There’s no escaping it: Nevada summers are hot, excruciatingly hot, bake-cookies-on-your-dashboard hot. For many, the old way of handling the heat was to retreat inside and drink steadily or get high. In recovery, of course, that’s not an option. So how can you deal with the high temperatures and keep yourself entertained – and trigger-free – during the summer in Nevada?
Here are just a few of the many things Nevada has to offer that can help you get out of the house and enjoying the summer no matter what the thermostat says:
- Pinball Hall of Fame: What better way to beat the heat than to head inside and play? The Pinball Hall of Fame has more than 200 vintage pinball games you can play for a quarter or two a pop, housed inside a warehouse off The Strip in Las Vegas. Part museum, part game hall, you can have just as good of a time not playing a single game but instead wandering around the warehouse and looking at the different pinball art and games and learning about their histories. If you are really into pinball, this could be your go-to spot for the rest of the summer.
- Clown Motel: Now this one could completely creep you out, or it could be the destination of your dreams. Located in Tonopah, Nevada, the Clown Motel marks a last stop before a long stretch of Nevada desert driving, so if you’re on the road, you might want to spend the night being watched by glass-eyed clowns. Hey, it’s air-conditioned; there’s a mini-fridge, if not a full-sized fridge; a microwave; and free Wi-Fi and 22 channels for your surfing pleasure. You can bring your dog if you want. Plus, the price can’t be beat, staying shockingly under $50 even on busy tourist weekends. If you get bored with the décor, you can always wander over and explore the nearby Tonopah Cemetery with gravestones dating back to the Wild West, or head over to an Area 51 viewing site, also nearby. Trust us, you’ll be too freaked out to even think about getting loaded.
- Lehmen Caves: In Baker, Nevada, you can get out of the sun and cool off naturally – no air conditioning required when you explore the Lehmen Caves. These cathedral-like caverns are under the Great Basin National Park and offer incredible views of stalactites and stalagmites, plus an Inscription Room covered in graffiti and evidence of the caves’ former souvenir policy allowing visitors to take anything they could break off. The only way to see Gothic Palace, Music Room, and a huge shield rock formation called Grand Palace is to take a guided tour, but you can do so every day of the year except major holidays. While you’re in Baker, head over to see the Bristlecone Pines of the Great Basin. They won’t get you out of the heat, but they are incredibly beautiful, reportedly the longest living clonal organisms in the world.
- Techatticup Mine: Located in Nelson, Nevada, the Techatticup Mine is an old gold mine off the beaten path that gives fun insight into the days of the Wild West. Tours are available to help you get the most history out of your visit, and there is a lot of history to learn. Murder, intrigue, power struggles, and lots of unmined gold and silver remaining in the mine, it’s a definite must-see, and it gets you out of the sun.
- Guru Road: If you like nothing better than to spend your summer days in your car driving around, then head in the direction of Guru Road. It’s also known as “Doobie Lane” – not because you are encouraged to get high before going but because that was the name of the artist who built the folk-art installations that dot this mile-long drive. Located in Gerlach, Nevada, Guru Road can be your destination or a place you pass by along the way to somewhere else.
What Do You Think?
What are your favorite destinations when it comes to having fun and staying sober in Nevada? Where do you like to spend an afternoon, the weekend, or take a road trip? Are there places you avoid at all costs in order to avoid triggering cravings that could end in relapse?