If a day away from the casinos is calling, head to one of the true wonders of the 20th century: Hoover Dam. Built between 1931 and 1936 (and actually finished two years ahead of schedule), the dam is named after President Herbert Hoover, who was a major catalyst behind its construction—first as the secretary of commerce and then as the President of the United States.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1981, the dam was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1985. The concrete arch-gravity dam, in which the water load is carried by both the gravity and the horizontal arch of the dam, is on the border of Nevada and Arizona, and when it was completed actually created Lake Mead by backing up the waters of the Colorado River. The lake was named after Elwood Mead, who was responsible for overseeing the dam’s construction.

Water flowing from Lake Mead through the dam supplies power to the nearby region. The dam makes for a spectacular sight, and a guided tour will shed insight on this true American World Wonder!

For more information, visit the official Web site for the Bureau of Reclamation: Lower Colorado Region , who oversees operation and maintenance of the dam.