Casino in The Strip

Vegas has many buildings more than 20 stories tall, but only Stratosphere exceeds 100 and boasts the nation's highest thrill rides. Atop the 1149ft-high tapered tripod tower, vertiginous indoor and outdoor viewing decks afford Vegas' best 360-degree panoramas. There you'll also find Top of the World, a revolving restaurant, and the jazzy 107 SkyLounge cocktail bar. To get to the top of Vegas' lucky landmark, ride one of America's fastest elevators, lifting you 108 floors in a mere 37 ear-popping seconds.

While snapping some panoramic pics will be enough for most, daredevils will want to jump on the tower's high-altitude thrill rides. Insanity swings riders out from the edge of the tower into thin air, then spins its huge claw arms, elevated at an angle of 70 degrees. Rising above it all is the Big Shot, which rockets riders in outward-facing seats up and down a steel spire that forms the pinnacle of the tower itself. X-Scream, which dangles riders teeter-totter style over the side of the tower, can be a letdown, so grab a seat on the right-hand side to increase the fear factor. For maximum effect, do the SkyJump, a bungee-like controlled free fall that drops you 855ft over the side of the tower.

At the base of the tapered tower is a casino favored by a loud-talkin', hard-drinkin' crowd, with low-limit table games and 1200 slots and video poker machines. Stuff your face with comfort food while being serenaded by the singing waitstaff of Roxy's Diner, then spend the rest of your chump change next door at the kingdom of kitsch, Bonanza Gift Shop.