Sun Buggy Fun Rentals’ dune buggies shred the sand all around the Las Vegas area. Designed and built in-house, these buggies are ideal for exploring off-road locales—including Vegas’s dunes and Valley of Fire State Park—without getting stuck in the sand or pulled over by the sand police. Customers can choose whether they want to ride with a guide, or maneuver a dune buggy themselves. Sun Buggy also organizes signature chases, during which visitors pursue one of Sun Buggy’s expert “dunies” through more than 15,000 acres of dunes, gravel, hills, valleys, and trails. Other rentals include ATVs and exotic cars, ranging from Mini Coopers to Ferraris.
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.
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.
The Charcoal Room features top-grade cuts of meat, an extensive wine list, and fresh fish daily. The atmosphere is equal parts fine-dining class and low-key relaxation, like a news anchor whose desk is concealing a pair of sateen parachute pants. Peruse the menu to discover substantial steaks such as the pan-seared bone-in rib eye (22 oz., $32) and petite cuts such as the filet mignon (7 oz., $28). Classic salad styles such as the wedge ($7) or Caesar ($7) are perennially in good taste, complementing meat with the finest of chlorophyll. The boneless baby-back ribs ($10) and lobster mac 'n' cheese ($14) turn the traditionally difficult-to-eat into forkable fare. Since swords themselves always return from the grill too hot to eat, swordfish ($32) makes for a blade-inspired meal not forged by a sweaty blacksmith. Collect a cartel of iron-eaters who prefer their steak prepared on top of more steak and request a corner booth facing the door at The Charcoal Room.
In some respects, Aliante Golf Club's 18-hole, par 72 course embodies everything you might expect from a Las Vegas desert course. The grizzled sands of an arroyo that comes into play on 14 holes. The sparse water hazards. The dazzling mountain views. But the layout also has the look of a course that, like a word processor that yearns for an acting career, refuses to be typecast. Contrary to the more open terrain common to most arid tracks, Aliante Golf Club stitches its fairways with pear and purple locust trees, which can be intimidating on holes such as the 2nd, a 472-yard par-four that all but requires an aggressive lash with a driver off the tee. As a reward for its unique character, the course has gained a host of award and accolades since it opened in 2003.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,022 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.8 from the tips * Slope rating of 133 from the tips * Four tee options
Naomi Rosen and Louise Carruth understand that tea is more than just a beverage. For Naomi, it’s the deep, complex flavors—from her position at Joy’s Teaspoon, she fills area pots with more than 75 loose-leaf teas and more than 30 spices. For Louise, it’s the community aspect. Enamored of tea’s ability to unite people, she frequently attends afternoon teas at assisted-living residences, where she bonds with residents over tea-leaf readings and tea-related yarns. The two have joined forces to organize the Las Vegas Tea Fest, which combines Naomi's extensive knowledge of her stock with Louise's appetite for togetherness. Their one-day event includes tea and food pairings, cooking with tea demonstrations, a traditional Chinese Wu-Wo tea ceremony, and on-site exhibitors such as Little Candle Tea Company. Tastings gather teas from countries such as India, Japan, and China, while local artisans hawk tea-related wares, such as giant teabags you can sleep in when you have a sore throat.