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Thanksgiving feasts, Vegas style

Let's talk turkey for a minute - spending your entire holiday slaving over a stove? That's for the birds.

For a memorable Thanksgiving feast - and a weekend stuffed with excitement - head to Las Vegas.

Kentucky Dram

Start with a specialty cocktail that's a feast all its own. Visit BLVD Cocktail Company at The LINQ and sip on The Due South, featuring Siete Leguas Blaco Tequila and Fidencio Classico Mezcal mixed with lime juice, hibiscus tea syrup, ground clove and topped off with crisp soda or savor the flavor of The Kentucky Dram (shown above), made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon combined with Averna, black tea spiced syrup and garnished with Star Anise. For more holiday cheer, try The Winter Soldier, made with Famous Grouse Scotch and Berentzen Apple Scotch combined with rich maple syrup, house made tobacco vanilla bitters and garnished with a dehydrated apple slice; and The Nutcracker, a blend of Woodford Reserve and Auchentoshen Three Wood combined with Nocello, honey, chocolate bitters and garnished with a chocolate straw. All cocktails are priced at $14 each.  

Now you're ready for a Thanksgiving feast. On the Strip, At Buddy V's inside The Venetian, the holiday menu includes: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup - spiced apples, pepitas, panna dolce $9; Thanksgiving Dinner ­slow roasted turkey breast, Italian "dark meat" turkey sausage, pancetta-herb stuffing, roasted vegetables, whipped potatoes, cranberry relish and classic gravy for $28 per person (parties of four or more will be served family-style), $14.95 kids under 10. For dessert, Pumpkin Bundt Cake (maple cream cheese center & roasted pumpkin pecan compote) $9.

Trevi inside the Forum Shops at Caesars is offering a special Thanksgiving plate for $25.95 with roasted turkey, stuffing, yams, green beans and cranberry sauce. A specialty cranberry gelato will also be available for $4.50 per scoop. On Black Friday, shoppers can enjoy an all-day TREVI Time happy hour special featuring $4 frozen bellinis and $6 TREVI Bites and each diner who presents a receipt from a purchase made Nov. 28 at The Forum Shops will receive a 10 percent discount on their total food order.

Butternut Squash Soup

La Cave at Wynn Las Vegas is also featuring a special holiday feast. Priced at $65 per person, the restaurant will offer a four-course dinner with optional wine pairings for an additional $35. The menu will begin with butternut squash soup (show above) made with spiced brandy zabaglione and toasted pumpkin seeds, paired with a Center of Effort, Chardonnay from Edna Valley, Calif. The second course will include dried berry salad with candied walnuts, pomegranates, shaved goat cheese and topped with apple cider vinegar and will go well with the Bouchard, Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France. The main course will feature a carved roasted turkey accompanied with dried fruit cornbread stuffing and sweet potato puree, paired with a Renacer, Punto Final, Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. To conclude the meal, the restaurant will offer the traditional pumpkin pie complemented by the Chambers, Rosewood Vineyards, Muscat, Rutherglen from Victoria, Australia.

For a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal, N9NE Steakhouse at Palms has seafood choices such as Dover Sole with grilled Gulf Shrimp or Florida Stone Crab paired with a tangy mustard dipping sauce. Next door at Simon inside Palms Place, you can indulge in a family-style prix fixe menu that includes a three-course meal complete with farro salad, butternut squash soup, roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, cranberry compote and pumpkin bread pudding among other divine dishes ($55, $20 for children).

You can also have a Mexican-inspired fiesta at Tacos y Tequila at the Luxor from Nov. 26-30. For lunch, try the Turkey Torta, made with white and dark turkey breast, pinto bean puree, chipotle aioli, lettuce, tomato and pickled onion served on a fresh bolillo bun, priced at $13. For dinner, enjoy the Traditional Mole including a turkey breast topped with mole poblano and served with Cotija poblano mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini, yellow squash and mushrooms, priced at $16. For Thanksgiving dessert, T&T will serve its specialty Pumpkin Flan, made with dark caramel, egg custard, and cinnamon drizzled with tequila cajeta sauce, priced at $7.

