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6 weird, wacky and wonderful experiences you can only find in Nevada

Think you've been to Nevada because you got weird in Las Vegas for a few days? Honey, the weird doesn’t start and stop in Vegas; the whole state has a handle on weird, wacky, and 100% wonderful. The question is not did you get weird in Nevada, but how weird? 

Think you’ve been to Nevada because you got weird in Las Vegas for a few days? Honey, the weird doesn’t start and stop in Vegas; the whole state has a handle on weird, wacky, and 100% wonderful. The question is not did you get weird in Nevada, but how weird? 

Nevada is a state dedicated to adventures of every kind. From the wide-open roads, exciting road trips occur. From its commitment to art and entertainment, creativity flows. Minds expand with its rich and varied history and its awe-inspiring natural attractions allow spirits to soar. And thanks to its weird ‘only in Nevada’ attractions, everyone feels at home.  

Take our Nevada quiz and see how much weird you’ve experienced in the Silver State. Give yourself one point for every place you’ve visited, then check your score at the end to see how your weirdness measures up.  

6. The forest of weird 

Nevada's International Car Forest of the Last Church ©Travel Nevada
Nevada’s International Car Forest of the Last Church ©Travel Nevada

No, Nevada is not all desert, and yes, you can even get lost in the woods in Nevada because 16% of the state is forested. However, we’re talking about a different kind of Nevada forest: a forest of junk cars! 

At the International Car Forest of the Last Church in Goldfield, 40 uniquely graffitied cars lay, perch, and teeter in the desert for your weird pleasure. Wander this free open-air gallery to experience its ever-changing artwork.  

Like a natural forest, there are no explanations or descriptions about each defunct motor’s art, leaving you to get creative in interpreting each one. 

5. Un-boo-lievable 

Goldwell Open Air Museum features seven colossal sculptures that include a ghostly life-size version of Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper ©Travel Nevada
Goldwell Open Air Museum features seven colossal sculptures that include a ghostly life-size version of Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper ©Travel Nevada

Art is subjective; one person’s weird is another person’s normal. You can be the judge of what’s weird or not at the experiential art at the Goldwell Open Air Museum.  

This self-described ‘art situation’ close to Death Valley, includes permanent art features like the ghostly life-size version of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper. There’s also the Venus of Nevada, an 8-metre-tall pink woman fashioned from cinder blocks.  

It’s free to wander this outdoor sculpture park 24/7, though you may want to avoid the scorching midday heat in summer.  

4. The comic strip 

If the creepy clown theme of The Clown Motel—which stretches beyond the lobby and into each room—isn’t enough to spook you, the added bonus of some resident ghosts slinking over nightly from the cemetery next door might just be the ticket. ©Travel Nevada
If the creepy clown theme of The Clown Motel—which stretches beyond the lobby and into each room—isn’t enough to spook you, the added bonus of some resident ghosts slinking over nightly from the cemetery next door might just be the ticket. ©Travel Nevada

Want to get really weird in Nevada? After a few days at your fancy Vegas Strip hotel, why not head to the comic strip, aka the Clown Motel in Tonopah?  

With the largest private collection of clown-themed memorabilia, the Clown Motel has the right balance of curious, creative, and creepy. There’s no escaping those giant red lips and bold outfits, either: every room is clown-themed! Those with coulrophobia (a fear of clowns) might want to avoid this one. 

Want to know what’s even weirder? The Clown Motel is right next door to a haunted cemetery! Many residents at the Old Tonopah Cemetery came to pass due to a mine fire and mysterious plague.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuffed 

Jiggs Bar  is a good old fashioned, rough and tumble saloon…a place certainly worth checking out. ©Travel Nevada
Jiggs Bar is a good old fashioned, rough and tumble saloon…a place certainly worth checking out. ©Travel Nevada

Across Nevada, there are fascinating backroad watering holes – nicknamed Sagebrush Saloons – to explore for their history, drinks, and quirkiness. And none more so ticks the latter’s box than Jiggs Bar in Elko.  

Dare you ask why?  

Because alongside good libations and good times, there’s also a good number of taxidermied animals! Like the weird two-headed calf, or the albino porcupine! 

Jiggs is a great place to meet some locals, too, along with Tigg the bar’s cat (who is thankfully alive).  

2. First contact 

Pilot your vessel down Nevada State Route 375, otherwise known as the Extraterrestrial Highway, to the Alien Research Center ©Travel Nevada
Pilot your vessel down Nevada State Route 375, otherwise known as the Extraterrestrial Highway, to the Alien Research Center ©Travel Nevada

Want to make first contact with an alien? In Nevada, you can! Well, you can visit the Alien Research Center, 90-minutes north of Vegas, and learn all the tips and tricks to give you the best shot of encountering an ET.  

The Alien Research Center is en-route to the secretive Area 51 military base and close to the renowned Extraterrestrial Highway. Grab a selfie at the centre’s alien statue, check out the alien and Area 51 displays, and grab some (very cool) souvenirs.  

Whether you’re an alien fanatic or a curious sceptic, the Alien Research Center is a fun road trip stop. Its remote location is great for stargazing, too. Maybe to spot a UFO or two?   

1. The cookie-dough nation 

Pack your passports if you plan on visiting this official sovereign “micronation”—complete with its own post office, national bank, and even space force. ©Travel Nevada
Pack your passports if you plan on visiting this official sovereign “micronation”—complete with its own post office, national bank, and even space force. ©Travel Nevada

If out of this world is a little too weird, how about a 2.5-hectare independent sovereign nation? Yes, in Nevada. Located a short distance east of Carson City, visit the Republic of Molossia, the country-in-a-country you’ve never heard of! 

For more than 40 years, the Republic of Molossia has been an official micronation. You can even get your passport stamped there (so be sure to bring it).  

Population 34 (including four dogs), the Republic of Molossia has its own currency – tied to the value of cookie dough – and a range of rules, including that onions and walrus are contraband.  

We’re not sure it gets any weirder than this one, so if you’ve been here, give yourself a bonus point. 

What’s your weirdo Nevada score?  

A drive down Route 50, the Loneliest Road in America. ©Sydney Martinez/Travel Nevada
A drive down Route 50, the Loneliest Road in America. ©Sydney Martinez/Travel Nevada
  • 0-1: not weird enough, book a trip to Nevada right now! 
  • 2-3: on your way to the best kind of weird, better book a trip to Nevada to keep up the good work
  • 4-5: You’re weird, and we like it! How about a trip to Nevada for those final points?  
  • 6-7:  You’re totally weird and wonderful. Nevada welcomes your level of weird back anytime! 

Watch our Arrival Revival Nevada Episode


Agents, discover more weird as an NV Trailblazer 

Nevada road trip night skies. ©Sydney Martinez/Travel Nevada
Nevada road trip night skies. ©Sydney Martinez/Travel Nevada

Only in Nevada could you see this kind of weird, right? If you’d like to know more about these weird-yet-cool Nevada destinations and other oddities (as well as the regular stuff), sign up to become an NV Trailblazer!

While there’s nothing weird about Travel Nevada’s new destination specialist program, you can stay up-to-date with Nevada’s weirdness as part of its perks. You’ll also have access to multi-media training, ready-made sales presentations, marketing materials, insider tips, and more.

Don’t be weird, check it out now! 

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