Things to Do in Las Vegas - page 3
Both mesmerizing and horrifying, 100 mushroom clouds bloomed from and above the desert at the Nevada Test Site between 1951 and 1962. Hundreds more atomic explosions blasted underground until 1992. One hundred and ten miles away from the site, the National Atomic Testing Museum explores the area’s history, the ‘Atomic Age’ and dissects geopolitical events including what this nuclear history means for the world today.
This colorful Smithsonian-affiliated museum’s 8,000 square feet of collections include some 12,000 artifacts, documents, photographs and video clips that recount the history and pop culture surrounding the Cold War, atomic science and the Nevada Test Site. Walk through a circular bunker to see a 1960s children’s cereal box offering a free ‘atomic ring,’ Native American artifacts from the test area, Geiger counters, a replica 9 megaton nuclear bomb and the reactor that spawned the original nuclear rocket.
Our fascination with the Titanic seems to have only grown stronger with time, and more than 100 years after the ship sank, The Artifact Exhibition at the Luxor Hotel and Casino is one of Las Vegas' many popular attractions.
The exhibit features more than 250 items recovered from the wreck of the Titanic on the sea floor, including the ship's whistle, passenger luggage and even an unopened 1900 vintage bottle of Champagne. There are also careful recreations of some elements of the ship, including the grand staircase, first-class cabins and the promenade deck.
You may have seen the traveling show for Bodies: The Exhibition as it came through your city, but if you missed it or would even like to see it again, you'll be pleased to know there's a permanent exhibit in Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel and Casino.
In the Las Vegas Bodies: The Exhibition, more than 200 actual human bodies are on display, having been carefully dissected, preserved and reassembled in order to give us a look at how the human body looks and works. There are complete bodies, as well as specific organs and organ systems on display to highlight different aspects of the mysteries of the human body.
Many Las Vegas visitors lament that the city has no history, but that’s not quite the truth. Though some buildings have been imploded and several hotels and businesses have closed over the years, many of the neon signs that branded these buildings have ended up in the Neon Museum, also known as the Neon Boneyard. More than 150 discarded signs in the Neon Boneyard—including those from the Stardust, Moulin Rouge, Desert Inn, Aladdin and Flamingo—memorialize Las Vegas’ history and culture over the years, and they also preserve an art form for which Las Vegas is famous.
The Neon Museum recently celebrated the grand opening of its new La Concha Visitors’ Center, which makes touring the museum significantly easier than in years past. The two-acre exhibition can be viewed by guided tours only. The guides do an excellent job in providing context in which to appreciate not only the signs but the businesses they represented.
According to Caesars Palace’s website, more $1,000,000+ casino slot machine jackpots have been won on the resort’s casino floor than in any other casino in the world. Guests can play anything from 1¢ to $500 on traditional reel-type slot machines, video reels machines, video poker games, video blackjack and keno.
The resort features several popular table games as well including blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, Spanish 21, mini-baccarat, Pai Gow and Pai Gow poker. The 8,500-square-foot poker room has 62 tables and 24-hours games including a full daily schedule of poker tournaments. Caesars Palace’s race and sports book has 65 private booths, each with a 12-inch flat-screen television, and several oversized screens.
Though all Las Vegas resorts are packed with action, Caesars Palace offers one of the best opportunities to get the best of everything in a single place. Several award-winning restaurants and the new Bacchanal Buffet never leave guests hungry.
When it’s time to escape the neon and hustle of the jam-packed Las Vegas strip, the Calico Hills are the perfect location for swapping the smoke-filled gaming room parlors for a breath of fresh mountain air. Set 30 minutes west of downtown Las Vegas, the Calico Hills offer hiking and rock climbing through a dreamy sandstone landscape, where red-hued rock piles form a network of spires and summits for visitors to explore. Located inside of Red Rock Canyon, the Calico Hills are best known for the popular Calico Hills Trail, which begins just after the Visitor Center and runs 3.2 miles to Sandstone Quarry along the base of the hills. For many visitors the thrill of the hike is scrambling up on the rocks, choosing well worn side trails to navigate the boulders and get views of the Las Vegas desert. At an elevation near 4,000 feet the air is refreshingly cool, though summer temperatures can still be perilous if hiking or climbing midday.
