10 Best Vacations You'll Never Get to Take


Balinese Room, Galveston, Texas,

There was no saving the Balinese Room from the forces of Hurricane Ike in 2008. The eye slammed right into Galveston, Texas, submerging the long pier on which the Balinese nightclub sat. The rubble washed into the Gulf of Mexico, although bits remained on the pier, allowing for some groundwork for rebuilding.

The Balinese Room had been an iconic nightclub in the 1940s: a gambling hall and dance floor frequented by Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes (both of whom were later regulars at the Sands Hotel), Bob Hope and the Marx Brothers. ZZ Top even wrote a song about the place -- "Balinese" -- that talks about how the nightclub was the place to be.

The Balinese drew crowds for its dance, entertainment, food, drinks and gambling. It was, as Houston Chronicle writer Harvey Rice reports, a precursor to what Vegas would become.

On the next page, read how the Globe Theater was a symbol of... well, everything theatric.