Things to Do in Nevada - page 4
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.
Home of the original Elvis-impersonator wedding, the Graceland Wedding Chapel is one of the oldest wedding chapels in Las Vegas. The chapel hosts celebrity weddings and plenty of Elvis-themed nuptials, which can include a performance of the King’s songs.
Formerly known as Fitzgerald’s Casino, The D Las Vegas is set at the heart of the city’s historic downtown, and just steps from the Fremont Street Experience with its evening sound and light shows.
The hotel spent $22 million during a 2012 renovation, and today two levels of gambling halls accompany 638 rooms, restaurants, and evening shows. For the raucous and raunchy late night crowd, head to Jokesters Comedy Club where many of the city’s best comedians sling jokes that are definitely on the dirty side. Or, for an evening of side-splitting shows and theater, catch a performance of “Marriage Can Be Murder” or the Broadway show, “Defending a Caveman.” To keep the night going after the show, grab a drink at the Long Bar— which is the longest bar in Las Vegas—or test your luck at one of the tables that feature dancing dealers.
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!
State Route 375 is an actual state highway in Nevada, but because of its proximity to Area 51, it's been officially designated by Nevada as the Extraterrestrial Highway. The strip is 98 miles long, connecting State Route 318 to U.S. Route 6, and running through what is basically empty desert. The area became a tourist destination because it's close to Area 51, the highly secret military base about which there are innumerable stories about aliens and UFOs, so in 1996 the state renamed the highway.
To learn more about the area's history, head for the tiny town of Rachel, roughly in the middle of the 98-mile stretch of highway, where everything is about aliens. There are Area 51 tours that include the Extraterrestrial Highway and Rachel.
The Las Vegas CityCenter development is home to ARIA Resort and Casino, the Crystals Mall, multiple condominium complexes, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and the Vdara Hotel and Spa. Connected by a people mover to the Monte Carlo and Bellagio hotels, it's one of the Strip's most impressive complex developments.
Everything about CityCenter embraces Vegas' over-the-top excess. The 4,004-room ARIA Resort and Casino is the largest hotel in the world and features stunning water designs, with Maya Lin’s sculpture of the Colorado River and the arched porte-cochère, created by the same designers of the Bellagio fountains.
Then there is the outstanding cuisine, featuring chefs like Jean Philippe, Masayoshi Takayama, and chef Michael Mina. The Haze and Gold Lounge are two of the hottest bars and clubs on the strip, and attached to the Aria is Crystals, a refined retail district offering first-class boutiques.
CityCenter has one of the largest public art collections in the country (with a value of more than $40 million) and is home to the Zarkana Cirque du Soleil show.
Prehistoric fossils, atomic explosions, and a foray into Las Vegas’ mobster days; these aren’t things people expect from their Las Vegas vacation. However, a trip to the Nevada State Museum reveals all of this and more. It’s a place where you can swap casinos for culture and immerse yourself in the natural history of Nevada.
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.
There's more to do in Las Vegas than hit the slots. Active travelers can take a short trip to Jean, Nevada, for outdoor adventure in an area known as Hidden Valley. Ride through the desert on an ATV, exploring the trails of Jean Dry Lake’s surrealist landscape of sand dunes, rugged desert, and mountain terrain.
At the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas, the King of Rock and Roll does it all—walks the bride down the aisle, performs the wedding ceremony, and sings classic hits. Couples can also choose to forgo the kitsch factor and opt for a traditional wedding or vow renewal package instead. Extras such as a cake, flowers, and even Elvis-style shades are available for an additional cost.
More Things to Do in Nevada
Circus Circus is a hotel and casino that combines a live circus show with the fun and flavor of Sin City. Featuring an indoor amusement park and all the usual Vegas casino games, Circus Circus treads a fine line between 'family' entertainment and straight-up adult gaming entertainment.
In the casino rooms, live circus acts are performed overhead, complete with trapeze artists, and acrobats, giving a new meaning to clowning around.
Then there’s the Adventuredome, an indoor amusement park featuring laser tag, roller coasters, and 3-D rides. These thrill rides are a popular destination for families and couples alike, so get ready to scream in delight.
The driest desert in North America, the Mojave is home to Death Valley National Park, which is best known for its Badwater Basin, the lowest point on the continent at 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level. The Mojave’s 25,000 square miles (65,000 square kilometers) also encompass Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Mojave National Preserve, and more.
