Dustier and drier than Nevada's northern half, the south reels in over 40 million visitors per year, lured by the mythology of Las Vegas as the place to leave your troubles behind and even strike it rich. Although Vegas is far from a naturalist's vision of America, geologic treasures can be found in the wind- and water-carved landscapes of Red Rock Canyon and the Valley of Fire, reachable as day trips from the Strip's surreal facsimiles of ancient Rome, Paris and New York.
Escape the summer heat on the shores of Lake Mead. Here, pre-dating all of Vegas' wacky human-made wonders, the Hoover Dam is a marvel of 1930s engineering. In winter, it's even possible to ski the slopes of Lee Canyon before hitting the Strip.
Further afield, daring desert dreamers are drawn to gold-rush ghost towns like Beatty and Goldfield, while ufologists hover brazenly around top-secret USAF Area 51.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Southern Nevada.
Owned by the eponymous Hollywood studio, the MGM Grand casino and hotel liberally borrows Tinsel Town's themes. Flashing LED screens and computerized fountains add extra theatrics to the 100,000lb, 45ft-tall bronze lion statue at the casino's entrance. Inside the labyrinthine casino bedecked with giant screens, you can get table-side massages or take free Texas hold'em lessons in the poker room. Top billing attractions include Hakkasan nightclub, one-time center of the electronic dance-music universe or the Cirque du Soleil's martial-arts-inspired Kà. Book David Copperfield at MGM Grand today Grand Pool For many, the MGM Grand's biggest draw is the Grand Pool complex out back, with four swimming pools and a few whirlpools. At this fabulous outdoor playground, children splash in shallow aqua pools, sunbathers loll on chaise lounges, college students slurp from yard-long strawberry daiquiris and last night's party crowd recovers under beach umbrellas. The highlight is an 8000ft-long lazy river – the longest in Vegas – that snakes around the pools, passing through spraying waterfalls and underneath bridges draped with tropical foliage. Rent an inner tube or just let the gentle current sweep you along. During summer, Wet Republic is the Strip's most MTV-worthy pool club. Grand Spa A two-hour 'Dreaming Ritual,' employing Australian Aboriginal healing and massage techniques, is the signature treatment at this sprawling 29,000-sq-ft spa, which soothes with Asian accents like bamboo, rock walls and elemental wood. The spa is open 8am-4pm Monday to Thursday and until 5pm Friday to Sunday and day passes are for hotel guests only. Nonguests can make spa appointments for Monday through Thursday. MGM Grand Garden Arena When pop stars such as U2, Cher and Miley Cyrus come to town, they play this massive 17,000-seat venue at the MGM Grand. Rowdy championship fight nights also fill the vast arena. Book David Copperfield at MGM Grand today Restaurants The MGM Grand has an impressive lineup of celebrity chefs' restaurants, bars and nightlife venues, none more dazzling than Joël Robuchon, where you'll dine inside a faux Parisian mansion. Joël Robuchon Joël Robuchon, the acclaimed 'Chef of the Century', leads the pack in the French culinary invasion of the Strip. His eponymous art deco-inspired dining room, done up in leather and purple velvet, exudes the sophistication of a dinner party at a 1930s Paris mansion. Complex seasonal tasting menus promise the meal of a lifetime – and they often deliver. Reservations essential. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon The ever-so-slightly less chichi of Joël Robuchon's two Las Vegas establishments. Its red-and-black interior, open kitchen and counter bar resemble a sushi joint and keep your attention on the food, comprising masterfully prepared, tapas-style small (or large) plates whose size and contents change in accordance with your desires and budget. Booking required. Morimoto Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto's latest Vegas incarnation is in his eponymous showcase restaurant, which pays homage to his Japanese roots and the cuisine of this city that has propelled him to legend status around the world. Dining here is an experience in every possible way and, we think, worth every penny. Book ahead. Heritage Steak Top chef Tom Colicchio's second Strip steakhouse flies higher than his MGM Grand outpost. All-natural, open-flame-grilled American steaks, charred octopus and ash-roasted bone marrow are just a sampling of carnivorous treats on a cutting-edge contemporary menu. The throwback cocktail list is just as unusual