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Named after President Herbert Hoover, this grand reservoir was constructed over a span of five years during the Great Depression. Built to contain the roaring tempest of the mighty Colorado River, the Hoover Dam harnesses hydroelectric energy to feed the power-related needs of both California and the Southwest. Such is the magnificence of the dam that, energy harnessed from this massive marvel supplies electricity to over 20 million people. The dam spans an expanse of nearly 1250 feet (381 meters) over the Black Canyon gorge, and is located at the cusp of the Arizona-Nevada border. A prolific engineering spectacle that invites wonder and awe even decades after its construction, the colossal Hoover Dam remains one of the most remarkable accomplishments in architectural history.
The Stratosphere Tower is one of the most renowned landmarks in Las Vegas. At the height of 1,149-feet (350-meter), the tower itself is one of the tallest towers in the country that offers rides such as Insanity, XScream, Sky Jump and Big Shot. The names of the rides are true to the kind of adventure they promise to provide. So, if you are on Insanity then get ready to be thrown off the edge of the platform for up to 1,000 feet (304 meter) and circle around at 70-degree angle with a spectacular view of the valley. X-Scream is bound to make your heart skip a beat or two as you dangle back and forth in the air on a teeter-totter device at the side of the 100-story tower. The best of the lot, however, is the Big-Shot, which is a breath-taking free fall from a height of 160 feet (48 meter) along with a spire. A controlled free-fall from the 108th floor known as Sky Jump is the another addition to the list of extreme adventure rides. Whether you want to simply enjoy the views from the tower, enjoy a cocktail by the pool or indulge in the adrenaline, the tower has it all for a perfect Vegas experience.
The Mob Museum is located in what used to be a courthouse. Built in 1933, it was one of the 14 courthouses in the nation to hold the Kefauver Committee hearings on organized crime. This makes it a perfect backdrop for The Mob Museum, an authentic view of the mob's impact on Las Vegas history. The Mob Museum presents the story from the perspective of both the organized crime syndicate and law enforcement. Visitors get to be part of the action through theater presentations and interactive environments. Visitors can shoot a simulated Tommy gun, listen to real FBI surveillance tapes, and take part in FBI weapons training. The museum can also be booked for private events.
The Neon Museum is located in downtown Las Vegas and though it is open all day, it is best viewed at night. See the Caesar's Palace sign in its fully-colored splendor, and catch a glimpse of the horse and rider from the old Hacienda Hotel. The museum often adds new items to this marvelous collection. Entrance is available as part of a guided tour only. Purchase tickets early for the later tours as they fill up quickly.
With a scale as high as 550 feet (167.6 meters) tall, the vivacious High Roller is one of the largest observational wheels in the world. An extravagant circular bend dominating the brimming Strip, this gigantic Ferris wheel is a spectacular engineering feat. Complete with 28 cabins, this observation wheel offers breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Valley. A spectacular adornment to the LINQ, the High Roller seems to blend in with the increasingly jubilant, iridescent and charismatic landscape of the city. Soaring as if to reach the skies, it is especially a stunning sight when lit up at night. The sweeping High Roller is an embodiment of Las Vegas' vibrant spirit.
A beautiful visual water symphony choreographed to music provides an unforgettable welcome to the Bellagio Hotel Casino. The water jets span more than 1,000 feet (304 meters) and can shoot up to 250 feet (76 meters) in the air while seeming to dance to choreographed lights and romantic classical music. It is a spectacular sight and one worth taking the time to view while strolling along the boulevard. As evening sets in, the lit-up fountain is a sight to behold. Be sure to bring a camera as this is one of Vegas' best attractions - and it's for free! The magic happens every 30 minutes until 8 PM, after which shows are every 15 minutes. Please note that shows may stray from this schedule due to the weather.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located just a few miles west of Las Vegas, is named after the deep red 3,000-foot (914.4 meters) high sandstone cliffs that are perched above the dusty wastelands of the mighty Mojave Desert that encompasses it. The site has served as ancestral homes for the tribes of Paiute, Patayan, Anasazi, San Dieguito and Pinto since 11,000 BCE. It features a diverse and rich network of vivid petroglyphs that can be been scattered all along its canyons, making the conservation area a popular destination for admirers of Native Indian culture and traditions. An ecosystem rich in flora and fauna, the Utah desert-parsley, the Mojave yucca, the ponderosa pine, the desert bighorn sheep and the endangered desert tortoise is some of its most notable inhabitants.
The spectacular 'Strip' is synonymous with the City of Las Vegas, a world unto itself where anything is possible. This stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard is bejeweled with luxury hotels the likes of which are found nowhere else, entertainment venues that host some of the world's top acts and attractions that run the gamut from the dancing fountains of the Bellagio to the dazzling lights of the Fremont Street Experience. Here, it's possible to enjoy a gondola ride down Venetian canals, tour the Amazonian forests and admire the Eiffel Tower in a single day; a replica of some of the world's wonders packed into a single street. The Strip's 30 odd casinos are a whirlwind of flashing lights where time holds no sway and fortunes are won with the roll of a dice or the spin of a wheel. So grand is the spectacle, that the Strip is clearly visible from the sky, its glimmering facades, brilliant lights and distinctive architecture unmistakable as anything else.
Encompassing Fremont Street in the center of downtown Las Vegas is a light and musical show like none other in the world. A permanent canopy has been constructed to cover the casino-lined street with two million lights and a state-of-the-art sound system. This attraction provides shows in the evening hours and is a popular area for filming motion picture scenes. There is no charge for entrance except for their New Year's Eve Street Bash. The special shows projected on the canopy ceiling last for approximately seven minutes.
One of the best hotels in the world, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino is a symbol of opulence and the Vegas way of life. Home to more than 6,000 rooms, the hotel offers a luxurious stay, unforgettable dining options, splendid entertainment and an ever-lasting view of The Strip. Its 175,000 square feet (16,258 square meters) casino is MGM Grand's most unique proposition that attracts visitors from world over, closely followed by the 6.5 acres (2.6 hectares) Grand Pool Complex which is completed with waterfalls. Entertainment is promised by names to the likes of David Copperfield and you are ensured a culinary bliss courtesy of celebrated chef Joël Robuchon. With such big names and a majestic persona, MGM stays truly grand and shines bright as a perfect representation of the vivacious city it calls home.