When the Sun Shines in Sin City

Detour: Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a blast at night, but what is there to do during the day in this town? Here’s a suggestion: Get off the strip. There’s glitter and grime waiting.


Hotel hiatus

We know what you’re thinking: Las Vegas? Museums! How right you are. Our favorite is the Liberace Museum (, where Mr. Showmanship’s car collection (including his rhinestone-encrusted Mercedes Excalibur) is actually upstaged by the mannequins of his eminence, decked out in sequined capes and feather boas. Fabulous! The Liberace Museum is open daily. 1775 East Tropicana Avenue.

Ditch the convention center

Who needs Quake when you can have some real shoot-’em-ups? Unless Black’s Wing & Clay shotgunners’ handbook is on your bedside table, you’d never know that the Nellis Trap & Skeet Club exists. The club boasts a hot, dusty sporting-clay course, a clubhouse with the ambience of an abandoned gas station, and a half-dozen skeet ranges. Thirty bucks will get you through the course, skeet is about four bucks a round, and watching F-14s take off overhead is free. (The club is actually located inside Nellis Air Force Base.) Once in a while, the Air Force guys will show up and tell everyone to go home so they can “lock up the base,” but that’s rare. It’s open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but the hours vary with the mood of the mostly volunteer staff, so call before you head over. 702-652-1937.

Escape the airport

For those who equate fun with having to sign insurance waivers, there’s always the Richard Petty Driving Experience ( at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where you can drive around in circles at terrifying speeds. The Experience offers everything from ride alongs at $99 to 8- and 30-lap programs ranging up to $1,199, all in Winston Cup – style cars. The speedway is right off Interstate 15, adjacent to Nellis Air Force Base (no, there is no “Top Gun Flying Experience”).