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Destination: October 2002

Las Vegas, NV:
Doggie Adventures in World Famous Vegas

Las Vegas, also known as Sin City, is a world famous place for gambling, indoor shows, concerts and more. Almost all of these activites occur indoors, where dogs are not allowed. So how much fun can you really have with your pooch in Vegas? There are actually some interesting things that you and your pooch can enjoy. While casinos and most hotels on the Strip do not allow dogs, you can tour this popular area from the Las Vegas Boulevard sidewalks. There are several sights to see on a self-guided walking tour. Or if you prefer to be indoors, your well-behaved pooch is allowed inside a museum and on a automobile production facility tour near downtown. If you prefer to get some exercise in the great outdoors, there are actually some nice hikes close to Las Vegas.

While many folks are indoors gambling, you and your best friend can take an outdoor tour of this interesting city. You will get some exercise and save money at the same time. There are many points of interest on this self-guided walking tour that many tourists without dogs also visit. While you can take the tour anytime of day, probably the best time is late afternoon or early evening because of the special effects and light shows at some of the points of interest. All places mentioned can be viewed from the sidewalk.

Start the walk at the Treasure Island Hotel at 3300 South Las Vegas Blvd. In the front of this hotel you can view two battle ships duke it out. Every 90 minutes, each evening at Buccaneer Bay, musket and cannon fire are exchanged in a pyrotechnic battle between the pirate ship Hispaniola and the British frigate H.M.S. Britannia. This is a popular attraction and it can become very crowded on the sidewalk. Next stop is the Volcano at the front of the Mirage Hotel at 3400 South Las Vegas Blvd. From dusk to midnight, every 15 minutes, flames shoot into the sky, spewing smoke and fire 100 feet above the water, transforming a tranquil waterfall into streams of molten lava. For a little musical entertainment, walk over to the Musical Fountains at the Bellagio Hotel at 3600 South Las Vegas Blvd. Here you will find spectacular fountains that fill a 1/4 mile long lake in front of the hotel. Every evening there is a water show that is timed to music. The show takes place every 15 minutes. For some interesting architecture, walk over to the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel at 3655 South Las Vegas Blvd. While your pooch cannot go into the Paris Hotel or the tower, you can view this half size Paris replica from the street. You can also visit the Statue of Liberty right in Las Vegas. Walk over to the New York, New York Hotel at 3790 South Las Vegas Blvd. Again, your pooch cannot go inside this hotel, but you can view the replica from the street. The last stop is the Luxor Hotel at 3900 South Las Vegas Blvd. From the sidewalk you will see the large pyramid with hotel rooms inside and a large sphinx in the front of the hotel. Please note that some of the attractions might be closed during certain times of the year or during bad weather, especially when it is windy.

If an indoor attraction is more appealing, head on over to the Shelby American Museum. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are allowed in this musuem and on the automobile production tour. Shelby American produced the legendary Shelby Cobra automobile in the 1960's and they now make a new roadster, the Series 1 along with the 289 (FIA) Cobra and the 427 S/C Cobra. The manufacturing facility in Las Vegas opened in 1998 and it even has a testing ground right outside the factory. The museum, open 8am to 4pm daily, showcases the latest cars as well as vintage Shelby autos. You and your pooch can even take a tour of the production facility during the weekdays at 10:30am. The tour is free. Be sure to shop by the merchandise store after your tour. To get there from downtown Las Vegas, take Interstate 15 north about 11 miles to exit 54. Shelby American is located at the entrance to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Please note that the facility is closed from the end of December to the beginning of January for the holidays.

All of these activities might make your pooch (and you) work up an appetite. But don't expect to dine on the Strip in Vegas. There are only a few outdoor restaurants in the popular casino area and we did not find any that allow dogs. However, we did find many dog-friendly restaurants in the city of Las Vegas. Well-behaved dogs are allowed at the outdoor tables at the following restaurants: Einstein Brothers Bagels, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, Wild Sage Cafe (entrees are about $15 to $25), Leo's Deli (named in memory of their dog, Leo), and Mountain Springs Saloon (very welcoming to dogs).

If you are looking for a nice hike in the area, look no further than the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This park is located about 30 to 40 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. Red Rock Canyon is very scenic, with mountains that offer a sharp contrast between the red rock formations and the limestone ridges. There is a 13 Mile Loop Drive that offers sightseeing, vistas and overlooks. Several short hikes are accessible from the loop drive. Leashed dogs are allowed on most of the trails, except for the very rocky trails. Stop by the visitor center for more information about trails on the loop drive and in the area. To get there from downtown Las Vegas, take Charleston Blvd./159 and head west. The park entrance fee is $5 per vehicle and $5 per dog.

There are a variety of accommodations to choose from when staying overnight in Las Vegas. Of special interest is the Hawthorne Suites-The Strip, because of its location near the Las Vegas Strip. Every room in the hotel is a suite. Hotel amenities include a guest laundry, outdoor pool, exercise room and more.They allow well-behaved dogs for an additional $25 per stay. Or if you prefer to stay a little outside of Vegas, try the Mount Charleston Lodge and Cabins located about 35 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. The lodge sits at over 7,700 feet above sea level and there are several dog-friendly trails nearby for hikers. Dogs are welcome for an additional $10 per day pet charge.

While you may not be able to visit the casinos with your pooch in Las Vegas, you can still see many sights. And if you do want to gamble, there are several doggie day boarding facilities near downtown. A-V.I.P. Kennel and Animal Inn Boarding Kennels are located about 5 minutes from the Strip. They both offer indoor and outdoor kennels. Please note however that both kennels require your dog to have proof of many vaccines including rabies, parvo, distemper, corona, and bordetello (kennel cough).

For more information:

Attractions:
Las Vegas Strip Walking Tour, 3300-3900 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV
Shelby American Museum, 6755 Speedway Blvd., Las Vegas, NV, 702-643-3000
For more dog-friendly attractions in Las Vegas, look here

Lodging:
Hawthorn Suites-The Strip, 5051 Duke Ellington Way, Las Vegas, NV, 702-739-7000
Mount Charleston Lodge and Cabins, Highway 38, Mt. Charleston, NV, 702-872-5408
For more dog-friendly lodging in Las Vegas, look here

Parks:
Red Rock Canyon National Area, Charleston Blvd/159, Las Vegas, NV, 702-363-1921
For more dog-friendly parks in Las Vegas, look here

Restaurants:
Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, 1380 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV, 702-699-8920
Einstein Brothers Bagels, 9031 W. Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV, 702-254-0919
Wild Sage Cafe, 600 E Warm Springs Rd, Las Vegas, NV, 702-944-7243
Leo's Deli, 4055 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV, 702-733-7827
Mountain Springs Saloon, Highway 160, Las Vegas, NV, 702-875-4266
For more dog-friendly restaurants in Las Vegas, look here

Kennels - Day Boarding:
A-V.I.P. Kennel, 6808 La Cienega, Las Vegas, NV, 702-361-8900
Animal Inn Boarding Kennels, 3460 W Oquendo Rd, Las Vegas, NV, 702-736-0036



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