as what's for dessert, like sweet corn ice cream. Reservations essential. Pub 1842 At chef Michael Mina's casual gastropub, don't let the cabin-in-the-woods decor, with plaid-patterned booths and wooden-slat walls, fool you. Extraordinarily tasty, whimsical comfort food – try a burger topped with peanut butter and bacon jam – goes above and beyond. So do the barrel-aged cocktails and craft beer flights from the bar. Happy hour runs from 3pm to 6pm daily. Dinner reservations recommended. Hakkasan For see-and-be-seen dining or a splashy date night, few restaurants on the Strip beat this dramatic Chinese restaurant, with futuristic neo-Asian accents visible everywhere, from patterned upholstery to screened-in dining 'cages.' Michelin-starred chef Ho Chee Boon's mainly Cantonese menu darts off in unexpected ways, like the roasted cod with champagne and honey. Mixologist cocktails are designed to wow. Crush Off the casino floor, an airy dining room and a cozy wine-cellar room compose this casual eatery and wine bar. On the seasonal Mediterranean menu, crispy 700°F (371ºC) wood-oven-fired pizzas, rich pasta and both raw and roasted antipasti are more satisfying than meatier mains. Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options aim to please everyone. Hecho en Vegas An offshoot of Tucson's El Charro Cafe, this lofty cantina by the monorail station hosts festive groups with pitchers of margaritas. Handmade tamales, tortillas and torta bread stand out on an average menu of Mexican fare that also includes chimichangas, Sonoran hot dogs, and fajita platters with ancho-chili-rubbed skirt steak or shrimp diablo. Craftsteak This richly wood-laden steakhouse lacks exclusivity, what with all the monorail riders walking by. Celeb chef Tom Colicchio's menu of grass-fed steaks, grilled bison and 24-hour braised short ribs, plus bounty from the sea such as Australian lobster tail, is sometimes a letdown in its execution. Drown any disappointments with a huge array of top-shelf bourbon and scotch. Reservations essential. Bars and clubs There are several bars and clubs to either celebrate your winnings (or drown your sorrows) at the Grand. Book David Copperfield at MGM Grand today Hakkasan At this lavish Asian-inspired nightclub, international EDM jet-set DJs such as Tiësto and Steve Aoki rule the packed main dance floor bordered by VIP booths and floor-to-ceiling LED screens. More offbeat sounds spin in the intimate Ling Ling Club, with leather sofas and backlit amber glass. Bouncers enforce the dress code: upscale nightlife attire (no athletic wear, collared shirts required for men). Wet Republic Think of Wet Republic, the city's biggest 'ultra pool,' as a nightclub brought out into the sunlight. The mostly 20- and 30-something crowd in stylish swimwear show up for EDM tunes spun by megawatt DJs like Calvin Harris, fruity cocktails and bobbing oh-so-coolly around saltwater pools. Book ahead for VIP bungalows, daybeds and cabanas. MGM Grand hotels and rooms Vegas' largest hotel has more rooms than it is possible to accurately critique without moving in for longer than it's healthy to stay in Vegas, but MGM's real thrillers are its exclusive (and expensive) Skylofts, apartment-style Signature suites and mammoth pool complex, rivaled by few. Skylofts Glamorous, one-of-a-kind apartments designed by innovative architect Tony Chi have loft bedrooms and two-story windows. They're also outfitted with almost every imaginable indulgence, from spa tubs and steamy 'immersion' showers to gourmet kitchens and top-flight entertainment centers. A 24-hour butler and personal concierge are included, of course. As one of the world's largest hotels keeps evolving, the stunning Skylofts at MGM Grand has proved itself to be not just another boutique hotel-within-a-hotel on the Strip. These penthouse suites are blissful, flawlessly contemporary in design and ready to fulfill any high-roller fantasy, starting with private airport pick-up in a Mercedes-Benz limousine. The lofts, each with one, two or three bedrooms, could easily fit your entourage or a family (children under 13 stay free with their parents) but are also perfect for a romantic getaway. Call on the 'dream' and 'spa' butlers to light the aromatherapy candles, plump the pillows and create an appropriate soundtrack before hitting the sheets. Signature suites Balconies were traditionally hard to come by on the Strip, though not in MGM Grand's 'Signature' suites, many of which feature full balconies. All have kitchenettes, plush furnishings and all the amenities of this massive casino.
