Exploring Las Vegas
Fantasy, exotica, romance, extravagance, luxury and glorious self-indulgence – Las Vegas offers visitors all this and more from its incongruous setting in the wastes of the Nevada Desert. Created purely for pleasure and entertainment, it offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience unequalled anywhere in the world, with its sparkling Strip featured in movies and TV dramas for decades. Spectacular themed casino resorts line the Strip, all competing to offer the most unique attractions, the best performances by giants of the entertainment world and the latest gambling fads. Massive indoor theme parks with adrenaline-rush rides, resort reconstructions of ancient Rome, Venice and Paris, aquariums, botanical displays and zoological parks, attract millions of visitors every year to this neon-lit city.
It’s not all casinos in Las Vegas, though most attractions are connected with them. There are many side attractions to take in, both on and off the Strip. Visit the Eiffel Tower, parts of the Titanic, even erupting volcanoes and super-high rollercoasters.Stratosphere Hotel, it also boasts fun rides, including a high-up rollercoaster and zero gravity tower ride. Amazing views are de rigueur.
-TitanicSee bits of the actual Titanic at the Luxor’s Artifact Exhibition, including part of its hull, some luggage and even an ancient bottle of champagne. They’ve even redone the Grand Staircase, from where people can have their picture taken, and there’s a fine mock up of the Promenade Deck, too.
- Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic ParkThe original Mormon settlers set up camp at this spot to the north of downtown. The old fort was built in 1885, though most of what you see today is reconstructed; only a shed remains. In spite of this, it makes for a welcome break from the glitz and non-stop din of the casinos.
Eating and drinking and shopping nearby
Every cuisine is found in Vegas, with well over a dozen restaurants sporting a Michelin-star listing alone, including Joel Rabuchon’s at the MGM Grand. The most-loved treats here, however, are steaks and ribs served in myriad steakhouses and hotels. One of the best is The Strip House at Planet Hollywood. Free drinks are served to gamblers—be sure to tip the waitress—and there are lounges, clubs and shows in most casinos. Shopaholics have everything from top designer boutiques to quirky off-Strip fashion stores. The Forum at Caesar’s, Venetian’s Grand Canal and Paris’ Boulevard are first class.
Getting in and getting around Vegas is straightforward, with the city’s international airport hosting flights from major European cities and a plethora of domestic destinations. Aussie visitors will probably have to connect via Los Angeles. Once in Vegas, transportation between hotels and the dozens of attractions along the Strip can be done by monorail, which runs every 10 minutes from early morning until 03:00, with stations actually within a number of the resorts. For late revellers, the 24-7 RTC Deuce bus service takes in downtown as well as the Strip, stopping outside every casino. Free hotel shuttle buses link most attractions, and off-Strip gambling joints offer shuttles to their other Vegas properties. Cabs cram the streets and, for the ultimate luxury ride, stretch limos can be hired.