Be One of the Guys
Women who play poker are like women who drink scotch—instantly intriguing. Find out how to be one of them at Mandalay Bay, where poker lessons are free several days a week. Not only will you learn several versions of the game; you’ll also be schooled in terminology and table etiquette. Afterward head over to the Old Homestead, a classic New York steak house with a Vegas outpost in Caesar’s. It serves Pat LaFrieda dry-aged meats and truffled gnocchi to die for; both can be paired with wine flights that may include selections from Opus and Justin.
Revisit Old Vegas
Start by touring the Neon Museum, whose collection of oldie-but-goodie signs will make you nostalgic for the Rat Pack days. Next stop: the new Mob Museum, located in (wink, wink) the old courthouse. It offers a comprehensive journey through the history of organized crime, from the early beginnings to today. The extensive display of mobster memorabilia includes John Gotti’s white suit; interactive exhibits allow visitors to listen to wiretaps.
View two feats of engineering at once when you visit the Hoover Dam with Pink Jeep tours. The dam, revolutionary when it debuted, is now spanned by the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, a beautiful 1,900-foot-long concrete arch that opened to the public about three years ago.
The not-very-Zen Strip is home to some of the best spas in the country, and most offer day passes for around $40. At Aria, try the heated Japanese gaban’yoku stone beds, said to increase circulation. It’s worth paying for entry to the Spa at Encore, at the Wynn, if only to see its over-the-top design. The spa also has several “experience” showers: One mimics a waterfall; another shoots water all over your body.
The prize for best Jacuzzi goes to the The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, whose soothing Vitality Pool has unrivaled views of the Strip. The star at Sahra Spa at the Cosmopolitan is the hammam, a $3 million bathhouse that can be experienced only by booking a treatment but is worth every penny.