“We’re going to find some virtual caches on the Strip!”
It almost sounds kind of kinky but we’re geocachers on vacation in Las Vegas and the hidden treasures around town – caches – are aching to be found. In a city devoted to entertaining tourists, geocachers entertain themselves while getting outside for fresh air and exercise while chalking up “finds” along Las Vegas Boulevard.
Geocaching is a game where players use a GPS, or a Smartphone with the geocaching app, to search for caches hidden by other players, and the coordinates of the hidden caches can be found on www.geocaching.com. Traditional geocaches are small containers holding a log book and trinkets, but playing a game of hide and seek on bustling Las Vegas sidewalks while being stealthy and hoping no one is watching is nearly impossible in this lively city.
Enter the virtual cache!
A virtual cache is discovering a location instead of a container and there will be a small task to complete such as taking a photo or answering a question as proof of the visit. Creative geocachers have uploaded GPS coordinates of locations that take other players on a tour of the Las Vegas Strip to places where it would be normal to take a photo or admire an attraction. If you’re not smiling inside the casino, head outside to earn some smileys, the emoticon the geocaching website assigns for successful finds.
Seeing as how we were staying at the Flamingo, nearly on top of our first virtual cache, “The Presidential Suite”, we headed down to the Wildlife Habitat. Our task is to find a plaque commemorating a man who was involved in the early growth of Las Vegas and email the cache owner (through geocaching’s messaging system) the answer to how many entrances and exits were in his living quarters. Spoiler alert: the man is Bugsy Siegel and his apartment had one entrance and five exits.
The next virtual cache on the list is “Toga Party” and the task is to head to Caesar’s Palace and take a photo with the correct Caesar statue. “Lake-Vegas” could only be in front of the Bellagio and we have to take a photo to get credit for finding the location. “Eiffel Tower” is obviously in front of the Paris Hotel and the geocacher has the choice of taking a photo from the top or counting how many doors go into the Paris and messaging the answer to the cache owner. “MM MM Good” took us to M&M’s World where I took a fast photo and headed inside to buy raspberry, coconut, and mint flavored M&M’s. Yum!
Some of the virtual caches were easy to figure out based on their name, but others could be just about anything. The “Watch that first step…” (it’s a DOOZY!) cache gives no clue, and the description is a bit misleading – ride to the top of the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles makes the same claim, but this is the Vegas Strip. Look up. Way up. Figure out what the tallest structure is and make your way to the Stratosphere. The task is to post a photo of your visit to the top. The cache owner warns not to cheat and use the cheesy photo background at the base of the building. If you’re not prepared to pay the admission or don’t like heights, there are plenty of other caches waiting to be discovered. The “LV Money-makers” cache also sounds like it could be just about anywhere in this town, but head to the Mirage and an area that’s dedicated to two long time entertainers here before a tiger accident ended their act.
There are a couple of real cache containers holding log books that can be found on the Strip: “Tropical Trip” in front of the Tropicana and “Sin City Micro” in the parking garage at New York New York. Don’t spend too much time searching for the latter or you’ll attract the attention of the security guards wondering why you’re lurking around the cars.
If you’re ready to take a break from gambling and all you can eat buffets, head outside and discover new places along the Strip while logging up geocaching finds.
Ready? Set! Get caching!
- Sign up for a free account at geocaching.com
- If you’d like the geocaching app for your Smartphone, it costs $10
- Plan the caches you’d like to find and download the coordinates to the GPS.
- The geocaching app comes in handy as long as you don’t incur roaming and long distance charges or have limited data. There is a nifty feature “search for nearby caches” that can be switched on while walking along the Strip making it easy to head to the closest one to start virtual caching.
- Once you arrive at the location, take a photo or note the information the cache owner wants to receive.
- Log your find on your app, or wait till later when you have computer access to log on to the geocaching website to write about your visit.
- For every find the geocaching website assigns a smiley face emoticon, and with about 20 virtual caches on or near the Las Vegas Strip waiting to be discovered, there’s plenty to smile about.
If you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas, I absolutely recommend Vegas.com for booking hotels, shows, dining bargains, a blog, and so much more. Click the banner below and look around. There is so much to read about this fun town!
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Have you gone virtual geocaching in Las Vegas? Tell us about your favorite cache.