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.
Today's Las Vegas is far more family-friendly than it used to be, especially with the 41-acre Wet 'n' Wild water park. This site is home to 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.
Chapel of the Flowers is one of the original wedding chapels of the Las Vegas Strip. Located on Las Vegas Boulevard, it has undergone several updates and renovations since its opening over 60 years ago, and couples from all over the globe come to get married at this famous location.
Chapel of the Flowers is a full-service wedding venue with various themed packages and options. Professional wedding planners work with couples for as long as one year and as short as one day to create a memorable wedding day. Wedding services such as photography, videography, florists, musicians, hair and makeup artists, limousines and even live broadcast of the service are all available. In addition to the three chapels on site, there is an outdoor gazebo and glass garden. When couples get married here, they are welcomed back to renew their vows at any point without charge.
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.
Las Vegas has more than just a Hard Rock Cafe – there's also the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the first one to bore the Hard Rock name, which has its own cafe. The hotel's cafe opened in 1990, and the entire property features a huge casino, a sandy beach and swimming pool, a nightclub, a spa, a few bars, several restaurants, and a music venue. The memorabilia on display includes some items from Las Vegas legends The Rat Pack and Elvis.
A second Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas opened in 2009 right on The Strip. This one is significantly larger – 42,000 square feet – and spans three floors of restaurant seating. It's also home to the biggest Rock Shop in the Hard Rock Cafe universe.
Sure—the items in the showroom are for sale, but Rick’s Restorations is much more intriguing than your regular shopping experience. This Las Vegas gallery is the site of the TV show, “American Restoration,” where aging items are masterfully restored into vintage pieces of art. Run by Rick Dale—who also appears on “Pawn Stars”—Rick’s Restorations is serviced by a crew of colorful Vegas characters, some of whom you might recognize from the show as you tour the warehouse. While many places solely restore cars, Rick’s finds pieces of classic Americana and loving brings them back to life, whether it’s gumball machines, jukeboxes, soda fountains, or stoplights. When visiting the shop, you can simply tour the gallery floor and shop for pieces you like, or take a tour to hear the process that goes into the restoration. There are metal workers, polishers, woodworkers, and letterers who all work together to take a clunker and infuse it with shiny new life. Or, if you have a piece that needs refurbishing and are willing to foot the bill, Rick’s Restorations always accepts clients to keep projects coming through the door.
Please note: Rick's Restorations is currently closed at its current location, with plans to relocate to a different Las Vegas site.*
With its ruby red seats and classic main stage, the Showroom at the D Las Vegas is one of the city’s premier theaters. Having undergone extensive renovations, the showroom has both historic touches and modern updates. It is home to the longest running show in Las Vegas history, “Marriage Can Be Murder,” a murder mystery dinner show with a comedic twist. Actors are strategically placed within the audience, making for a highly interactive and entertaining evening.
The D Las Vegas is the former site of Fitzgerald’s Hotel and Casino, and it’s right at the center of the excitement of the entertainment district on East Fremont Street. The hotel’s D Bar and Longbar both offer views of the surrounding area, and are a great place to pop in for a drink before or after a show in the theater. There are also a variety of both formal and casual restaurants in the hotel, though a three-course meal is served with the “Marriage Can Be Murder” performances.
Custom car aficionados, gear heads, and fans of the TV show VegasRat Rods will want to visit at Welder Up, the custom-car fabrication garage featured on the show. See where owner Steve Darnell and his crew create their unique turbo-diesel builds, and take a tour of the showroom, which is full of one-of-a-kind vehicles.
Travelers who want to travel back in time and learn a little something about Nevada’s rich and dynamic past can do just that during a visit to the Clark County Museum. This memorable stop, which includes eight historic buildings from around the county, highlights the best of the stat’s southernmost county.
Visitors who wander the vast grounds, tour the museum galleries and explore the museum’s top highlights will find plenty of information about the Native American tribes who lived in the county, railroad development and the famous Anna Roberts Parks. There’s even a reconstructed ghost town that offers up spooky fun for the entire family, making this desert landmark a top attraction for the younger set, too.
Replicating ancient Roman architecture and benefiting from modern acoustic technology, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace is considered one of the top spots to catch a show in Las Vegas. Set in the heart of the Strip, music fans flock to the 4,300-seat venue for performances from the likes of Celine Dion, Elton John, and Rod Stewart.
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