Las Vegas. Really, where do you start? There’s so much for adult visitors to see and do! We thought it would be helpful to run down a variety of places and things to try, some of which are new, and all of which are not to be missed.
SlotZilla Las Vegas: This ride sends you gliding under the LED lights of the canopy over the Fremont Street Experience. Zipline is 77 feet in the air, goes halfway down Fremont and costs $20. Zoomline is 114 feet up and goes the full distance for $40. Get tickets at the ticket office across from Neonopolis; or at slotzilla.showare.com; or call (844) 947-8342, option 1.
Stratosphere thrill rides: Big Shot shoots riders straight up the Tower’s mast at 45 mph to a point 1,081 feet above the Strip – twice. X-Scream is a huge teeter-totter, taking folks 27 feet over the edge of the Tower, suspended 866 feet above the ground. Insanity’s mechanical arm extends 64 feet over the Tower’s edge, then spins guests at a force of 3 Gs. The newest, SkyJump, simulates skydiving, dropping guests 900 feet from the top of the Tower in a controlled free fall. 2000 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (702) 380-7777.
Venetian gondola rides: Relax and pretend you’re in Italy as the singing gondolier takes you down the Grand Canal, under bridges, past cafes and through The Venetian streetscape. Besides this indoor ride, there’s one on the lagoon outside. 3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (702) 414-4300.
Voodoo Zipline: This new zipline sends riders soaring 490+ feet above the Strip at 33 mph between the towers of Rio Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Runs from noon to midnight; must be 21 and over. 3700 W. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas; (702) 388-0477.
Museums, Exhibits, Experiences
Atomic Testing Museum: Here, the focus is on the controversial Nevada Test Site, the USA’s main on-continent nuclear weapons testing facility from 1951-1992. Try the motion-simulator to get a feel for what it was like to observe one of the nuclear tests. Very informative, and some of the exhibits are downright scary. 755 E. Flamingo Rd.; (702) 794-5151.
The Mob Museum: Take an interactive journey through true stories, from the birth of the mob to present day. Multi-sensory exhibits and hundreds of artifacts reveal a fascinating world of crime. 300 Stewart Ave., Las Vegas; (702) 229-2734.
Bodies … The Exhibition: This unusual exhibit at Luxor Las Vegas showcases 13 real, whole bodies and various organs. It allows a close look inside skeletal, muscular, respiratory and circulatory systems. Organizers call it a detailed, three-dimensional view of the human form seldom seen outside an anatomy lab. 3900 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (702) 262-4400.
CSI: The Experience: As a crime scene investigator in this interactive challenge at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, you’re faced with three murders, 15 lab stations, 15 suspects and three killers. Help comes from videos featuring cast members of the CBS-TV show “CSI” and real forensic scientists. 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas; (702) 531-3826.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition: This exhibit at Luxor Las Vegas features more than 300 artifacts, including 20 never-before-seen items such as passenger papers and gaming chips. There are even decorative sections from the famous Grand Staircase, and a large piece of the ship’s hull, weighing 15 tons. 3900 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; (702) 492-3960.
Banger Brewing Tour: This microbrewery is on Fremont St., near the base of the SlotZilla Las Vegas zipline tower. It offers free tours that aficionados of craft beer are sure to enjoy. 450 Fremont St. #135, Las Vegas; (702) 456-2739.
Haunted Vegas Tour & Ghost Hunt: Learn about the infamous Motel of Death, where a number of celebrities met their end, and other spooky tales, and join an interactive paranormal investigation. Or, new for 2015, is the Downtown Vegas Ghosts and Gangsters Tour. Phone (866) 218-4935.
Walking tours: Guided Vegas Tours focuses on the Strip with a two-hour walk that reveals the city’s history and secrets, or try its Food Walk, a three-hour tour of eateries. Phone (702) 509-1488. | Vegas Vance Tours takes you through old Las Vegas for a 1.25-hour eye-opener; other tours also available. Phone (702) 892-8111. | Walking Gourmet Tour’s three-hour trek visits up to five top restaurants for tastings and cocktails. Phone (888) 920-9255.