Andiamo Italian Steakhouse

You'll find plenty of fantastic feasts in downtown Las Vegas as well. Andiamo Italian Steakhouse at The D Las Vegas is serving up several holiday options: Butternut Squash Ravioli ($29), a handmade butternut squash ravioli served with a prosciutto, fresh sage and butter sauce and topped with shaved parmigiano; Roasted Turkey ($29) accompanied by mixed wild rice, sultan raisins, hazelnuts, pears and sweet glazed yam; Prime Rib ($49), a mouthwatering 18-ounce cut of prime rib complemented by truffled mashed potatoes, au jus and creamed horseradish. For dessert, Pumpkin Cheesecake ($8.99), a creamy twist on the classic Thanksgiving dessert. Meanwhile, contemporary American eatery D Grill is offering a classic turkey dinner including all the fixings for $19.99, including tender turkey breast served with rich gravy and cranberry sauce along with enticing sides including green beans, yams, mashed potatoes, homemade dressing and freshly baked dinner rolls. For dessert, a choice of pumpkin pie or apple pie rounds out the meal. 

Also downtown, Du-Par's at the Golden Gate is featuring a three-course home-cooked meal for $19.95 per person ($11.95 for children under 12) with Thanksgiving favorites: a cup of savory butternut squash soup, juicy oven-roasted turkey with a pomegranate glaze and classic fixings such as green beans amandine, homemade stuffing, rich turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, glazed carrots, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, creamy mashed potatoes and freshly baked dinner rolls, with a slice of one of Du-par’s delicious homemade fruit pies for dessert.

So make your plans to spend Thanksgiving in Las Vegas and gobble up great meals and more all weekend long. 


Have no fear: Las Vegas is ready for Halloween fun

Get ready to go trick-or-treating, grown-up style, when Howl-O-Week comes to Las Vegas!

Great entertainment is always a treat in Las Vegas, and you can't have Halloween celebrations without witches. Fortunately, The Smith Center has them with the return of "Wicked," the Broadway blockbuster. See it beginning Oct. 8.


How about some tasty treats, too? Sink your fangs into some Halloween treats, like the Candy Corn Gelato offered exclusively Oct. 30-31 at Trevi inside the Forum Shops at Caesars. Here's the scoop on this holiday favorite: Enjoy some crushed candy corn swirled into a creamy vanilla-flavored gelato. From Oct. 6-31, Sprinkles Cupcakes at The LINQ will offer its BOO Box with an assortment of Vanilla Milk Chocolate, Red Velvet, Black and White and Caramel Apple cupcakes adorned with Sprinkles ghost and BOO sugar decorations. Sealed with a BOO Spooky Cupcakes sticker.

Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball

Now you're ready for a little eye candy. You'll find plenty of it with costume contests all weekend long offering prizes from cash to bar tabs to gift cards and more. Put on your scariest attire and head to the Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball at the Hard Rock and experience one of the premier Halloween parties on the planet. 

For more Halloween revelry, Check out the "Rockin' Horror Picture Show" at 10 p.m. on Oct. 31 inside The Bourbon Room at The Venetian, with complimentary admission and where guests are encouraged to come dressed in costumes inspired by the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Scary fun awaits at the Frightdome at Circus Circus, which opens Oct. 3, The Freakling Brothers Trilogy of Terror returns for its 22nd frightening year! Enjoy haunted attractions from Oct. 3-31 at Grand Canyon Shopping Center. 

For some all-ages fun, head to Opportunity Village for "HallOVeen," weekends beginning Oct. 3 and enjoy games, events and entertainment for the entire family, or check out Cox Treat Streets at Tivoli Village on Oct. 26 for offer a variety of family-friendly activities including interactive game booths, costumed characters, and live music performances.  

On Oct. 31, visit Town Square Las Vegas as it turns into Town Scary. Children of all ages are invited to trick-or-treat at participating stores and restaurants from 4-7 p.m. Several activities will take place throughout the night including a variety of holiday-themed children’s games. Town SCARY is free and open to the public. 

There's frightful fun at every turn when you experience Howl-O-Week in Las Vegas! 

