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Hoover Dam is one of the largest public works projects in the USA - it's been called the 'Greatest Dam Ever Built.' Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark and stands as a testament to the thousands of men and women (and their families) who came to a harsh, barren land and, in less than five years, built a structure that changed the future of the west. The dam also created Lake Mead, named for the man who oversaw the project. From Las Vegas Hoover Dam is a convenient day trip.
Of the two major rims of the Grand Canyon, many visitors choose the South Rim, which boasts easy access, the bulk of services, and the panoramic vistas for which the park is famous. Every summer, visitors throng the park's most popular rim, mainly to ogle its easily accessible dramatic, sweeping canyon views.
But the Grand Canyon South Rim is more then those spectacular canyon views. The first stop for many is Grand Canyon Village, which is filled with many historic buildings. Other historic highlights in the South Rim is Desert View Watchtower, which has one of the few views of the bottom of the Canyon and the Colorado River; Grand Canyon Railway Depot, built in 1909; and Bright Angel Lodge, a rustic lodge built of logs and stones.
For hikers, the Grand Canyon South Rim is where you'll find Bright Angel Trail, Rim Trail, and South Kaibab Trail - all of which offer the most dazzling views of the Grand Canyon.
The Las Vegas Strip is an All-American road show, home to the most famous hotels and casinos in Las Vegas. With famous spots like Paris, Treasure Island, the Venetian, Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace and the MGM Grand, it’s no wonder that the strip is the most popular destination in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Strip houses entertainment, bright lights, other-worldly architecture, and the city's trendiest clubs and nightlife. It's a Disneyland for adults, a place where fun and fantasy meet. Watch Elvis impersonators or avant-garde performances by Cirque du Soleil, or try your luck on a slot machine. There’s something for everyone in Las Vegas.
The Grand Canyon's West Rim, just outside Grand Canyon National Park, is home to the Havasupai and Hualapai tribes. The Hualapai Indian Reservation, created in 1883, covers nearly 1 million acres and includes 108 miles (173 km) of Colorado River and Grand Canyon frontage.
The West Rim area didn't really exist before 1988; that's when the 2,100 members of the Hualapai tribe decided to open their tribal lands to visitors. Since then the tribe has built some amazing features for visitors (notable the Grand Canyon Skywalk) and developed areas such as Guano Point and Eagle Point for their stunning canyon views.
The Grand Canyon West Rim is also home to Havasu Canyon. This mazelike canyon – filled with tall rock walls, cacti, cottonwood trees, and turquoise blue waterfalls – is a mecca for hikers. One of the highlights is the 8-mile (12 km) trek to the Supai Village, a must stop.
The mighty Colorado River runs from northwestern Mexico through California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. The river is a spectacular sight to see, meandering for 1,447 miles (2,330 km) with red rocks and canyons framing it on both sides, leading up to the Hoover Dam. The Colorado River is one of the major water sources for California and Nevada, and not surprisingly it's a major recreational destination: activities on the river include hiking, biking, rafting and boating.
One of the ways that travelers most often come to see the Colorado River is by visiting the Black Canyon, so-called because of the black volcanic rocks found in the area. The canyons are majestic, red land formations that lead from Colorado towards the Hoover Dam in Nevada. Boating and canoeing down the Colorado River are popular activities in the Black Canyon.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk is a glass, 70-foot long, open-air bridge suspended 4,000 feet above the canyon floor, providing 720-degree views. The Skywalk is operated by the Hualapai Tribe, which owns and protects more than one million acres of land throughout the Grand Canyon’s western rim. Even with its remote location some 120 miles from Las Vegas, you can easily experience the Grand Canyon Skywalk on a day trip or overnight excursion to the West Rim.
With its sharp craggy mountains, deep canyons and desert basins, you won't believe that Sin City is only a few hours away from the deserted, dramatic and often surreal scenery of Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
There are many activities to do around and on Lake Mead; it's a peaceful and beautiful place to bike, kayak, water ski, camp, fish and hike. You can also scuba dive or go for a swim in one of the surrounding lakes.
