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October 9, 2015

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Seven reasons Las Vegas locals should head to the Strip


Steve Marcus

A view of casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

Maybe you haven't been to the Strip in a while. We often hear residents bragging about how long it has been since they've been there.

It’s time to head over.

Even locals need to remember every once in a while what 40 million tourists already know: the Strip is what makes Las Vegas unique.

Think you’ve already been there, done that? Probably not. New hot spots and attractions open on the Strip all the time.

Here are a few little-known gems you may not have tried:

    • A bucking pickle

      Rattlecan is a bit different than other hamburger joints.

      Instead of a mechanical bull, it features a mechanical pickle. But in order to ride it, you must order a “Pickleback,” a shot of Jameson whiskey followed by a pickle juice chaser.

      Murals adorn the walls and ceiling ducts of Rattlecan, named for a slang word for spray paint. The restaurant from Chef Sam DeMarco is at the Venetian, near the sports book.

      Burgers are served with mashed potatoes, goat cheese, coleslaw and arugula. Vegetarians can feast on veggie burgers or roasted portabello mushrooms. Spice up your condiments with a side of sriracha or smokey chipotle mayo.

    • Become a trainer for a day with bottlenose dolphins, one of the featured packages available at the Siegfried & Roy Secret Gardens and habitat at the Mirage.

      Train dolphins

      Why settle for just swimming with dolphins when you can help train them?

      The Mirage offers a "Trainer for the Day" program that allows people to work with animal experts and a family of bottlenose dolphins at the Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden. Participants learn about dolphin health and behavior and dolphins' daily needs.

      A six-hour, $550 program includes breakfast and a three-course poolside lunch, as well as a photo, cap and polo shirt. An observer can watch and eat (but not don a wetsuit) for an extra $150.

      The program is open to people 13 and older.

    • The Petrossian bar at the Bellagio offers afternoon tea from 1 to 4 p.m. daily.

      High tea happy hour

      Relax like a European with a cup of tea at the Bellagio.

      The Petrossian serves afternoon tea from 1 to 4 p.m. daily. Stick your pinky out, sip imported teas from around the world, and snack on open-faced sandwiches, English tea sandwiches, freshly baked scones and miniature pastries.

    • Jeff Civillico performs 2 p.m. shows Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at the Quad casino, formerly the Imperial Palace.

      See a new show

      Jeff Civillico brings juggling to a new level with a high-energy comedy show at the Quad, formerly known as Imperial Palace.

      Civillico started performing there last spring and has received top reviews from Yelp and Trip Advisor.

      He performs at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Buy discounted tickets online for as little as $10.

    • This Poire Chaude (Hot Pear) cocktail at Payard gets its kick from white wine, and with the black sea salt rim and edible garnish, it's a taste adventure.

      Have a wine cooler

      If you're looking for a drink that's a little different, try the new menu of wine cocktails at Payard Patisserie and Bistro in Caesars Palace.

      Manager Sam Berkley created the concoctions that have no gin or vodka, just wine, champagne and cider.

      The Poire Chaude (Hot Pear) mixes moscato with pear cider. The Mojito Rouge features muddled mint and lime mixed with cabernet sauvignon, agave nectar and soda.

      Drink prices range from $11 to $13, with happy hour specials.

      Or celebrate a rare trip to the Strip with the $50 Grandiose that includes Paul Goerg champagne and Chateau Nairac Deuxieme Crus with white truffle oils. It is garnished with a dehydrated lemon, caviar, an edible flower and gold flake.

    • Appetizer insanity: applewood bacon and jalapeno wrapped prawns with guava barbecue sauce and roasted lemon.

      New offerings at the Stratosphere

      On the north end of the Stratosphere is the new McCall's Heartland Grill.

      It features coffee-rubbed strip steak and potato-crusted salmon and sides of creamed spinach with roasted poblano chilies. The atmosphere is comfortable and homey, and all entrees cost less than $35.

    • A new club

      Bagatelle, a new nightclub at the Tropicana, combines the surroundings of an upscale restaurant with the after-hours vibe of a dance club.

      It also features music different than most clubs. The set list on a recent night included tunes from Tom Jones as well as a live saxophone player who strolled through the crowd.

      Better yet, getting in and out is easy because Bagatelle has its own valet just off of Tropicana Avenue, so guests don't have to walk through the casino to get to their cars.

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