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Who says kids get to have all of the fun? This larger-than-life sandbox is the perfect place for adults to get back to their youth and experience the thrill of operating massive machinery in a model construction site.
After brief safety instructions, travelers choose from a variety of bulldozers or excavators and hop behind the wheel, where a professional guide offers a brief orientation before the earth really starts to move. Learn to dig the ground below, play a round of “Excavator Basketball” or ride a “Bulldozer Teeter-Totter”. This one-of-a-kind experience is one of the best ways to feel like a kid again—even on a trip to Sin City!
If there’s one thing that sets Rio apart from all other Las Vegas resorts, it’s the fact that its casino plays host to the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP). Guests are welcome to play in Rio’s poker room, the only one in the world that features 100% certified WSOP dealers, where just about every poker game is available, from classics like hold ‘em and seven-card stud to 2-7 triple draw and badugi. There are five poker tournaments held in the poker room daily, with a variety of buy-ins at different times.
Beyond the poker room, Rio’s casino floor has dozens of tables featuring popular games including blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat. The vast majority of the resort’s 1,200 slot machines are in a masquerade-themed, 100,000-square-foot space, where a series of floats glides over the crowd several times each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.
Today's Las Vegas is far more family-friendly than the city used to be. A fine example of this is the new addition of a 41-acre Wet 'n' Wild water park within the city limits.
Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas opened in 2013 and has a total of 25 attractions, including two pools and 10 water slides. These slides were largely designed for adventure seekers, with names like the Tornado and the Rattler, which may be more like a roller coaster on water than a traditional slide. There's also a kid-friendly area with less intimidating slides and wade pools.
Ooking at the key stats that define Monte Carlo, it appears in many ways to be an average property in a sea of over-the-top, award-winning resorts, but its low-key vibe draws many people who prefer not to be swept up in the stereotypical Las Vegas madness.
Monte Carlo’s casino floor includes more than 100,000 square feet of gaming space, which includes more than 1,600 slot and video poker machines. The resort offers all the popular table games including blackjack, roulette, craps, several variations of poker and three kinds of baccarat. In the poker room, players can try their luck at Texas hold ‘em, limit hold ‘em, Omaha and no limit hold ‘em, and a variety of daily tournaments up the ante.
The resort’s high limit slots lounge is located off the casino floor and is fully catered. The maximum bet is $100. The high limit table game room offers mini baccarat with bets ranging from $100 to $10,000, blackjack running from $25 to $5,000 and single-zero roulette.
Inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino is the Shark Reef Aquarium, showcasing more than 2,000 animals displayed in 14 different exhibits and almost 1.6 million gallons of water.
The Shark Reef Aquarium was designed to be a “total sensory experience,” and part of that is achieved by leading visitors through an acrylic tunnel with water nearly surrounding them. This exhibit alone includes 15 different species of sharks along with all the other sea life in the tank.
Other species in the aquarium include golden crocodiles, sea turtles and piranhas, none of which are included in the touching pools where visitors can find out what some of the other sea creatures feel like.
Since the early 1980s Harrah’s has operated as a budget-friendly staple of the Las Vegas strip. It’s the perfect place for those who want a taste of Sin City but don’t want to break the bank doing it. This carnival-themed destination has three massive towers which house seven restaurants, plenty of entertainment options, shopping, a full-service spa and even a couple of performance spaces.
With more than 2,500 rooms and close to 90,000 square feet of casino space, guests of this Mardi Gras-themed hotel won’t ever have to leave. The open-air Carnaval Court and indoor piano bar offer travelers two great in-house options for entertainment that’s as inexpensive as it is fun, and while visitors agree the basic rooms are nothing to write home about, they say both the accommodations and the accessibility are tough to beat for the price.
Built in 1983, Cashman Field in downtown Las Vegas has been home field for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s (an affiliate of the New York Mets) since it first opened. The 9,334-seat stadium, named after James “Big Jim” Cashman (a Vegas entrepreneur who donated the land), also hosts at least one spring training game each season. The Padres, Mariners, White Sox, Cubs, Athletics and Dodgers have all played in front of crowds at Cashman. During the baseball offseason, the stadium hosts a variety of other events.
Cashman Field is part of the larger Cashman Center, which comprises the stadium, a 1,898-seat theater, meeting rooms and 98,100 square feet of exhibit space.
Things to do near Las Vegas
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