Lake Mead and Lake Mojave are the two main destinations in the Lake Mead Recreation Area. Lake Mead is 110 miles (177 km) long and Lake Mojave is 67 miles (107 km) long. Because of their size, both are major destinations for boaters. The surrounding beaches, marinas, and campgrounds make the surrounding area popular for boater and non-boaters.
Red Rock Canyon is a network of impressive canyons and surreal rock formations inside the Red Rock National Conservation Area. If you're looking for opportunities to hike, bike or rock climb within easy striking distance of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon is just what you're looking for.
One of the more popular destinations for climbers here is Keystone Thrust, made up of towering red sandstone peaks and walls that reach as high as 3,000 ft (910 meters). Then there’s La Madre Mountain (8,154 ft / 2,485 m), a moderate climb and an optimal spot for mountain biking.
Other highlights include Icebox Canyon (to get here, you start hiking an easy trail through the canyon and then boulder-hop and climb to reach the top) and the Pine Creek Canyon oasis (a running creek surrounded by pine trees).
Planet Hollywood is home to about ten restaurants, a 100,000-square-foot casino and a handful of theatres including V Theatre. In addition to a few low-on-the-radar shows, Planet Hollywood usually has at least one legendary artist performing on a short residency (Meat Loaf, The Jacksons and CeeLo Green have been past artists) and is now home to pop star Britney Spears and her show “Britney: Piece of Me.”
Wrapped around Planet Hollywood is the Miracle Mile, a shopping mall with 170 stores and 15 additional restaurants. Stores feature known brand names such as H&M, Urban Outfitters, Puma, Diesel and American Apparel. Despite the fact that Bellagio is just across the street, the Miracle Mile has its own fountain show, which features lighting effects, color-changing fog and water that shoots 50 feet in the air.
There's more to do in Las Vegas than hit the slots. Take a short trip to Jean, Nevada, and escape the bright lights and take a ride through the desert in an ATV!
Once you're in Jean, you can cruise through the surrealist scape of the sand dunes of Jean Dry Lake. Set out on an adventure through rugged desert and mountain terrain. Travel through historic Hidden Valley, extinct lava beds, Roach dry lake and then enter the rugged McCullough Mountain Range.
With the astonishing views of mountains and canyons around you, you'll feel like you're one with the desert on your ATV exploration. Then, make your way to the Hidden Valley National Monument Overlook for unprecedented vistas of the surrounding desert.
The Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest state park. Covering over 34,880 acres with red-rock sandstone formations is the ultimate hiking destination.
Highlights of the Valley of Fire include Atlatl Rock and Fir Canyon. At Atlatl Rock, examine ancient petroglyphs, dating back thousands of years and created by the Moapa tribe. Then, take a 3-mile (4.8 km) hike through Fir Canyon, starting at Rainbow Vista, where you’ll see the lighting against the sandstone and understand why the park got its name, Valley of Fire.
Picnicking, hiking, and camping are all popular activities in the Valley of Fire. Not only is the landscape impressive and attract visitors world-wide, but the Valley of Fire houses some of the rarest vegetation and wildlife in the country.
With more than 5,000 guest rooms, MGM Grand is one of the largest casino hotels in Las Vegas, and part of its draw is the gaming floor. The resort has more than 170,000 square feet of gaming space, which includes more than 2,500 slot machines and video poker. Denominations on these games range from 1¢ to $1,000. Majestic Lions and Lion’s Share are both custom machines found only at MGM Grand; a $1 million payout is the top reward.
Table games include blackjack, craps, baccarat, mini-baccarat, roulette, European roulette, Pai Gow poker, Pai Gow, big six wheel, let it ride, war, crazy for poker and three-card poker. MGM Grand’s race and sports book has seating for 104 guests with several television screens from which to watch the big game. This is also the first race and sports book to offer “skyboxes”—four rooms that host eight to ten guests in 300-325 square feet of space. Each is equipped with 42-inch plasma television, surround sound and CD systems.
