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Casinos


Aladdin

3667 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Central Strip

Las Vegas.

702-785-5555. Toll-free 877-333-9474

Apropos of the ever-changing world that is Las Vegas, today's Middle Eastern-themed Aladdin will become tomorrow's Planet Hollywood Resort & Hotel. The 2,567-room Aladdin went into bankruptcy, and its new owners plan substantial construction beginning in 2005.

Desert Passage, the 140-store mega mall surrounding Aladdin, replete with eight-story mountain and full-sized freighter anchored alongside a replica of a North African harbor, started remodeling in summer 2004 and will relaunch in October 2005.

Bally's

3645 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Central Strip, Las Vegas.

702-739-4111. Toll-free 800-722-5597.
Shows include Donn Arden's Jubilee, with a Bob Mackie-gowned showgirl extravaganza and spectacular effects such as the sinking of the Titanic. A multimillion-dollar refurbishment added a dramatic entrance from Las Vegas Boulevard, including four 200-ft. people movers, along with light, water and sound displays.


Bellagio

3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Central Strip, Las Vegas.

702-693-7111. Toll-free 888-987-3456

An 8-acre lake provides a choreographed display of fountains, lights and rousing music every half-hour 3-8 pm, and every 15 minutes 8 pm-midnight. For the most spectacular visual effects, see the complex after dark. The Via Bellagio shopping avenue features such famous names as Gucci, Prada,  and Chanel.

Caesars Palace

3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Central Strip, Las Vegas.

702-731-7110. Toll-free 877-427-7243.

The city's first themed casino, it opened in 1966. Two outstanding additions include the 4,100-seat Colosseum, home to resident performer Celine Dion, along with "part-timers" such as Elton John and Jerry Seinfeld; and the Forum Shops, a series of Roman streetscapes with ever-changing "skies" that move from dawn to dusk to night, filled with haute couture, restaurants, the unusual and the ornate. There are also two free shows within the Forum Shops at the Festival Fountain, and Atlantis, with laser special effects and animatronic Roman characters, plus a new 50,000-gallon saltwater aquarium.

Circus Circus

2880 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

North Strip, Las Vegas.

702-734-0410. Toll-free 877-224-7287.
The free attraction is the varied daily circus shows, and that's why it's a must for families. Trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, acrobats and jugglers from around the world perform every 30 to 45 minutes on the Midway Stage: 11 am-10:30 pm. The non-free attraction is the Adventuredome Theme Park, the largest indoor theme park in the U.S., with a variety of thrill rides, IMAX movies, laser tag and more. The three casinos feature table games, slot machines, poker and more.


Excalibur

3850 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (at Tropicana Avenue)

South Strip, Las Vegas.

702-597-7777. Toll-free 877-750-5464.
The medieval theme is clear from the exterior. It's an imitation castle. Inside, there are strolling Renaissance entertainers and a stairway descending to the Fantasy Faire Midway, which includes carnival games and a Magic Motion Film Ride. Children are entertained at the Court Jester's stage, which features puppet shows, magicians, storytellers and more.

The casino has slot machines, electronic games, poker, table games and keno.


Flamingo Las Vegas

3555 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Central Strip, Las Vegas.

702-733-3111. Toll-free 800-732-2111.
Though it no longer resembles the original palm-tree studded low-rise that Bugsy Siegel built in 1946, the Flamingo is one of the few remaining Strip properties with a name relating to those days. Now, the Flamingo comprises a series of six high-rise towers dressed in pink, with a Caribbean-style pool area, plus a free 15-acre wildlife habitat. It is located at the famous "Four Corners" of the Las Vegas Strip.


Hard Rock Casino

4455 Paradise Road at Harmon

(two blocks east of the Strip), Las Vegas.

702-693-5000. Toll-free 800-693-7625.

This casino is filled with sound! It features rock memorabilia and attracts the world's hottest music stars to perform in The Joint, which seats 1,400 people. A chandelier with 32 gold saxophones dangles in the entry. The outdoor hotspot is the lagoon pool, replete with floating craps table and a waterslide; it also doubles as an outdoor nightclub in warm weather.


Las Vegas Hilton

3000 Paradise Road (two blocks east of the Strip), Las Vegas.

702-732-5111. Toll-free 800-732-7117.

