Las Vegas! Blaring, kitschy, tinsel town. What happens here stays here, right?
Don’t count on it. Las Vegas, and the state it sits in, are filled with so much weirdness that some of it must leak out. Think about it. Where else will you find a place that names its highways after Extraterrestrials, where mobsters are city fathers, and where Elvisor a reasonable facsimile of himhangs out on every street corner.
Nevada’s nicknames are wholesome enough. It’s called the Sagebrush State and the Silver Statealthough that’s weird, since gold is the state’s money mineral. (Nevada is the world’s second-largest producer.) Las Vegas is a different story. It’s Sin City, which may be why it is also the country’s number-one vacation destination. But believe it or not, many tourists head here for something besides the girls and the gambling.
In fact, there is so much going on that it took a duo of authorsJoe Oesterle and Tim Cridlandto corral it all. Bravely, these intrepid seekers of the weird explored the Coffin House in Pahrumpand made it out alive; searched for the river of black gold; watched rocks move all by themselves at Little Bonnie Claire Playa,; and tracked down some very odd legends, like the one about the eerie dead body under the hotel mattress.
Turn the pages now and join them in a game at the Pinball Hall of Fame. Check out the 8,000 fish at the Mermaid Bar, or relive the cold war at the Atomic Test Museum or by visiting a urinal with pieces from the actual Berlin wall. Find out how the term “eighty-sixed” got its name or snap pictures at Rhyolite, Nevada’s most photographed ghost town. Stay in Marilyn Monroe’s cabin at the Cal Neva Resort, and you might just catch a vision of her swimming in the pool. Explore St. Thomas, the submerged town that has risen from the waters of Lake Mead, or go a round with the card-playing skeletons in Tonopah.
A brand-new entry in the best-selling Weird U.S. series, Weird Las Vegas and Nevada is packed with the things regular guidebooks won’t tell you. So take a break from the slot machines and explore where the real action is. It’s a journey you’ll never forgetyou can bet on that!
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