What started out as a dusty strip of Nevada desert in the 1940’s has become one of the premier destinations in the world. Las Vegas is bright, bawdy, and bold, and doesn’t apologize for it.
It only gets brighter, bawdier, and bolder. The entrancing neon lights, the loud and exciting casino action, the outrageous hotels, and the world-class entertainment attract millions every year. It is one of the few places you can go wild, and chances are you won’t even be the wildest one in the room! Las Vegas is affectionately nicknamed “Sin City”, and it’s not hard to see why!
Where to Stay
Aside from the casinos, if there is one thing that draws people to Las Vegas, it is the outrageous hotels. Some are outrageous in their silliness and unabashed tackiness. Some are outrageous in their luxury and unabashed opulence. Either way, hotels on the Las Vegas Strip are a sight to behold, and an experience to submerge yourself in.
The epitome of Las Vegas luxury has to be the Bellagio. Famous for its fountains, which put on a spectacularly colorful show on a regular basis, this Las Vegas legend features 5-star everything: accommodations, spa facilities, cuisine, and entertainment. Expect plenty of marble, glass sculptures, an opulent pool complex, luxury boutiques, and more. The price is high, but it is worth it to say you stayed there.
As fas as themed resorts go, The Venetian Resort Casino has it perfected, and then some. Immersing guests and visitors into a faithful recreation of the famed Italian city, canals and gondolas included, the atmosphere is European, fancy, and too much fun. There is a veritable shopping mall’s worth of high end shops and boutiques, a wide variety of restaurants, a world-class casino on site, and characters meandering about singing opera, miming, and performing for your enjoyment. The guest rooms are more than comfortable, and the service is impeccable.
If you want to experience the bustle of the Las Vegas strip, but still want to be able to get away from it, Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa might be ideal. About a half hour’s drive away from the Strip, you can still enjoy a casino, along with well-appointed rooms, vineyards, swimming pool, and dining, all on a beautiful, quiet property.
Where to Eat
Some might assume that dining in Las Vegas is limited to the all you can eat $5.99 buffets available around the clock. And while those are there and plentiful, Las Vegas has become a sort of mecca for stylish and hip cuisine.
Many of the world’s top chefs have opened places in the city, and most of the Strip’s hotels can boast at least a few excellent restaurants or cafes onsite. The good news is that you don’t have to travel very far to get a great meal when you are staying on the Las Vegas Strip.
Tucked inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is the Burger Bar. Build your own burger from their extensive menu of meats, toppings, and breads. They even have dessert burgers.
Off the strip, in Las Vegas’ Little Asia section, you will find the best Japanese food of your life. Ichiza serves up classic Japanese fare, as well as interesting twists on favorites. Enjoy creatively prepared seafood, tempuras, and stir fries in a fun, if not a little cozy, environment.
Sensi, located in a quiet area of the bustling Bellagio hotel, serves up a wide variety of cuisines from around the world. In a town of themed restaurants that sometimes dip their toes into the realm of ridiculousness, Sensi succeeds in being dynamic and eclectic without being silly at all.
What to Do
Las Vegas is all about the lights! If you don’t explore the Strip at night, and take in the seizure-inducing dancing neons lights, then you are doing your Las Vegas vacation all wrong. Hotels seem to try to one-up each other in the lights department, and its all for the benefit of visitors. Beyond the flashy lights, there are, of course, casinos, along with quirky museums, fantastic shows, and even a few things to see beyond the bright lights.
Take a trip to the Hoover Dam, a true wonder of engineering.
Explore all of the hotels that you can, including the over-the-top Caesar’s Palace, the Luxor, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, the Mirage, and the Venetian, to name but a few. All feature colorful casts of characters, entertainment, spas, restaurants, and shopping.
Enjoy the thrill of the Roller Coaster and Stratosphere Thrill Rides.
Las Vegas legends Siegfried and Roy offer visitors their Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. You’ll see lions, snow leopards, dolphins, and, of course, those gorgeous white tigers that have helped to make them famous.
When to Visit
Las Vegas is always alive and kicking. The weather is always good, and there really is no off season. It is best to avoid holidays, including New Year’s, July 4th, and other three-day holiday weekends.