Fun Without Sun in Sin City

Temps can top three digits but there are places to keep it cool.


AVOIDING THE SWELTER: Much is made of the impressive temperatures in Southern Nevada come summertime, but many a visitor can't rightly comment. Oh, maybe they can quickly make note of a 105-degree day on the way to the casino from their car and the way back. But once inside a hotel? It's always temperature, always cool, always a little dark, save the slot's glimmery lights and the glint catching various sequined outfits. (Aside: Thank you, Sin City, for being a spot where the sequin still reigns king.) But a visitor should know the extremes of the go-go-go town, if only for an hour or two. And, if that extreme is summertime heat? Pack a hat and water and tread wisely (early mornings are best). But if the heat isn't your bag? Go for...

SUMMERTIME COOL: There are places beyond the requisite pools keep the chill on, even in the summertime. Further, if you want to take a sun-break all together, you'll need to look beyond the city's famous water holes.

SO HEAD FOR... The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is a fine and free spot to be flower-adjacent and out of direct sunlight (but still enjoy a little sun of the diffused sort). The seasonal theme boasts a lighthouse -- not a real one, of course, but it is impressive at a full 26 feet -- and a 14-foot-tall sunflower. Red Square at Mandalay Bay has a frozen Ice Bar (and plenty of posh vodkas to enjoy while lowering your thermal peak). And for a way to cool down that's both historic and a bit offbeat, there's the tour that heads inside Hoover Dam. Yep, it is liable to be quite toasty when you're standing up on the dam, and after you depart, but the storied passages ways of the engineering wonder are some of the darkest, non-sunniest spots in all of lower Nevada. It's hard to even remember you're inside a massive dam, until that rather unforgettable moment you look out at the water far, far below.

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