More weekend shows and club events (see our full weekend lineup here

Friday, Oct. 31




Saturday, Nov. 1




Sunday, Nov. 2




Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

Vegas Weekend: John Legend, Bruno, Britney and more!

The weekend is here and it's time to celebrate Vegas Season with the biggest names in music, comedy and an unrivaled club scene. Here's who you'll find in Las Vegas this weekend. For a complete show rundown, see our full weekend lineup here.

Bruno Mars

Friday, August 22




Daniel Tosh

Saturday, August 23





Sunday, August 24




Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

Leaving Las Vegas: Explore the Great Outdoors Beyond the Strip

Content via Yahoo.com

Valley of Fire

A lonely road leads to the brilliant rock formations in Valley of Fire State Park.

Here’s something not many people do when they visit Vegas in summer — go outside for extended periods of time. It seems like the world’s craziest idea, but there’s actually a lot going on beyond the city’s core. A bit of a leg stretch and a different kind of dazzle await in the recreational spots around Las Vegas.

How to get away: Rent a car at the airport. Many hotels have car-rental offices, making it easy to grab one for a day. Or let one of the city’s professional tour companies, such as Pink Jeep Tours, pick you up from your hotel.

Anytime you leave the civilized (read: air-conditioned) confines of Downtown or the Strip, be prepared for heat. Yes, it’s a dry heat… some of the world’s driest. Bring lots and lots of water, a hat, sunscreen, and good walking shoes, even if you don’t plan to spend much time outside your car.

Mount Charleston

Yes, these are real evergreen trees, just an hour outside Las Vegas on Mt. Charleston.

Mountain Highs

From the High Roller observation wheel or the top of the Stratosphere tower, moody mountains rise in the distance. Ever wonder what’s out there? Las Vegas itself is set in a flat and arid valley, but the wild mountains cradling it are full of surprises.

One option for an escape: Mt. Charleston, an hour north of town. Locals love it, especially since its elevation (8,750 feet) guarantees temperatures about 20-30 degrees lower than those in the valley. At Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort (yes, a ski resort just outside Las Vegas!), summer activities range from hiking to mountain biking to disc golf, all against a backdrop of honest-to-goodness evergreen trees. Summer ski resort operations, including dining and the chairlift, are open on weekends and holidays from July 4-Sept. 1.

The 50 miles of surrounding hiking trails in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area’s 316,000 acres of public land are open all summer. Hikers above 10,000 feet (Mt. Charleston tops out at nearly 12,000) might even encounter the elusive bristlecone pine. The gnarled tree can live for 5,000 years or more, despite the exposed high-elevation conditions it favors. After a few days amid the man-made spectacle that is Vegas, you might have to remind yourself that the pine-scented trees are real.

Aside from lodging, the nearby Resort on Mt. Charleston offers food and supplies. Grab hiking maps from the general store and a boxed lunch from the on-site restaurant to combine the two in picnic form. The Mary Jane Falls Trail, a steep 3.5-mile round trip, is a local favorite, complete with a waterfall (more of a trickle in late summer) and a cave.

Desert Adventures

The desert surrounding the city has its own surprises (just keep in mind that it’s best to go in the morning or evening to avoid midday heat).

Red Rock

In its own way, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is just as famous as any of the attractions on the Strip. Halfway between Las Vegas and Mt. Charleston, this hilly area’s canyons lead hikers into canyons and along (usually) dry streambeds while climbers scale the multicolored stone walls above. During the summer, you might want to see much of it from your car via a 13-mile scenic drive punctuated by a few short hikes to viewpoints. Or plan to arrive early or late, when the sun and heat is less intense, and explore on bicycle. A handful of bike shops offer rentals, including Broken Spoke Bikes.

Red Rock National Conservation Area

A climber ascends a route in Red Rock National Conservation Area.

An hour northeast of Las Vegas, Valley of Fire State Park is one of the area’s biggest surprises. In striking contrast to the surrounding desert, which seems to go on forever, the park’s roads and trails lead from one strange red rock formation to another, with ever-changing vistas around every corner. Be prepared if you head out there, since water and amenities are scarce.

