Want to find out where Casino (1995) was filmed or visit a gory gallery dedicated to monsters? This expert-led experience reveals Sin City’s cultural side.
Beneath the veneer of neon signs, towering fountains and 24-hour hedonism, Las Vegas has a rich cultural heritage. From the mobsters and movie stars who frequented its hotels and casinos during the 1950s golden age to the legacy of the Paiute Tribes throughout Nevada, the city is a goldmine of ebullient entertainment, including world-class, only-in-Vegas residencies that are alone worth the flight, and cut-above cultural diversions. “Las Vegas invites artists to believe that anything is possible, to dream bigger and to lose their inhibitions,” says John Block of the Park West Gallery at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The result is a city break where you can start the day at a surreal outdoor “graveyard” of giant neon signs, journey to see Paiute petroglyphs etched into the nearby Valley of Fire State Park and return to catch a show from the likes of Elton John or Lady Gaga. With that in mind, we’re showcasing three Vegas cultural experiences with an entertainment-hub hotel, all bookable right here on Culture Trip.
Where to Stay: the Hotel…
Nudging up against the top entertainment venues along the city’s glitzy Strip, the NoMad is a grown-up boutique spin on a Las Vegas hotel. “The Strip is a great place to start,” explains John Block. “There are curated museums and art installations up and down this stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard. At Park West Gallery alone, you’ll find nearly 1,000 works of art, ranging from originals by icons like Salvador Dalí, Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso to works by contemporary artists like Peter Max, Mark Kostabi or Las Vegas native Michael Godard.” To complement your gallery hop, the NoMad’s rooms and suites – some with colorful area rugs, freestanding bathtubs, crystal decanters and Carrara marble sinks – feel like the elegant digs of an art collector, while the tranquil pool terrace, complete with Moroccan vibes, is sure to inspire your creative juices. It’s in an excellent location for visiting quirky museums and historical landmarks, and if you’re able to splash out on the Suite Royale, you’ll have a private library lounge, with its aubergine-hued pool table, perfect for nightcaps or unwinding with a good book.
What to Do: the Experiences…
It goes without saying that Las Vegas really comes alive after dark. Alongside its famous scenes – those signature neon marquees, the illuminated (and choreographed) Fountains of Bellagio, the bright-light casinos – streams a steady flow of quirky human traffic: just-married brides, exhilarated gamblers, streetside buskers and even the odd A-lister. Acquaint yourself with the living, breathing spectacle on this locally led tour that scopes out atmospheric Fremont Street, where you can learn about the history of America’s hedonism capital.
Just north of Las Vegas is the Valley of Fire State Park, a flame-red desertscape that’s sacred to Nevada’s native Paiute people. On this tour, you’ll uncover its otherworldly rock formations – so alien that they’ve served as backdrops and even stood in for other planets on many a film set, such as Casino and Star Trek Generations (1994), respectively. Afterward, you’ll explore the Lost City Museum, where you’ll learn about Nevada’s historic Ancestral Puebloan people, who lived in the area around 300BCE, and see artefacts found in this ancient site.
One of several quirky museums in the area (also check out the Mob Museum for some vintage gangster tales), Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum is a riot of eerie costumes, masks and prosthetics. A 30-minute drive outside of Las Vegas, it’s an absolute must-see for anyone intrigued by the art of sci-fi, makeup and special effects. Take a tour with Tom himself – the museum founder and a special-effects makeup artist – to learn how movie monsters are brought to life.
Culture Trip compiled these recommendations based on insights from our global community of travel experts and local insiders, combined with search data from millions of users around the world to understand interest in these destinations.
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