A list of The Really Important Vegas Stuff will furnish perspective to any hyped-up and confused Las Vegas visitor. It’s difficult to choose from the massive amounts of shows, casinos, and attractions on the Strip. This list reflects only the most beloved attractions in Southern Nevada.
On Strip Entertainment.
The Las Vegas Strip is a piece of Las Vegas Boulevard containing a dense assortment of world-class entertainment options. It runs North-South in the middle of the Las Vegas Valley. While the cutoff points of the Strip never stay the same, it is normal, to begin with, Mandalay Bay at Russel Road, in the South, and finish with the Sahara and Stratosphere casinos at Sahara Avenue, in the North. Sidewalks and public transportation abound on the Strip, so most of the time a car is useless. Big draws like the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Rio, and the Palms are not technically on the Strip but are close enough to be considered a part of it.
The Bellagio Fountains
The best water, music, and light show anywhere is at the Bellagio resort, and it won’t cost you a dime. The water leaps every night and day and offers plenty of standing room on the street in front of the 4-acre, man-made lake Bellagio. Times:
Show every 1/2 hour
Show every 15 minutes
Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays
Show every 1/2 hour
Show every 15 minutes
The Stratosphere Tower.
The tallest free-standing tower in America is also a hotel, casino, and mini amusement park. The outdoor observation deck on level 109 provides 40-mile views of the entire Las Vegas Valley, as well as a good look at rides that dangle, drop, and spin guests high above the city. The Tower is beautiful at dusk, but any time of day brings a worthwhile view.
Sunday-Thursday: 10 am-1 am
Adult – $15.95
Child – $10.00
Senior – $12.00
Hotel Guest – $12.00
Nevada Resident – $12.00
A Fantastic Swimming Pool.
In Summertime, when the thermometer can climb unreasonably high, a swimming pool becomes a lifesaver. Las Vegas possesses the best swimming options. Select from this shortlist:
For the oceanic: The Tank, at the Golden Nugget, is the most original and special swimming pool currently in Las Vegas. A two-story aquarium sits in the middle, stuffed with oceanic life and a waterside. visitors can stare at sharks from within the pool or without, through a giant window. Above the main level, an adults-only are offered a home for European sunbathers. Of course, gambling is available all around the pool
For the beautiful party goer: Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was the first pool party in Vegas, and is still the loudest, raunchiest, and most stuffed with hard bodies. Don’t go to cover up. Do go to see hard bodies.
For the peaceful: The Beach at Mandalay Bay has it all: A sandy beach, a wave pool, a lazy river, a separate topless area, and a collection of eating and drinking areas. It has four pools total encompassing11 acres, plus a running area and several whirlpools. All around the best place to get sun in Sin City, but it might be pretty crowded on the weekends.
For The Trendy:
The Forum Shops at CaesarsSee for yourself what the mall with the most earnings per square foot in America looks like. The Forum Shops was The original reason people came to Las Vegas to shop and is still on top of the heap.
The Adventuredome at Circus Circus has been the place for children in Las Vegas since the ’90s. The 5-acre theme park is as stuffed as it can be with attractions. Admission is free, and tickets for the thrill rides are available to fit different budgets.
Off the Strip:
Some Las Vegas attractions are distant enough to require a car, and at least one is not even in Nevada.
The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign:
While technically the Strip, the attraction is a piece of the uninteresting street away from the closest casino, Mandalay Bay. The hotel The Four Seasons is nearer. Those who don’t mind walking can take the hike South to the sign but be warned that it is just a walk, with none of the activity and glamour that make ambling through the heart of the Strip so enjoyable. Most would prefer to drive to the sign, but even driving can be a pain. The sign is centrally located on Las Vegas Boulevard, a busy, six-lane street. The parking lot connected to the sign has ten parking spaces for cars, two for buses or limousines, and two more for the disabled. On busy days, more spaces are needed… The vehicles entering this parking lot can be huge and tough to enter.
Those who want to see the sign, but don’t need to take their picture under it, should just have a passenger take the photo out of the window of the car. This will be an easier way to get the shot. Those who really want to get their picture by it should consider this choice: an identical but slightly larger sign, erected on Boulder Highway just north of Tropicana Avenue. This gateway from Henderson sees far less traffic than the original.
Sometimes called Downtown, Old Las Vegas, and the Fremont Street Experience, the section of Fremont Street between Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard is where Nevada tourism got its start. The oldest casino in Vegas, the Golden Gate (Est. 1906!), keeps its doors open here. Fremont Street is about two miles north of Sahara Avenue, so strolling from the Southern part of Las Vegas is not recommended.
The Fremont Street experience is a 10-story tall, 4-block long curved ceiling embedded with 2.1 million lights. At dusk, the lights come alive to the beat of booming music. The shops, casinos, hotels, and carts that share this space all work together to provide a fun place to play. This is the most likely place to get a picture taken with a showgirl, enjoy a cheap and unhealthy meal, and see tourists from almost every country on Earth.
The Hoover Dam
The most popular dam in America is free every day for those willing to make the drive. About 45 minutes from the city center, Dam Square is accessible via Highway 95. Drivers must travel east from the strip via a major road or highway, then south through 95 through Henderson and Boulder City. Go left onto Highway 93 in Boulder City, and continue to the Dam.
The Hoover Dam is the most awe-inspiring creation of engineers many travelers will ever see. Since 1936, guests have stood on the top and looked 726 feet down into the Colorado River as it emerges from the hydroelectric plant.
The Grand Canyon
Technically in Arizona, the Grand Canyon sees more visitors from Las Vegas than from any other place in the West. Foreign tourists often use Vegas as their gateway to the West, traveling to Death Valley, the Canyon, and Zion national park from this one travel hub.
The West Rim of the Grand Canyon is two hours away by car, making it a great day trip. Helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon require only a portion of the day to view the scenery. The South Rim, six hours away by car, is more of a commitment. The North Rim, also six hours away, is the least visited part of the Canyon, closed during the winter.
Las Vegas Facts:
Tourist visits/year: 38 million
Public Transportation Costs: The Deuce bus: $7/day pass, $3/two-hour pass.
Monorail: $12/day pass, $5/one way.
Average Temperature: Summer 103 F (39 C)
Winter 61 F (15 C)
Hotel Room Rates: $50 – $10,000
Cost of a light bulb in the Luxors’ apex: $1,200