Other outdoorsy opportunities are even closer. The 180-acre Springs Preserve, 3.5 miles west of Downtown, combines edification (botanical garden, solar-powered house exhibit) with fun (miniature golf, playground).  

The Cure for Heat: Water

Water, of course, is the antidote to heat, and you can head to Lake Mead for plenty of it. Sitting like a vast puddle surreally surrounded by treeless desert, the lake and surrounding National Recreation Area are surprisingly close. You can rent a boat, small or large, at one of the marinas. Or let someone else do the work for you. Lake Mead Cruises, for example, will take you on a paddleboat cruise all the way to Hoover Dam, at the lake’s southern end.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead is a blue oasis amid miles of desert.

Humans aren’t the only ones seeking water. More than 300 species call Clark County Wetlands Park home. Yes, you read that right: wetlands, 10 miles east of the Strip. It’s open daily, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. In summer, arrive early for the best (and least scorching) bird watching.

Cocktails and Beyond: What’s New in Las Vegas Nightlife

Content via Yahoo.com


Whether you're a first-timer or Vegas veteran, the ever-changing cornucopia of after-dark entertainment will keep you on your toes. Take it easy, find out a bit about what’s new, and jump in. In this town, it’s hard to go wrong.

Attention to Craft

Like many cities, Las Vegas is having a craft cocktail boom. But this is Vegas, which means mixologists compete to design creations ranging from tasty classics done right to over-the-top concoctions with unexpected ingredients.

PRESS, poolside at the Four Seasons (on the Strip’s south end, in the same hotel complex as the Mandalay Bay), shakes up some of the city’s best cocktails. Everything in the Hemingway Daiquiri is fresh squeezed, and DRY rhubarb soda adds a touch of fizzy sweetness to the mojito. The Four Seasons also boasts one of the Strip’s best happy hour deals. At its Italian restaurant, Verandah, select cocktails and small bites are $5 from 4-7 p.m. And the quiet, cozy setting overlooking the pool couldn’t be a more welcome respite before a night on the town. 


The cozy outdoor section of PRESS, the Four Seasons’ newest cocktail lounge. (Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons)

The Sugar Factory at the Paris Las Vegas combines drinks and dessert, adding liquid nitrogen and signature candies to its alcoholic confections. There’s the “Blow Pop” martini, topped with a “couture lollipop,” the Jolly Rancher martini, and the Strawberry Blonde martini. Be sure to share the goblet drinks (they're big!) with a few friends. 

Sugar Factory

If rum is more your thing, check out the Mojito Bar, which opened a little over a year ago in the Seafood Shack at Treasure Island (also home to Gilley’s Saloon, in case you’re a homesick Texan or in the mood for a mechanical bull ride). 

At FIZZ in Caesars Palace, open since March, David Furnish (whose creative and life partner Elton John is no stranger to Vegas) has paired over-the-top drinks with opulent chandelier-and-silk décor. While not all of us will spring for the Fizz Deluxe—a $2,500 collection of premium liquors dusted in real gold—this is a swanky spot to have a snack and a drink before a show at The Colosseum next door. 


The good drinks are not all on the Strip. The brand-new Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar in the Golden Nugget Las Vegas has more than 70 boutique Blanco, Anejo, Reposado, and Distintivo tequilas. Guests sip it straight or in a creative cocktail as they munch on tapas and Tex-Mex—leave room for delectable dessert sopapillas—in a laid-back atmosphere.

The Downtown Cocktail Room, in the surging Fremont East neighborhood, combines a big space—made cozy with red walls, mood lighting and leather armchairs—with an old-fashioned speakeasy vibe and expert mixology. The menu ranges from cheeky house creations like the Spaghetti Western (“much like the 1960s genre, this is an American bourbon directed by an Italian amaro”) to classic cocktails done right. It's a go-to spot for a really good Manhattan or dirty martini.

The Velveteen Rabbit reflects the arts district that surrounds it in both its cocktail menu and youthful, friendly atmosphere backed by whimsical décor (think thrift-shop finds and locally made art). Mixologists craft “Elixirs” with housemade mixers and herbal liquors, and the bar is rumored to make one of the city’s best Sazeracs. Its outdoor patio is a favorite local hangout spot on summer evenings.

