Las Vegas is one of the most exciting destinations in the United States. Known as the Entertainment Capital of the World, it attracts millions of visitors each year. While Las Vegas has the reputation of being a gambling city, it is much more than that. In recent years, many hotels and resorts have gone out of their way to make the city more family-friendly.
Today, you’ll find museums, amusement parks and arts-related events alongside the traditional shows and casinos on The Strip. It’s true that many of these attractions are part of hotels/casinos, but the point is you have many choices of things to do when you visit. Add to that the proximity of many beautiful natural attractions and you have a vacation spot that has something to offer everyone.
Highlights of Las Vegas
In Las Vegas, it can be hard to separate the main attractions from the places to stay, as so much of the action centers around the hotels and resorts on The Strip. Even if you aren’t staying at one of these grand places, they provide a glamorous backdrop when you drive through the city and take in all the lights.
- The High Roller at The Linq -The High Roller is the world’s tallest observation wheel and a fun place to get incomparable views of the city.
- Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at Bellagio -Even if you’re not staying at the Bellagio, this is a place worth visiting for its beautiful and exotic landscaping. These gardens contain plants and flowers not only from the Southwest but from all over the world.
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area -This is one of the incredible natural attractions within an easy drive from The Strip. Only 17 miles from Las Vegas, this area has trails for hiking, horseback riding and many beautiful spots to admire nature and take memorable photos.
- Museums -Las Vegas has almost too many museums to list; many are unique, fun and devoted to one or another oddity or specialty. You should try to visit at least a few while you’re in town. Some of the most notable include The Mob Museum, which has lots of exhibits devoted to criminals and mobsters from Vegas as well as worldwide; The Neon Museum, which is appropriate in a city famous for its neon lights; Pinball Hall of Fame, Elvis: The Exhibition and Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.
- Fremont Street Experience - A pedestrian mall that is full of entertainment, food, shopping and a constant stream of activity. This is one of the city’s liveliest spots at night.
Dining and Nightlife
Las Vegas is practically synonymous with entertainment. Needless to say, if you enjoy gambling, from slots to table games, you have endless choices. Buffets are similarly easy to find. The city also has some more distinctive fine dining options.
- One of Las Vegas’s most renowned restaurants is Le Cirque, which also has a branch in New York. The one in Vegas is in the Bellagio and features world class French dining in a quiet and elegant atmosphere.
- Picasso is a popular European restaurant on The Strip. It has great food, a festive Picasso-themed atmosphere and is the choice for many special events. You can observe the hypnotic Bellagio Fountains while enjoying your meal.
- If you like Thai food, Le Thai, on Fremont Street, is probably your best choice. From spring rolls to coconut curries to chicken pad Thai this place has delicious and authentic Thai specialties.
- Las Vegas has a number of excellent steakhouses, including Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse on Fremont Street and Texas de Brazil (which has a wide variety of meat dishes), closer to the airport.
- If you prefer Italian, one of your best choices are Casa Di Amore on E. Tropicana, which has amazing pizza, pasta dishes and more at reasonable prices.
Your entertainment options in Las Vegas are practically endless. Every hotel and resort features great shows, including many world famous acts. One of the most breathtaking shows you can see right now is Le Reve -The Dream, a multimedia show that includes underwater as well as aerial acrobatics. Another incredible show with an aquatic theme is O-Cirque de Soleil.
You can find countless venues offering live jazz, dinner theaters and other great entertainment. Some of these include Alibi Las Vegas, The Piano Bar at Harrah’s , Club Monaco and Tournament of Kings.
Where to Stay
If you want the full Las Vegas experience, you can stay at one of the city’s grand hotels, such as Bellagio Las Vegas, Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Circus Circus (which has a fun amusement park that’s worth visiting, especially if you have kids, even if you don’t stay here), Luxor Las Vegas, The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino and The Mirage, just to name a few.
If you want to save money on hotels and leave more of your budget for entertainment, you also have many choices. Some economy_ choices include Days Inn Las Vegas at Wild Wild West Gambling Hall, Capri Motel, Aztec Inn and Downtowner Motel.
Las Vegas also has some other options for accommodations, such as RV parks. These include Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort, The RV Park at Circus Circus and Las Vegas RV Resort, all close to the action. Budget travelers also have a few hostels from which to choose, such as Hostel Cat and Las Vegas Hostel.