
- Manhattan Express (New York New York): More commonly referred to as ‘The Roller Coaster’, this cab-themed carted ‘coaster is the longest ride in Vegas at two minutes and forty seconds. Simply sitting back and enjoying the journey is not an option though: riders reach heights of 203 feet and complete vertical, dive and helix loops at a speed of 67 mph!
If this gnarly lot isn’t enough to get your heartbeat racing – or you’re just not a fan of daredevil rides – one of these exhilarating experiences may prove more appealing.
Indoor go-kart racing at Pole Position Raceway
You’ve never truly experienced go-karting unless you have controlled one of Pole Position Raceway’s 18-horsepower, 45mph (max) karts! Your driving skills will be put to the test on the venue’s quarter-mile track, featuring a balance of challenging hairpin turns and gentle curves. Downsized karts are available for those less than 56 inches tall, so you can bring the kids along with you for a great, family day out.
Have you ever wondered what lunar gravity feels like? Well Vegas tourists need wonder no more since the once-in-a-lifetime, weightless Zero-G experience provides both. Each participant is issued with their own branded flight suit before boarding a plane to reach an optimal altitude, in order to feel controlled gravitational changes occurring within the vehicle. Each year sees numerous couples deciding to get married while experiencing Zero-G – sliding a ring on the wedding finger of a white-knuckled bride can’t be easy!
Indoor Skydiving (Flyaway)
At $4,950 + tax per person (correct at the time of publishing), the before-mentioned Zero-G might be a little too steep for most individual’s pockets! Instead, $85 can see Las Vegas tourists achieving the dream of human flight at the Indoor Skydiving centre (previously known as Flyaway). Participants float around in a vertical wind tunnel, which features spring-netting and padded walls, ensuring the safety of all divers. People of all ages find indoor skydiving incredibly fun; the more experienced can even perform flipping and spinning tricks while up in the air!
Diving with sharks at Shark Reef
Within the luxurious surroundings of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, you will find Shark Reef – the only predator-based aquarium in North America. 1.6 million gallons of water is habituated by 30 different species of shark, sawfish, giant ray, piranha, jellyfish, sea turtle, rare golden crocodiles and plenty more! While a visit to Shark Reef could be classified as a family Las Vegas activity, the venue’s dive with sharks programme is strictly adults only, and all participants must be certified SCUBA divers.
The Vegas SunBuggy Mini Baja Chase
This thrilling activity will see participants climb aboard their very own SunBuggy desert racer 15 minutes from the Strip, and speed across more than 15,000 of acres of Nevada desert, a terrain unsuitable for typical off-the-shelf vehicles. Shooting off steep declines at top speeds could see you buggy roll. Although all drivers are protected with a full-face helmet and roll cage, this won’t see that prospect being any less terrifying!
It is also possible to book a more relaxed, SunBuggy sight-seeing desert tour. Those choosing this option will spend less time speeding about the desert, and more time being educated about various Vegas landmarks.
Red Rock Canyon rock climbing
Nestled in Nevada’s stunning south-western desert just 20 minutes from the Strip, Red Rock Canyon is a popular spot for rock climbing among both rookies and climbing veterans. However, you’ll need plenty of time should you wish to try this exciting activity during your Las Vegas holiday - American Alpine Institute’s beginner’s rock climbing courses require one to two days to complete, while their more advanced courses can be as long as four days in length.
If preferred, you can of course get your Vegas’ kicks from testing your luck on the slots and tables of the city’s casino-hotels, or enjoying the hedonistic nightlife scene.
Many of the attractions on this page can be visited as part of our Las Vegas holiday packages. Call the friendly experts at American Sky today on to begin planning your fabulous Vegas break.