Vegas has many buildings more than 20 storeys tall, but only Stratosphere (now officially The STRAT Hotel, Casino and SkyPod, but still 'the Strat' to locals) exceeds 100 and features 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, the jazzy 107 SkyLounge cocktail bar, plus the 108 Eats cafe by chef James Trees. A partial refurbishment in 2019 included a name change, new games in the casino and four new restaurants, but Vegas' lucky landmark has still kept its main draws, including one of America's fastest elevators, which lifts 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 rides and roller coasters. 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. After you're cashed out, spend the rest of your chump change next door at the kingdom of kitsch, Bonanza Gift Shop. Tickets and other practicalities The STRAT Casino is open 24 hours a day. Thrill ride tickets for Big Shot, Insanity and X-Scream, which include Skypod entry, start at $29 per ride. Weather permitting, the rides are open Mon-Thu 2pm-10pm, Fri & Sat noon-midnight. An unlimited ride pass including SkyPod entry costs $43.95. Tickets for the Sky Jump, which is also open Mon-Thu 2pm-10pm and Fri & Sat noon-midnight, start from $129.99. Admission for the WET24 and Elation swimming pools is free for guests. Daybeds (from $100) and cabanas (from $150) at can be booked by non-guests. 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 jump-like controlled free fall that drops you 855ft over the side of the tower. Restaurants and bars There are ten places to eat in The STRAT, from cafes to McDonalds via the likes of PT's Wings & Sports, where pub grub, craft beers and steams of all the big matches are to be found. It also has four bars. For our buck, you should eat at Top of the World. At this revolving romantic roost perched atop the Stratosphere tower, smartly dressed diners enjoy impeccable service and satisfying, if overpriced, dishes such as 22oz bone-in prime ribeye steam from Colorado or stuffed roasted lobster tails. It has an excellent wine list too, but reservations are essential. The bar overlooking the Top of the World, 107 SkyLounge, is the pick of the watering holes. Come during happy hour (4pm to 7pm daily) for two-for-one cocktails, half-price appetizers and striking sunset views. Pools The STRAT has two pools. WET24 is an adult pool for over 21s with knockout vistas of Las Vegas Valley and cocktails. It's open 2-9pm and admission is free for hotel guests. Those not staying over can hire daybeds (from $100) or cabanas (from $150). Elation Pool on the 8th floor is a chilled resort-style swimming pool which is more family friendly and boasts three spas. The views aren't as good here, but they ain't half bad, and the bar pumps out music and cocktails in equal measure. It's open 9am-5pm Sunday to Thursday, and 6pm Friday and Saturday. Admission is free for guests and daybeds (from $100) and cabanas (from $150) can be booked by non-guests.
Angular and glittering gold, massive Mandalay Bay flanks the far south end of the Strip. It's the first resort many visitors lay eyes on as they roll into Las Vegas – and what better introduction to Sin City than this gleaming tropics-in-the-desert themed, high-rise shrine to casino gaming and high-rolling, with its massive beach, multilevel Shark Reef Aquarium, oodles of big-name-chef-associated restaurants and two luxe hotels-within-a-hotel. Its standout attractions include the Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil spectacle, the family-friendly Mandalay Bay Beach with wave pool and lazy river, and its array of VIP upgrades, wellness treatments and knockout suites for guests. Pool The 1.6-million-gallon wave pool at Mandalay Bay Beach occupies 11 acres, has 2700 tons of imported Californian sand and can generate waves up to 6ft. The facility also includes a lazy river (kids love it) and the 'toptional' adults-only Moorea Beach Club. Access is complimentary for resort guests. Nonguests can enjoy the facilities by renting a reserved seat ($50 to $100 daily), daybed (from $375) or cabana ($600 to $1300); daybeds and cabanas can be used by four to 10 people. Shark Reef Aquarium Adults, kids and lovers