The true majesty of Zion National Park is unveiled in spectacular fashion as you explore the land where the Virgin River has sculpted a profound landscape masterpiece. Incredible as it may seem, the river was primarily responsible for slowly paring through layers of ageless rock to sculpt Zion Canyon. High plateaus, striking towers, temples, mesas, and the earth's tallest-known sheer sandstone walls make up this park. Be sure to bring your camera on your day trip to Zion from Las Vegas.
Bryce Canyon is the culmination of a series of steplike uplifted rock layers known as the Grand Staircase, stretching north from the Grand Canyon. The park's Pink Cliffs formations are crammed full of wonderful pinnacles, steeples and spires, and weird geological creations called 'hoodoos' sculpted by wind, water and ice.
It may be called a canyon, but Bryce is actually more a series of natural amphitheaters formed by erosion over the millennia. The wind and rain have peeled back the sedimentary layers to reveal stripes of red, orange and white, at heights of around 9,000 feet (2,700 m).
Being more remote than the Grand Canyon or Zion National Park, a visit to this far-flung natural gem rewards you with a true sense of wilderness in its pristine glory.
One of the most anticipated Las Vegas attractions, the massive, 550-foot rotating observation tower known as the High Roller has arrived. Far from your normal carnival Ferris wheel, the High Roller is so big that it takes a full 30 minutes for the wheel to complete a 360-degree rotation and is known as the world’s largest observation wheel.
Each 44,000-pound, glass-enclosed pod can hold up to 40 people, includes music and video displays and has been decked out with thousands of LED lights. This big-time attraction serves as a sparkling focal point at the LINQ, one of Vegas’ newest shopping districts.
One of the nicest additions to the Las Vegas strip in quite some time, The LINQ is an upscale outdoor mall district, hotel and casino next to the Flamingo that boasts excellent shopping, dining and even free Wi-Fi for those strolling this expansive promenade. The spot's main hotel, once known as the Imperial Palace before going by the Quad, has undergone one more fitting name change and is now known as The LINQ Hotel and Casino. The namesake hotel provides access to the new glittering jewel of Las Vegas: the High Roller, which is known as the world’s largest rotating observation wheel (a technical term for Ferris wheel) and stands a full 550 feet high.
While enjoying your stay in Vegas, take in the hotel's shows, which include offbeat options that can't be found anywhere else: Jeff Civillico: Comedy in Action and Divas starring Frank Marino.
Open since 1989, the Mirage is perhaps best known for Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, which features rare breeds of large, white-colored cats as well as several bottlenose dolphins. The resort’s volcano is also well known with more than 150 specially designed fire shooters that blast fireballs choreographed to music nightly every hour on the hour from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Inside the Mirage, guests enjoy more than 100,000 square feet of gaming space including hundreds of slot machines and video poker and a dozen table games. The resort’s 20-table poker room hosts games 24 hours a day, and daily no limit Texas hold ‘em tournaments up the ante for serious players. Those who are new to poker may want to take advantage of the Mirage’s complimentary poker lessons, which are available anytime. Ask inside the poker room about where these lessons are taking place and learn about all aspects of the game.
Talk about a wedding to remember! The Special Memory Wedding Chapel offers memorable wedding ceremonies in true Las Vegas style: in packages and with Elvis Presley, but minus the grub associated with chapels typically found on the Strip! The chapel is most popular for its famous drive-through weddings, which continue to gather hordes of visitors even today. Visitors wishing to tie the knot should expect all the Las Vegas wedding elements: Elvis impersonator, limousine transportation, rose presentations, photo tour packages in the city and more.
An attraction in its own right, the off-Strip and classy chapel is featured in a dozen guided tours around Las Vegas, and should please even the non-Vegas wedding types.
