The squad is cruising along Interstate 15 en route to the best Vegas weekend of your lives. You're beyond excited, and you’ve stalked every nightclub's Instagram a million times to map out the perfect plan, at least until you lose service or battery - whichever comes first.
You're the fun advisor, the kind of person who knows the coolest places to hit in every city, the one who gets FOMO way too easily. If this sounds scary-accurate, this post is for you! The fun doesn't have to wait to start until you reach those neon lights (even though that's not really your style anyway). There are actually a ton of hidden gems along your route to check out.
So here’s our #ProTip to get the party started early: I-15 Bingo!
Barstow Station is 16 train cars stuck together with some impressive welding skills to house several restaurant chains. This Route-66 hotspot literally became a thing through a card game between Fred Rosenberg (founder of Barstow Station), Ray Kroc (a founder of McDonald’s), and Jim Williams (President of Golden Gate Foods).
Jenny Rose Sign (Barstow)
The Jenny Rose Restaurant has been closed for years, but the sign is iconic. Pre-fast food era, traditional diners like Jenny Rose were where travelers to and from Vegas would stop and eat at.
Calico Ghost Town
Calico is a tiny detour, but if you haven’t seen a legit ghost town before then it’s worth it. Calico was a traditional western mining town that’s been around since 1881 and produced over $20 million in silver ore in its heyday. It was proclaimed by Governor Schwarzenegger as California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town.
Lake Dolores Water Park (Newberry Springs)
AKA that one abandoned water park that you’ve always wanted to check out. This water park used to be poppin’ in the 1960s, especially for travelers. Is it open? No. Will it ever be open? No one really knows, but it’s now owned by the bank. Fun fact: the Electric Daisy Carnival was actually held at the park in 1999.
Mad Greek Café (Baker)
This classic diner is where you should stop for a bite. Mad Greek Café was actually featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Inside they have a sign that claims “Tourist Help” and you learn that the staff there speak over 12 different languages and a variety of dialects.
The World’s Tallest Thermometer is located in Baker and commemorates the record 134 degrees Fahrenheit recorded in Death Valley on July 10, 1913. It’s also visible from three different angles along I-15.
Alien Fresh Jerky (Baker)
It's a store filled with abducted animals made into jerky via aliens. But seriously it’s delicious, and definitely a must-try. Word on the highway is that the guy behind Alien Fresh Jerky is actually opening a UFO Hotel in Baker, and we’re over the moon about it.
Zzyzx is a 4.5 mile-long unincorporated community in San Bernadino County. Founder Curtis Howe Springer was an interesting character to say the least. He said he named the land Zzyzx so it would be “the last word in the English language”. And yes, it’s open to public!
Welcome to Nevada Sign (Primm)
This makes for a solid Instagram post to start the weekend. About 30-45 minutes from Las Vegas, this sign is in Primm and there’s usually always another traveler there you can ask to take your picture.
Located in Primm, this huge outlet mall will not disappoint retail addicts. There are over 100 designer stores to choose from and up to 75% off in savings.
Desperado Roller Coaster (Buffalo Bills)
About 40 miles south of Vegas, this “hypercoaster” is one of the tallest and fastest in the country. It’s just a 2 minute and 43 second stop to be able to cross this off your bingo card.