of marine life flock to Mandalay Bay for its unique and unusual walk-through Shark Reef Aquarium. Here you'll find around 2000 species of submarine critters, including jellyfish, moray eels, stingrays and, of course, several species of shark. Also on display are some of the world’s last remaining golden crocodiles. Scuba-diver caretakers and naturalists are available to chat as you wander around. Open 10am-8pm Sunday-Thursday, and to 10pm Friday and Saturday, tickets to the Shark Reef Aquarium cost $22 for adults and $15 for children. Restaurants Can you even call yourself a chef if you don't have a restaurant at Mandalay Bay? There's 27 – yes, twenty-seven – places to eat at the hotel; an entire town's worth. Most are headed up by household names like grand French chef Alain Ducasse, Wolfgang Puck and even the James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain. Border Grill With colorful murals and views over Mandalay Bay Beach, this festive eatery dishes up modern Mexican fare designed by chefs from Bravo's Top Chef Masters and the Food Network's Too Hot Tamales. Come for the weekend brunch of unlimited Latin-inspired tapas ($38) and bottomless mimosas (extra $15). Border Grill uses only hormone-free meat and sustainably caught seafood. Reservations are helpful. Aureole The first 'clone' of Charlie Palmer's flagship New York restaurant serving modern American fare has debuted on the strip at Mandalay Bay with critical acclaim. For show-offs, the 24oz bone-in ribeye is $115. Stripsteak Esquire magazine once named chef Michael Mina's butter-poached, bone-in-top loin one of the USA's very best steaks. The chef's minimalist steakhouse knifes into an exceptional menu of all-natural Angus and American Kobe beef, taste-awakening appetizers like ahi tuna and hamachi poppers, and classic side dishes with a twist, from truffle mac 'n' cheese to soy-glazed green beans. Reservations essential. Casino At 135,000-sq-ft, the 24-hour casino at Mandalay Bay is a whopper. There's over 1200 slot machines to try and tackle as well as table games like Baccarat, craps, poker, blackjack and roulette wheels. It's also home to the BetMGM Sportsbook — a huge betting palace where you can bet on live sports and look for that edge in front of Nasdaq-style stock market screens. Rooms, suites and other sleeping options For overnight accommodations, take your pick of three separate hotels. The traditional choice is Mandalay Bay, where simple but stylish rooms feature large plasma TVs, high-end linens and warm earth tones. On the highest floors of the Mandalay Bay Tower, and accessible only by private express elevators, the Four Seasons Hotel is the picture of elegance. Standard rooms feature deep tubs for soaking and mountain views through floor-to-ceiling windows. In the adjacent tower, with an entrance at the opposite end of the casino, the hip Delano boutique hotel makes the standard room a suite complete with a wet bar. The mandatory nightly resort fee ($25 plus tax) includes in-room wi-fi access and entry to a cardio workout room (but not the fitness center at either spa). Skyfall Lounge One of M-Bay's lesser-known drawcards is the fabulous, dress-to-impress Skyfall Lounge, atop the Delano hotel, from where you can enjoy unparalleled views of the southern Strip and sip cocktails as the sun sets over the spectacular Spring Mountains. The bar's classy, subdued vibe gets ever so slightly more tactile when top DJs start spinning mellow beats after dark and the more self-assured (or inebriated) guests get primed to dance the night away. Michael Jackson ONE While the documentary 'Leaving Neverland' has cast a shadow on his legacy, Cirque du Soleil's musical homage to Michael Jackson ONE is still going. It features show-stopping dancers, graceful acrobats and aerialists all moving to a soundtrack of MJ's greatest hits, the show moon-walks all the way back to his break-out platinum album Thriller. Shooting In 2017, Mandalay Bay made headlines when a gunman killed 58 and wounded 413 people from his 32nd floor suite in what went down as the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
