Glitzy Las Vegas: Built for Thrills and Entertainment
Las Vegas, Nevada is an exciting and multi-faceted oasis created in the middle of an intriguing desert locale.
Whether you favor the civilized amenities available on the brilliant strip, or choose to explore the natural beauty just outside of town, our guide will highlight some of the most popular attractions in the Las Vegas area.
The large-scale Vegas resorts are so much more than noisy casinos and a place to rest your head. In fact, 17 of the 20 largest hotels in the U.S. are located here in Las Vegas. They are cleverly designed so you don’t ever have to leave if you don’t wish to.
Guests can sample multiple restaurants, relax at a luxurious spa or the elaborate swimming pools, check out shopping complexes, theatres, nightclubs or any number of entertainment venues right on site. The architectural themes are fun and the amenities are deliberately planned to enhance the premise. From the canals of the Venetian to the wild streets of Rio, a trip to Vegas can be just about any type of vacation you crave.
If you plan to leave the confines of your own resort home, there are a number of unique exhibits to peruse, depending on your interests.
The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts features a rotating display of museum-caliber works of art, including paintings and sculptures by some of the world’s most revered masters.
Just outside of town, visitors can get a feel for the Wild West at Bonnie Springs Old Nevada. With a replica of a 1880s mining town, a “posse” show with simulated gunfights, horseback riding and an old saloon, the ranch pays homage to frontier history.
For a whimsical look at local lore, board the bus for Bugsy’s Tour of Las Vegas. This tour focuses on how the gambling capital has changed over the years, as well as the novelties it has to offer visitors today.
CSI: The Experience is a fascinating interactive exhibit that appeals to wannabe detectives of all ages. Based on the popular TV show, CSI challenges visitors to study a crime scene, gather evidence, use sophisticated forensic equipment and solve the crime at hand. You might also want to check out the Eiffel Tower Experience at The Paris Hotel. The tower itself is a ½-scale replica of the famous landmark, and guests can ride an elevator up 460 feet to enjoy the view.
Best of all, there are number of impressive displays that are free to the public. Water and Light shows run in the evening at many resorts including Bellagio’s Fountains, Sam’s Town Sunset Stampede, Wynn’s Lake of Dreams, or the famous erupting Volcano at the Mirage. The Rio has an unusual Sky Parade that is free to watch, but you can pay if you want to take a ride in one of the floats. Animal lovers can visit the Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand or the Chilean Flamingos—where else but the Flamingo Resort.
Thrills to Seek
You don’t have to bet your last five dollars to feel the excitement in this town. There are several cool places to take a thrilling sky-high ride.
The Adventuredome at Circus Circus is an indoor theme park with exhilarating rides, funny shows, mini golf, arcade games and other nifty activities for the whole family.
The Observation deck atop the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino is the tallest of its kind in the U.S., which makes for amazing views of the city and the desert beyond. There are also several rides—way, way up there—that are certainly not for the faint of heart. There is also a single, wild roller coaster at New York New York Hotel & Casino.
The Nascar Entertainment Center at the Sahara brags of having the fastest roller coaster in town, as well as a number of racing simulations and video game stations.
If you have ever wanted to try skydiving, this might just be the perfect place to take the plunge. At Vegas Indoor Skydiving you can experience the freefall sensation of a dive in a vertical wind tunnel. If you are ready to try the real thing, you can parachute from a mile-high plane with little to no experience required.
Just about every major hotel has a theatre or concert hall, which means there is always a wide range of entertainment options to choose from. Catch a concert, a new magic or comedy act, a variety show, or maybe even one of those classic impersonator or tribute performances that you can only find here in Las Vegas.
Shopping for Adventure
Just like everything else here, the shopping experience has also been elevated to new heights. There are literally hundreds of options to choose from, from outlet malls to the priciest boutiques, and most of the major resorts have their own cluster of shops in keeping with their theme. The Appian Way at Caesar’s Palace, Masquerade Village at the Rio, The Grand Canal at the Venetian, The Miracle Mile at The Hard Rock Hotel and Wynn’s Esplanade are just a few of the charming options available to extreme shoppers.
Many visitors will enjoy the opportunity to take to the outdoors and see some dramatic desert scenery. Tours of massive Hoover Dam, which generates hydroelectric power from the Colorado River, are available year-round. The visitor’s center has maps, displays and a short film, and driving across the dam is always a popular endeavor.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is an inviting respite for boaters, swimmers, fishermen, and others who want to enjoy its cool waters while surrounded by the rugged desert environment.
The Springs Preserve is an educational, indoor/outdoor attraction that provides a comprehensive look at desert life. Air-conditioned galleries hold interactive exhibits with historical displays and live desert creatures including bats, snakes and lizards. There are also 1.6 miles of outdoor walking trails, large-scale animal replicas, an amphitheatre and a children’s play area.
You just have to see the neon lights, novel attractions and grand resorts of the Las Vegas Strip to understand how different it is from any other place on earth. Feel free to visit the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority website for more detailed information about activities in the Las Vegas area.