Most people head to Las Vegas to get their heart racing with bright club lights and high-risk bets at the casino, but adrenaline junkies can also flock to thrill rides and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Check out this list of adrenaline-pumping options that won’t risk your bankroll, but will still get your heart beating out of your chest just the same.
1. Mini Baja Chase
The famous Mint 400 desert off-road race has made a name for itself as one of the most exciting of its kind. Now, visitors can complete their own version with the Mini Baja Chase. Expert guides lead racers on the two-hour course, which was famously depicted in Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Participants can go as fast or slow as they want and speed junkies will be sure to catch some air on the sand hills and ride on two wheels around the sharpest turns. To book, go to www.sunbuggy.com.
2. New York New York Rollercoaster
One of the most iconic landmarks in Vegas, the Big Apple Coaster is the world’s first to feature a 180-degree “heartline” twist and dive maneuver. The first intense hill offers spectacular views of the casino’s replica buildings from New York City before delivering on the scream factor. For those who are never satisfied with heart-stopping stunts, a day-pass with unlimited rides is offered for $25. For more information, go to www.newyorknewyork.com.
Flightlinez offers unique and heart-pounding ziplining experience over the Mojave Desert. Each zip, which can top 60 mph, sends thrill-seekers on four different lines totalling over 1.5 miles. For nature lovers, the three-hour trip over the Red Mountains in Nevada often means catching a glimpse of bighorn sheep, lizards, hawks, and other desert wildlife. Pickup is available from Excalibur. For more information, go to www.flightlinezbootleg.com.
4. Sky Combat Ace
You can’t call yourself an adrenaline junkie until you’ve successfully endured the adventure activities conducted by this mile-high company. The most popular package, the Top Gun, tosses adventurers in a cockpit with a professional pilot and lets them fly their own stunt plane. The experienced pilot can take over the gears at any time. For those who don’t want to be in control of their own fate, passenger rides are also available.
Experiences are divided into four groups: aerobatics (flying with a fighter pilot as they demonstrate aerial dogfighting skills), air combat (flying the plane and simulating air-to-air combat), extreme sightseeing (a scenic tour of Las Vegas with a bubble canopy for unobstructed views), and a combination of all of the above. To book, go to www.skycombatace.com.
5. Exotics Racing
Not only does Las Vegas-based Exotics Racing let you drive Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches – they don’t make you adhere to a speed limit. In the company’s custom-designed driving experiences, participants pick their racetrack, date, time, and (most importantly) which of the 14 speciality vehicles they want to pilot. (The options also include an Audi R8 and Aston Martin.) Experiences include technical briefings, discovery laps as a passenger, and anywhere from five to 200 laps around the track. Those really looking to get their hearts racing can hop in with a professional, who will really crank up the speed. For more information, go to www.exoticsracing.
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