If you can spare a couple of hours away from the tables, the pools, the shopping and shows for a little (huge) piece of American history, take a drive to Hoover Dam and visit one of the best things to do in Las Vegas. Located about 45 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip en route to Arizona, the construction here is as mind boggling today as it was in 1936, challenging human perceptions of dimension and offering a peek into a sordid, as well as celebrated, side of the human spirit.
The work that began in 1931, took 200 engineers to design and 21,000 workers total to complete what was considered impossible: the halting and taming of the mighty Colorado River. At 726 feet in height, 1,244 feet in length and 660 feet at its thickest, there is enough concrete in this structure to pave a 4-foot-wide sidewalk around the belly of the earth. Lives were lost in the construction, many lives, and the workers exploited through middlemen that paid them in scrip and kept the cash for themselves. You probably won’t hear those kinds of stories on the tour but you will sense the ghosts and walk the hidden tunnels that traverse what is still considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Tours cost $30, run every half hour from 9:30AM to 3:30PM (20 people in a tour) and require a lot of walking. No reservations. Tickets purchased onsite.
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