Visiting Las Vegas – Entertainment Capital

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Sure, Las Vegas is known for its big-name entertainment and glittery casinos, but there’s a lot for visitors to see and do beyond the Strip. That variety is a big reason why the city consistently ranks among the nation’s top vacation destinations in Travel Leaders Group surveys.

It’s a good bet that you’ll find a Las Vegas museum to capture your interest. One of the most popular is the Mob Museum, which examines the connection between organized crime and law enforcement. View a rogue’s gallery of the most notorious figures from more than a century of Mob history, get an up-close look at the work of a crime laboratory and explore the Prohibition era at a Roaring Twenties distillery and speakeasy. Las Vegas is famous for its bright lights, and the Neon Museum displays more than 200 signs from casinos and other businesses dating to the 1930s. The National Atomic Testing Museum tells the story of nuclear weapons testing in Nevada throughout the 1950s.

A highlight of the fall calendar in Las Vegas is the Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival, which takes place Sept. 21-23 with activities spread over 18 blocks of downtown. The lineup includes dozens of musical acts, comedians, art installations, food and speakers designed to spark the imagination. Performers include Canadian art-rockers Arcade Fire and English indie band Florence + the Machine. Other fall events include the Las Vegas Food & Wine Festival, Oct. 5-8, and the Downtown Brew Festival on Oct. 20, with more than 200 craft beers.

In November, it’s time for the only private event to shut down the Las Vegas Strip, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon. If you’re not up to the full 26.2 miles, there’s also a half marathon, as well as 10K and 5K races. The weekend also includes a Health and Fitness Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Expo and races take place Nov. 8-11.

You don’t have to go far from Las Vegas to enjoy Nevada’s rugged natural beauty. Within a short drive, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, or you can simply admire the view.

The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, about a half-hour drive from Las Vegas, features towering sandstone peaks, lots of trails for hiking and bicycling and a 13-mile scenic drive. Organized hikes are offered, during which you can explore topics like the area’s wildflowers and wildlife. Less than an hour’s drive southeast of the city is Hoover Dam, built during the Great Depression to control flooding on the Colorado River. Tours are offered of the dam and power plant, where you can learn about this engineering marvel. About 20 minutes from Las Vegas, in Henderson, is the Clark County Heritage Museum. On display are buildings and exhibits that depict life in Nevada going back a century, from a ghost town and mining trail to a print shop and 1918 Union Pacific steam engine.

For help planning a trip to Las Vegas, contact your travel agent.

Katie HoranComment