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What separates Las Vegas from many destinations is the live-our-dreams factor. And if we can’t live them, at least we can ponder them and wonder, “Who really does this stuff?” Whether it’s opulent accommodations, a divinely decadent meal, or an adrenaline-infused adventure, anything is possible in Sin City.
The hot sting of the needle takes me by surprise—this isn’t my first tattoo, but the initial shock is always the same. After a few minutes, adrenaline numbs my back to a slight warm tingling sensation, almost like a scratchy shirt rubbing against a sunburn. When the needle approaches my spine the pain momentarily returns.
As the national debate over energy efficiency rages on in the halls of Congress, MGM MIRAGE is tackling the issue right here in Nevada. The gaming, hospitality, and entertainment company redefines urban lifestyle and Las Vegas luxury with the opening of CityCenter in December.
Kids love to have fun. Parents love when their kids participate in educational activities. Everyone loves a win-win situation, which Lied Discovery Children’s Museum achieves by combining the two elements.
Traipsing across the globe would have been the dream vacation this summer, but with no airline ticket, I was out of luck. What I did have, however, was a cozy robe, a pair of slippers, and before me, a city with one of the highest concentration of resort spas in the world. This was my ticket to the ultimate world travel itinerary.
Chris LeBlanc opens the chain-link gate to “The Boneyard.” LeBlanc is one of many volunteers at this nonprofit museum, guiding tours through the twisted signs and remains twice a day. “This is a part of our history,” says LeBlanc, as he guides about 10 of us through the yard. “We’re trying to restore and remember.”
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2009, the Morelli House—home to the Junior League of Las Vegas—is a testament to a gone-but-not-forgotten era in Las Vegas history. Its classic block façade, bold horizontal lines, open ceilings, and flying entry embody the fundamental tenets of midcentury modern architecture.
The Atomic Testing Museum, 10 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, offers a dramatic, sometimes eerie history lesson that’s still highly relevant today. Nevada played a central role in the testing and development of nuclear bombs—conducting 928 above- and below-ground tests between 1951 and 1992, when a moratorium halted the testing of nuclear weapons.
My carbon footprint is the size of a Sasquatch’s, and something’s got to give. So I’ve planned an entire day revolving around the Las Vegas Monorail. The train runs along a four-mile stretch on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard from the MGM Grand to the Sahara, with seven stops along the way. The $5 ticket (for a single ride; $12 for an Unlimited Ride Day Pass) opens up a world of adventure, while saving my weary feet—and helping the planet.
“I so need this!” This is what four friends exclaimed in unison as we met at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport one Friday for a much-needed weekend getaway to Mesquite. We were on an adventure—cell phones turned off, emails unanswered, and office deadlines looming…but we didn’t have to worry about that until Monday. This group of girlfriends was long overdue for a short escape.
Boulder City is 23 miles southeast of Las Vegas, but it has about as much in common with its hyperkinetic neighbor as do penny slots and high-stakes baccarat. It is the only Nevada town where gambling has always been outlawed, taverns are rare, and growth is strictly controlled by an ordinance that requires voter approval for the sale of city land exceeding an acre. The city was created during the Great Depression to house Hoover Dam workers and their families.
As visitors wind their way from room to room in the City of the World Gallery, majestic big cats and other serene nature portraits give way to gothic representations of skulls and domestic black cats. Some might consider it an odd mix, but it’s the sort of juxtaposition that’s welcomed by art enthusiasts in Las Vegas’ 18b district.
It’s known by many names. Nine to five. The grind. Rat race. And all you want is an escape—if only for the weekend, a day, or even an afternoon. But how? The wilder places feel so far away from the confines of our urban lives. In Las Vegas, Reno, and Carson City they aren’t as far as you might think. Perhaps John Muir said it best, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”
Resort-casinos in Reno and Sparks see 2008 as a rebuilding year, and there might even be a few new ones in the coming years if all goes as planned. Leading the way is Peppermill Reno, which opened its 19-story Tuscany Tower late last year.
You might find something peculiar about some of the world maps for sale at Great Wall Book Store inside Las Vegas Chinatown Mall. The focus of the maps is not North America (located in the top left corner), but Asia. The maps, like Chinatown itself, show Westerners a view of the world from a different perspective. Here one can indulge in and learn about Eastern food, fashion, and customs.
When cold weather brings many northern states to a standstill, owners of businesses in Laughlin, Mesquite, and Primm wait at the front doors with open arms and countless activities for sun-seekers. Snowbirds, a great many of them retirees, capitalize on Southern Nevada winter offerings—golf, tennis, hiking, motor sports, fishing, entertainment, inexpensive meals, five-star RV parks, and bargain hotel rooms.
Imagine stepping into a cave with desert pallid bats or standing on a platform while watching a flash flood barrel through a desert canyon that, in its final push, sprays your unsuspecting tennis-shoed feet better than any Disney ride. It’s all possible at Las Vegas’ newest cultural attraction, Springs Preserve.
We enter into a land of shadow, of bizarre sight and sound, perhaps another dimension. No, this isn’t The Twilight Zone. You’ve entered Nevada, the ghost-walk zone.
The strains of acoustic rock and bebop fill the Henderson Events Plaza on Thursday evenings when free music, poetry, and dance performances entertain visitors of all ages. Ten miles south, Boulder City boasts arts events and rejuvenated shops and cafés that are bringing tourists and locals downtown. The two Southern Nevada communities have been reinvigorated, and the arts are flourishing.