Running between The LINQ Hotel & Casino and the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, the LINQ Promenade is a partially-covered outdoor pedestrian walkway which brims with shopping opportunities and high-flying fun. Browse hip LA fashions, gorge yourself on cupcakes or on fish & chips (by Gordon Ramsey), go bowling, ride the High Roller (the world's tallest observation wheel) or the Fly Linq zipline, get an eyeful of ink at Club Tattoo, rock out to live music, or sip pints beneath the desert sun. Things to do LINQ Casino With a fresh, young and funky vibe, the LINQ Casino is one of Vegas' newest and it benefits from also being one of its smallest with just over 60 tables and around 750 slot machines. There's an airy, spacious feel to the place, tables feature high-backed, ruby-red, patent-vinyl chairs, and when you need to escape, the fun and frivolity of LINQ Promenade are just outside the door. Fly LINQ zipline For a whistle-stop tour of the LINQ Promenade, try tearing across it from 12-storeys up via the Fly LINQ zipline. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 35mph, up to 11 people can test their nerve for some 45 seconds as the zipline takes thing right across The LINQ Promenade from Las Vegas Boulevard to, predictably enough, the High Roller. High Roller The world's tallest observation wheel tops out at 550ft above LINQ Promenade. The 28 air-conditioned passenger cabins are enclosed by handcrafted Italian glass, while outside LED light up the wheel to music after dark. One revolution takes about 30 minutes and each pod can hold 40 guests. Speed drinkers over 21 can book the 'happy half-hour' ticket ($40, or $52 after 5pm) with an all-you-can drink bar. Hint: the southwest corner of each pod affords the best views of the Strip (that's to the right of the door as you enter). Restaurants There's plenty of get your teeth into along the LINQ Promenade, including several half-decent places to eat. In-N-Out Burger Possibly the best deal on the Strip are the under-$3 burgers at this California institution, known for high quality ingredients and excellent customer service. It's especially fun to break up a night of fancy cocktails with a double-double, animal style, wrapped in paper, eaten on a red linoleum bench. The people-watching here is fantastic. Chayo This stylish Mexican kitchen and tequila bar near the High Roller observation wheel even has a mechanical bull that you can ride. Sink back against a leather banquette and eye the Día de los Muertos–inspired decor as you feast on creative modern Mexican dishes like pork tenderloin with cactus leaves and mole negro sauce. Reservations are helpful. Jaburrito It's simple: hybridize a nori (seaweed) sushi roll with a burrito. What could go wrong? Nothing actually…they're awesome! Mochi ice-cream pops for dessert are extremely fun to eat. Virgil's Real BBQ If you've never tried real-deal Southern cooking, and you're not shy of chunks of mouthwatering smoky meats, baby back ribs, cheesy grits and sugary caramelized sides, you must make a beeline for Virgil's and you will be converted. Hallelujah! Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips We'd say that Mr. Ramsay's high-traffic fish and chippery (perhaps Vegas' most prominent) ain't all that fish-tastic, but we're afraid of him yelling at us. Shops Las Vegas may have become more of an upmarket shopping destination elsewhere in the city, but not along the LINQ Promenade. Here, kitsch-lovers and Instagrammers will delight as tacky, over-the-top wallet draining is par for the course. Alongside a couple of brand outlets such Harley Davidson clothes and flip flops from Havaianas, you'll find an entire Sin City souvenir store called The Welcome To Las Vegas. There's quirky too: Bakery-inspired, handmade soaps from Nectar Bath Treats (think donut-shaped bath bombs); pineapple-shaped biscuits from Honolulu Cookie Company; and your dentist's worst nightmare, an outlet of the I LOVE SUGAR store. Entertainment Brooklyn Bowl Hipsters are drawn by magnetic force to NYC import Brooklyn Bowl, which is one part high-tech bowling alley, one part gourmet comfort-food restaurant and one part cool concert venue for the same indie acts you'd hear at Coachella or SXSW music festivals.
