Area 51 is located in Nevada, that much we know. But you’d be surprised to learn that the big bosses in charge of the place actually sit a long way away from there in California.
The facility where these administrators are located is the Edwards Air Force Base.
Mapping It out
Area 51 is located in the Nevada deserts, not far from Las Vegas (just 83 miles northwest if you want to be specific).
If you ever find yourself wandering around the area (highly unlikely, but still) you'll see the nearby Groom Lake. You won't be able to take a dip in that lake, though, as it is currently dry and enjoys the status of a salt flat.
The number one theory as to why the place is called Area 51 is so basic we almost wanted to come up with a more exciting one ourselves.
The theory has it that the place was included in a map of the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission). The map was divided by a grid, and the place fell under number 51. Nothing mysterious here. Move along.
Area 51 and the Nevada Test Site Yucca Flat Region share a border. For those of you who don't know, the test site is where the US Department of Energy performed hundreds of nuclear tests.
So far, we don't know of any mutants living in the area, nor a Godzilla-like being about to terrorize us all. (Though it could be just a matter of time.)
Capitalizing on Conspiracy
Though people can't take a casual stroll to Area 51, neighboring towns make the most out of the area's reputation. Tourists who visit the place would do well to stop by Rachel, a small nearby town who knows all about monetizing the rumors circling the place.
Nevada has been even more shameless and called State Route 375 (the nearby highway) the "Extraterrestrial Highway." People driving on that road would do well to look out for any irregular lights in the night sky.