There’s a diverse range of attractions to lure you in the ever-evolving entertainment capital this July. Take a ride in the brand-new world’s-largest Ferris wheel for starters
Las Vegas is a city with a penchant for transformation, and the past couple of months have been no different, with the arrival of new sights, sounds and pleasures to further enhance the town’s neon allure.
The new High Roller Ferris wheel
The world’s largest Ferris wheel, the High Roller, became the latest addition to the Strip’s skyline in March. Take a night-time spin in the 168m-high observation wheel for a whole different view of the city’s glittering backdrop. Located at the newly built shopping corridor The Linq, the High Roller shares its new home with Polaroid’s FotoBar and Museum, which features an Andy Warhol wax figure on loan from Madame Tussauds London. The pop artist will be in residence until 1 August.
Art fans should also check out the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art’s current exhibition, Painting Women: Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, featuring work by Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe and Berthe Morisot (until 26 October). And on 9 July the gallery will host Art & Wine: A Perfect Pairing, which pairs select wines from Bellagio’s cellar with paintings from the exhibition. While you’re at Bellagio, stop by the resort’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens for a look at its Summer Garden Party . On display until 7 September, the installation includes a New England-style greenhouse filled with colourful finches and canaries, along with a tree house, kites fluttering overhead and giant sunflowers.
Vintage signage at the Neon Museum
Although Las Vegas is well known for imploding its history, two museums have opened downtown in recent years offering homage to unique aspects of the city’s past. Documenting Las Vegas’s gangster roots, The Mob Museum presents the viewpoint of both law enforcement and organised crime with three floors of interactive exhibits, artefacts, and the original courtroom where the Kefauver Committee hearings on mafia activities were held in the Fifties. And the Neon Museum’s Boneyard houses more than 150 restored historic signs from such long-gone casinos as Silver Slipper and Stardust, as well as cast-offs from former incarnations of Binion’s Horseshoe, Golden Nugget and Caesars Palace.
The yoga studio at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas
Take a break from museum-hopping with a laid-back interlude at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas. Practise yoga in the eighth-floor studio while gazing out of the floor-to-ceiling windows at one of the most spectacular Strip views you will find anywhere. Savasana never looked so good.
For more awe-inspiring views, visit Red Rock Canyon, the jewel of Southern Nevada’s skyline. Just 17 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, it is centered around a scenic 13-mile drivable loop that wends through the Mojave desert. Outdoor enthusiasts can rock climb, star gaze, hike on 30 miles of trails, or ride on horseback through the untamed West.
Red Rock Canyon with Joshua trees in the foreground
For those thrill-seekers in search of action with more horsepower, put on your racing gloves and head out to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, home to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. With a fleet of supercars that includes Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches, Exotics Racing offers professional racing instruction on the Speedway’s private racetrack.
Beth Schwartz has lived in Las Vegas for more than a decade and is editor of Luxury Las Vegas magazine