Though once outfitted with a tropical theme, Mandalay Bay is currently undergoing a makeover that will include an update to shows, dining options and nightlife opportunities. There have also been room renovations and a rebranding of the property’s boutique hotel, soon to be Delano Las Vegas.
Mandalay Bay’s casino, which has 135,000 square feet of gaming space, will be getting new carpet, chairs and music, but the gaming opportunities will remain similar to what has been offered in the past. The property has more than 1,700 slot machines ranging from 1¢ to $100 per play. Table game favorites such as baccarat, blackjack, craps and roulette can be found throughout the casino. A variety of poker games are available as well, and free lessons are available for beginners Monday through Thursday at 2:00 p.m.
The Fremont Street Experience chronicles the legendary history of Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. Believe it or not, the setting is fairly awe-inspiring. Spanning four entire city-blocks, the Fremont Street Experience is a massive outdoor mall built inside of a barrel vault canopy. Featuring concerts, lights shows, and multiple casinos, it is one of downtown’s biggest attractions.
Fremont Street housed the first casino in Las Vegas, and you could say that the Fremont Street Experience changed and illuminated Vegas in the same ways that the original did.
The Fremont Street Experience offers free concerts and live entertainment, with multiple show performances each day. Ten different casinos have games and tables inside of the Fremont Street Experience, so you can get an idea of what they are all about. The famous canopy is now lit up by an LED Screen, projecting thousands of different color combinations and images all day long.
Modeled after the pyramids of ancient Egypt, the Luxor Hotel and Casino is pointed in the right direction - hey, it's got a Sphinx at its front! The inside of the Luxor Hotel features more than 4,000 hotel rooms, upscale entertainment, modern lounges, and an Egyptian flair for style.
Luxor has made a name for itself thanks to its nightlife and entertainment options: IMAX theatres, posh night clubs, and popular performance spaces. Exclusive nightclubs include LAX, Noir bar, and Flight, all of which are home to constant celebrity sightings. And then there’s the Atrium floor, where performers like Britney Spears have performed.
The Luxor Hotel is also a great place to kick back and relax. There are the elegant pools and spas, and of course luxury suites. With the impressive views and beautiful architecture that surround, it’s no wonder that the Luxur is considered one of the beter hotels in Vegas.
One of the best ways to experience the Black Canyon and the Colorado River is to take a guided rafting tour led by experienced professionals versed in the local geology, flora, fauna, and folklore.
Many tours offer a full day of sightseeing along the calm waters of Lake Mead and the Colorado River, complete with complimentary box lunches and transportation to and from the area.
Another popular way to take in the area is via helicopter tours operating out of Las Vegas. Select tours ferry you to the canyon in helicopters, where you'll embark on a mellow rafting trip from the base of the damn downriver to vans or buses waiting to return you to your hotel. The trip includes beautiful views of the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead, and its surroundings.
Travelers can also opt for a helicopter tour that involves a touchdown in the Grand Canyon, where you'll indulge in a champagne breakfast before flying to historic Boulder City and proceeding with the rafting trip.
Where do pirates, the Caribbean, and a relaxing oasis meet? At Treasure Island. Treasure Island is a Hotel and Casino with a sense of adventure, fun, and style that features live entertainment, a wild nightlife, thousands of slot machines and game tables, and accommodations where you can unwind.
Upon entering Treasure Island, you’ll be treated to a free performance of the pirate show, The Sirens of TI, complete with dancing, explosions, and a sinking pirate ship. From there you can make your way through the 95,000 square foot casino and take your pick of slot machines, poker, and a variety of other card games.
Treasure Island is also home to "Mystere" by Cirque du Soleil and performances by the most well-known musicians and comedians. And when it comes to nightlife, Treasure Island packs a punch with the Christian Audigier nightclub, Gilley’s Saloon, and the Isla Tequila Bar.