Featured getaway: Laughlin, Nevada
Hit the casinos, watch big-name entertainment and stay at a themed hotel. Las Vegas? No, but this small gambling town on the banks of the Colorado River offers a taste of Vegas minus the glitz, traffic and high costs. Plus, there's plenty to do here besides gambling. Not only does Laughlin have the Colorado River for boating, swimming, fishing, waterskiing and other sports, it also has gorgeous Lake Mohave offering much of the same on a grander scale. Golfers will enjoy beautiful courses where reasonable green fees stretch their cash. For a taste of the Wild West, head to nearby 100-year-old Oatman, where you can catch a mock gunfight and guzzle beer in an old-time saloon. Hiking, anyone? Grapevine Canyon awaits you, famous for the Indian markings -- some 800 years old -- carved into its boulders. You'll find plenty of gaming houses, with water shuttles running between them 24/7. What Laughlin lacks in Vegas glamour, it makes up for in affordability, scenic beauty and aquatic fun.
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Casinos, naturally, continue to draw tourists to Las Vegas. From penny slots to high-stakes table games in private salons, you'll find it here. But there's much more to Las Vegas than gambling. Our weekend itinerary highlights attractions of a different sort, from the choreographed fountains at the Bellagio to the Liberace Museum. Las Vegas is also surprisingly family-friendly. In an attempt to appeal to kids, the hotels have spent millions developing technically sophisticated indoor amusement rides such as the Race for Atlantis.
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