East Valley Sightseeing
Clark County Museum
1830 Boulder Hwy., Henderson
Southern Nevada’s roots are exposed here. Historic structures, including pioneer homes, are set along Heritage Street. Regional memorabilia and artifacts fill an 8,000-square-foot exhibit center. Railroad cars, along with the original Boulder City train depot, are featured in a special display re-creating an 1880s-era ghost town. This is an easy and affordable morning or afternoon jaunt from town. Admission is $1.50 for adults and $1 for seniors and children. Doors are open daily from 9 AM to 4:30 PM.
1775 E. Tropicana Ave.
Mr. Showmanship comes to life at this glittering showcase 2 miles east of The Strip. Spectacular cars, fine pianos and outrageous costumes fill this one-man museum. Don’t miss the world’s largest rhinestone, a 50.6-pound gem presented to Liberace by the Austrian company that supplied all his costume stones. Admission is $6.95 for adults, $4.95 for seniors older than 60, $4.95 for students and free for children under 12. Doors are open Monday through Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from 1 to 5 PM.
Marjorie Barrick Museumof Natural History
University of Nevada, Las Vegas,
4505 S. Maryland Pkwy.
This Southwestern collection features exhibits of live desert reptiles, mammals and insects, plus many Mojave Desert fossils. Among the highlights is a skeleton of an ichthyosaur, a whale-size sea lizard that is Nevada’s state fossil. The museum regularly hosts traveling exhibits, including those from the Smithsonian Institution. In front of the museum, an arboretum displays indigenous plants and a demonstration garden. Shaded benches line the paths and provide a peaceful and relaxing refuge just steps away from the college quad. The museum is open from 8 AM to 4:45 PM Monday through Friday. Admission is free.
McCarran Aviation Heritage Museum
McCarran International Airport,
5757 Wayne Newton Blvd.
This permanent display highlights southern Nevada’s airborne history, from the first flight in 1920 through the introduction of jet aircraft. The main exhibit is open 24 hours a day and is above the baggage claim on Level 2 of the main terminal. An additional exhibit on corporate aviation is on display at the Signature Flight Support building, which must be accessed separately. Signature is at 6005 Las Vegas Boulevard S. and its hours are 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. Both exhibits are free. Aviation buffs who like to watch the airport operations can park in a designated area south of the airport on Sunset Road and actually listen to the tower’s communication with the aircraft. Just tune your radio to 1610 AM and you can follow the traffic controllers’ conversation.
Thunderbirds Nellis Air Force Base
Las Vegas Blvd. N. and Craig Rd.
The Air Force’s precision flying team is based here and offers tours every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 PM year-round. The one-hour guided trip into one of America’s largest air bases includes a movie, a visit to the Heritage Hall history museum and an up-close inspection of a Thunderbird F-16. Private groups of 20 or more may reserve a special tour between 8 AM and 4 PM on weekdays. All programs are free.