Barbra Streisand opened the hotel in the late '60s, when it was known as the International and was one of the first major off-Strip properties. Then came Elvis Presley, who dominated the hotel's entertainment roster in the '70s. Now it is a favorite for meetings and conventions because of the adjacent Las Vegas Convention Center. The property's most popular draw is the Star Trek attraction, with the newly opened Borg Invasion in 4-D, the 20,000-sq. foot SpaceQuest casino, Quark's Bar & Restaurant, and the Deep Space Nine shopping promenade. For gaming fans, the Sports Book is the largest betting house in town.

Luxor

3900 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

South Strip, Las Vegas.

702-262-4000. Toll-free 888-777-0188.

Named after the ancient city of the same name in northern Egypt, Luxor's black-glass pyramid is one of the most striking big-casinos from the outside. At night, the world's brightest beacon shoots straight up, so that even high-flying planes can see where they are. Inside, Egyptian artifacts and hieroglyphics line the walls of the 30-story pyramid. The replica of King Tut's Tomb is interesting and a more thorough re-creation than most theme attractions in Las Vegas. The Pharaoh's Pavilion has IMAX theaters that show a variety of features, including some in 3-D.

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino

3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S., South Strip, Las Vegas.

702-632-7777. Toll-free 877-632-7000.
Mandalay Bay has an understated South Seas/Far East feel. The main floor of the casino has lots of wide walkways and tropical greenery inside and out. Behind the complex, there's a lagoon, an enormous sandy beach, a man-made river and a water complex that includes a wave pool. The main sightseeing activity is the Shark Reef aquarium, which features creatures sharks, moray eels, stone fish, crocodiles, pythons and piranhas. One of its key entertainment venues is the legendary House of Blues, playing an eclectic mix of live music in its 1,800-seat facility. Mandalay Place is the new shopping complex, located on the bridge between Mandalay Bay and Luxor. A free tram runs between Mandalay Bay, Luxor and the Excalibur

MGM Grand Hotel and Casino

3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S., South Strip, Las Vegas.

702-891-1111. Toll-free 877-880-0880.
Features the Lion Habitat, with lions trucked in each morning from a nearby ranch (like other Vegas stars, they're primped and groomed prior to making an appearance). Other activities center on nightlife (two large theaters for limited engagements and a smaller showroom that hosts a revue and the Studio 54 nightclub) and shopping (the Studio Walk shops). Television City in the Studio Walk area is a free attraction with CBS videos and logo merchandise. The MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park is now available only for group events.


The Mirage

3400 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Central Strip, Las Vegas.

702-791-7111. Toll-free 800-374-9000.
One of the forerunners of the shift to themes and big spectacles, the Mirage's tropical motif centers on the South Seas. Outside is a gigantic waterfall topped by a volcano that "erupts" every 15 minutes after dusk, with elaborate lighting effects simulating the lava flow. The resort also houses two natural habitats, including a network of dolphin pools and the Secret Garden, a misted, lush sanctuary with rare white tigers and other animals that have performed with famed illusionists Siegfried and Roy.


Monte Carlo Resort & Casino

3770 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas.

702-730-7777. Toll-free 800-311-8999.
Extremely glamorous, the Monte Carlo is styled after the opulent Place du Casino in Monte Carlo, Monaco, with domed ceilings, arches, crystal chandeliers, fountains and marble floors. But underneath all the glamour, the resort is family-friendly with a water park and high-tech video arcade. Its microbrewery is the only one on the Strip. The hotel is also home to the Lance Burton Theater, where the master magician has performed since 1997.


New York New York Hotel and Casino
3790 Las Vegas Blvd. S., South Strip, Las Vegas.

702-740-6969. Toll-free 800-693-6763.

The facade is striking, to say the least—the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building, all standing along Las Vegas Boulevard. The New York theme is reflected in the interior, if on a less ambitious scale, with art-deco styling and some simulated settings such as Times Square and Central Park. Shops and eateries are styled after neighborhoods in New York, too. The Manhattan Express roller coaster, with its inverted roll, is the main non-gambling activity. There is also a large game room.