In keeping with the old-is-new wave sweeping the city, the MOB Bar in the recently opened Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino takes its cues from the Mob Museum next door. The cocktail menu includes a sweet-and-sour Smoking Gun and the Sicilian Kiss (Southern Comfort and amaretto). Velvet sofas and chandeliers complete the retro feel.

Not a fan of the hard stuff? Banger Brewing has been serving up craft beers Downtown since the tail end of 2013. Five longtime friends started taking their Banger brew to local festivals a few years ago, winning over suds heads thirsting for a locally brewed flavor.

The brewery offers 14 of its concoctions on tap out of a total of 31 recipes the friends have brought to fruition. “In four months, that's a lot of variety,” co-owner Roberto Mendoza told Yahoo Travel. Specialties include summery watermelon wheat, lemon raspberry blonde and orange mint brews as well as a jalapeno-infused hefeweisen known as “El Heffe.”

Club Fabulous

Las Vegas has long been home to some of the country’s best nightclubs. Built with late-night dancing in mind, the city’s upscale clubs cater to a young, freewheeling clientele looking to get their groove on. Here to help: high-profile DJs from both coasts who make regular appearances.

At XS Nightclub in Encore Las Vegas, Lil Jon recently had the club jumping (others you’ll hear there include Skrillex, David Guetta, and Avicii) under the club’s 10-foot rotating gold chandelier with the elegant pool area as a backdrop. More casual summer Sundays have swimwear-clad patrons jumping in and out of the water to those same DJs.

With 80,000 square feet on five levels and spaces running the gamut from cozy to cavernous, Hakkasan Nightclub in the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino is one of the city’s most immersive venues. DJs including Tiesto and Calvin Harris help leave the outside world behind, and you can start off dining next door at its 20,000-square-foot restaurant.

The current buzz-generating Strip hotspot: Drai’s Beach ClubNightclub, the latest from nightlife impresario Victor Drai, open as of Memorial Day weekend. Set atop The Cromwell (the Strip’s first-ever standalone boutique hotel), the 65,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor rooftop club takes up much of the hotel’s rooftop space. Wherever you turn you will be awed by the design, the technology, the music, the service, and most importantly, the experience. We have designed the club to be visual, sensual, sexy, and social,” Drai recently said.


The High-Adrenaline Side of Las Vegas

Content via Yahoo.com

Maverick Aviation Group

A helicopter flies above the High Roller observation wheel and other brightly lit landmarks on the Strip. (Photo: Courtesy Maverick Aviation Group). 

Las Vegas is a bucket-list city, where adrenaline junkies can fulfill a half dozen lifelong dreams in a single weekend. Always wanted to soar in a helicopter? Jump out of a plane? Zoom around a NASCAR track? No problem. An ever-growing number of local outfits are springing up to give tourists that “I can’t believe I’m actually doing this” feeling. And most of the fun comes in bite-size chunks that have you back to your hotel in a matter of hours.

Sky’s No Limit

Aside from the workaday world of commercial airlines, few of us spend much time airborne. But the clear, wide-open skies above Nevada’s vast desert are a blank canvas for artists in flight.

Helicopter rides are a Vegas staple; hop aboard a Maverick Helicopter chopper for a short tour of the Strip (especially romantic at night, when the city glitters below) or a bird’s-eye sweep of the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. There’s nothing quite like that floating sensation as the craft lifts off like a giant dragonfly—any nervousness quickly turning to exhilaration.

Other helicopter companies include Papillon and Sundance (try a Grand Canyon picnic). A number of successful helicopter operations have been shuttling first-time tourists around for years, so this is the perfect time to cross the whirlybird off your life list.

Another way to see the Strip from high up: the Big Shot, X-Scream, and Insanity thrill rides that undulate along the Stratosphere’s 1,149-foot-tall tower (the country’s tallest freestanding observation tower). The most daring plummet straight down, bungee style, with SkyJump, the world’s highest controlled descent.


Stratosphere’s Insanity dangles riders 900 feet above the Strip and spins them at 40 mph.

