Tag - NV

Hot Activities in Vegas for 2013

Las Vegas Welcome sign

Las Vegas Welcome sign

by Kathleen Curry and Geoff Griffin,

No matter how many times you’ve been to Las Vegas, there’s always something new to try. So put your poker chips away and head out of the casino to try a few new things on and off “The Strip” for 2013:

Come for the people-watching and stay for the burgers at the Fat Bar (3763 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-736-4733, fatbarlasvegas.com). Connected to the famous Fat Burger, it’s a great place to grab a drink and people watch on the amazing Vegas Strip.

The Guns and Ammo Garage (5155 S. Dean Martin Dr., 702-440-4867, gunsandammogarage.com), just off the Strip, will show you how to shoot your weapon of choice. Try an UZI, AK-47 or Tommy Gun or many others for an experience that really can only be found in Vegas. Packages start at $99.

If, like Ray Liotta’s character in Goodfellas, as far back as you can remember, you always wanted to be a gangster, the Mob Attraction (Tropicana Hotel, 702-739-2662, mobattraction.com) is for you. Learn about the history of the Mafia in Las Vegas, and try to become a made man yourself. Tickets are $33.

zarkana

zarkana

Let Cirque du Soleil amaze you at Zarkana (Aria, 877-253-5847, www.cirquedusoleil.com). Their newest show is a rock opera with incredible acrobatics currently playing at the Aria. Cirque are the true innovators of Vegas entertainment, and Zarkana is no exception. Tickets start at $69.

Do you ever dream of being a sports superstar? Score (Luxor, 702-262-4200, www.scorelv.com) helps you live the dream, sign a multi- million dollar contract and enjoy challenges like changing a NASCAR tire or throwing a fastball, all while viewing tons of sports memorabilia on display. Tickets are $28.

Want to get the band back together, be a rock star for a day, or just hang out and jam? Rock n’ Roll Fantasy Camp (3485 W. Harmon Ave., 888-762-BAND, www.rockcamp.com) can help out with all of that and more. “Rock Star for a Day” packages start at $299.

Starting in June, SlotZilla (877-Vegas-4-U, www.vegasexperience.com) will provide visitors with a very Vegas experience. Starting from an 11-story slot machine-styled launching point, you’ll be able to zoom down Fremont Street by zip-line.

It can be easy to forget that there’s nature just outside Las Vegas. Flightlinez (702-293-6885, www.fligtlinezbootleg.com) wants to help you remember, with zip-line rides at Bootleg Canyon, where you can hit speeds of up to 60 mph.

When you think “Vegas,” you may not think “fine art.” However, the Warhol Out West exhibit at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art (Bellagio, 888-987-6667, www.bellagio.com) is a great way to break up casino-hopping and get a little culture in. Tickets are $16.

The Las Vegas Strip at midnight

The Las Vegas Strip at midnight

Strip club’s are not just a night activity now that Sapphire Pool and Day Club (3025 S. Industrial Road, 702-869-0003, www.sapphirepoollv.com) has opened. The club is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, and offers a free limo pickup, so you can keep your cash, for you know… tipping.

Dig This (3012 S. Rancho Dr., 702-222-4344, www.digthisvegas.com) is one of those things that they would only come up with in Vegas. With the guidance of trained professionals, visitors can learn to operate a crane or a bulldozer. Living out your fantasies of construction work starts at $249 a session.

No matter what month it is, it’s always Oktoberfest at the Hofbrauhaus (4510 Paradise Rd., 702-853-BEER, www.HofbrauhausLasVegas.com). Stop by for a brat and a beer, and be sure to try one of their giant pretzels flown over from Germany.

The Blue Man Group (800-BLUEMAN, www.blueman.com) has recently moved to the Monte Carlo, with a new and improved version of their stage show. Tickets for the all-ages-friendly show start at $59.

To hear more about what to do and “Hot Activities in Vegas for 2013” listen to this new Travel Brigade Podcast with Kathleen Curry and Geoff Griffin below episode below.

Listen to internet radio with Travel Brigade on BlogTalkRadio
Photo Credits

Credit Las Vegas News Bureau for the LV sign and skyline shot.

Credit Cirque du Soleil on the Zarkana photo
Copyright-Travel Brigade © uncharted101.com

The Legends of Sand Mountain, Nevada

Sand Mountain is a natural sand formation located about 20 miles southeast of Fallon, Nevada. This is one of the best places to experience booming dunes in the western United States, and, as such, it is a popular location for visitors from around the world. But it’s the legends of Sand Mountain that makes it particularly poignant – legends of the Singing Mountain where Kwasee, the ancient benefactor of the Shoshone Paiute, still sings for his mate, or the folklore of giant prehistoric beasts who once frolicked in Lake Lohontan, one now moaning for the loss of its mate, forever buried beneath the shifting sands.

A view of Sand Mountain

A view of Sand Mountain

The Natural Formation of Sand Mountain

Once upon a time, geologists tell us, Lake Lohontan covered the bulk of Nevada as agreat sea. This was the time of the ichthyosaur and the pleisiosaur that once frolicked beneath the waves of this huge body of water. Eventually, the lake dried, and as it subsided, sediment was forced onto the shores of the new lakebed, ground, in time, into fine silt and sand. Strong winds formed dunes, including Sand Mountain, which exists to this time as an awesome example of the power of nature. But it’s the composition of the sediment that causes the natural booming or singing effect of the sand, and which gives rich life to the legends.

How Do You Make a Mountain Sing?

To appreciate the acoustical phenomenon of singing, or booming, you have to climb to the crest of the dune and then slide down the slip face. Going down with an avalanche of sand is like riding down an escalator ankle-deep in sand. The vibration of the sand is what causes the loud “ booming effect,” likened to the drone of bombers or vintage fighter planes.

sand-mtnIt’s also possible to hear the booming sounds as more of a hollow rustle when the wind shifts across the sands. Scientists tell us that the mountain sings or booms as a result of the vibrations and movements of the smooth, rounded grains of sand and the warm, dry climate.

The Legends of Serpents and Dinosaurs

In the Nevada Official Bicentennial Book, Mary Holliday relates the tale of the large sea dinosaur (plesiosaur) that once lived and frolicked with its mate in ancient Lake Lahontan.  Strong winds piled the sediment of the lakebed into what is now Sand Mountain, burying the mate under hundreds of feet of sand. To this day, it is said, the dinosaur moans for its mate and the deep blue waters of Lake Lahontan.

large sea dinosaur (plesiosaur)

large sea dinosaur (plesiosaur)

But the local Paiute-Shoshone tribe has a different explanation. According to their beliefs, the singing is the hissing of Kwansee, an ancient serpent that once lived with their people where they were created at  Fox Peak, the sacred mountain in the Stillwater Range. Kwansee and his wife lived beneath the Stillwater Mountains, journeying across what is now present-day western Nevada (Pyramid Lake, Lake Tahoe and Walker Lake), dispensing wisdom and spreading joy wherever they went. When Kwansee’s wife died, he was so saddened that he buried himself in the sand at the foot of the Stillwater Range, and he remains at that sacred spot to this very day, dispensing guidance and protection while mourning his mate.

Whatever the legend, the fact is that this is a beautiful spot that should be respected because of its tribal  spiritual significance. Off-roaders should take particular care not to disturb the local wildlife, and to appreciate the serenity of the area as it has existed for hundreds of years.