Best bets from your local chairmen

By Michael Thomas, MD, and Michael Bradford, MD

We hope you’ll consider extending your time in Las Vegas to take advantage of these “best bets” for sightseeing, dining, family fun, and golfing. We hope you’ve enjoyed your stay, and remember, what you do in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas…but what you learn at the AAOS 2009 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas stays with you forever!

Sights not to miss

Hoover Dam Tour—The Bureau of Reclamation has conducted tours through the Hoover Dam and power plant since 1937. Today, close to 1,000,000 visitors a year take the tour and millions more drive across the dam. The dam is located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas on U.S. route 93 at the Nevada-Arizona border.

Hoover Dam

Places to eat

The Yard House (Town Square, 6593 Las Vegas Blvd South) bills itself as “an upscale-casual eatery known for its extensive menu, classic rock music, and world’s largest selection of draft beer.” Enjoy dessert at Bellagio’s Jean-Philippe Patisserie, with its chocolate fountain and desserts to please both the eye and the palate; get your last view of Las Vegas from the Eiffel Tower; enjoy Indian cuisine at Tamba (3743 Las Vegas Blvd South); or get away from the Strip and visit Marche Bacchus French Bistro and Wine Market, a European escape along a lake with great wine, good prices (about 10 miles from the Strip at 2620 Regatta Drive, (702) 804-8008) or Rosemary’s Restaurant, which has a wonderful American menu, wine list, and service, despite its strip mall location (8125 W. Sahara, (702) 869-2251).

Family fun

Enjoy the Bonnie Springs Petting Zoo and Western Town (admission fee).


Great golf clubs and experiences are almost too numerous to mention. Here’s a small sampling:

  • Bear’s Best, 11111 W. Flamingo Rd, about a 20-minute drive from the Strip, (702) 804-8500
  • Calloway Golf Center, 6730 Las Vegas Boulevard South, (702) 897-9500
  • Bali Hai Golf Club, 5160 Las Vegas Boulevard South, reservations: (888) 427-6678

For more golf, check the Las Vegas Golf Courses recognized on Golf Digest/Golfworld Best of Lists at

What the locals know

  • Valet parking is free just about everywhere, but tips are de rigueur.
  • It’s a desert, so drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
  • Gambling is entertainment. Pick a game that’s fun for you, set a limit, and walk away amused.