Extraterrestrials, welcome to Nevada. Or should we say, welcome back? Since your last visit to Area 51, we’ve missed you! The whole United States has missed you, which is why the Defense Department spent $22 million on a program to find you. You’ve captured our imaginations, and our hearts.
Nevada offers a plethora of activities and attractions for an advanced, time-traveling species. To help navigate the many options, TravelNevada has developed a southern Nevada loop itinerary specifically for our extraterrestrial visitors.
Itinerary for extraterrestrials: Las Vegas, ET Highway, Tonopah, Pahrump loop
Snapshot: 487 miles/784 km/8.284e-11 light years/2.54e-11 parsecs
Solar day 1: Las Vegas/Valley of Fire State Park
If you only have one solar day on Earth, Las Vegas is a great way to see it all, from the Eiffel Tower replica at Paris Las Vegas to the Egyptian pyramid at the Luxor Las Vegas. Travel back in time to Arthurian England — the human way, as opposed to actually time traveling — with a visit to the Tournament of Kings dinner and show experience at the Excalibur. Homesick for Mars? Valley of Fire State Park, a mere 49 miles/8.3353e-12 light years to the east, offers the beautiful red sandstone landscapes of home. So realistic, scenes from 1994’s “Star Trek: Generations” and 1990’s “Total Recall” were filmed here.
Solar day 2: Extraterrestrial Highway to Tonopah
Things may have changed since your last visit to Area 51. Mainly, Nevada state Route 375 was named the Extraterrestrial Highway in 1996 in your honor. Heading out from Las Vegas, take Interstate 15 east and U.S. 93 north to where it intersects with the eastern end of the ET Highway at Crystal Springs (about 108 miles, or just teleport yourself there). Stock up on road trip snacks at E.T. Fresh Jerky, take a selfie at the ET Highway sign, and shop for souvenirs at the Alien Research Center.
Heading west on the ET Highway, you’ll notice a few dirt roads to the south heading to Area 51. For old times’ sake, you can drive down them to take a look — but observe all posted signs. Area 51, you may remember, is within the Nevada Test and Training Range, and is not open to the public, human or extraterrestrial. Do not pass the gates into the military base — we’d hate for you to be detained again.
Continue west to the Little A’Le’Inn restaurant and gift shop in Rachel for a bite to eat before heading on to Tonopah. This is a former silver mining town — remember when your species was still digging for Ag and those other transition metals? — with a beautifully restored Victorian-era hotel known as the Mizpah. Through January 2018, the Mizpah is offering a 20 percent discount on king and queen rooms for extraterrestrials showing their intergalactic ID cards. While in town, be sure to check out the Tonopah Historic Mining Park and the Central Nevada Museum. Fill up on barbecue and sample local suds at the Tonopah Brewing Co. — the cleverly named Half-life Hefeweizen testifies to our ingrained human interest in radioactivity. Before heading to bed, check out the night skies. Tonopah, population 2,440 (2010 Census data), is a small community with little light pollution, providing a great vantage point to view this sweet corner of the galaxy.
Solar day 3: Tonopah to Pahrump and back to Las Vegas
Head south on U.S to Goldfield, another former silver mining town from the early 20th century. On the south end of this community, to the east of the highway, is the International Car Forest of the Last Church art installation. Paintings on half-buried cars, buses and other vehicles dot the landscape here in a sort of Stonehenge-like construction, only without references to the summer and winter solstices, or any other astrological or mathematical concepts. A great place for a selfie!
Continue on to Beatty for a quick bite to eat at the Happy Burro Chili & Beer or KC’s Outpost. From here, it’s a quick 6 mile/1.0206e-12 light years on Nevada state Route 374 to see the ghost town of Rhyolite and the adjacent Goldwell Open Air Museum. Then it’s back to Beatty and south on U.S. 95 to Pahrump.
Pahrump, you will remember, is where Martians land in the 1996 film “Mars Attacks!”, as it is the home of radio talk show host Art Bell, known for his interest in your species. Here, you can enjoy a Jetpack America adventure at Lake Spring Mountain inside the Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club, swing the clubs at Mountain Falls Golf Course or the Lakeview Executive Golf Course, and sample the vintages at the Pahrump Valley Winery and Sanders Family Winery.
Then it’s back to Las Vegas. Whatever happens here stays here, so feel free to fly your aircraft — you know, those ones that move at high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion that the DOD was studying…