A list of must-sees, must-dos, and must-eats.

By Lynn Goya
January 17, 2007
Doug Merriam

Las Vegas has become a world-class culinary destination. In our list, the city ranks third in restaurants rated "extraordinary to perfection" and third in nominations for James Beard awards.

When husband and wife chefs Michael and Wendy Jordan opened Rosemary's Restaurant(702-869-2251) in a strip mall in 1999, few dreamed it would garner a string of compliments that include two number one spots in Zagat's 2006 guide. Michael, who earned his chops working for Emeril, now cooks with unexpected combinations of fresh fish, cheeses, produce, and herbs in a California-cuisine-meets-the-Deep-South style, witnessed in the barbecue shrimp with fresh slaw laced with blue cheese.

Most Vegas visitors don't stray far from the Strip. But beginning in mid-February, nearby desert colors rival the neon as native wildflowers begin their short blooming season. About 30 minutes southeast of Las Vegas lies the Lake Mead Recreation Area (702-293-8990), the national park that surrounds the Hoover Dam reservoir. Hike the five-mile Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail, which follows a railroad bed used to deliver supplies for the construction of the dam.

Las Vegas prides itself on being slightly sinful, but Canyon Ranch SpaClub (800-742-9000) caters to healthful decadence. In addition to a variety of relaxing massages, facials, and pedicures, Canyon Ranch is the only Vegas spa where you can have lunch with a registered dietitian, develop a personalized workout with an exercise physiologist, or sample a variety of exercise classes from Jivamukti Yoga to salsa dancing.