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Maybe you’ve seen the bright lights of Las Vegas before, but we betcha this glitzy city has added an amusement or two since your last visit. Beer classes, historic hangouts— even a place where you can feel like a star athlete—all await your arrival. Let’s go!
By Amanda Gleason
Check out the video of Amanda's adventures here!
Tropicana Las Vegas At this recently revamped landmark, explore the city’s shady past with The Mob Attraction, home to a collection of artifacts that includes Lucky Luciano’s 1927 Studebaker.
Nobu Hotel The world’s largest Nobu restaurant is set inside the first-ever Nobu Hotel, which opens this month inside Caesars Palace.
Stratosphere Sip on creative cocktails 800 feet above the Strip when you visit Air Bar, located on the 108th floor of this iconic hotel. (Try the Jet Fuel, their signature concoction.)
Uncover lesser-known Las Vegas lore with a…
Bugsy Siegel. Al Capone. Whitey Bulger. You’ve heard their names, but you may not realize the impact these mobsters had around the country—and particularly in Vegas. “The building of hotels and casinos by the Mob had a major influence on what Vegas is today,” says Jonathan Ullman, the executive director at The Mob Museum . Housed downtown in the city’s original post office (which later served as a federal courthouse), the year-old museum overflows with exhibits detailing how crime bosses rose to power. It’s also a treasure trove of storied objects, including the bullet-ridden wall from Al Capone’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. To truly immerse yourself in hooligan history, have a seat in the courtroom where ruffians like Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal—the inspiration for the film Casino —took the stand. Rumor has it he still lingers inside.
Smith Center for the Performing Arts Open since last March, the new home of the Las Vegas Philharmonic also serves as a stage for traveling Broadway shows and visiting musical artists.
Art Square Comprised of three remodeled warehouses, the latest addition to the city’s booming arts community houses galleries, boutiques, and a theater.
Fill your bags on a…
Retail therapy is a sport here, and The Market LV is where savvy shopaholics flex their spending muscles. Located in Tivoli Village, an eight-block district about 11 miles northwest of the Strip, this loft-like shopping hub was completed at the end of last year. Fuel up at the juice bar in the first-floor marketplace, then make your way upstairs to 20 independently owned shops selling everything from artisan lollipops to puppy couture. (Don’t miss Artifact for funky jewelry, and B Sweet Candy Boutique for handmade cotton candy.) When you’re ready to drop, nab a stool at View Wine Bar & Kitchen, where musicians jam on piano and acoustic guitar. “The passion that shop owners have for their store is palpable,” says Andrea Young, owner of The Market LV. And quite contagious, we might add.
Be sure to eat a meal at…
Piero’s Dig into Italian classics like caprese salad, fettuccine alfredo, and veal scaloppine at this 30-year-old institution, a former fave of the Rat Pack.
Bacchanal Buffet The Strip’s newest smorgasbord (inside Caesars Palace) serves more than 500 dishes daily, including red velvet pancakes, roasted shrimp and grits, chilled king crab legs, and dim sum.
Lagasse’s Stadium Catch the game at celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s rousing sports bar, which pleases crowds with more than 100 TVs, stadium-style seating, and billiard tables.
Increase your beer knowledge with a…
Which style of beer pairs well with seafood? What’s the proper vessel from which to sip an imperial stout? If these questions ale you, uncover their answers and more during a three-hour “Beer College” course at Public House , a gastropub inside The Venetian. Each session schools patrons on everything from how the stuff is made to its historical roots. The most popular student query: What beer goes best with dessert? “The simplest answer is the darker the better,” says Russell Gardner, an instructor and the first certified cicerone (the beer world’s equivalent to a sommelier) in Nevada. Keep that in mind, since dessert is part of the syllabus. Each class wraps with a three-course dinner. You’ll even take home a 64-ounce growler and an information-packed booklet—assurance that the experience stays with you even after the cold ones wear off.
Set your sights on…
Zarkana Prepare to be amazed by Cirque du Soleil’s newest show—a story about a ringmaster and his love of the circus—which debuted in November at the Aria Resort & Casino. Click here to see travel editor Amanda Gleason behind the scenes at Zarkana!
Neon Museum This two-acre outdoor spectacle, home to more than 150 retired neon signs from historic venues such as the Moulin Rouge, offers tours six days a week.
Commonwealth Still thirsty? Segue into cocktail hour with a beer-based boilermaker at this speakeasy-style hangout, which opened its doors in November.
Live the glory of athletic stardom on a…
Top-notch restaurants, spectacular shows, stellar shopping—the only thing this shimmering city is missing? Professional sports. Until now, that is. SCORE! Las Vegas , a new attraction inside the Luxor, treats every guest like an MVP. Your athletic career begins in the lobby, where your personal sports agent awaits. After a photographer snaps your publicity shot, make your way through the memorabilia-filled halls, where Babe Ruth’s uniform and Marcus Allen’s championship rings are among the hundreds of baseball, football, hockey, and soccer objects on display. When you’re ready to step up to the plate—er, mound—let a radar gun detect how fast you can pitch a baseball. “When you’re a kid, you dream of playing for your favorite team,” says SCORE! CEO Jim Beckmann. “This is a cool way to experience it for an hour.”
Getting There Fly into McCarran International Airport (LAS), about five miles southeast of the Strip.
Getting Around Many hotels provide airport shuttles for about $10. If your travels take you further, go for a spin on the RTC Transit buses ($8 for a day pass).
Getting Out On January 17, join the guided Thirsty 3rd Thursday Pub Crawl to sample the cocktail of your choice at six downtown bars.
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