10 attractions we can’t wait to experience again once the crisis is over
As people of the nation get a little closer to venturing outside and getting back to some sort of normal, we in Las Vegas begin to think about all the cool spots that help define our city. Here are 10 attractions that are unique to Las Vegas and allow for visitors to experience some fun, education, adrenaline, relaxation, excitement and most of all, just a good time—which we need now more than ever.
1. Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at Bellagio Here you can literally take the time to stop and smell the roses. The Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has long been a place to take in the beauty of nature and the genius of artists. Celebrating the seasons and holidays throughout the year, Bellagio’s horticulture team creates larger-than-life scenery using tens of thousands of flowers and plants. Specific florals and foliage are used to represent certain seasons and continents around the world; the interactive displays include water features, animated creatures and people, re-created gazebos, bridges, temples and gardens.
2. High Roller at The Linq Promenade Use the 30 minutes (that’s the time it takes for one revolution of the wheel) to survey the lights of the Las Vegas Strip and the Valley beyond, all the way to the mountains. Comfortably situated inside an air-conditioned pod you’ll climb to 550 feet— making the High Roller the tallest observation wheel in the world. For an extra special ride for those 21 and over, check out the Happy Half Hour. Board the pod with an open bar and have the bartender whip you up as many cocktails as you can drink before you touch back down.
3. Bodies … The Exhibition at Luxor Just what did the quarantine do to our bodies and minds? You might be able to piece together the effects when you visit Bodies … The Exhibition. Astonishing displays of real-life bodies and organs that have been specially preserved gives viewers an in-depth, scientific look at what makes humans tick. View more than 250 organs and more than a dozen full-body specimens and learn about the skeletal, muscular, respiratory and circulatory systems including what damage is caused by such things as smoking, overeating and lack of exercise (hopefully none of which you’re doing during quarantine!)
4. Insanity, Big Shot & X-Scream at The STRAT If you still have some bottled-up adrenaline you need to release, push the limits with the thrill rides Insanity, Big Shot and X-Scream, located at the top of The STRAT’s tower. Push the limits with Big Shot, which shoots riders straight up 160 feet above the top of the tower; strap into Insanity, which is a huge mechanical arm that jets riders out and over the tower spinning at 3 G’s while you’re looking down at the street from more than 1,000 feet in the air; and take a twisted roller coaster ride with X-Scream, which sends 27 feet over the edge of the SkyPod.
5. Gondola Rides at The Venetian A great way to explore The Grand Canal Shoppes—and you can even book a private gondola if you’re still thinking about that social distancing. Float down the canals, past cafes and shops and under bridges as your gondolier serenades you. You can choose between two tours: the inside of the canals and along the lakes outside of The Venetian. If you’re really into it, you can take a gondolier class at Gondola University. Learn how to pilot a gondola while learning the ins and outs of the trade and receive some goodies and even a diploma once you’ve completed your class.
6. Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck at Paris Rise above the city—46 stories up to be exact. At the top of the half-scale replica of the real Eiffel Tower, Vegas’ version is the next best thing. Spend time surveying the city below, especially the awesome sightlines of the fountains of Bellagio show right across the street. It’s a moment of romance if you choose to take your significant other up with you. Another cool feature of the Tower is the new addition of the light show—watch as the tower lights up with synchronized and choreographed lighting displays.
7. The Volcano at The Mirage This long-running Stripside attraction is a must-see while in town. Watch fire dance on the water to the soundtrack provided by the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and India tabla musician Zakir Hussain. When the volcano erupts, huge fireballs pierce the night sky and lava flows down into the waters. You’ll feel the heat from this one.
8. Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay There’s a spot inside the Shark Reef Aquarium where you can stand and stare at jellyfish slowly gliding up and down through the waters. There’s a tunnel where you can stop and take a seat and watch all the inhabitants swim all around you. Or you can stop inside the sunken shipwreck and watch several species of sharks swim sneakily and slowly right by you. In other words, the aquarium is a great place for quiet solace and reflection after we’ve returned to a somewhat normal life after the quarantine. It’s also a place to check out thousands of underwater creatures, including some above-ground stars like the Komodo dragon. If you’re feeling extra curious, check out the feeding programs with turtles and sharks, or if you really want to take that dive off the deep end, you can swim with the sharks.
9. The ZipLine at Rio More adrenaline-pumping action awaits at Rio. Strap into the two-person seat, as your legs dangle beneath you and there’s nothing around you except for the winds as you dart off one Rio tower and zipline to another Rio tower, more than 50 stories up in the air and across 800 feet. The real stomach-turner is taking the trip in reverse—a slow ride back to the original destination as you look down at the city way, way, way below.
10. SlotZilla at Fremont Street Experience For more flying-through-the-air escapades, head downtown to the Fremont Street Experience. It’s where you’ll find the largest slot machine in the city, SlotZilla. While you can’t make any monetary bets here, it’s a best bet that you’ll have an experience to remember as you fly through the air on a zipline that stretches down Fremont Street and under the VivaVision canopy. There’s two ways to soar: the classic zipline style in a seated position more than 75 feet in the air; or the zoomline ride—more than 10 stories up in the air, flying at more than 40 mph superhero style!
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