Texas isn't its own country...yet, but the Lone Star State does have a themed hotel and casino in Vegas.
Texas Station is located on the northwest side of the city at Rancho Drive and Lake Mead Boulevard (that's about 15 minutes from the center of the Las Vegas Strip and 10 minutes from downtown). Look for the Texas state flag, waving proudly over the entrance next to Nevada and U.S. flags. There's none of that secessionary "go it alone" attitude here.
But, like its namesake, you'll find big open spaces (minus the cattle) at Texas Station. This includes plenty of parking in two large garages that contain a total of 4,400 spots.
And it also includes a big buffet. The Feast Buffet is popular and affordable. Texans are known for eating anything that moves if it's grilled right. In that spirit, you can load up your plate from six different live cooking stations bursting with a variety of foods and flavors -- just as you'll be bursting at that seams when you're done. (Tip: Wear stretchy pants...and leave the big buckled belt in your room.)
If you're hankerin' for a top-notch steak, go to Austins Steakhouse (order a king or queen cut of prime rib with your best Texan drawl). Craving bayou-style cuisine? Head to the Texas Star Oyster Bar, where New Orleans-inspired eats -- things like gumbo and jambalaya as well as plenty of fresh seafood -- are served. Open 24 hours a day, pretty much anything and everything you could want to eat is on the menu at the Grand Café. Plus several fast food outlets -- like Slices Pizzeria, Panda Express, Fatburger, Baja Fresh and Starbucks -- can be found in the food court.
Perhaps taking a cue from Austin, which is known for being the live music capital of the world, you can enjoy bands and other performers nightly in Texas Station's A-Bar and the clubby South Padre. Take advantage of a fantastic happy hour in the Martini Bar, grab drinks at the Garage Bar and centrally located Whiskey Bar, or play billiards in the Splitz Bar.
Looking for some activities that don't necessarily involve drinking? Texas Station has a small pool, a bingo hall, a movie theater, a race and sports book and a 60-lane bowling center (Cosmic Bowling on the weekends is a blast). And parents can take advantage of supervised child care at Kids Quest to sneak away for some alone time.
Texas Station isn't a posh, puffed up resort. Like Texans, it has hardy spirit. So when you visit expect the basics -- a clean room along with respectable food and entertainment offerings. Really what more does a cowpoke need? Overall, Texas Station serves as a midway point and inexpensive alternative to staying in the Summerlin or downtown areas. Keep this in mind and, as they say in Texas, you'll be "happier'n a dog with a dead skunk."