The Palms

4321 W. Flamingo Road (one block west of the Strip), Las Vegas.

702-942-7777. Toll-free 866-942-7777.
This casino resort is the new symbol of good times for the 20-30 crowd, with attractions such as Ghostbar on the 55th floor and Rain dance club. Young Hollywood jet-setters appear on a regular basis. TV shows film inside the resort too. If you need a relaxing break from the game floor, then head to the resort's 14-screen movie theater.


Paris Las Vegas

3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Central Strip, Las Vegas.

702-946-7000. Toll-free 888-266-5687.
A scaled-down (though still quite tall) replica of the Eiffel Tower is eye-catching. You can take an elevator to the top, but it's not a free ride (in fact, it costs almost as much as if you were ascending the real tower). Back on the ground, push past the casino area inside the main entrance to find the indoor Parisian streetscape. The cobblestone lane is lined with boutiques, restaurants and clubs. You'll hear accordion music and perhaps see a man in a striped shirt and beret bicycling by, a baguette under his arm. Parisian landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe and facades of the Paris Opera House and the Louvre line the streets. The Eiffel Tower is open Monday-Friday 10 am-midnight, Saturday and Sunday 10 am-1 am. Admission charged.

The Rio

3700 W. Flamingo Road (at Valley View), Las Vegas.

702-252-7777. Toll-free 800-752-9746.

You have to venture a short way off the Strip to get to the Rio. The attraction (aside from the usual array of gaming, restaurants and bars) is the Show in the Sky—Mardi Gras floats move along a track attached to the ceiling, while costumed revelers throw beads to the casino players and onlookers below. The Bevertainers, a new addition to the casino, serve cocktails one minute and perform the next. The free 12-minute Mardi Gras shows take place daily at 3, 4, 5, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 pm.

The Sahara

2535 Las Vegas Blvd. S., North Strip, Las Vegas.

702-737-2111. Toll-free 888-696-2121.

When the Sahara opened in 1952, it was crowned the "Jewel of the Desert." Over the years, its legendary performers included Johnny Carson, George Burns and the Beatles. Now the Sahara's lounges boast names such as the Coasters, the Drifters and the Platters, plus Lena Prima, the daughter of late, great Louis Prima. Even the steak house is a Vegas classic: the venerable House of Lords. Its more modern-day attractions include the NASCAR Cafe, the Las Vegas Cyber Speedway and a roller coaster called Speed: The Ride, which hurtles passengers forwards and backwards at speeds up to 70 mph.


Stardust

3000 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Central Strip, Las Vegas.

702-732-6111. Toll-free 800-634-6757.

If you want to get a feel for what Las Vegas used to be, visit the Stardust, whose light-shower marquee has been a symbol of Sin City since its opening in the mid-'50s. The casino has been enlarged innumerable times and now feels as though it stretches on forever, but that's not a bad thing, especially given the endangered species that still exist there in the form of US$2 craps, US$5 blackjack and low-limit poker. Another oldie-but-goodie: performances by Mr. Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, in his own showroom.

Stratosphere Las Vegas

2000 Las Vegas Blvd. S., North Strip, Las Vegas.

Phone 702-380-7777. Toll-free 800-998-6937.
At 1,149 ft. high, the Stratosphere Tower is America's tallest freestanding observation tower and the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Take a 100-story trip to the top for breathtaking 360-degree views. You can add to your high-altitude experience on three thrill rides: The High Roller/roller coaster makes several rotations around the top of the tower, the Big Shot is a 160-ft. free-fall experience, and the new X Scream is a teeter-totter ride that hangs 29 ft. over the edge of the building and 866 ft. above the Strip. Various price packages are available that combine the ride and tower admission fees, including an all-day unlimited pass.


TI-(formerly Treasure Island)

3300 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Central Strip, Las Vegas.

702-894-7111. Toll-free 800-944-7444.
Adjacent to the Mirage, this resort started off using Robert Louis Stevenson's novel of the same name as its jumping-off point. Now, however, it has adopted the name "TI" in an attempt to revamp itself. The overall theme is changing from pirates to a hip and trendy resort. The highlight for those on a walking tour of the Strip is the free new “pirates and sexy ladies” show that takes place in Siren's Cove,, at 7, 8:30, 10 and 11:30 pm. Inside is the original Cirque du Soleil production of Mystere, with clowns who mingle with the audience, roving devils, compelling music and,mind-boggling acrobatic performances.


