Getting Your Thrills in Las Vegas

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NYNY Roller Coaster

NYNY Roller Coaster

For most of us, the thrill of some casino action, nightclubbing and just being on the Las Vegas Strip at night is all the excitement we need on our Las Vegas vacations. But for those of you who need more of an adrenaline rush than lazing about the pool or sightseeing on the Strip all day can offer, here are some activities Las Vegas provides just for thrill-seekers like you. We wouldn’t want you to think Las Vegas is too tame, would we?

Ride the Rails

Of a roller coaster, that is. New York, New York has a roller coaster that wraps around the hotel’s facade and zips along at 67 mph, with a loop that simulates a barrel roll on a fighter jet. According to the resort’s website, the ride will “lift you up 203 feet” and “drop you down 144 feet”. I don’t know from personal experience, because I’m not fond of puking.

Go for an All-Terrain Adventure

Do you like getting off the beaten path? Then book yourself a few hours of off-road ATV fun in the desert terrain outside of Las Vegas. I have two words for you: Sand dunes.

Take on the Colorado River

Sign up for a day trip to the Grand Canyon to go whitewater rafting on the Colorado River. Man vs. Nature at its finest.



Ride the Zipline

Soar under the light canopy and over the heads of foot traffic on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas for 800 feet of ziplining fun. For a less urban and more adventurous ziplining experience, head on out to the Bootleg Canyon zipline, which has speeds up to 60mph and runs for a length of 1.5 miles in the Mojave Desert.

Swim with Sharks

Still have nightmares from seeing JAWS as a kid? Think you’re safe by going to the desert? Think again. Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef offers a Dive with Sharks Guest Diver experience (available to Mandalay Bay and Annual Pass guests who are certified divers). Are you up for the challenge?

Burn Some Rubber

Do you have a need for speed? Try your hand at driving a 600 horse power NASCAR race car, reaching speeds up to 155mph, at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. There are levels of the racing experience from a 3-lap high speed “Ride Along” where a professional does the driving while you ride shotgun, all the way up to the “Racing Experience” where you drive 50 laps around the track yourself. The Experience is located 15 miles off the Strip at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Take a Flying Leap

If your life insurance doesn’t cover you for crazy things like jumping out of airplanes, you can scale it back to indoor skydiving, which simulates the freefall experience using a vertical wind tunnel. Indoor skydiving is available just off the Las Vegas Strip at Vegas Indoor Skydiving. If you do have full life insurance coverage, then go for the gusto, baby! There’s no greater rush than plummeting to the earth from 3 miles up, is there?

Well, maybe there is. . . .

Stratosphere and Sahara sign

See that tall building on the left? How would you like to dangle from that?

Defy Death at 1,000 feet

The observation tower at the Stratosphere stands 1,159 feet tall, and as if walking out onto the outdoor deck up there isn’t enough to make you quake in your shoes, they’ve decided to install four of the most insane rides you’ll ever try up there:

  • The Big Shot – Get shot into the air 160 feet up at 45 mph so that you are literally over 1,000 feet up above the Las Vegas Strip. But don’t relax when you come back down—because you’ll be going right back up again.
  • X Scream – This ride is like a giant teeter-totter, extending 27 feet over the edge of the tower, 866 feet up from the ground.
  • Sky Jump – Experience a freefall when you jump from the top of the tower 855 feet straight down (do put on the harness first); and finally, there is the aptly named
  • Insanity – Remember those carnival rides that spin you around? Well, imagine that ride extended 64 feet over the edge of the Stratosphere Tower (900 feet up), spinning at 3Gs and tilting your body down toward the ground, which is so, so far away.

If those rides don’t tear a scream out of you, nothing will.

What’s your idea of an adrenaline rush in Las Vegas?

Please share in the comments below.


11 thoughts on “Getting Your Thrills in Las Vegas

  1. Gray

    See….when I was writing this post, I thought to myself that I should include a little warning at the end to keep suggestions family-friendly, but then I thought, “No I don’t need to tell my readers that.” I should have gone with my instincts, NoDeuces. Leave it to you. 🙂

  2. JoAnn

    I want to ride the roller coaster in New York, New York. I’ve ridden the one in Circus Circus.

  3. Sharon

    Nice article Gray.
    Roller Coasters not my thing but have never been to the Stratosphere so have added to my list to have a look round, I think that bus going downtown stops there?
    I tend to get my thrills shopping in Vegas – I love it !!!
    Have done white water rafting in Oz (with baby croc!!) , not sure Colorada will match up.

  4. Gray

    Thanks, Sharon. Yes, both the Strip/Downtown Express and the Deuce stop at the Stratosphere. The Strat is worth visiting just for the 360 degree views of Las Vegas from the observation deck. Ha–I suppose shopping can be a thrill for some people, especially if you don’t normally have access to some of the retail chains available in Vegas. 🙂

  5. John

    Ohhh man. That looks fantastic. In particular, Insanity… it sounds… insane haha. I can’t wait to visit!

  6. Jeanne

    We are flying in to Las Vegas, renting a car and are heading out to Grand Canyon. First, we’d like to take in some of these hotels (for a few hours). Is there ample parking down on Las Vegas Blvd South where we could park and walk to the various hotels? Does this sound like a good plan?

  7. Gray

    Yes, absolutely, Jeanne! All of the hotels have parking garages and you don’t have to be a guest to use them. You can self-park (free) or use the valet.

  8. Pingback: The Richard Petty Experience: A 160mph Adventure – The Vegas SoloHelping you plan your solo Las Vegas vacation.

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