The myth and mystique of mobsters from Bugsy Siegel to Al Capone get the museum treatment inside a hulking Downtown courthouse where real gangsters sat for federal hearings in 1950–51. Thoughtfully curated exhibits chart the history of organized crime in America and feature hands-on FBI equipment and mob-related artifacts. An extra fee provides access to a firearm training simulator, a crime lab or a Prohibition-era distillery tour where those over 21 can try the museum’s own moonshine or its house-brewed beer. Opened on February 14, 2012 – the 83rd anniversary of the notorious St Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago – the museum is officially known as the National Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement. Despite a gift store selling aprons printed with AKs, this museum takes its sensationalistic subject seriously. Interactive exhibits were designed by the same team behind Cleveland 's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum and the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. Thoughtfully curated displays tell the story of organized crime in America from the perspective of both gangsters and G-men, interviews with real-life Tony Sopranos. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building that houses the museum was built in 1933 and was once the Las Vegas post office and courthouse. It's one of the oldest buildings in Las Vegas, a city that only really got started as recently as 1905. On the proviso that it be restored and used for cultural purposes, the federal police, who operated the courthouse, sold the building in 2002 to the City of Las Vegas for the princely sum of $1. The Mob Museum also often hosts special events like book signings and mob history talks, including fascinating panel discussions that take place inside the historic courtroom. What to see Mob Museum Theater Break up your journey through the museum's exhibits, which could easily take all morning or afternoon to see, with a visit to the small theater. Plonk yourself down in one of the plush seats to watch videos projected on the big screen. If you're looking for History Channel-style documentaries, you'll be disappointed – most of the clips being shown are classic Hollywood gangster movies. The Gift Shop Near the museum's entrance, the Mob Museum gift shop is a trove of offbeat Sin City souvenirs, whether you're on the hunt for a gangster fedora, a spy pen that writes with ultraviolet ink, a wise guy's family cookbook or a coffee mug with a handle made of brass knuckles. On a nerdy note, the shop fills its bookshelves with respectable tomes on the history of Sin City and the American Mafia. The Speakeasy The Mob Museum even has its very own Art Deco-styled speakeasy (for those 21 years or older) where you'll need a password to enter (no, we won't make it easy for you to find) to enjoy the bar's homages to Prohibition-era cocktails such as the Bees Knees (gin, lemon and jalapeno honey). Tickets and other practicalities Located at 300 Stewart Ave, the museum is open daily from 9am-9pm. Adult tickets are $30, students pay $17 and those under 10 go free. Regular discount ticket codes will often appear online. Audioguides in major languages cost $4. Parking in the adjacent lot costs $7. Weddings If you're looking to get hitched in Vegas, the Mob Museum's weddings include a 'Made Man' ceremony, in which an actor offers you lifetime admission to 'the family.' Fish tank Due to the success of American reality TV series Tanked, which follows innovative fish tank makers Acrylic Tank Manufacturing, many Mob Museum visitors want to see the 300-gallon fish tank made especially on the show. Inspired by Lizzie D, a tugboat which sank near New York Habor with a load of illegal liquor onboard, the fish tank can be found in The Underground section of the museum.
We’ve seen this symbiotic relationship before (think giant hotel anchored by a mall ‘concept’), but the way that this futuristic-feeling complex places a small galaxy of hypermodern, chichi hotels in orbit around the glitzy Shops at Crystals is a first. The upscale spread includes the subdued, stylish Vdara, the hush-hush opulent Waldorf Astoria and the dramatic architectural showpiece Aria, whose sophisticated casino provides a fitting backdrop to its many drop-dead-gorgeous restaurants. CityCenter's hotels have in excess of 6700 rooms!
Caesars Palace claims that its smartly renovated casino floor has more million-dollar slots than anywhere in the world, but its claims to fame are far more numerous than that. Entertainment heavyweights Celine Dion and Elton John 'own' its custom-built Colosseum theater, fashionistas saunter around The Forum Shops, while Caesars' hotel guests quaff cocktails in the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis. By night, megaclub Omnia is one of the best places to get off your face this side of Ibiza.
The Venetian's regal 120,000-sq-ft casino has marble floors, hand-painted ceiling frescoes and 120 table games, including a high-limit lounge and an elegant nonsmoking poker room, where women are especially welcome (unlike at many other poker rooms in town). When combined with its younger, neighboring sibling Palazzo, the properties claim the largest casino space in Las Vegas. Unmissable on the Strip, a highlight of this miniature replica of Venice is a gondola ride down its Grand Canal.
It's about 50 miles from Downtown Las Vegas to the Valley of Fire State Park visitor center. Make the center your first port of call to find out how best to tackle this masterpiece of Southwest desert scenery containing 40,000 acres of red Aztec sandstone, petrified trees and ancient Native American petroglyphs (at Atlatl Rock). Dedicated in 1935, the park was Nevada's first designated state park. Its psychedelic landscape has been carved by wind and water over thousands of years.