Things to Do in Nevada - page 3
Treasure Island used to be famous for greeting guests with its show of swashbuckling pirates. The free performance ended in 2013, but a rowdy, fun attitude (and two life-sized ships) remained. The hotel now has a sleeker appearance, thanks to the multilevel shopping mall and exhibit area that replaced the performance space.
Once known as the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Bally’s Las Vegas is one of the strip’s most famous hotels. With nearly 3,000 guestrooms that are 450 square feet (or larger!)—most of which were recently renovated—Bally’s is quintessential Las Vegas glitz, glam and luxury. A neon-wrapped moving sidewalk, more than 100 shops, a handful of diverse restaurants and even the long-running show Jubilee are among the features that make this Las Vegas strip hotel a favorite among travelers. Theater lovers can check out other in-hotel performances like “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding”, a country superstars musical tribute and even a new adults-only show called “50 Shades! The Parody”. Fitness buffs will love the contemporary gym facilities, championship tennis courts and pool—perfect for relaxing after a night at the casino.
Talk about a wedding to remember! A Special Memory Wedding Chapel offers memorable wedding ceremonies in true Las Vegas style: in packages and with Elvis Presley, but minus the grub associated with chapels typically found on the Strip! The chapel is most popular for its famous drive-through weddings, which continue to gather hordes of visitors even today. Visitors wishing to tie the knot should expect all the Las Vegas wedding elements: Elvis impersonator, limousine transportation, rose presentations, photo tour packages in the city and more.
An attraction in its own right, the off-Strip and classy chapel is featured in a dozen guided tours around Las Vegas, and should please even the non-Vegas wedding types.
A historic staple in downtown Las Vegas, Binion’s Gambling Hall is an integral part of the Fremont Street Experience. The vintage joint boasts everything from traditional poker tables to the latest slots and games. Plus, the establishment’s multiple bars and restaurants ensure an experience that suits a range of appetites and budgets.
Thrill-seeking travelers looking for more than just casinos and nightlife will want to visit nearby Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Home to the Pennzoil 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the speedway hosts a lineup of racing tournaments. In addition to watching the action from the grandstand, visitors can also sign up for an experience that puts them in the driver's seat.
Just walking into the reception area of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, you might think you've walked into an art gallery. But the glittering Dale Chihuly glass chandelier that covers the ceiling is just the start.
Once you've gotten past the chandelier, head for the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, an actual gallery. The exhibit changes annually, giving repeat visitors something new to see each time. The collections on display aren't vast, but they're carefully curated and feature some of the most prominent artists in the world.
Get up close and personal with some of the most fearsome creatures of the deep at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium. Designed to be a total sensory experience—with two underwater tunnels and multiple tanks and exhibits—the aquarium is home to more than 2,000 animals, including many species of sharks.
One of Las Vegas’ most recognizable landmarks,Ceasar’s Palace hotel & Casino has been a stalwart of The Strip since the 1960s. Its opulent interiors are designed to give visitors the feel of being transported back to the height of the Roman Empire.
Las Vegas may be home to the famous Strip, glittering lights and plenty of world-class casinos, but the Las Vegas Springs Preserve showcases 180 acres of stunning natural landscapes and is the perfect place for travelers and families who want to escape the urban landscapes and spend a day in the rugged outdoors.
Visitors can explore winding nature trails, check out a stunning desert botanical garden, and venture into a natural wetland habitat. An informative museum and historic photo gallery also offer plenty of context for the dynamic plants and unique ecosystems that are a part of this prime family destination.
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Explore the connection between art and sexuality with a visit to the Harry Mohney Erotic Heritage Museum. Set in a city that that's never been shy about sex, the Las Vegas-based museum showcases everything from racy magazine covers and sex-positive sculptures to the world’s largest sex bike.
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is home to both live and preserved wildlife and historical exhibits from prehistoric times to present day. The museum offers a break from the Strip and a chance to learn about Egyptian mummification, the African savannah, fossils, and the science behind a well-preserved dinosaur.
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. The trail is broken into multiple sections and has numerous different parking areas, making it easily accessible for hikers in search of a shorter stroll. For outdoor enthusiasts in search of a challenge, the side trails and scrambles leading up to the summits can consume an entire day, and create a gorgeous natural playground for escaping the Sin City lights.
Battlefield Vegas is a five-acre military-style compound just one block from the Las Vegas strip that gives visitors the chance to both interact with military history and experience the largest collection of weapons available for personal use in the United States. Everything from weapon selection and training (82 percent of employees are veterans with combat experience) is designed for an immersive experience.
On the grounds are both a 25-yard indoor firing range and a 200-acre desert training facility. Over 350 guns are on site, some of which date from World War I or were used recently by NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also a fleet of 25 military vehicles ranging from jeeps to helicopters from both historical and present wartime. All weapon use is instructor-led, and experiences are arranged by weapon type and country or historical place of origin.