Fremont Street: Of course, you know about the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Vegas, a promenade that beams light shows onto its overarching canopy, but did you know that at night there are main-stage singers and performers, go-go dancers and more? Did you also know about the hip East Fremont Street nearby, a six-block district that’s home to retro lounges and clubs showcasing comedy, blues and jazz? Info: (702) 678-5600.
Container Park: Talk about recycling! This space is populated with real shipping cargo containers that have been repurposed into restaurants, stores and galleries. Many evenings, there are free music performances, movie nights and more. 707 Fremont St., Las Vegas.
Art District 18b: Just south of the downtown business district on West Charleston is this 18-block area brimming with small art galleries, unusual specialty shops and eateries. On the first Friday of each month it hosts the Las Vegas Art Experience, featuring art exhibits, live bands, food trucks and more, so if you’re in town early for the PSP Expo, you might want to check it out.
Antique District: Within walking distance of the 18b are many antique stores, clustered around E. Charleston Blvd. and S. Main St. Think fun, retro collectibles.
Frankie’s Tiki Room: Now this is a tiki bar! Many call it old school Vegas and rave about the hand-carved tiki gods and décor, and the potent brews such as Tiki Bandit and Wild Watusi. It has earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp, Facebook and Trip Advisor. 1712 W. Charleston, Las Vegas; (702) 385-3110.
Red Square: Many head to this Russian restaurant at Mandalay Bay for the gourmet dinners, but the bar really blows people away. It boasts a sub-zero vodka vault and the Ice Bar, offering many types of frozen drinks. Daily happy hours are 4-7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to closing, with complimentary vodka tastings, specials on appetizers and signature cocktails, and more. 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (702) 632-7407.
Rooftop bars: Commonwealth is a covered rooftop bar with an almost-360-degree view of downtown, open Wed.-Sun, starting at 9 p.m. An impressive lineup of cocktails and specialty beers. 525 Fremont St., Las Vegas; (702) 445-6400. | Drai’s Beach Club is 11 stories above the Strip on The Cromwell Las Vegas. Offering spectacular views, this hot new venue transforms from pool party by day to hip club at night. 3595 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (702) 777-3800. | Level 107 Lounge offers breathtaking views of its own. Perched high atop Stratosphere, it’s a place to unwind to tunes spun by female DJs while enjoying edibles and beverages; happy hour is 4-7 p.m. 2000 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (702) 380-7777.
Rose.Rabbit.Lie nightclub: Caviar tacos go well with cocktails, don’t you think? Then there are the tap dancers, variety acts and singers to take things totally over the top. This new bar never fails to surprise. 3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (877) 667-0585.
COOL, NEW STUFF
Celebrity chefs love to open eateries in Las Vegas, but two in particular made us perk up. Giada — The Restaurant at The Cromwell is said to be Giada de Laurentiis’ first-ever eatery. It features (surprise!) Italian cuisine with California influences. There are options such as gluten-free and vegan dishes, and an antipasto station. It’s located at 3595 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (702) 777-3777. Meanwhile, Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar is making its mark at the also-new LINQ Hotel & Casino. His signature cuisine has been described as “bold flavors and unique twists on traditional dishes.” Here, that includes a variety of plump burgers, tacos, small bites, craft beers and Sonoma County wines, served inside or on a large patio that has sweeping views of the Strip. It’s located at 3535 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (702) 731-3311.
So many clubs, so little time … but here are a couple of new ones to check out. First up is Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at the MGM Grand. You might remember him from the sit-com “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Open daily at 8 p.m., the club is a hit, and though Garrett performs just once a month, all the comics at the venue have been getting good reviews. Note: If you’re in the front row and Garrett is on, prepare to be picked on. 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (800) 829-9034.
A club of a different nature is LAVO Italian Restaurant — Casino Club at The Palazzo. This sophisticated, new venue offers gourmet Italian cuisine, and upstairs are blackjack table games, VIP bottle service and craft cocktails. 3325 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; (702) 791-1800.