Though Las Vegas goes to outlandish lengths to welcome visitors, it can be hard for out-of-towners to get to know it. The casinos, shows, and buffets grab the attention, but there’s more to the city than those neon billboards lining the Strip will tell you.
Culinary Hot Spot
The most authentic dining experiences are downtown, and Esther’s Kitchen, an “Italian soul food” restaurant in the Arts District, leads the way using many ingredients from the valley. Chef James Trees—a Vegas native—serves up a melt-in-your-mouth porchetta, tender meatballs, and sourdough-crust pizzas with ample helpings of fresh toppings, such as asparagus, cauliflower, and truffle cheese.
Nearly every resort has a pool scene—with entertainment, bottle service, and cabanas—but none is as lively as the Pool District at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. It boasts three different venues: the Marquee Dayclub Pool, run like an outdoor nightclub under the bright desert sun; the Chelsea Pool, quieter and more private; and the Boulevard Pool, overlooking the Strip and offering foosball.
Insider's Tip: Be sure to catch a movie from one of the chaise lounges or daybeds at the Boulevard Pool; films are shown Monday evenings from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Vegas has dozens of rides, but the scariest are accessed from atop the 1,149-foot-tall Stratosphere Tower, the highest point in town. There are four attractions in all, including X-Scream, a roller coaster that hurtles passengers over the tower’s edge. If that’s not thrilling enough, there’s SkyJump, a bungee-style plunge that sends jumpers 829 feet streetward in a matter of seconds.