The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park is really the beginning of Mormons in Nevada. A piece of the Mormon Trail from Utah to California was carved out by former Mormon Battalion soldiers in 1847. Then, in 1855, a small group of Mormons left Utah to establish a way station in Nevada and to preach among the American Indians. They were quick to build up a fort and cabins. This was the first settlement of non-Native peoples in this area. Unfortunately, the the group was only able to stay a few years before being driven out with threats of wars among other issues. These humble beginnings helped lead to a temple being built in Las Vegas in 1984. This spiritual edifice has a very unique shape and design featuring six spires rising towards heaven with one holding the statue of Moroni. Built on the eastern edge of town near the mountains, it's a great symbol of peace and spirituality.
Las Vegas has many faithful members despite the moniker of "Sin City". There are currently more than 34 Stakes in Nevada. Although The Strip may not be representative of the real Las Vegas, it's something that you must see at least once, as there's really no place else like it. You'll probably want to venture out and experience more, especially if you've been to the area before. Despite the heat (over 100 degrees on many days), a day out in nature can cure even the worst neon hangovers. The Hoover Dam is a nice half day trip. It's about a 45 minute drive outside the city. Enjoy the panoramic views of lakes, mountains and a real engineering marvel. A few walking and hiking trails are nearby. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is in the other direction (west) about 30 minutes outside the city. A great area to view the layers of rock, sediment and sandstone formations. Many hikes from easy to strenuous. A great place for rock climbing. The Discovery Children's Museum will help entertain the kids with imaginary play from trains to inventions.
One thing Las Vegas does not lack is food establishments. You can literally find any type of cuisine here. Probably most famous for the cheap buffets, you may want to steer clear of those and enjoy a hearty rib-sticking breakfast instead at Black Bear Diner. Large portions of comfort foods for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For something a little bit lighter, try Crepe Expectations. Open until 3 pm, they specialize in all types of crepes - breakfast, sweet and savory. For a casual Italian deli that serves outstanding subs and NYC style pizza, stop by Cugino's Italian Deli & Pizzeria. The title of "Best Thai Food In Las Vegas" has been given to Lotus of Siam, so if you're a Thai food lover, you'll probably want to check it out. DW Bistro is a unique experience with a chef that combines his Jamaican and New Mexican backgrounds to whip up some fantastic entrees. You won't go hungry, that's for sure. A lot of places stay open late into the night, as this city really never sleeps. You'll always find something that's open. Even one of the popular bakery's, Sprinkles Cupcakes, has a 24-hour ATM machine that spits out cupcakes for those craving a late night snack.