Illusionist Penn Jillette's Las Vegas

Illusionist Penn Jillette's Las Vegas

Photo by Daniel Sahlberg

Among the bright casino lights and an ever-changing cast of entertainers, Las Vegas illusionist Penn Jillette has remained a headlining mainstay. The award-winning magic show he co-hosts with longtime partner Teller, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, has captivated the Strip since 2001. During his time in Vegas, Jillette has seen the city bloom into an international destination. “That three-quarter-mile Strip is all Vegas is advertised as,” he says, “but Vegas is a million-person city. It’s certainly well-rounded—not quite New York but getting closer by the minute.” When he’s not defying reality onstage, Jillette explores the town with his wife, Emily, 12-year-old daughter Moxie and 11-year-old son Zolten. Here’s how:

Wynn Las Veags

“The Wynn is a beauty. It’s big and fancy, and in the atrium, they have huge arrangements and a fountain of chocolate that I really like.”

Caesars Palace
“At 50, it's real Vegas history—I feel like I’m walking down Sinatra's halls. And although this may be shocking, their Color Salon makes my hair darker.”


Red Rock Canyon

“It’s fabulous. It’s prehistoric. I’ve been known to go here in the middle of the night and ride my trike. I take that five-mile loop at 1 a.m. It’s also good for hiking.”

Hoover Dam
“It’s one of the true American achievements. I love to take a helicopter tour, leave right from Vegas and see it all from the air.”


The Smith Center

“I was skeptical at first, but Vegas is big enough to support an arts community that’s not on the Strip. My wife is a freak for Broadway shows, and Hamilton is coming next spring.”


Eiffel Tower Restaurant

“For Moxie’s birthday, we always go on a date here. She asks me specifically to eat like I used to (when I wasn’t on a plant-based diet). Moxie wants me to have dessert with her and a steak and garlic mashed potatoes. I do all of that and look out onto the Fountains of Bellagio from a corner table. I get her flowers and she gets dressed up and we have a nice daddy-and-daughter time.”

Lotus of Siam
“It’s one of only two five-star Thai restaurants in the country. It’s delicious, with wonderful drunken noodles and sea bass. There’s no limit to my tolerance for spicy foods. When they ask, ‘On a scale of one to 10, how spicy?’ I always go for the 10.”