Lolita’s Cantina and Tequila Bar: It just opened in July, and locals say there’s nothing like it in the Las Vegas Valley. How so? Celebrity chef Carlo Cavallo makes regional Mexican cuisine using only organic ingredients, and the 100+ tequila selection is impressive. But at night, things get truly interesting. That’s when life-size holographic dancers and other characters, controlled by the DJ, suddenly join the crowd. Happy hour daily, 4-8 p.m. Lolita’s is about 1.5 miles south of Mandalay Bay, at the Town Square shopping area. Location: 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Ste. 207; 702.272.1389.
Gamblers General Store: Billing itself as the world’s gambling superstore, this 8,000-square-foot gaming heaven offers more than 5,000 items and can ship anywhere. Hundreds of dice, books on blackjack, used slot machines, custom-designed poker chips — it’s all here. If you’ve dreamed of recreating your favorite casino game at home, check out the store’s supplies: tables for poker, roulette, craps and blackjack, plus cards, chips, dice, markers and dealing shoes. Location: 800 S. Main Street; 702.382.9903.
Neon Museum: Neon signs are said to be the classic Las Vegas art form, and this collection of more than 150 signs dating back to the 1940s is a must-see. Though the nonprofit facility was closed this summer for renovation of the historic La Concha Motel lobby to act as its new visitors center, it was set to reopen Sept. 1 and should be ready for visitors now. If it’s not, or you just want a quick look at some of Sin City’s neon novelties, you can take a self-guided walking tour of 10 restored neon signs downtown, next to the Fremont St. Experience Info and tours: 702.387.6366; neonmuseum.org .
Titanic: One quiet night in April 1912, the “floating palace” called the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Many personal artifacts recovered from that sunken luxury liner now can be viewed at this 25,000-square-foot exhibit in the Luxor Las Vegas. You can even walk through authentic recreations of first- and third-class rooms, with furnishings by original manufacturers. General admission is $27; open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Location: Luxor Las Vegas, 3900 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702.262.4400.
Pinball Hall of Fame: No stuffy museum, this 10,000-square-foot ode to pinball games has wall-to-wall machines from the 1950s to the 1990s. All have been restored and visitors are encouraged to play. Older models are 25 cents per play; newer ones are 50 cents. This not-for-profit endeavor is the Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club’s attempt to showcase the world’s largest pinball collection. Part of the revenue goes to nondenominational charities. Free admission; open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Location: 1610 E. Tropicana (across from the Liberace Museum); 702.434.9746.
Vegas Tours: If trudging along the Strip leaves you feeling as if you haven’t really seen the city, consider taking a tour by bus, limousine or helicopter. There’s nothing like Vegas at night! Prices and trip lengths run the gamut — from, say, a 15-minute helicopter flight ($95) to a 3.5-hour limo excursion ($220). Some tour companies also offer flights over Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. Tour info: lasvegastourism.com or visitlasvegas.com .
Big Elvis. This is the biggest Elvis impersonator show in Vegas. Literally. Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee is 6 feet 3 inches tall and once tipped the scales at 900 pounds. Now 400 pounds, he’s working toward a goal of 285. The winner of the Best of Vegas Award (2006) has been a huge hit at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon (formerly Barbary Coast) for eight years. He does three free performances daily, Monday-Friday. Oh, and there’s a rumor he is Elvis’ biological son, the result of a longtime affair his songstress mother had with the king. True or not, Vallee’s sheer talent continues to pack ’em in. Location: Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon, 3595 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702.737.2100.
Shark Tank. If you ever wanted to swim with the sharks, but feared losing life or limb, this ride is for you. Just slip into the transparent, three-story-tall water slide and safely glide through the Golden Nugget’s 200,000-gallon tank filled with five species of sharks and other exotic creatures. It’s the centerpiece of the pool complex. Indeed, the $30 million swimming pool was voted one of the top 10 hotel pools in the world by Forbes Traveler. There are also private cabanas, blackjack on the deck and the H20 Bar. Tank hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in the fall; the bar is open until 2 a.m. Location: Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, 129 E. Fremont St.; 702.385.7111.
Lavo. This restaurant/nightclub takes its name seriously. “Lavo” is Latin for “bathe” or “wash,” so there’s a Mediterranean bathhouse theme, with copper bathtubs, Turkish water basins, glass tiles and Moroccan rugs. Rather than a pianist or singer, the star of this restaurant is a scantily clad Cleopatra-like performance artist who goes through sensual bathing rituals in a prominently placed antique tub. A glass bridge leads to the club upstairs, where there’s a hookah lounge, dance floor (shown) and panoramic views of the Strip. Open seven days a week for dinner and late-night dining. Location: Lavo at the Palazzo, 3325 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 702.791.1818.
The Simpsons’ House. Yes, this is an exact replica of the place Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie call home. The $120,000 home was the grand prize in a 1997 contest sponsored by Pepsi, Fox and home builder Kaufman and Broad. The two-story, four-bedroom house mirrors the cartoon version, down to Homer’s beloved sofa in the TV room and Bart’s tree house outside. It’s in a planned community, so the vibrantly painted exterior eventually had to be repainted to match the neighborhood. Still, you can see the arched front door and Simpsons creator Matt Groening’s hand prints and autograph on the sidewalk. Location: 712 Red Bark Lane, Henderson, Nev.