Madame Tussaud began crafting wax likenesses in 1770s Paris, and a sense of history clings to her wax museums around the globe today—according to the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventurers, the location is haunted by unsettled spirits. By day, the collection of wax sculptures fills the serene exhibits with characters ranging from daredevil Evel Knievel (complete with his original Harley Davidson and good-luck teddy bear) to Lady Gaga and Whoopi Goldberg. A Hugh Hefner figure, wearing the Playboy magnate’s signature smoking jacket, reclines on a bed, and a nightclub-themed section of the museum honors Las Vegas’s entertainment history with a waxen Elvis and Wayne Newton.
Velvet ropes no longer cordon figures off from the public, granting guests up-close-and-personal photo ops. Madame Tussauds Las Vegas honors its spooky roots with special late-night Scream events, a shriek-inducing tour through a maximum-security prison set interspersed with ghoulish wax figures and live actors.
Adventure Helicopter Tours parades sightseers about the skies above Los Angeles for aerial appreciation of the city's many landmarks. The outfit hosts 12 separate tours around southern California, including those that fly over the homes of celebrities, providing ample opportunities to pass judgment on their backyard barbecuing skills. Other options include a romantic sunset excursion, and a route that flies past the Hollywood sign. Every passenger on an Adventure Helicopter Tours excursion enjoys window seating and a two-way MP3 stereo headset for easy communication with fellow sightseers.
Recently featured in Maxim, Las Vegas Mob Experience escorts history hounds through a 26,000-sq.-ft. journey through the rise and fall of early Vegas mafiosi and their lasting influence on the city. This highly interactive exhibit takes visitors close-up to hundreds of artifacts, including photographs, home movies, and furniture that once belonged to organized-crime figures such as Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, a creator of the Flamingo Hotel, and Meyer Lansky. Actors dressed as apparitions of the gangsters themselves tell firsthand stories while guests slink through back alleys, secret lairs, and other vignettes, including the Ellis Island docks and immigration rooms, a speakeasy, police station, and more.
Opened in 1991, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum presents a collection of wildlife, historical, geologic and prehistoric exhibits. Nine galleries fill the two-story building with lifelike replicas of extinct and present day fauna, including animals that once roamed the area that is today known as Las Vegas. The Marine Life Gallery features a vast assortment of sea life, with full-sized whales hanging from the ceiling, an interactive display of sounds from several species of oceanic creatures and a pool filled with live baby sharks and sting rays. In another area, dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops and Ichthyosaur transport visitors back to the time before humans walked the earth. And not far away is Treasures of Egypt, a 4,000-square-foot monument to King Tut’s tomb, which houses more than 500 replicas of the boy king’s burial chamber.
Food isn't always the first thing that comes to mind while thinking of Las Vegas. But in addition to being known for its casinos and live entertainment, Sin City is quickly building a reputation as a culinary destination thanks to celebrity chefs, five-star restaurants, and poker chips dipped in chocolate.
It's for these reasons that food writers and sommeliers Elaine and Scott Harris established Las Vegas Dining Tours. The Harrises—who have covered culinary events including The Fingerlakes Wine Festival and Pebble Beach Food & Wine and who have interviewed such renowned chefs as Cat Cora and Charlie Trotter—whisk visitors to four area eateries during their tours. Once there, guests dig into house specialties, sip wine and craft beer, and learn insider information on the food and beverage industry from the duo.
A fleet of powerful Honda 250 ATVs growl in the Nevada sunlight, waiting to tear over the hills and skid through the ravines of the Valley of Fire State Park. For three hours, guests careen around 28 miles of scenery, kicking up dust and out pacing jackrabbits on their mini ATVs, before breaking for a provided picnic lunch. Professional guides ensure the safety of helmet-clad guests and sandstone cliffs ensure conversation-starting photographs long after the excursion's end.