Perhaps the single most pulse-racing thing I can imagine doing anyplace, ever, is Sky Combat Ace, a one-on-one ride-along with a professional pilot in a fighter plane. Thrill seekers blast through barrel rolls, combat drills, and other aerobatics—or just take a spin (upright) in a vintage plane with an open cockpit. Don’t try this after a few cocktails, folks.

Sky Combat Ace

Sky Combat Ace takes guests along on stunt-plane flights above the Nevada desert. (Photo: Courtesy Sky Combat Ace)

Test the Laws of Physics

You’re in a stock car revving a 600-hp engine, waiting for the flag to drop. And then you’re off, hitting the gas and shifting gears and letting your wheels grab the banked track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Soon you’re flying past the stands at over 100 mph—and you’ve never done anything like this before. Good thing there’s an instructor sitting next to you, telling you exactly what to do.

That’s what happens at the Richard Petty Driving Experience, one of several Vegas companies that let you put the pedal to the metal without worrying about traffic lights. Climb into the driver’s seat yourself or ride with a professional if your goal is to just experience the feeling of screaming around a track at 165 mph (none of the amateurs have gone quite that fast yet). Alternatively, Petty’s American Muscle Car Challenge lets guests drive a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, or Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

Richard Petty Driving Experience

It’s not just for NASCAR: You, too, can drive on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

Another company, Dream Racing, also lets you drive exotic cars on the same NASCAR speedway. If Lady Luck shines on you, you’ll see fighter pilots training at nearby Nellis Air Force Base. Now that’s speed.

Believe it or not, the g-force in a racecar is nothing compared to what Las Vegas’ most extreme roller coasters feel like. The newest, El Loco, zooms, corkscrews, and reverse-rolls around the Adventuredome indoor amusement park at Circus Circus (also home to the double-loop Canyon Blaster). After rides like these, hit the casino’s midway and big top to take a break while you watch other people do scary-looking things for a change.


Those with tetchy nerves and/or necks could consider something a little less stressful, maybe a zip-line ride with a gentle stop at the end: the mighty SlotZilla on Fremont Street. A new upper “zoomline” segment—114 feet above the ground and 1,700 feet long—just opened in April. You can book advance tickets online or, for a spur-of-the-moment screamfest above the crowds, just look for the giant slot machine towering in the middle of the sidewalk.

One of the more notable Vegas crazes of late: high-powered gun ranges, where firearm fans (and the merely curious) have the chance to shoot munitions you can't get at home. Each of the half-dozen or so ranges in town has its own focus. Gun Garage’s just-opened 12-lane indoor range is just off the Strip, which means you can wake up late, head over for a quick afternoon ballistics volley and be back in time for happy hour. Other options, like the military-style Battlefield Vegas, are more involved.

Be Surprised

The most intriguing new adrenaline-filled idea in town is Las Vegas: The Game. Basically, imagine a “Hangover”-style bachelor party—with your own friend as the bachelor. Working as an accomplice with Justin Oswald and Chad Hardy, the brains behind this operation, you can plan a night of complete surprises for your unsuspecting victim. Or the company will draw up a behind-the-scenes plan and keep you in the dark, too.

Possibilities range from hiring a stranger to test your friend's flirting resolve to playing along with a series of elaborate charades that build on each other for an entire night. The evening could include anything from a monkey to a showgirl—or both! You’re limited only by your tolerance for shock and how good a friend you are (and whether you still want to be invited to the wedding).


Las Vegas by Day

Content via Yahoo.com

Neon Museum

The Neon Museum preserves classic Las Vegas signs.

Las Vegas could be the ultimate night town, with shows and clubs and bars hopping nonstop into the wee hours. But there's still a lot of daylight. When you've tanned enough by the pool, the city has plenty of daytime diversions to keep you entertained until the next round of excitement.

Best Museums

On a recent flight to Las Vegas, I chatted with a frequent visitor. “My wife and her sister come here all the time,” he said, “and they never gamble.” Instead, he said, they come almost entirely to visit museums. From lowbrow to high culture, Las Vegas is full of exhibitions, historical artifacts and installations.

