Las Vegas: Quick ways to the top include High Roller Ferris wheel

Psst. Wanna get high? Well, it's Sin City, baby, and it's not hard to find places where your head will feel as though it's in the clouds. We're speaking, of course, of the towering vantage points of Las Vegas, where the view can go on for miles. Here are five places to enjoy a real rush high above the Strip and beyond.

The High Roller: The world's tallest Ferris wheel offers inspiring sights from its 550-foot zenith. But for nearly half of the 30-minute ride, guests peer at the backsides of hotels instead of enjoying the bird's-eye view of the Strip they came for. "You could sell premium tickets timed to the Bellagio fountains," Sylvia Schwartz of Hoboken, N.J., said as jets of water danced in the distance.


Info: (866) 328-1888, Tickets $26.95, noon-6 p.m.; $36.95, 6 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge: Named for a former Nevada governor and a pro-football-player-turned-soldier who died serving in Afghanistan. America's second-tallest bridge spans the Colorado River about 30 miles east of the Strip. From nearly 900 feet above the water, a walkway provides spectacular views of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

Info: From Boulder City, Nev., follow the signs to the dam. Park in the lot just past the security checkpoint. There's no charge to park or view.

Mix Lounge: Perched atop THEhotel (to be rebranded Delano Las Vegas later this year), this venue offers stunning views of the neon canyon 400 feet below. Even if you don't need to, visit the restrooms. The toilets face Las Vegas Boulevard, on view through floor-to-ceiling windows. "That is the best high you can get. It's awesome," said Katie Small, a tourist from England. Look for renovations once the resort changes names.

Info: 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South; (702) 632-7777, Cover charge may apply after 10 p.m.

Mt. Charleston Lodge: Summer is more tolerable 7,700 feet up in the Spring Mountains. Just 45 minutes from the Strip, this charming lodge offers cabins and a bar/restaurant. You won't regret waiting for an outdoor table overlooking the towering pines. The food is primarily pub grub, but three-course dinners ($19) are offered after 5 p.m. Hikers can pre-order box lunches. Four-legged friends enjoy goodies from their own menu on the Doggie Deck.

Info: 5375 Kyle Canyon Road, Mount Charleston, Nev.; (702) 872-5408, Open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The Stratosphere: The most iconic building of the Sin City skyline towers 1,149 feet with opportunities to look or leap. Besides indoor and outdoor observation decks, there are four rides. SkyJump offers what's called a "controlled descent," hurtling brave souls through the air at 45 mph before slowing to a gentle stop 855 feet beneath the starting point. "There's nothing to be scared of. If you live your life, you shouldn't be afraid of death," said thrill seeker Todd Cameron of New York City.

Info: 2000 Las Vegas Blvd. South; (702) 380-7777, Observation deck is $20 for adults and $12 for children. Rides are extra.