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.
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.
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.
Hotels and resorts in West Las Vegas
The newest addition to the Caesars family, this center-Strip casino underwent a complete renovation and rebranding in 2014, so the rooms feel contemporary and fresh, and the whole resort still has a bit of that new hotel shine. Designed with younger visitors in mind, the Linq offers rooms for a crowd with two queen beds and an extra lofted bunk (starting around $69), affordable spa treatments (hello, Himalayan salt cave) and in-room fitness carts stocked with yoga mats and foam rollers available to guests free of charge. Best of all, the Linq Promenade, packed with restaurants, bars and shops, is just a few steps away.
The Las Vegas resort is located on the famous Strip near casinos, spas, and world-class shopping. It features suites with a private balcony and mountain and city views.Warmly decorated suites at Polo Towers have a flat-screen TV and an iPod docking station. They include a kitchen or a kitchenette equipped with a microwave and a refrigerator.The concierge staff at Polo Towers can arrange transportation, sightseeing and more. The hotel has an outdoor pool, a hot tub, and a fitness center. There is also an on-site spa and massages are available.The MGM Grand entertainment complex can be reached by foot in less than 10 minutes. McCarran International Airport is 2.6 miles away.
Conveniently located at the north end of the Vegas Strip, this hotel offers spacious rooms with free Wi-Fi and a cable TV. It features a casino and is 5 minutes' walk from the Las Vegas Convention Center.All warmly decorated rooms at Clarion Hotel & Casino feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Las Vegas Strip, Wynn Golf Course and the city of Las Vegas. Each non-smoking room includes a work desk, a refrigerator, a coffee maker and ironing facilities.Guests can play slots in the on-site casino or enjoy a show at the hotel’s Star Theater or Wolf Theater. The outdoor pool and hot tub are both open 24 hours a day.The Las Vegas Strip is within walking distance of this hotel. McCarran International Airport is a 10 minutes’ drive away from this hotel.
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.
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.
This modern retreat is frequented by local socialites as much for its proximity to their homes as for its sleek aesthetic. Situated next to the lush pool, the treatment suites appear to float on water. After a hike, order a Champagne Pedicure and Caviar Creams: this champagne cocktail for you and your feet includes 80 minutes of deep exfoliation, soothing masques, moisturizing caviar lotion and menthol foot balm massage, plus, of course, a glass of champagne. Cheers!