An alternative guide to Vegas and the Mojave Desert
First off, it’s easy to forget in such a dazzling city that you are surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Mojave desert. Step off the sidewalk and visit the beautiful natural features that the area has to offer, such as the incredible Grand Canyon – perhaps splash out on a helicopter ride – as well as the rock formations and petroglyphs (rock drawings) in the Valley of Fire. and the Badwater Basin salt flats in the Death Valley National Park, the lowest point in North America. You can also explore stunning rivers, sand dunes and mountain ranges, as well the huge man-made structure of the Hoover Dam, which has been built into the landscape. If you still feel the
Of course, you may know the Las Vegas of the movies: home of Hangover-style intoxication and the glamourous gaming scene of cheeky Charlie’s Ocean’s 11 or the beloved Bond adventure Diamonds Are Forever. And yes, there’s a reason it’s known as Sin City. But this iconic metropolis is so much more than its huge gaming halls and incredible themed hotels – after all, that thrill can also be experienced also from home playing some of the best online casinos and card games
For a taste of history, visit the ghost towns and witness an abandoned Wild West that will take you back to some of Hollywood’s most iconic films. Nearby is Calico, a slightly more popular, theme-park style destination, or for a more atmospheric experience go further afield to old mining towns like Rhyolite or Goldfield, which still maintain that spooky, deserted feel. Take a horseback ride from the city for a more authentic trip across the plains. Then eat like a cowboy by filling up afterwards at one of Las Vegas’s immense buffets. For those with a sweet topth the Wicked Spoon offers a purely dessert-based spread.
If you don’t want to travel too far, there are many alternative options amongst the illuminated streets. Once you travel past the iconic sign on Las Vegas Boulevard South, you will soon reach the famous Strip, where you can travel the globe in style without even entering the buildings by perusing the famous landmarks such as the Bellagio Fountains – where you can enjoy a spectacular fountain light show – the Eiffel Tower at Paris, the pyramid and sphinx at The Luxor and The Venetian’s Grand Canal – where you can enjoy a gondla ride either outside or within the actual building, with a realistic blue sky.
For even more (and perhaps slightly more educational) culture, there are a range of exciting museums. For those who are a fan of the big lights, there is the Neon Museum, which allows you to explore an impressive collection of the city’s iconic signs, as well as the Mob Museum – giving you an insight into organised crime and law enforcement – and the Natural History Museum, where you can learn about some of the incredible dinosaurs uncovered in Nevada. Art lovers should visit the Metropolitan Gallery, or for something a bit more quirky, try Zac Bagan’s The Haunted Museum – full of creepy corridors, hidden passageways and notorious movie sets – or the Burlesque Hall of Fame.
You might think that in a desert, golf would be hard to come by, but in such a tourist hotspot, you will never be short of lush, perfectly maintained greens. Check out some of the sunny courses – you might even catch a tan in the process. If you’re not a serious player or you’re travelling with kids, there are also a wide selection of mini-golf courses with various pop culture influences, from KISS to Twilight Zone. Likewise, there are a brilliant range of sprawling pools which are perfect for families – if your children are daredevils, the Golden Nugget has a waterslide which takes them through a shark tank (in safety, of course).
If golf isn’t your sport, or you’re not on holiday to exercise, you can grab a ticket for a NHL hockey game in the winter. If you haven’t seen Ice Hockey in action, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to watch the Vegas Golden Knights in one the fastest, most exciting sports around. There’s also a chance to see the best in women’s basketball, with WNBA team the Las Vegas Aces based in the city. American Football fans or willing coverts, can even watch an NFL game from September as the Oakland Raiders are relocating to Vegas next year.
Ok.. so there may be lots of options available, but when in Las Vegas, you need to check out the actual entertainment too. Go for residency concert with the legendary Celine Dion and listen to her incredible catalogue of international hits, or catch the world-famous Cirque de Soleil. If you feel you can manage, maybe hit the tables at the MGM Grand, the Aria Resort or Caesars Palace for a spot of poker, blackjack or solitaire and – why not – get married in a chapel.
The editorial unit