Off-the-wall Las Vegas: In Sin City, there's plenty of golf -- but so much more

By Bill Bowman, Contributor

LAS VEGAS -- You're in Las Vegas and have just wrapped up your round of golf for the day at one of the more than 50 beautiful layouts. It's early, and now you're looking for that next adventure. But you don't want just any adventure -- you're looking for something off-the-wall, something that you might not find at home.

Fremont Street Flightlinez
Care to check out Vegas' Fremont Street Experience from above?
Fremont Street FlightlinezBig Shot at the Stratosphere hotelLas Vegas Sin football teamThe Gun Store - Las Vegas

Glad you asked. From roller coasters to NASCAR races, bungee jumps to "Pawn Stars," machine guns to lingerie football, Sin City offers plenty to fit the bill.

Las Vegas adventure

Adventure might not be the right word here. How about daredevil fun? Or insane? If that's the case, the Stratosphere Tower Casino & Resort Hotel should be your next stop. Soaring more than 1,100 feet into the air, the Stratosphere features one-of-a-kind rides that will test the mettle of thrill seekers.

Check out Big Shot, a mind-blowing ride that catapults up to 16 riders sky-high, straight up, 160 feet. Or maybe X-Scream -- imagine a giant roller coaster on a teeter-totter. It tilts forward leading riders to the edge of the Stratosphere before tilting backwards and returning them safely to the floor. Or try Insanity, an octopus-like ride that dangles riders over the edge of the Stratosphere, spinning and tilting.

But we've saved the best for last. Check out the newest challenge: SkyJump Las Vegas. This one's a controlled free-fall (okay, a bungee jump) off the 108th floor of the tower all the way to the ground below. It's not for the faint of heart. But, then again, that's why you're here.

Want more speed thrills? We've got 'em at Fremont Street Flightlinez ( Here you'll be strapped into a zipline and sent racing down the entire length, some 800 feet, of the Fremont Street Experience. The 25-second ride is especially impressive at night with the Fremont Street Experience lit up to the max. It may not be a daredevil ride, but it's still quite a rush, and you'll be the star of the show for the patrons watching below.

How about a little more speed -- but on the ground. Well, we've got that covered as well, but it's not "a little" more adventure -- it's a lot. Be prepared to buckle up and hang on at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Richard Petty Driving Experience lets Kyle Busch wannabes test their need for speed.

Here's your chance to take the wheel yourself in one of the eight-, 18- or 30-lap rides where drivers, following a little classroom instruction, will put themselves to the test. Want the full-speed experience? Take a seat as one of the instructors will show you the ropes at speeds reaching 160 miles an hour. Hang on tight.

As seen on TV

Check out the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. You've seen "Pawn Stars" -- with Rick, Big Hoss, Chumlee and The Old Man -- on the History Channel, but checking out the store is even more impressive.

If you're looking for something offbeat, rare or historic, chances are you can find it here (or something else that you may never have imagined even existed).

Lingerie football with the Las Vegas Sin

For those of you looking for the softer side of Vegas, don't worry -- we haven't forgotten about you. We're talking ladies and lingerie.

But, it gets better: We're also talking football.

The Las Vegas Sin is one of 12 teams in the Lingerie Football League ( Scantily clad women play real football. It's no wonder it's one of the fastest growing sports around. And Lingerie Bowl IX is being held Feb. 5, 2012, right here in Vegas. Get your tickets now.

Ready, aim, fire!

Face it: You're intrigued by the chance to shoot a machine gun. From pistols to rifles to machine guns, The Gun Store ( gives people the chance to check out some of the most impressive firepower around.

With strict guidelines and under supervision, here's your chance to see if you've got a little Clint Eastwood in you.

Take aim II

For the photographers in the crowd, check out the Neon Museum of Las Vegas. The Boneyard is the final resting place for many, if not all, of the old neon signs that lit up Vegas in its early years.

There are more than 150 signs in the museum, bringing Vegas' early days back to life. And more have been pledged to the museum once they are retired. Tours are available by request, and these one-of-a-kind signs are impressive in their workmanship and details.

There you have it, a little taste of a different side of Vegas, off the golf course. A side that's a little out of the ordinary for most but the norm for others.

Not your cup of tea? Don't worry. We've only uncovered the tip of the iceberg. Ask around because there's so much more.

While the choice of golf courses is plentiful, the choices for your other 19 hours in the day while you're here are as wide and varied as your imagination.

-- The Gun store photo is courtesy of

Bill BowmanBill Bowman, Contributor

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 16-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas and has teed it up for magazine profiles with celebrities including comedian Bill Engvall, actor Jeffrey Donovan (USA's Burn Notice), ESPN personality Colin Cowherd, NASCAR's Kurt Busch, Collective Soul's Ed Roland, the Baltimore Ravens' Jonathan Ogden and many others.

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