Museum Exhibits Spotlight Gambling, Hollywood, King Tut

Reed Travel Features

LAS VEGAS -- Travelers heading to this gaming and entertainment mecca can take in some of the world's most impressive attractions, many of which are museums.

The exhibits run the gamut from replicas of King Tut's tomb to Liberace's extravagant wardrobe, offering visitors an array of educational diversions -- or at least the opportunity to walk away saying, "Only in Las Vegas."

The following is a sampling of some of the museums located in Las Vegas and in the outlying areas:

* Clark County Heritage Museum features gambling exhibits and offers a glimpse at life in the early part of the century.

Highlights include restored houses from 1904 to the 1940s, a railroad depot from the 1930s, historical railroad cars, a 19th century print shop and Native American artifacts.

The museum is located at 1830 South Boulder Highway in Henderson; the number is (702) 455-7955.

* Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Movie Museum showcases Debbie Reynolds' extensive collection of Hollywood movie memorabilia, including costumes, props, sets and posters from the 1930s to the 1960s.

On display are items such as the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" and the dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven-Year Itch."

The museum is located in the Debbie Reynolds Hotel and Casino.

For information, call (702) 734-0711.

* Visitors to the Guinness World of Records Museum view people, animals and things that established world records in categories such as the biggest, tallest, fastest, heaviest and most tattooed, among many others.

Life-size replicas, photographs and color videos are featured as well as an extensive statistical databank.

The museum is located next to Circus Circus.

For details, call (702) 792-3766.

* The Imperial Palace Automobile Museum spotlights more than 200 antique and classic automobiles, many of which were driven by celebrities, politicians and other well-known figures.

Among the highlights are a 1947 Tucker, a 1954 Chrysler Imperial, a 1955 Ford Victoria convertible, a 1936 Mercedes owned by Adolph Hitler, a 1939 Alpha Romeo owned by Mussolini and a vintage Maxwell owned by Jack Benny.

Also on display are autos driven by John F. Kennedy, Al Capone, W.C. Fields, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

The museum is located at the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino.

The phone number is (702) 731-3311.

* King Tut's Tomb and Museum, located in the Luxor Las Vegas, enables visitors to walk through a replica of King Tut's tomb as it was found in 1922.

A 20-minute audio tour takes visitors through the vestibule, passage, antechamber, annex, burial chamber and treasury.

The audio tape is narrated by Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered the tomb.

For information, call (702) 262-4000.

* The Las Vegas Art Museum has three galleries displaying local and national exhibits that change monthly.

The museum, located in Lorenzi Park, also has permanent displays focusing on subjects such as Western art. The gift shop sells original art from local artists.

For details, call (702) 259-4458.

* The Las Vegas Natural History Museum houses 300 bird and animal exhibits as well as a hands-on children's area.

Among the displays are a 300-gallon aquarium with small sharks, an animated dinosaur exhibit and a wildlife art gallery.

The museum is located on North Las Vegas Boulevard.

The number is (702) 384-3466.

* The Liberace Museum is Nevada's third-most-popular tourist attraction, luring more than 200,000 visitors per year.

Visitors can view the late entertainer's glitzy jewelry, priceless antiques, million-dollar wardrobe, rare and historical pianos and extensive car collection.

On display are the original gold lame jacket that sparked Liberace's interest in wearing extravagant costumes: a black diamond mink lined with more than 40,000 2.5-karat Australian rhinestones and a nine-foot Baldwin grand piano once played by Chopin at Versailles.

The nonprofit museum is the funding arm of the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts, which has supported scholarships for the arts since 1978.

The museum is located at 1775 East Tropicana Ave.

The number is (702) 798-5595.

* The Lied Discovery Children's Museum boasts more than 100 hands-on, interactive displays to entertain and teach kids about art, science, sports, careers, space travel and money management.

Highlights include a human-performance area to test athletic skills, a career discovery exhibit and a space shuttle display.

The museum is located on North Las Vegas Boulevard.

For information, call (702) 382-3445.

* The Lost City Museum of Archaeology is located 60 miles north of Las Vegas in Overton.

The museum features one of the most extensive collections of early Pueblo Indian artifacts in the Southwest.

Exhibits include a full-scale reconstruction of an Indian pueblo structure and a display focusing on the Mormon pilgrims of the Las Vegas valley.

The number is (702) 397-2193.

* The Magic and Movie Hall of Fame features hundreds of exhibits spotlighting magic, including the water-torture cell made by Houdini. Magicians entertain visitors as they stroll through the facility.

Also featured is a collection of movie memorabilia.

The museum is located in O'Shea's Hilton Casino on South Las Vegas Boulevard.

For information, call (702) 737-1343.

* The Marjorie Barrick Museum has an array of animal exhibits, including snakes, lizards, tortoises and birds; a gallery showcasing Nevada arts and culture with paintings, crafts, pottery and jewelry, and a wide selection of local flora in an arboretum outside the facility.

The museum also has a gallery for traveling exhibits.

The museum is located at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. For details, call (702) 895-3381.

* The Nevada State Museum & Historical Society features permanent and changing displays.

Permanent exhibits spotlight the history and Native American cultures of the region, with displays such as the building of Hoover Dam, anthropology, atomic testing, ranching, mining, mountain ecology and Las Vegas neon.

Three galleries feature exhibits on art, history and science that change monthly.

The museum is located in Lorenzi Park.

For information, call (702) 486-5205.

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