The Venetian

3355 Las Vegas Blvd.

S., Central Strip, Las Vegas.

Phone 702-414-4100. Toll-free 877-857-1861.

Billing itself as one of the more upscale Vegas properties, the Venetian immerses visitors in a luxurious European ambience. Gracefully arched bridges, flowing canals, vibrant piazzas and stone walkways faithfully re-create Venice's Bridge of Sighs, Rialto Bridge and Campanile. St. Mark's Square, lined with restaurants and shops, is the scene of street-style entertainment. You can take a gondola ride through the canals while being serenaded by a singing boatman.

Other Attractions

Guinness World of Records Museum
2780 Las Vegas Blvd S
702-792-3766
Hours: Daily 9-6
Featuring colorful displays, video footage, and computer data banks of various Guinness world records, this is a great stop for families. The Las Vegas display includes information on celebrities married in Vegas, the Stratosphere and the Hoover Dam.

Imperial Palace Automobile Museum 3535 Las Vegas Blvd S
702-731-3311
Hours: Daily 9:30 am-11:30 pm
This museum's collection includes more than 200 antique, classic and special interest vehicles. Among the cars, trucks, and motorcycles on view is a 1939 Mercedes touring sedan once owned by Adolph Hitler and the world's largest Deusenberg collection.

Nevada State Museum and Historical Society
700 E. Twin Lakes Dr
702-486-5205
Hours: Daily 9-5
From the Spanish exploration to the building of Las Vegas in the late 1940's, this museum has the skinny on Nevada. Exhibits touch on the history, archaeology and anthropology of southern Nevada. The surrounding parks and ponds make for a wonderful oasis.

Magic & Movie Hall of Fame
3555 Las Vegas Blvd S
702-737-3846
Experience the history of magic first hand with over 20,000 sf of magic, movie and ventriloquist memorabilia.

Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix
1401 N Rainbow Blvd
702-259-7000
This 7-acre park has the only banked oval Super Stock Car track in the West. Racing includes adult Gran Prix cars and go-karts along with kiddie karts.

Madame Tussaud's Celebrity Encounter Wax Museum
Venetian Hotel
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S
702-367-1847
In "Madame Tussaud's Story" guests will discover the intensive process and artistry involved in the creation of the world famous wax portraits by Madame Tussaud.

Red Rock Canyon
14 miles west of Las Vegas via W Charleston Blvd
702-363-1921
Featuring blazing red rock formations, spectacular views, great hiking trails and a 13-mile scenic loop. A great place to experience the beauty of the desert.

Mt Charleston Recreation Area
35 miles NW of Las Vegas off Hwy 95
702-872-5486
Part of the Toiyabe National Forest at 12,000 feet high the area is popular year round for hiking, skiing, horseback riding, camping and even sleigh rides

Star Trek The Experience
3000 Paradise Rd at the Las Vegas Hilton
702-732-5111
The experience includes a complete re-creation of the promenade from Deep Space Nine: Quark's Bar and Restaurant, Zek's Grand Emporium and Moogie's Trading Post. Also is The Voyage, an interactive ride where visitors are beamed through time and space to the Transporter Room. A must for every Trekie.

Titanic: The Exhibition
Rio Suites Hotel
3700 W Flamingo Rd
702-252-0315
This exhibit features artifacts recovered from the Titanic wreck site.

Fremont Street Experience
A pedestrian promenade in downtown Las Vegas with free entertainment including a one-of-a-kind light and sound show with more than 2 million lights and 540,000 watts of sound. This show begins at dusk daily and ends at midnight. Also along the street are retail carks, kiosks and entertainers.

Gohres-Hohmann Foundation
6150 W Palmyra Ave
702-217-3655
Imagine touring through an 8,500 European castle filled with angelic murals, life-size mythical statues, fine art and exquisite designs that are one of a kind.

Liberace Museum
1775 E Tropicana Ave 702-798-5595
The museum features exhibits of Mr. Showmanship's jewelry, priceless antiques, his wardrobe and rare cars.

Hoover Dam
25 miles south of Las Vegas on Hwy 93
Considered one of the great wonders of the modern world. Built in the early 1930's it now offers visitors tours and an audiovisual show.



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