This city in the desert is known around the world for fun and excitement. The Strip, Las Vegas' famous resort-lined street, sparkles with lights and recreated glamorous sites from cities around the world. Many of the hotels are attractions in and of themselves and feature free streetside shows, from dancing fountains to erupting volcanoes. You'll also find interesting museums, an always impressive list of shows, and countless other things to do. Las Vegas is a great place to visit year-round. The cooler winter temperatures are pleasant for sightseeing, and in summer, when the temperature can rise above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the hotel pools become an important part of the daytime activities.
The 2.5-mile-long central section of Las Vegas Boulevard, which runs through the city from northeast to southwest, known as the Strip, is where the action is. Lined with huge entertainment palaces, many built with a defining theme, and home to performance venues, luxury hotel rooms, and fine dining, this is what most people think of when they picture Las Vegas.
One of the must-do's in Las Vegas is walking along the Strip and soaking up the sights. It's particularly impressive at night, when the city is illuminated by an endless succession of glittering neon signs. This area is a never-ending feast for the senses.
In old downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street is a pedestrian-only area with all kinds of unique sites. A five-block section of Fremont Street is covered over with a canopy of LED lights that illuminate the sky in a spectacle of different colors and designs as you walk below.
Known as the Fremont Street Experience, each night a fantastic music and visual show takes place overhead. Street performers and special entertainment acts often perform outdoors in this area. Fremont Street is in downtown Las Vegas, a few kilometers from the Strip.
For a great aerial view over Las Vegas, or even the Grand Canyon, visitors may want to take a helicopter ride. Las Vegas has a number of companies providing helicopter tours that take visitors over Las Vegas and the Strip, or as far away as the Grand Canyon.
This is a great opportunity for anyone with limited time to see not only Vegas, but the surrounding landscape and one of America's most impressive and famous natural attractions.
The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas is located on the Strip, across from Treasure Island. It is one of the city's finest resorts and has many interesting tourist attractions. Inside is a themed shopping arcade built to resemble the city of Venice, complete with blue skies, canals, and gondoliers. The hotel also features recreations of the main attractions found in Venice, such as the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs, along with many others.
The Venetian Gondola Rides are a fun way to see the complex. Situated out in front of the Venetian Hotel, near the sidewalk, boats await passengers who are then taken on a ride by their personable gondolier who sings as they take you through the shopping arcade inside the hotel.
Located on the Strip, Paris Las Vegas is one of the most easily recognized resorts in the city. Out front is a scale model of the Eiffel Tower, and down the way is a recreation of the Paris Opera House. Forty-six stories above the city streets, the Eiffel Tower Experience is an observation deck with incredible 360-degree views.
One story below this is posh and romantic Eiffel Tower Restaurant, with fine views out over the Strip and across to the dancing fountains of Bellagio. Also on the property is a mock hot air balloon festooned with neon and flashing lights.
The Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas is a massive, high-end hotel complex, with a wide variety of attractions, including the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, a spa and salon, and some of the finest restaurants in Las Vegas.
Beyond the lobby is a showroom area with changing themes that range from spring botanical displays to fascinating shows of art. The most impressive and famous feature is the fountain show.
The Mirage Hotel is easy to identify while walking along the Strip. In front of the resort is a volcano, which erupts at regular intervals. At night, the glowing red fire and explosions shooting out of the volcano are some of the most unique sites visible from the sidewalk.
Inside the Mirage is Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. You can see a wide variety of exotic animals, including white lions and tigers. The Dolphin Habitat contains a large number of trained dolphins in its 2.5-million-gallon pools.
The High Roller Ferris wheel is the largest observation wheel in the world, topping out at an impressive 550 feet high. A single rotation takes 30 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to soak up the outstanding views over the Strip and surrounding area, especially at night.
Each cabin holds up to 40 people and is climate controlled. The High Roller is located at the bottom end of the Linq Lane - if you aren't sure where that is, just look up!
The New York-New York Hotel in Las Vegas is across the street from both the MGM Grand Hotel and the Excalibur Resort Hotel. Visually stunning, the hotel is designed to appear like New York's skyline, complete with the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. A huge roller coaster, called the Big Apple Coaster, circles in and around the hotel.
Perhaps one of the best known of all the Las Vegas hotel resorts, Caesar's Palace continues to evolve. Currently Caesar's Palace is a massive complex in the middle of the Strip, complete with every imaginable entertainment option.
The hotel is closely associated with shows held in its huge concert venue known as "The Colosseum." Top performers (which have included Celine Dion and Elton John) perform here for extended periods, and shows are often booked out well in advance. Visitors planning a trip and hoping to see a performance here will want to check out dates and ticket availability as early as possible.