Las Vegas Springs Preserve
How sexy could a living museum by the Las Vegas Valley Water District really be? You'd be surprised. This 180-acre, $250 million Mojave Desert preserve, three miles west of the Strip, takes visitors through museums, galleries, botanical gardens, and a living collection full of Gila monsters, foxes, and that other kind of Vegas nightlife—nocturnal critters like recluse spiders, sidewinders, and black widows. The most interesting biological resource in southern Nevada, it's also one of the state's oldest archaeological treasures: Nomadic Native American tribes lived at the Springs 12,000 years ago.