Thrill Rides in Las Vegas: Things to Do for Adrenaline Junkies
Photo courtesy of Fly LINQ
From celebrity fine dining to big-name residencies to the oddities of Fremont Street, there are plenty of reasons to visit Las Vegas. What you might not know is that it’s also a haven for thrill-seekers, with more activities to get your adrenaline pumping than practically any other city in the world. Where else can you bungee jump off the side of a building, drive luxury cars on a professional racetrack, fly a plane over the Hoover Dam, and launch a grenade? If any of that sounds like a good time to you, you won’t want to miss our suggestions for how to indulge your sense of adventure in Sin City—these activities are guaranteed to get your heart racing faster than any game of poker or blackjack.
Do you feel the need for speed? Head on down to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Dream Racing, where you’ll be invited to race some of the world’s most exclusive GT race cars. Choose between a Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, or McLaren, and then suit up in professional driving gear. You’ll practice racing controls on a 3D simulator, where you’ll receive guidance from professional drivers. Then strap on your helmet, hop into your car of choice, and put the pedal to the metal on the 1.2-mile, nine-turn racetrack.
Cost: Prices range from $99 for two laps in a Drift ride-along to $1,239 for 15 laps in a Porsche GT2 RS.
Located at AREA15, LIFTOFF can best be described as a panoramic skyline experience and light spectacle. In fact it’s the first of its kind, with a 16-seat circular gondola that ascends to its 130-foot summit. The ride is best experienced after dark and before embarking on your journey, we suggest ordering a drink at the outdoor LIFTOFF Lounge. You’ll surely need some liquid courage, and this imbibe-and-ride experience encourages it so feel free to bring your cocktail along. Once you’ve reached the top, you’ll circle a few times while you take in the expansive Las Vegas skyline.
Cost: $15 for adults + $18 for a specialty cocktail add-on. Children under 12 fly free with adults.
Cross an item off your bucket list at All in Aviation in nearby Henderson, a premier flight school and full-service aviation company. You can purchase a destination flight lesson package and bring two or three passengers along for the ride. You’ll be given the option of a one-hour or half-day flight lesson, and you’ll fly either a Cirrus or Cessna plane. With the assistance of your instructor, you’ll circle over local destinations like the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, or venture further to remote areas like Zion National Park or the Grand Canyon.
Cost: $400 for a roundtrip flight lesson with two to three guests that includes flying over local destinations like Lake Mead, the Colorado River, and Hoover Dam, with views of The Strip.
Take your pick of thrill rides at The STRAT—it offers attractions with ominous names such as Insanity, which dangles you precariously from the side of a 900-foot building with a spinning mechanical arm; or X-Scream, a rollercoaster that propels riders head-first over the Stratosphere Tower. But if you really want to test the limits of your courage, try SkyJump, which holds the Guinness World Record as the highest commercial decelerator descent. You’ll feel your heart pounding in your ears as you take an open-air leap from 829 feet above The Strip, zooming toward the landing pad at speeds that top 40 mph.
Cost: $129.99 for SkyJump, or 144.99 for SkyJump with photos. An unlimited ride pass with SkyPod Admission is just $43.95.
If you’re in the mood for ziplining, you have three options: Fly LINQ at LINQ Promenade, SlotZilla, and Haley’s Comet at AREA15. Ideal for large groups, Fly LINQ is the only zipline in the world that offers riders the ability to fly simultaneously on 10 side-by-side lines, traveling over 1,100 feet through the LINQ Promenade. On Fremont Street, SlotZilla is an 11-story slot machine replica, complete with oversized dice and two neon showgirls. Its zipline launches riders from a 77-foot platform, landing halfway down the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian promenade. Haley’s Comet offers an experience that blends hang-gliding, free-falling, and zip-lining on the world’s first dual-track roller glider.
Cost: Fly LINQ: $40 per person or $30 each for groups of 11-30; SlotZilla: $44 for the 7-story experience and $64 for the 11-story experience; Haley’s Comet: $18 for adults and $14 for locals, seniors, military personnel, and children.
At 550 feet, High Roller is the highest observation wheel in the world, higher than even the London Eye or the Singapore Flyer. If you’re a low-key adrenaline junkie, this is the ride for you, as the wheel travels slowly, completing one full rotation in thirty minutes. Settle into one of 28 spacious, air-conditioned cabins, each accommodating up to 40 guests. Don’t miss Happy Half Hour, where for a nominal fee you’ll enjoy access to a full bar and all you can drink in the time it takes for the wheel to make its revolution.
Cost: $36 for GA anytime and $60 for the Happy Half Hour.
Located just a block off The Strip, Battlefield Vegas is a military-inspired complex that sprawls over five acres and is equipped with an indoor firing range and a 120-acre desert training base. Whether you want to drive a tank, shoot out of a helicopter, launch a grenade, or fire an M-134 mini-gun, you can do it all here. Battlefield Vegas also offers a variety of outdoor adventures that will test your mettle—from a basic training outdoor package to the exhilarating experience of crushing a car with a tank.
Cost: Weapon rentals start at $25 and packages start at $125.
Get ready for a VIP experience with Maverick Helicopters, which has been taking passengers on one-of-a-kind aerial flights for over 25 years. Opt for a tour of the Vegas Strip, or embark on the Neon & Nature tour, which soars over the sandstone cliffs of Red Rock Canyon and lands on a panoramic overlook that hovers over 2,900 feet above the city. Enjoy a champagne toast and sunset before heading back to reality. Maverick Helicopters has also partnered with Lip Smacking Foodie Tours to offer Savory Bites & Neon Lights—a combo foodie tour and night flight.
Cost: The Neon & Nature Tour is $204-254 per person. The Savory Bites & Neon Lights tour is $325.
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