Hilton Grand Vacations on the Boulevard is an amazing location right on the strip in Las Vegas. It is right in the heart of the action but yet also a world apart.
Day One Arrival
If you are coming in from the airport, you can park on-site if you have a rental, or you can book an airport shuttle through the resort ahead of time. I think that is a nice option if you are with a large family or group.
On this trip, I have the privilege to be transferring from one Hilton resort to another.
At this resort, you are offered access to studios, and 1, 2, and 3-bedroom villas. The studios are small but well laid out at 360 square feet, and the 3 bedroom units are amazing at almost 1,500 square feet.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- In-Room Safe
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Business Center
- On-Site Restaurants
- Fitness Center
- Concierge Services
I was booked for a 1 bedroom unit since it was just me and I was transferring from one Hilton property to another. My 1 bedroom was over 660sq ft and had a great many nice options in the villa.
The site also has a number of amenities for all guests.
Once you settle in as I have, you can get out on the strip just by walking out of the resort itself. This resort is truly on the strip, which makes it nice.
Just North of the resort and across the street is the Sahara Casino. I have not been there before on one of my trips, so since I was so close now, I felt was time to check it out.
The Sahara itself is a massive resort-style casino that draws in more than its share of visitors and gamblers. Here they offer over 60,000 sq feet of games of all kinds. The entire Casino and larger resort received a makeover by changing the branding back to Sahara from the previous SLS branding. This came with a massive investment in public spaces. Their investment shows and things look very new and nice in the gaming area.
I did not spend a long time at the Sahara only because I did not want to start earning points on yet another player card or account. I had just spent much of the last two days working the points systems and gambling some. I typically do well when gambling, but on this trip, I lost at least one of my shirts.
So my plan for this part of my trip is to play less and to get out and see the town more on days 2 and 3. But today I want to visit some of the casinos like the Sahara that I have missed before just to check them out.
I headed in the other direction, now going South on the strip. I wanted to check out the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. experience which is close to several of the casinos.
Inside Tip. I found out that there is a VIP option that is only about $15 more per person but includes a gift, special tour-led access, and many little VIP perks. So If you are going to do this experience, it may be worth the added expense for a crazy Marvel fan in the family. My strategy might be to take in the crazy fan with one adult (the one with the most buy-in to the superhero things) thus giving over an hour to others in your group, and making the experience very special with the one parent, or grandparents sole focus on the Marvel fan for a bit.
The feeling here is kind of like a children’s museum, with interactive exhibits being the focus of much of the content. There is also the fun for your Marvel fan of seeing the “real” life-sized Iron Man suits, and all the life-size Marvel fun they dish up.
This is all at Treasure Island so I thought I would go in and check out their gaming area. Treasure island feels and is dated. Their own website lists the casino in the name but does not share photos or content about the games. Nothing to see here so moving on.
The Venetian covers much of the other side of the strip in this area. I chose to go to Madame Tussauds to see their amazing wax works. Again, Marvel fans can fall in love here with the 4D movie experience at Tussauds. These days, the largest wax museum is more about selfies with the images of stars seeming to lead the way.
The site also has an interactive VR experience that is truly unique.
Video by Island Hopper TV
Time to head out from the strip and see some of the amazing off-strip things in Las Vegas.
My first stop today will be the Mob Museum.
This museum is about the history of organized crime and how law enforcement has tried to fight them. It also shows what happened during the Kefauver hearings. There is a permanent exhibit called the Crime Lab, where visitors learn about different types of weapons and how they work. Visitors can also take a tour of the museum’s distillery.
I have read a great deal about the mob in the early days. Including several books by one of the better authors who descends from the Bonanno family: 1 of the 5 main families in organized crime. Also, like most American males, I truly enjoyed several of the movies and TV shows surrounding organized crime.
Here is something I would not allow myself to not see, the Underground Speakeasy in the museum. Here they have specialty drinks from the period which found speakeasies the choice of so many across the nation. The hours are Monday–Wednesday: noon to 10 p.m.
Thursday–Sunday: Noon to midnight.
I had several of the house craft recreations of a drink called rattlesnake. It was amazing. It was hard to pull myself out of that bar. It was comfortable, cool, and something I enjoyed.
Next was the Atomic Testing Museum
The United States government tested atomic bombs in the desert of Nevada. Atomic bomb tests were conducted in the desert of Nevada from 1951 to 1962. The mushroom clouds could be seen all the way to Las Vegas, and they became a tourist attraction.
Today, the only remnants of the nuclear testing museum are in the National Atomic Test Museum. It’s dedicated to everything about what happened in Nevada before and after World War II. There are exhibits including videos, artifacts, propaganda poster,s and atomic age memorabilia, and there are also some interesting facts about the history of the US in the 20th century.
A simulation includes a Ground Zero theater that mimics a real-life nuclear explosion. There’s also a genuine B53 nuclear weapon on display! The National Atomic Testing Museum serves as a fun, unique day trip. But it’ll also serve as a learning experience for a little-known piece of American history.
The overall experience was somewhat scientific, but yet a feeling that was like I had when I left the Holocaust Museum. The idea was that such great weapons had to be created, tested, and even used. It can be overwhelming.
