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Time Out: Las Vegas

Caesars High Roller

Despite what the movies say, there are more than casinos, showgirls and hangovers in Las Vegas. The city that was built by the mob went legitimate a long time ago, staking its claim as a culinary destination, shopping mecca and entertainment capital. The Las Vegas Strip is what everyone recognizes as the city’s skyline, but in a place that reinvents itself often, that view is constantly changing. With the addition of an observation wheel in 2015, a new arena and hockey team this year and two new megaresorts expected by 2019, the landscape is transforming as well. Who knows what it will look like in 2020? Chances are pretty good, though, that the casinos, showgirls and hangovers will still be going strong.

You could bet it all on black, but there are other ways to play. The Pinball Hall of Fame is 10,000 square feet of adolescent joy featuring more than 200 different games, some of which date back to the 1950s. Dig This helps you get dirty while learning to operate and control full-sized bulldozers and excavators for fun. Too hands-on? Take a trip on the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, which offers spectacular views of the valley.

Contrary to popular belief, Las Vegas does have culture. For a taste of Vegas’ past, visit The Neon Museum for its collection of iconic signs that once lit up the Strip or The Mob Museum to learn more about the history of organized crime. Or stroll through Wayne Newton’s sprawling estate, Casa de Shenandoah, which includes his private jet and Arabian horse stables.

The steak house has come a long way from the days of The Steak House at Circus Circus, which maintains its vintage 1980s décor but still features great cuts of meat at reasonable prices. On the other end of the spectrum are the dry-aging program at Carnevino and the certified wagyu at SW Steakhouse, modern temples celebrating good beef.

Take in some nature on one of the many trails of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area or warm up in the lodge after a day of skiing on Mount Charleston. To cool down, head east to Lake Las Vegas to spend a day boating on the manmade body of water.

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