The Mob Museum is a vast repository in a striking 1930s-era neoclassical former federal building, the site of the 1950-51 Kefauver Committee hearings on organized crime (the restored courtroom is part of the tour). It tells the story of those who broke the law and those who enforced it, highlighting the big personalities on both sides.

The history of Vegas is written in neon, and the Neon Museum has been a local favorite since it opened in late 2012. Set near Downtown, a jumble of colorful curves poking up behind the gates give a hint of the nostalgic treasures to come. The nonprofit museum’s best feature: its hour-long story-filled guided tour. And at $18 for daytime admission, this is bargain entertainment (advance purchase is recommended). Bring a hat and water because everything is outside.

One of my airplane friend’s favorites: the Pinball Hall of Fame, a bit off the Strip on Tropicana. As the website explains, it’s “pinball and nothing but pinball for 10,000 square feet.” And yes, you can play the games. 

Aside from the permanent (or as permanent as things get in Vegas) museums, the city hosts an ever-changing carousel of exhibitions. Options this summer include "Da Vinci: The Exhibition" at The Venetian, where some of the original Renaissance man’s drawings are on display—and others have come to life as three-dimensional models. 

Da Vinci: The Exhibition

Models of Leonardo Da Vinci’s military machines are on display this summer, part of “Da Vinci: The Exhibition” at The Venetian.

The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is showing “Painting Women: Works from the Museum of Fine Art, Boston,” an exhibition of women as both as painters and subjects. Enjoy the air conditioning as you take in brushstrokes of artists including Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Berthe Morisot—the gallery itself has a hushed atmosphere that’s a welcome break from the bustle outside. 

Retail Therapy

From souvenir dice to designer handbags, retail in Las Vegas runs the gamut. 

The LINQ, nestled between the Quad Resort & Casino and Flamingo Las Vegas, is the city’s newest ode to the joy of shopping. Among its novelties: the first Polaroid Fotobar outside Florida, which lets tourists print and frame their camera or phone photos on the spot, and Nevada's first Sprinkles, which brings a delectable reward (cupcakes and ice cream) for all that walking up and down the Strip. An enormous industrial-chic Brooklyn Bowl features bowling by day and live music on many nights. 

Of course, the LINQ's most notable (and visible) feature is the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, where clear pods affixed to the outside of a giant wheel give unbeatable views of the city from 550 feet up.  

High Roller

The High Roller observation wheel anchors The LINQ, a new shopping, dining and entertainment area in the middle of the Strip.

Town Square, at the south end of the Strip (and accessible via a free shuttle), is not just about shopping. The open-air mall with a California vibe has the usual trappings, but in true Vegas style, it doesn’t shut down at sundown. Stoney's Rockin' Country is a western-wear store by day and a 19,000-foot saloon by night where you can take country-dance lessons, listen to live music, or ride the mechanical bull. Or head to the Baobab Stage Theatre for anything from African dance to burlesque.

Town Square

The open-air Town Square has familiar shops in a pleasant setting.

Bargain hunters can scour outlet malls, with deals on everything from Armani to Zales, just off both the north and south ends of the Strip. And as for that shop made famous by “Pawn Stars”: a handful of tour buses will take you there on their route, or you can find your own way to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop via the city's Deuce bus (it has a stop a block away).

Premium Outlets South

Las Vegas Premium Outlets South includes designers such as Michael Kors and Coach.

One of the city’s most surprising shopping options: the new Downtown 3rd Farmers Market, held every Friday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in a covered lot next to the Mob Museum. Grab fresh local goodies from some of the same growers who supply the city’s top restaurants. 

And for cutting-edge original souvenirs unlike anything anyone else is taking home, check out the blossoming 18b Arts District between Downtown and the Strip. You’ll find everything from mixed-media sculpture at the Arts Factory to vintage furniture at Rick’s Restorations. Easiest way to find it: take the super-convenient Deuce or SDX buses to the Arts District stop at Charleston Boulevard.  


There’s a reason Las Vegas is often called a playground for adults. The whole place is like an amusement park—on a giant scale.

Speaking of giant, one of the Vegas activities on TripAdvisor is Dig This!, which lets grown-up kids play with the construction equipment they had toy versions of when they were little. The Nevada desert replaces the backyard sandbox, as you climb into Caterpillar cockpits and bulldoze to your heart’s content. If you think this is just for the guys, you’d be wrong—many of the construction fans are women.

In the midst of an urban renewal, Downtown is a less expensive and more intimate alternative to the Strip. One of the latest additions: Downtown Container Park, named for the shipping containers stacked atop each other to create a boutique shopping and dining area a couple blocks southeast of the Fremont Street Experience. The architecture alone is worth a visit, but even better is the outdoor play park, complete with a 33-foot slide, that welcomes both kids and adults.

Container Park

Container Park’s whimsical touches include a praying mantis that shoots fire.


Vegas Weekend: Fall Out Boy, ZZ Top, Al Pacino & more

Hoo-ah! Legendary actor Al Pacino brings his One Night Only show to The Mirage this weekend, part of a super summer weekend lineup that also includes Fall Out Boy, ZZ Top, Ginuwine and more. Celebrate Vegas Season all weekend long - for a complete show rundown, see our full weekend lineup here.

Fall Out Boy

Friday, August 15




ZZ Top

Saturday, August 16





Sunday, August 17




Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

Ten hot spots for Vegas nightlfe

No place compares to Las Vegas when the sun sets. The city's unrivaled nightlife provides a multitude of options, from relaxing lounges to high-energy clubs featuring the world's top DJs.

Be sure to look through our complete list of nightlife options to find the perfect place to let loose, but here's a quick look at 10 popular Vegas hot spots, in no particular order:

Light Nightclub

1. LIGHT NIGHTCLUB at MANDALAY BAY: The visionaires behind Cirque du Soleil create an open lab or experimentation nightly.

TAO Nightclub

2. TAO NIGHTCLUB AT THE VENETIAN: Be sure to step out on the 40-foot terrace with stunning views of the Strip. 


3. GHOSTBAR at PALMS: This swanky club on the 55th floor is decked out with Murano-style chandeliers, plush banquettes and porcelain tile flooring.

Drai's Nightclub

4. DRAI'S NIGHTCLUB at THE CROMWELL: Luxe design, LED lighting and modern technology systems fuse to create the sensual club’s social, multi-sensory experience.


5. MARQUEE at THE COSMOPOLITAN: This 60,000 square-foot venue transitions nightclub patrons between three lavish rooms and variant musical experiences.

XS Nightclub

6. XS NIGHTCLUB at ENCORE AT WYNN LAS VEGAS: With 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, guests have the opportunity to sit at one of the 95 indoor VIP tables or enjoy their bottle service poolside in one of the 30 VIP cabanas.

Body English

7. BODY ENGLISH at HARD ROCK HOTEL: This two-floor nightclub is laden with opulence. The upper level features leather booths, walls covered in dark woods and an intimate bar and the roomy bottom level boasts mirrored walls, dazzling crystal chandeliers and a massive dance floor. 

Gold Diggers

8. GOLD DIGGERS at GOLDEN NUGGET: Dance the night away with live music, DJs and great balcony views overlooking the Fremont Street Experience.


9. HAKKASAN at MGM GRAND: 80,000-square-feet across five levels - need we say more? It's one of the biggest and most extravagant club experiences you'll find anywhere in the world.

VooDoo Rooftop Lounge

10. VOODOO ROOFTOP LOUNGE at RIO: The sky is the limit! Enjoy spectacular views and tasty libations at the outdoor bar with live DJs or head inside where live bands perform.

It's all part of the incredible nightlife you'll only find in Vegas!

Vegas Weekend: Gaga, Aerosmith, Weezer, Journey, Queensryche, Goo Goo Dolls and more!

Kick off your August with a little Vegas Season and enjoy some of the biggest concerts of the summer! You'll also find great comedy, production shows, celebrity sightings and the top music producers spinning at Vegas' nightlife hot spots. Here's a rundown - for a complete show rundown, see our full weekend lineup here.


Friday, August 1




Saturday, August 2





Sunday, August 3




Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

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