Las Vegas

Easter Island, Machu Picchu, and other celebrated wonders of the world are certainly impressive. But Las Vegas . . . Las Vegas is a land where jungles thrive and fountains dance in the middle of the desert. It's a place that unites medieval England and ancient Egypt with modern-day Venice, Paris, and New York. It's a never-ending source of irony and improbability where you can turn a chip and a chair into a million dollars, or celebrate your shotgun wedding by shooting machine guns. Where else does such a wonderland exist? Nowhere. But. Vegas.

The smallish city (geographically) is larger than life, with a collective energy (and excess) that somehow feels intimate. Maybe it's the agreeable chimes and intermittent cheers from the casino floor that fade to tranquillity when you enter a sumptuous spa. Maybe it’s the fish flown in nightly from the Mediterranean that lands on your plate. For each individual, Vegas is an equation where you + more = more of you: more chances to explore aspects of your personality that may be confined by the routine of daily life. It's for this reason alone that the "what happens here stays here" phenomenon is shared by so many visitors.

The city itself has a number of different faces. For a dose of history, head Downtown and explore everything from old casinos to a museum that pays homage to the mobsters who built them. For fun, glitz, and glamour, head to the Strip, which itself has three distinct sections (south, center, north). For outdoor adventure, head west and south, either to the Spring Mountains beyond Summerlin or out to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead—man-made accomplishments of an entirely different sort. Along the way, you can pamper yourself at world-class spas and restaurants, engage in retail therapy at some of the best shopping spots in the world, dance the night away at rocking nightclubs, or—of course—court Lady Luck long enough to strike it rich. With the right itinerary, Vegas even can work for families with young kids.

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  • 1. Neon Museum

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    Consider this Downtown museum the afterlife for old neon signs. The facility, which displays more than 150 signs that date back to the 1930s...Read More

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  • 2. Antique Collection at Main Street Station

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    The hotel's collection of antiques, artifacts, and collectibles includes Louisa May Alcott's private railcar, stained glass from the Lillian...Read More

  • 3. Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art

    Center Strip | Museum/Gallery

    This gallery—one of the last of its kind inside Strip hotels—originally was curated from Bellagio founder Steve Wynn's private collection. Today...Read More

  • 4. CityCenter Fine Art Collection

    Center Strip | Museum/Gallery

    CityCenter includes $42 million in public art. Pieces range from sculptures to paintings and elaborate fountains. Our favorite: Big Edge ,...Read More

  • 5. Clark County Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    Step into the past (quite literally) at this modest museum, a 30-acre site that features a modern exhibit hall with a time-line exhibit about...Read More

  • 6. DISCOVERY Children's Museum

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    The DISCOVERY Children's Museum is one of the most technologically sophisticated children's museums in the entire country. The facility comprises...Read More

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  • 7. Las Vegas Natural History Museum

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    If your kids are into animals (or taxidermy), they'll love this museum, where every continent and geological age is represented. You're greeted...Read More

  • 8. Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame

    East Side | Museum/Gallery

    This fun facility has more than 200 games from 1947 to 2009, including the old wood-rail models. Though it may sound more like an arcade than...Read More

  • 9. Madame Tussauds Las Vegas

    North Strip | Museum/Gallery

    Audition in front of Simon Cowell or stand toe-to-toe with Muhammad Ali as you explore the open showroom filled with uncanny celebrity wax portraits...Read More

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  • 10. Marjorie Barrick Museum

    University District | Museum/Gallery

    This museum on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus has an excellent permanent collection of objects that predate the arrival of Europeans...Read More

  • 11. National Atomic Testing Museum

    East Side | Museum/Gallery

    Today's Las Vegas is lighted by neon and LCD, but during the Cold War, uranium and plutonium illuminated the area from time to time as well...Read More

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  • 12. Springs Preserve

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    This 180-acre complex defies traditional categories, combining botanical gardens, hiking trails, live animal exhibits, and an ultramodern interactive...Read More

  • 13. The Auto Collections

    Center Strip | Museum/Gallery

    Collectively billed as the "world's largest classic car showroom," the 100 or so antique, classic, and special-interest vehicles at this attraction...Read More

  • 14. The Mob Museum

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    It's fitting that the $42 million Mob Museum sits in the circa-1933 former federal courthouse and U.S. Post Office downtown; this is where the...Read More

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  • 15. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

    South Strip | Museum/Gallery

    Travel down to the bottom of the North Atlantic where the "ship of dreams" rests after grazing an iceberg in 1912. The 25,000-square-foot exhibit...Read More

  • 16. Mob Attraction Las Vegas

    South Strip | Museum/Gallery

    Since it opened in 2010, this mafia-themed attraction inside Tropicana Las Vegas has been plagued by poor technology, controversial exhibits...Read More

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