The best of the Big Apple buzzes inside the New York-New York hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The trip begins with a stroll across a 300-foot Brooklyn Bridge, past facades of 12 New York-style skyscrapers (all one-third scale, including a 47-story Empire State Building) and ends at a 150-foot Statue of Liberty.
The other city that never sleeps, Las Vegas' homage to NYC - one of the Strip's more clever displays of themed architecture - even has a Coney Island-style roller coaster (the Manhattan Express, which twists, loops and dives around the property) and replicas of Grand Central Station and Ellis Island.
The towers house 2,032 guest rooms, including more than 1,300 recently remodeled Park Avenue deluxe guest rooms and 103 suites, and a pool, spa and salon. Interiors mimic Manhattan's Park Avenue (retail shops plopped inside famous NYC storefronts), Central Park (a casino floor dotted with autumnal trees draped in twinkling lights, a reflecting pond and stream), Times Square (signs that advertise "what to do" in New York-New York) and the Financial District (cashier cages beneath Wall Street veneers).
Just like the melting pot that inspired it, New York-New York takes its dining cues from around the world. For authentic Italian regional recipes, try Il Fornaio. An NYC landmark since 1927, Gallagher's Steakhouse serves up prime, dry-aged beef and fresh seafood. The two-story Nine Fine Irishmen pub offers authentic Irish food, drink and music. ESPN Zone bridges the gap between dining and entertainment with a menu of American grill classics, 165 TV monitors (including two 140-foot big screens) and loads of interactive games and attractions.
Set against the backdrop of famous New York landmarks, the casino integrates 80 table games, 2,000 slot machines and TVs broadcasting major sporting events in a blur of action.
Another side of Cirque du Soleil, "Zumanity" delivers an erotic, adult-oriented cabaret-style show. Comedienne Rita Rudner headlines the 451-seat Cabaret Theatre. The Bar at Times Square and Coyote Ugly deliver atypical watering hole entertainment. And the young at heart flock to the Coney Island Emporium, an entertainment center that recreates the aura of the amusement park with midway-style carnival games, bumper cars and shooting galleries.
Perhaps the replica most-worth seeing, though, is the September 11 tribute (located at the base of the Statue of Liberty) scattered with mementos placed by visitors - notes, flowers, flags and poems.