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BEAT THE HEAT
Long-awaited and seasonally necessary, the Pool District at the Cosmopolitan Hotel offers a way to beat the heat and quench one’s thirst during triple-digit days in the desert. Complete with eateries, lounges and views of The Strip, the three pools form an oasis on the 9-acre property. For the energetic crowd, the Boulevard Pool in the center serves up Korean tacos and shaved ice with an outdoor recreation area called The Yard.
Guests can play EA video games on flat-screen TVs, as well as Ping-Pong, volleyball, foosball and billiards. The more relaxing Bamboo Pool, adjacent to the spa, features iPod docks, misters, couches and fans, as well as an organic menu and specialty cocktails. The adults-only Marquee Dayclub Pool has several bars, blackjack tables and DJs.
The Pool District
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard
Boulevard and Bamboo Pools are open daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Marquee Dayclub; pool open daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Yes, they’re go-karts, but forget any notions you have about sitting on a hot track breathing the exhaust of rickety old jalopies. These state-of-the-art Italian-designed Formula EK20 racers emit no exhaust on the indoor (and air-conditioned) speedway. Pole Position Raceway is just a mile off The Strip, situated next to The Palms Hotel and Casino, and features electric, 18-horsepower karts on their European-style course. The quarter-mile track offers junior and adult races starting at $22.
Junior karts are available for those 48 inches tall and go up to 25 miles per hour, while the adult height requirement is 56 inches and karts travel up to 45 mph. A timing program captures each driver’s individual lap time, position and rank during the race and issues the personalized stats post-drive. Races typically include no more than 13 participants and last about 10 minutes.
Pole Position Raceway
4175 South Arville
Opens daily at 11 a.m., Sunday to Thursday until 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until midnight.
With fusion bites sweeping the worlds of fine dining and food trucks, Mexican and Chinese cuisines live together at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Instead of mixing the flavors and dishes of different fares, China Poblano chef José Andrés, a recent recipient of the James Beard Award, lets traditional and inventive dishes sit side-by-side.
Flavors served are complementary to the different regional dishes and can be mixed and matched for a customized dining experience.
Offerings include tacos (from $3.50 to $10 per order), fresh made guacamole ($15) and ceviches ($12 and up), as well as Chinese soups (from $9 to $22), dim sum (around $12 per order) and noodles ($9 to $22).
The inspiration was Andrés’ “personal take on the thriving street food cultures of China and Mexico.” There’s multicultural blending in the cocktail selections, too, with libations like the “cold tea for two,” a concoction of beer, green tea, lemon, tequila and Sichuan peppercorn served in a teapot for sharing ($22). The “mai Taiwan” is made with dark rum, Chinese wine, lime, velvet falernum and orgeat ($12). Classic cocktails, tequilas, mezcals, aguas frescas and imported Chinese teas, as well as beers from Mexico and China, are also available in the 130-seat dining room.
The ambience is relaxed and select dishes are ready to travel from two take-out windows — as quick as a food truck, and just as tasty.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard
Open Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Brunch served Friday to Sunday until 2 p.m.
Outdoor types might feel a little deprived while visiting Vegas — unless, of course, you count hours at the pool. But they can get a big fix of Mother Nature just 20 miles out of town at Red Rock Canyon. A prime location for exploring by foot, bike or car, the canyon boosts hiking trails and a 13-mile scenic driving and biking road.
Difficulty-rated and timed hikes are offered, ranging from under a mile and easy, to adventures suited for a more advanced hiker, like Turtlehead Peak, a 5-mile, 4.5-hour strenuous trek. Guided hikes are available several times a week on a first-come, first-served basis — and for safety reasons, are limited to 15 people. Its Web site lists schedules, tips and recommended hikes.
Red Rock Canyon
Approximately 20 miles west of Las Vegas.
For detailed directions: Red Rock Visitors Bureau hotline, 702-515-5350
Open daily, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Visitor’s Center, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Daily admittance is $3 per person; cars, $7; motorcycles and bicycles, $3.
UP IN THE AIR
As part of the rejuvenation of the downtown area — and for the price of a Vegas cocktail — visitors can coast down an 800-foot zip line to the foot of Fremont Street. Opened in December, Fremont Street Flightlinez is just a few minutes from The Strip and offers patrons a chance to jump off a 60-foot platform and zip line for $15.
Riders can control their speed by body position and can glide as fast as 30 mph. The nightly view on the way down is of the new “Fremont Street experience,” a free light show with live music, local deals, street vendors and other festivities.
Fremont Street Flightlinez
425 Fremont Street, Suite 160
Opens daily at noon, Sunday to Thursday until midnight; Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m.
Riders under 18 must have parent or guardian sign a waiver.
Weight requirement is 60 to 250 pounds. Height maximum is 6 feet, 7 inches; no height minimum.
Single rides are $15 before 6 p.m., $20 after 6 p.m.