Set apart by a spire that towers over the rest of Las Vegas, the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino is easy to spot from anywhere on the Strip. Get your heart racing on a thrill ride, watch the sun set over the city from the revolving restaurant, sing along with Michael Jackson impressionists at the theater, or see a comedy show.
Many of the neon signs that once branded historic Las Vegas buildings have ended up here in the Neon Museum, also known as the Neon Boneyard. The museum has collected more than 200 discarded signs—including those from the Stardust, Moulin Rouge, Desert Inn, Aladdin and Flamingo—memorializing Las Vegas’ history and culture while also preserving an art form for which Las Vegas is famous.
Whether you’re an avid toy collector or just keen to take a nostalgic journey down memory lane, Toy Shack will probably succeed in getting you excited. Though the shop’s floor-to-ceiling displays feature new items, their specialty is most certainly vintage and antique toys, which will inevitably induce a few blasts from the past. Think: old-school treasures such as Barbies, GI Joes, and a massive collection of Hot Wheels — but really, you can probably find just about any toy or game here, and if you don’t, just ask.
Toy Shack is especially famous for its inclusion in the History Channel’s Pawn Stars show: In fact, you might even come across the store’s owner Johnny Jimenez, who also stars in the show, and is famously gracious and friendly with visitors. A visit here promises more than just toys but also an opportunity to check out the surrounding Fremont Street Experience, a dazzling stretch of street-turned-outdoor mall that is covered in a canopy of lights and spans this part of downtown Las Vegas.
Las Vegas’ National Atomic Testing Museum explores the history and pop culture surrounding the Cold War, nuclear weapons, and Nevada Test Site. You’ll learn about the nation’s atomic testing program through interactive exhibits and see 12,000 photographs, videos, artifacts, and scientific reports that recount 70 years of nuclear testing.
Learn about the human body from the inside out at the fascinating Bodies: The Exhibition. Located in Las Vegas, this is the largest permanent human anatomy exhibition in the United States and features 13 whole-body specimens as well as more than 250 organs, all of which are arranged to illuminate how our systems function.
Step back in time and get an insider’s view of one of the world’s most famous shipwrecks at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. This enormous exhibition displays more than 250 artifacts recovered from the ship and allows visitors to walk through recreations of some of the cabins and public areas.
The town of Goodsprings—once the largest town in Nevada is a shadow of its former self, but its central watering hole remains little changed. The still-operating century-old Pioneer Saloon sits on a dusty strip near the Goodsprings General Store, another still-functioning relic from the town’s gold rush heyday.
The tin exterior and cherry wood interior of the Pioneer Saloon have stood the test of time, and added artifacts detail its storied history. In the billiards/dining room, walls are lined with newspaper clippings of bar patrons – including, famously, Clark Gable who spent two days sidled up to the bar awaiting word of his wife’s fate following a plane crash.
Bullet holes from an early skirmish that killed a gambling man still pock the walls near a framed copy of his death certificate – some enthusiasts say his ghost lingers near the bar’s original card tables. Barkeeps also claim they’ve seen an old prospector waiting at the end of the bar or near the potbelly stove for a drink – these sightings have earned the Pioneer Saloon a ghostly reputation, which the owners embrace. Eager patrons regularly drive the 33 miles from Las Vegas to enjoy a beer with a ‘ghost burger,’ or ‘ghost tacos,’ and karaoke. And, for those brave enough, the Saloon offers after-hours lock-ins for encounters with their ghost hunting equipment.
If ever you’ve dreamt of a place you could jump from one trampoline to another, defying gravity and dodging obstacles,Las Vegas Sky Zone is your place. The flagship activity center in Las Vegas is where it all began. It’s also home to the world’s only trampoline-walled play zone, where competitive sides tend to emerge. A pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes, angled trampolines, dodgeball courts, and dunking contests are a few of the Sky Zone offerings. Trampolines combined with basketball nets makes for an interesting twist on the game, allowing players to literally go to new heights. Some goals are suspended, or even rotate to add to the challenge.
There are separate sections for adults and small children, so that the safety and fun of every age comes first. Fitness classes and activities are also given on a regular basis. Sky Zone has routinely been recognized as one of the most family-friendly activities in Las Vegas.
Two blocks off the Las Vegas Strip in a Mediterranean-themed hotel, the Tuscany Casino is close to the action, but offers a respite from the crowds and high prices. A favorite of locals, the casino has more than 800 slot and video poker machines, plus table games such as blackjack, craps, and roulette.
You don’t have to travel to Africa to get up close and personal with the King of the Jungle. Lion Habitat Ranch, located just outside Sin City, offers up the unique opportunity for travelers to experience the wonder of one of the world’s biggest cats.
Take a behind the scenes tour of this family-oriented, outdoor destination to learn more about conservation efforts to protect these and other wild animals. For an additional fee, hand-feed giraffes or lions a pound of their favorite foods, or enjoy a picnic lunch in a protected enclosure while these giant cats wander around you. While lions are the big draw of this popular attraction, travelers will also find emus, ostriches, parrots, giraffes and other animals in this protected habitat.
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