Las Vegas Weekend Guide: Neon Signs, Red-Rock Hikes, and Tiki Cocktails
Despite the difficulties of 2020, Las Vegas is a city that can not sit still. Nevada remains one of America’s fastest growing states, and the influx of creative newcomers is reshaping the city with a number of new galleries, bars and restaurants. The opening of Circa Resort & Casino downtown late last year will follow the long-awaited Virgin Hotels Las Vegas this spring, and the Santa Fe Meow Wolf-based art collection has expanded to Vegas with a new experience, the Omega Mart , on February. Suffice it to say, there is a lot to be excited about. See how you can make the most of a long, thriving weekend in Sin City.
Wake up at NoMad Las Vegas, an on-site hotel at Park MGM. With its elegant dark wood and velvet jewelery – an elegant atmosphere known for the city – it is one of the newest accommodations in the Strip.
Your first day in the city is dedicated to off-lane exploration: Take a 10-minute taxi ride to the Arts Center city center and start by filling a coffee con leche and a boom arm on the Makers & Find patio. Walk a few blocks north to the Arts Factory, a renovated warehouse full of galleries, boutiques and studios, where you can buy works by local artists such as skater-slash painter David A. Soto. Return to Main Street, browse vintage shops such as Retro Vegas for modern medieval furniture and Modern Mantiques for old signs and phonographs.
Makers & Finders, a Latin American-inspired cafe in the Arts region
The Neon Museum, which houses more than 200 renovated neon signs
For lunch, call a taxi at the Vegas Test Kitchen, where the rotating chefs host emerging new items such as Bulgarian pastries and pizza with yeast. Then dive into the long history of American organized crime at the Mob Museum. You will need a ticket with a timed entry and a luxury or premium ticket can give you access to an interactive forensics lab or a ban on distillery tours.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to return to the Strip to find a decadent dinner. For proof, enjoy the seven-course tasting menu at Chinatown’s Partage, where chef Yuri Szarzewski (who has cooked in Michelin-starred restaurants across France) puts modern twists on French classics, with dishes like mahi-mahi confit and foie gras with pineapple carpaccio.
Book a ticket with a timed entrance to the Neon Museum to learn the history of the city’s rise as the American capital of entertainment through the collection of 200-refurbished neon signs. Relax at night with a rum-and-pineapple Tiki Bandit at Frankie’s Tiki Room, a totally tropical desert getaway.
No trip to Vegas is complete without a visit to Hoover Dam, the amazing achievement of the engineering depression that harnessed the power of the Colorado River. A 30-minute drive from Vegas, make a pit stop at Henderson’s Weiss Deli for cult-friendly breakfast sandwiches such as The Best, a combination of vegetarian, egg and cheese.
While touring the dam is on hold, you can still walk on the Mike O’Callaghan Bridge – Pat Tillman Memorial – the world’s tallest concrete bridge at 880 feet – for stunning views of the dam and the Black Canyon below. Nearby, take a stroll along the historic railway trail, which dominates the shores of Lake Mead and then passes through a series of tunnels carved into the mountain slope.
Hoover Dam, an architectural marvel built in the 1930s