After that, I had to check out the local railway museum and I had tickets for a train ride.
There are many fun things to do for rail fans here. Even a unique ride on these small 4-person trains that allow you to do a 45-minute tour.
Something that is one of a kind is the ability to experience a ride in the cab with the engineer and brakeman. This you will want to book ahead. I was able to drop that I was a writer into my attempted purchase conversation and was added last minute.
There is also a model railroad in one of the railcars. The model railroad car on the station platform, a 1914 UP Chair Car, with the interior reworked to include 2 model railroads (HO Scale and O Gauge) and displays. The operating schedule for weekends depends on volunteer availability but generally is open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year.
Time for an early lunch. This burger is extremely unhealthy. It contains more fat than a regular cheeseburger, and it also includes four types of meat. It’s very high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and sodium.
A heart attack grill is a place where people eat very unhealthy foods. The waitresses wear nurse outfits because if someone gets sick or needs help, they want them to know who to call.
If you can’t finish your meals, you get a public whipping. If you do manage a clean plate, you’ll be taken for a victory lap. At the end of the day, this is just a fun-themed greasy spoon with good burgers. It made for a fun lunch.
The reason I wanted to have a greasy lunch to start my day was overdoing it a little on the strip last night. I walked back to my resort room under my own power, but I would not have felt a nail if I stepped on it. This had me moving slowly and pursuing greasy food first thing.
I know it is a crazy way to start, but it seemed to help a little.
After surviving my heart attack lunch so early in the day. I headed for Red Rock Canyon.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
The Red Rock Canyon National Park is located in Nevada. It is a national park that protects natural resources, such as plants and wildlife. There are many trails in the park that visitors can hike or bike. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful scenery and take pictures.
The conservation area showcases a set of rocks and walls formed by thrust faults, including Keystone Thrust. The walls reach heights of up to 3,000 ft (910 m), making them a popular hiking destination. The highest point of the area is La Madre Mountain at 8,154 ft (2,485 m) above sea level.
There is a loop road that goes around the park. Visitors can drive up and down this loop road. At the end of the loop road, there is a visitor center. This loop road is used by bicyclists as well.
A side canyon is accessible only by an unmaintainable dirt road. There is a state route cutting through the valley. The cliffs can be seen to the West from the highway.
Red Rock Canyon is one of the best ways to enjoy nature near Las Vegas
Red Rock Canyon is a beautiful place in Nevada. People come here to enjoy nature and relax. There are many things to do there, such as hiking, horseback riding, fishing, camping, etc.
There’s no doubt that this enormous casino city in the middle desert will intrigue you, and you’ll be curious about what else there is to see. But after a few nights of staying in different hotels, you’ll definitely want to leave, because you’re tired of visiting casinos. And you won’t enjoy visiting the incredible natural parks scattered around Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. You’ll be more interested in visiting the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Monument Valley, and other amazing places.
There are many beautiful places in Nevada, but Red Rock Canyon is definitely one of them. You can see amazing views of the canyon, as well as the dam, the lake, and the mountains. This place is very popular among tourists because of the great scenery.
Red Rock Canyon where is and how far is it from Las Vegas?
Red Rock Canyon is a beautiful place located about 15 miles or less from the city of Las Vegas. This natural park is famous for its red rocks that rise out of the desert terrain. These rocks create an amazing landscape that differs greatly from what we see in other places.
Hours and Entrance Fees
High Point Overlook is open from 8:am to 4:30 pm during the winter months. During the summer months, the park opens earlier than that. The Red Spring Boardwalk follows a schedule of opening at 6 am and closing at 5 pm. The scenic drive follows a similar schedule. The Red Rock Overlook is open from 9 am to 3 pm during the winter months and 7 am to 2 pm during the summer months.
March: 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. April to September:6:00am to 8:00 pm. October: from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.
As my day continued I headed back for the strip for some much-desired air conditioning, and a little hair from the dog. I landed at the Velveteen Rabbit which had an amazing drink called the FROZEN CHARLOTTE. This was a blend of amazing flavors that included one of my favorite spiced eggnogs. That combined with great air conditioning was a welcomed break from the heat of the day.
The drink was great and the bar on the inside was great. Their outside area looks more like a quick response to COVID, which is understandable.
Next on my list was another semisecret bar in the laundry room. Which is a small 28-seat bar inside the Commonwealth. Here you need a connection to get in at night time or at least reservations.
Here it was, close seating and run by one masterful bartender and a cocktail waitress on my trip. I am always impressed by a talented staff that can serve many customers and maintains a very pleasant demeanor.
As my self-proclaimed bar crawl continued, now that the sun has gone down I headed for the Sky Bar at the Waldorf Astoria this is a great location with a view that is one of the best in Vegas. As night falls and the lights of Vegas take over from the sun, it is an impressive site for sure.
Now not in great order because it does not make good sense to go to a 4D flight experience when you are well and not feeling any pain. But it is close to the Sky Bar and it looked really fun. This took me to Fly Over Vegas they close at 9 PM so you have to plan this earlier in the night if you do want to try it.
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