Saturday, December 28, 2019

Things for car folks to do in Las Vegas

I visit Las Vegas often to visit family.  I am not a gambler, it's just not my thing. I am also not into the night life.  While there are the biggest attractions in Las Vegas, what can non-gambler car people do when in Las Vegas?  I have found many very fun things to do so I thought I would capture some here.

Drive high-end cars on the track

There are several great venues to drive supercars and sports cars in their natural habitat, on the track. By track I mean a proper road course and you drive them at speed. While there are also places to rent them and drive on the street, this would be a frustration for me as you would be stuck in traffic and not get to experience even a fraction of what these cars can do. I wrote a blog article here: describing some of the main experiences at the track.  I also went to Speed Vegas and drove the Ferrari 488, and Exotics Racing and drove a Porsche GT3 RS.

There are others.  You can drive off-road or NASCAR experiences too.  The Las Vegas Motorplex is a center of much of this.  This is my favorite car thing to do in Las Vegas by far, but it is also the most expensive.  Plan to spend a few hundred dollars but it is well worth it.  Many exotic cars are ridiculously expensive to buy and own.  Once you spend that much, most people don't want to risk that investment by taking them to the track and driving them hard.  Here you are just renting the car (insurance included) so no worries.  You can really have fun in them and give them back when you are done. You get an experienced instructor to show you the line and how to get the most out of these cars at their track. It's the best way to experience these cars.

Drive Go-Karts

There are many places too drive go-karts as well, both indoors and outside.  Exotics Racing offers both supercars (above) and go-karts.  I have driven the electric indoor go-karts at Pole Position which is close to the strip.  It's inexpensive and fun and since it's indoors and the karts are electric you don't have to deal with the weather.  There are many others.

Visit a museum

Here is a great article highlighting some of the car museums. I have been to the Shelby facility, both at the old location near the speedway, and the new location South of the strip.

Shop for car related stuff

Being a Porsche fan I found a rare Porsche Design outlet shop.  I think there are only 2 of these in the country, one being at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets mall North of the strip. Porsche Design merchandise is not cheap so finding it at a discount is great. Of course the Shelby store is a great place to shop.

Go for a road trip

While Las Vegas is in a desert, it is close to mountains and lakes too.  

Hoover Dam and the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

It's a short drive (about 40 minutes) from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam.  There is also a great view from the bridge to the South of the dam. You can walk across the bridge.

Mount Charleston

Mount Charleston is a short drive (about an hour) from Las Vegas where you can get away from the desert and enjoy the mountains and pine trees.  In the winter it is often snow covered.  In the summer it is much cooler than Las Vegas.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is less than 3 hours away.  There are great hiking trails and camping as well as hotels and lodges.