The name Las Vegas is synonymous with a few things, but nothing more so than gambling: hitting the slots, laying down thousands at the blackjack table, taking your chances at the roulette wheel, throwing the dice at craps. And while some people think that sounds like paradise, there are plenty of others who would rather know for sure what their money is going to get them. And while every hotel, resort, and even the airport has a casino, there is still plenty of things for non-gambles to do in Sin City.
If gambling is what Las Vegas specializes in most, then food is its second specialty. With never-ending buffets filled with gourmet dishes to the fanciest of fancy sit-down dinner options, Las Vegas restaurants have the food scene covered. Big-name chefs have also started to call Vegas home with Wolfgang Puck, Joel Robuchon, and Hubert Keller, among many others, all opening up establishments in Sin City.
From big-name designers to rag-tag souvenir shops, you can spend days trying to get to all of Las Vegas’ shopping destinations. In addition to major brands being in nearly every resort, there are also multiple shopping centers to explore, including Crystals and Showcase Mall, not to mention the nearby outlets.
Las Vegas by night is an experience in and of itself. Depicted for years in movies and books, it is what helped coin the famous phrase “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” With enormous, mega-nightclubs drawing some of the biggest DJs on the planet to super-swanky lounges with fantastic views, the going-out options in Las Vegas are endless. Sip on a cocktail beside the pool at XS Nightclub at the Wynn, drop some major dollars for a table at The Venetian’s Tao, or hang out 55 floors above The Strip at The Palms’ Ghost Bar.
Shows and Entertainment
Nighttime isn’t just ruled by mega clubs—nearly every resort in Las Vegas has evening entertainment. From magic acts to stripping Australians, big-name concerts to classic Las Vegas revues, soaring acrobats to stand-up comics, the entertainment options in Las Vegas run the gamut, so you’ll definitely find something to fit your tastes. Some of Vegas’ most popular shows include those of Cirque du Soleil (http://www.cirquedusoleil.com), which has resident theaters in Bellagio, MGM Grand, Treasure Island, The Mirage, ARIA, New York, New York.
Several Vegas hotels host all-day weekend pool parties, with thousands of people spread out across several outdoor pools, dancing and swimming the day away. With live DJs and celebrity appearances, let alone just plain old fun in the sun, pool parties are a fun way to relax after a late night out. The biggest and best parties are at the Hard Rock and Wet Republic at the MGM Grand.
If hitting the casino, dancing at an enormous club, or shopping ‘til you drop isn’t your idea of a thrill, check out Las Vegas’ other adrenaline rushes. New York, New York’s roller coaster zips and flips in between skyscrapers. The Stratosphere, located at the other end of The Vegas Strip has four thrill rides—Big Shot (which shoot you up the antenna of the already-tall tower), X-Scream (which dangles you out over the edge of the building), Insanity (where you spin around while hanging out over the building’s edge, and SkyJump (bungee jumping over the side of The Stratosphere). Save your trip to the buffet until after the rides!
Las Vegas is a great place in and of itself, but it also has the benefit of being super close to some of the Southwest United States’ treasures. Just a bus ride or a quick helicopter ride away is the natural wonder of the Grand Canyon, the manmade wonder of the Hoover Dam, and gorgeous Lake Meade. Take advantage of Las Vegas’ proximity to check out these places you might otherwise never get to visit.
Travel the Globe
Within just four miles, you can country-jump and visit Paris, Venice, Egypt, Rome, China, New York—the list goes on. Many Vegas hotels have adopted themes that replicate almost exactly these famous places. Recreating the iconic architecture and installing eateries and stores typical of the cities are just some of the ways the Paris; The Venetian; The Luxor; Caesar’s Palace; The Imperial Palace; and New York, New York successfully make you feel like a jetsetting globetrotter!