About This Place
An adult-centric oasis in the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas draws tourists to the area’s glamorous, neon-lit playgrounds, particularly Downtown and the Strip, with its shoulder-to-shoulder luxury hotels and casinos. Situated in the center of the Las Vegas Valley, the city offers everything from a high-fashion outdoor shopping mall to some of the world’s grandest centers for games of chance and entertainment.
The famous Las Vegas Strip lies southwest of Downtown, and although technically outside the city limits, it is the beating heart of Vegas. The 4.2-mile portion of Las Vegas Boulevard lines up world-famous casinos, clubs and restaurants. Get your drink to go—legal imbibers can carry their cups on the street. Among its many luxury hotels, the standout is Bellagio, and is a must-visit during a stay in Vegas. Fronted with elaborately choreographed fountains, Bellagio offers an unsurpassed level of luxury and some of the sweetest eye candy in town. Breathtaking glass art and a world-class gallery onsite distinguish this hotel and casino, and it is also the home of Cirque du Soleil’s aquatic show. The hotel likewise draws a big crowd to its Spa Tower, making the Bellagio a Vegas hotspot for more than just the blackjack crowd.
Daytime gambling provides a cool pastime for tourists, but in the evening the party really heats up. Two venues at either end of the club-experience spectrum stand out. XS (pronounced “excess”) lives up to its name. The club boasts an elaborate chandelier that transforms into a giant disco ball, and light fixtures that double as dancing poles. In contrast, Parasol Up is better suited for close conversation in a more intimate setting. Open all night, it is the ideal place to wind down after a long day in Las Vegas.
The shimmering lights of the Strip promise bustling nightlife, and Vegas delivers. Take in national comedy or musical acts on any night of the week. The Blue Man Group performs its unique form of theater that melds mime, music, comedy and audience participation in two live shows nightly at the Venetian. Magician Mac King, a standby at Harrah’s, is another must-see. With a talent for engaging conversation and sleight-of-hand skills, King is a solid local legend.
Experience Fremont Street, Downtown’s focal point and home to the storied casinos of vintage Vegas. This is where the legend began and where some reminders still remain, such as the Golden Nugget casino and 40-foot neon cowboy known as “Vegas Vic.” Stroll the streets beneath a glittering video canopy, the world’s largest LED display that spans several blocks and provides welcome shade on days when the temperature often exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Downtown Las Vegas offers a complete retail experience, highlighted by the Premium Outlets North shopping mall. This open-air center blends standard upscale stores such as Quiksilver and Nine West with high-fashion brands that include Ed Hardy and Dolce & Gabbana. When the mercury rises, air misters and copious shading keep shoppers cool. Early spring is the nicest time to visit if you plan to be outdoors in the daytime.