Best bets from your local chairmen

By: Michael Thomas, MD, and Michael Bradford, MD

By Michael Thomas, MD, and Michael Bradford, MD

It’s been 20 years since the Academy meeting was held in Las Vegas—and much has changed! To enhance your Las Vegas experience, we share our “best bets” for dining, sightseeing, shows, and show-stoppers. Enjoy fabulous Las Vegas!

Sights not to miss

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area— One of the sites that makes Las Vegas a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. Great for hiking, biking, rock climbing, or simply enjoying a scenic car ride. A $5 per car admission fee applies; it’s just 30 minutes west of the Strip on Charleston Blvd.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

The Atomic Testing Museum—Be sure to check this out—you’ll have a blast! The museum is only minutes from the Las Vegas strip, located at 755 East Flamingo Rd., just east of Paradise Road. (702) 794-5161

Places to eat

Some more of our favorites—Ferraro’s (an Italian restaurant located at 5900 W. Flamingo, less than 3 miles from the Strip); El Sombrero (One of Las Vegas’ oldest restaurants, featuring Mexican cuisine and located at 807 S. Main St); Mesa Grill (Chef Bobby Flay’s first restaurant in Caesar’s Palace); Capo’s (an Italian place with inexpensive food and great atmosphere that’s frequented by locals); and Hofbrau House (a great band and authentic German beer).

Family fun

Make a free visit to the Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand Hotel or ante up the admission fee to the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. The Volcano at the Mirage has been recently enhanced; while you’re there, stop and see the 20,000 gallon aquarium behind the hotel registration desk. Everyone will find something of interest if you walk the Forum Shops mall at Caesar’s Palace—from the Atlantis Fountain Show with its animated talking statues to the FAO Schwarz store.

The Lion Habitat at the MGMGrand Hotel

What the locals know

  • Shop at the “other” outlet, Las Vegas Outlet Center, 7400 Las Vegas Blvd South, for more name brands at outlet prices.
  • 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.