Like the ever-expanding waistline of a chowhound at a buffet, the area surrounding Las Vegas grows as much in girth as it does in density. Nowhere is this truer than of south-west Las Vegas, which over the last two decades has burst its metaphorical seams.
Fifteen years ago the southern edge was largely held in check by the I-215. Since then, Vegas has jumped its former boundaries to include areas like Enterprise and Southern Highlands, west of the I-15 and south of the I-215. The interior section of this town (to the north-east) includes the upscale residential developments of Spanish Trail and Spanish Hills, home to many of Las Vegas' notable figures. Take the I-215 Beltway out past Durango Drive, where it makes a sharp curve from an east-west axis and heads due north. Here the Beltway practically butts up against the mountains to the west.
Heading west from the Strip, Sahara Avenue yields little of interest. Chains make up most of the tenants, and continuing on, you'll pass countless car dealerships and fast food joints before reaching Rainbow Boulevard, surrounded by residential properties and heavy commercial development.
Farther west is Durango Drive, the beginning of the Lakes neighbourhood, where the waterside homes afford residents the chance to go boating and fishing. Lake East Drive features a walking trail through the surrounding parks, eventually dumping you out at Twain Avenue. At the far-western end of Sahara Avenue, nestled at the base of the mountains, lies the Red Rock Country Club (2466 Grassy Spring Place, 360 3100), a desert golf community that gives new meaning to the word "exclusive."
Things to do West Las Vegas
The Nevada State Museum has permanent exhibits on the natural and anthropological history of the region, from ancient Paiute Indians to 19th-century pioneers, and the men and women of the Nellis Gunnery School in World War II. The standout exhibit tells the story of Bugsy Siegel's Flamingo, complete with interactive recordings of Bugsy (played by an actor) threatening business partners. There are plans to move the museum to the Las Vegas Springs Preserve in 2008; call ahead to check.Read more
Restaurants and bars in West Las Vegas
Mixologists reign at the bar of this Italian/tapas restaurant, which aspires to a 1920s speakeasy feel. The bartenders focus on quality, tradition and innovation – the cocktail menu is arranged according to the history of spirits. Ask for a Bee’s Knees – a ’20s-era nectar of gin, honey and lemon.Read more
This comfortable outpost of the Lebanese Hedary family’s Texas original offers fabulous, fresh renditions of falafel, hummus, tabouleh, kibbeh and more, along with good kebabs from the grill. For vegetarians, the tasting meze offers a never-ending supply of incredibly good small plates.Read more
Comfort food doesn’t get much heartier than the soul food dished up here. It’s a pretty basic room; indeed, it feels a tad dreary after dark. But the food is fabulous: chicken, short ribs and other goodies dished up a variety of ways with an array of moreish sides (try the yams and the macaroni cheese). Get there in good time, mind: it closes early.Read more
Hotels and resorts in West Las Vegas
This hotel and casino is 20 minutes’ walk from Fashion Show Mall on the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel offers a full-service spa and 9 on-site restaurants.Planet Hollywood features 2 outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs that overlook the Strip. Guests can use the fitness center or browse the on-site shops. Evening entertainment is also available.Guest rooms at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas are equipped with 42-inch plasma-screen TVs. Spacious bathrooms and movie memorabilia are also included in each room.The Miracle Mile Shops, with over 170 stores, 15 restaurants and 3 live theaters, are directly connected to the Planet Hollywood. The Las Vegas Convention Center is 8 minutes' drive away.Read more
Known for its iconic pyramid shape, Luxor is located on the Las Vegas Strip and features a casino and live entertainment. It provides a full-service spa, 4 large pools and a hot tub.Guest rooms at the Luxor provide cable TV. Each room includes a seating area while bathrooms feature over-sized showers.Nurture Spa and Salon offers an assortment of beauty treatments. A steam bath, dry sauna and hot tubs are available at the spa.LAX Nightclub at the Las Vegas Luxor offers VIP areas. It is decorated in rich red colors and boasts a state-of-the-art sound system.The Aurora bar is also available.Dining at Luxor Las Vegas includes steaks, seafood and deli-style foods. Buffets and a burger bar can also be found at the hotel.Casino Luxor contains 120,000 square feet of slots and table games including poker. Race & Sports Book, a betting arena, with plasma TVs provide entertainment. Criss Angel Believe Cirque du Soleil nightly show is featured.Please note: Per Luxor policy, please ensure the original credit card used at the time of booking is presented during check-in.Read more
Located less than 10 minutes' walk from the Las Vegas Strip, Suites at Hilton Grand Vacation Club at the Flamingo sits adjacent to the High Roller ferris wheel. Free WiFi is available.Guestrooms at this hotel offer a fully equipped kitchen and dining room. Guests can relax in the luxurious in-room jetted tub. A flat-screen TV is available for in-room entertainment. Room service offers dining convenience.Guests can cool off in the modern outdoor pool, or stay active in the hotel's fitness centre. An on-site bar and snack bar are also offered. Guests can enjoy golfing and table tennis.The Grand Canal Shoppes are 15 minutes' walk from Suites at Hilton Grand Vacation Club at the Flamingo. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is 20 minutes' drive away.Read more
Music and nightlife in West Las Vegas
Rande Gerber's first full-on Vegas club (he also created ultralounge Whiskey) is a polished spot, smaller than those on the Strip. The red-toned, wood-and-steel interior creates a warm, intimate environment, and opens out to a gorgeous pool. Even the restrooms are a delight, with holographic projections, voyeuristic mirrors and, mouth-shaped urinals. Expect a slightly older, well-heeled locals' crowd.Read more
Shopping in West Las Vegas
Rampart Boulevard in Summerlin, located in the north-eastern area of Las Vegas, was already rife with malls before the first phase of Tivoli Village opened in 2011: Boca Park Fashion Village lies on the other side of Alta Drive, and just up the road from that is the popular and dependable Rampart Commons. No matter to Tivoli’s developers, who painstakingly worked through the economic slump to build and open this classy and luxurious European-themed shopping center. But this open-air market has little in common with its neighbors up the road, opting, instead, for more of a "lifestyle" experience than a shopping expedition. Accessorize your home, at Ethan Allen; your wardrobe, at Republic of Couture; or your dog, at Shaggy Chic; then complete your afternoon with a meal at Poppy Den. You’re welcome.Read more
‘The Studio’ is known for its electric muscle-stimulation devices: dildos, plugs and sheaths, all composed of clear plastic and attachable to an electrical impulse control unit that stimulates the user from the inside out, ‘harmonising with the body’s own electrical impulses’. If you say so.Read more