Around the world, Las Vegas stands as a beacon of bright lights, big stakes and outstanding entertainment, but there's also fun for outdoor enthusiasts, families and others seeking something off the beaten path. Online websites like Vegas and Eat 24 Hours are a great way to track down more information about what to do and where to eat on your Vegas adventure. Here are some other great ideas:
1. Get Outside
Vegas' lush oasis, situated in the middle of the Mojave Desert, has unlimited opportunities for exploring the great outdoors. Popular sites include the Grand Canyon National Park and Lake Mead, the world's 16th-largest manmade lake. Both are perfect for hikers, bicyclists and rock climbers, while Lake Mead, created with the Hoover Dam construction, offers 820 miles of shoreline for boating, fishing, swimming and other water sports.
2. Learn Something New
Learn about America's nuclear beginnings at the Atomic Testing Museum; delve into crime's underworld at the Las Vegas Mob Experience or The Gun Store; or explore one of numerous art galleries. Other ideas include spending a day at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, where your family can travel the history of the world from long-extinct dinosaurs and animals to ancient Egypt, undersea creatures and modern wildlife, and eco-tourism sites like the Springs Preserve, where the once-thriving springs now offer an important lesson about preservation and the rare and exotic animals and dolphins at the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.
3. Thrills and Chills
Scream with excitement at the Adventuredome, where you'll find 5.5 acres of glass-encased space filled with rollercoasters, like the double-loop, double-corkscrew Canyon Blaster, the twisting, turning Inverter and the wild and wet Rim Runner. Take a break from fear with a game of miniature golf or laser tag, or a visit to an interactive theater. Another great stop is the X Scream, where extreme thrills await visitors who strap themselves in for the 30 mph drop 27 feet down the side of the 1,149-foot Stratosphere Tower.
4. Savor the Culture
Vegas is the city that never sleeps, so it's easy to find great food any time of day or night. Of course, there's the requisite burgers and fries, steaks, seafood and buffets by the dozen, but Vegas also is home to a myriad of ethnicities and their representative cuisines--Italian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Thai, among others. Online reviews, links and directions make it easier than ever to be a gastronomical traveler.
5. Fun for All Ages
Finally, get the whole family in on the fun at Gameworks, a Sega Enterprises and Universal Studios venture offering over 200 state-of-the-art interactive games. Race your friends on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle or step back in time with a game of pinball, PacMan or air hockey. There's even a special floor just for adults, with refreshing drinks, a nightclub vibe and a view of the arcade below. Take the whole family to enjoy an hour or two visiting with over 100 of the world's most famous stars and personalities forever memorialized in wax at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas.