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Alternatives to Area 51 for Space Tourists

Area 51 can suck it. Sure, it may have been a worthwhile destination back in the day—and by that, we mean before everyone knew aliens not only live among us, but how to spot the ones running the U.S. government. Now, though? Pffft. Don’t believe the hype.

Whatever you think lives behind the U.S. military facility’s well-fortified gates, could it possibly be worth risking arrest, detention or deportation to find out? No way. Especially not when there are plenty of delightfully alien encounters to be had right here in Las Vegas. 

Take it from the crew of the Starship OPM73: say no to Area 51—and yes to probing these out of this world, only in Vegas hotspots instead.

View of Seven Magic Mountains

Seven Magic Mountains

Located just south of Las Vegas along the I-15 highway, Seven Magic Mountains is among the galaxy’s most instagrammable works of public art. While often attributed to Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, the true source of these mysterious, brightly colored monoliths has long been an open secret—off-planet, anyway. (Hint: it rhymes with “maliens.”)

Entrance to Area 15


No, it’s not a typo. And contrary to what you may have heard, it does exist. Minutes from the Vegas Strip, AREA15 is a massive entertainment complex filled with dizzying, day-glo art installations and a bevy of delightfully oddball drinking, dining, retail and entertainment outlets. It’s also home to the immersive and truly otherworldly Omega Mart, an eye-popping, 52,000-square-foot art-venture from the mind-benders at Meow Wolf.  

Red Rock Canyon

Vegas is well known for its proximity to the stars, albeit largely of the terrestrial variety. Surprisingly, you don’t have to venture too far outside the city to ogle the ones in the sky, as well. Surrounded by mountains, the 13-mile scenic drive at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is one of the best places for stargazing near Vegas. 

Spocktail with pop rocks and boba at OPIUM

Spocktails at the OPIUM Space Bar

If modern mixology is equal parts art and science, Mariena Boarini is easily among the world’s most inspired, avant-garde mad scientists. For irrefutable evidence, book a flight aboard the OPM73 and treat yourself to (at least) one of her intoxicatingly intergalactic Spocktails.

Alien Cathouse

Located just south of Area 51, Alien Cathouse is a legal brothel specializing in—what else?—sci-fi fantasy. Not into cosmic kink? Grab a burger and some scandalous, space-themed souvenirs at the onsite bar/restaurant and gift shop.