Las Vegas Essentials
Check out these famous landmarks and quirky local hot spots.
Entertainment Essentials: Best Places to ...
ENJOY THE OUTDOORS
Red Rock National Conservation Area, 1000 Scenic Drive
Brilliant red sandstone formations offer ample hiking and climbing opportunities. Go during the week if possible. Weekends get crowded.
HAVE FUN FOR FREE
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South
This maze of fresh flowers, fountains and displays makes for fine horticultural art and changes with the seasons. Step outside and take in the Bellagio Fountains, a romantic aquatic ballet, and you’ve discovered the best free date in town.
GAMBLE WITH THE LOCALS
Red Rock Casino Resort Spa, 11011 Charleston Blvd.
Red Rock has the glitz and glam of the Strip with the convenience of the ‘burbs. Aside from gaming, they also have a movie theater, bowling and a variety of good restaurants.
MEET NEW PEOPLE
Downtown Cocktail Room, 111 Las Vegas Blvd. South
This speakeasy-style lounge is a hot spot for 20-, 30-, and 40-somethings who want an urban scene. Stop in Thursday nights for LoPro, a local professionals mixer from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
TAKE A SIGNIFICANT OTHER
Peppermill Fireside Lounge, 2985 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Between the firepool, the cushy circular seats, elegant servers and ever-present mirrors, this IS Las Vegas circa 1970. Avoid on weekends when it’s packed with tourists.
ENJOY GREAT VIEWS OF THE CITY
Mix at Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Altitude and violet martinis make for a great combo at Mix Las Vegas, located on the 64th floor of Mandalay Bay. Be sure and take a look at the bathrooms, which also have stunning views, thanks to their floor-to-ceiling windows.
TAKE THE KIDS
Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd.
This ecological world of fun pays tribute to the birthplace of Las Vegas while keeping its eye on sustaining the future. Kids love the playground and interactive displays. Enjoy the Thursday afternoon farmers market when the weather’s nice.
Mount Charleston, off 95 North at State Route 157
At 12,000 feet, Mount Charleston is the Kilimanjaro of Las Vegas. It’s 30 degrees cooler than Las Vegas and the ideal wooded summer spot for a canine workout. Pack a picnic and make a day of it.
TAKE A DAY TRIP
Hoover Dam, 35 miles from Las Vegas just past Boulder City
It’s no surprise Hoover Dam was named one of the Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th century. Take the Dam Tour and visit the bowels of the massive structure while learning about the dam’s impact on hydrating the Southwest.
Shopping Essentials: Best Places to ...
GET A "VEGAS-Y" DEAL
The 99-cent shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate, One Fremont Street
Golden Gate has served more than 30 million shrimp cocktails since 1959, and at less than a dollar, it’s easy to see why. Even better, it’s available 24 hours a day.
Fresh and Easy, multiple locations
Fresh and Easy is ideal for light grocery shopping, specifically fresh fruits and vegetables and prepared foods. But it’s strictly self-checkout, so if you have a heavier load, head to Trader Joes.
Khoury’s Fine Wine and Spirits, 9915 South Eastern Ave., Suite 110, Henderson, and 7150 S. Durango Drive
This family-owned wine shop has an impressive selection of hard-to-find wines and a knowledgeable staff. Stop in for their free weekly wine tastings from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays (Las Vegas store) and Thursdays (Henderson store).
Town Square, 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. South
With its inspired store facades (Spanish mission, Art Deco style and more), this 117-acre outdoor shopping mall is as interesting architecturally as it is on a consumer level. See the concierge for store discounts.
SHOP AT A FUNKY LOCAL BUSINESS
Serge’s Wigs, 953 E. Sahara A2
Due to redo your ‘do? Serge’s has been serving showgirls' and civilians' temporary hair needs for more than two decades. There’s even a wig outlet across the strip mall from Serge’s for less costly coiffs.