Shaping the world’s play ground
Visitors are often surprised to find Las Vegas also has a wonderful variety of culture ranging from museums to beautiful botanic gardens. Considering Vegas only turned 100 in 2005 (the city threw itself a huge celebration and what’s a city’s 100th birthday without a 102ft long birthday cake?) the place is dripping in Vegas-style one-of-a-kind culture. In fact, there are enough museums and famous landmarks to help balance out the craziness that is Sin City.
The Neon Museum, Mob Museum and Atomic Testing Museum each charm their observers in their own fabulous way. The Neon Museum hosts a classic collection of the famous neon signs from every decade since the 1930s. The place is so popular, people get married in front of their favourite sign. If you’re lucky, you might get to see a Vegas-style wedding as you wander round the ‘Neon Boneyard’.
The National Museum of Organised Crime and Law Enforcement, or the Mob Museum, is a Sin City favourite. You can take a virtual tour through mobster history and get the low down on some of the biggest crime secrets in the US. With artefacts and insider knowledge, you’ll walk away fascinated.
On East Flamingo Road you’ll find the Atomic Testing Museum, arguably not the most exciting name but, considering the place is scientifically brilliant and you can actually touch an atomic bomb, it fits. Don’t forget to visit the Area 51 section, you might just breach the surface of one of the world’s most sought after secrets and have tons of fun doing it.
If museums aren’t your thing but you’d like a feel of Vegas culture, take a trip to the Bellagio. The AAA five diamond resort has an art gallery showcasing a number of timeless and well known pieces. You can also take a wander around the conservatory and the huge botanical gardens.
Need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city? Take a beach day at Lake Mead, just 30 miles from the Las Vegas. You can kayak, jet-ski or simply soak up the sun, with just a small fee into the reserve, you’ll forget about the city lights in seconds.
Whether you’re river rafting down the Black Canyon, taking in the multi-coloured views at the Valley of Fire State Park or drifting in a hot air balloon ride over the Red Canyon, you’re bound to be amazed on your last minute holiday to Las Vegas.
The world in Sin City
The running theme for the majority of the resorts sitting on Las Vegas Boulevard is places. One minute you’re in the ‘Sahara desert’, the next you’re ogling the fountains in ‘Lake Como’. It’s like a round the world trip in just a few miles.
Romantics will find the Venetian their own little slice of heaven – with the sweet tones of the accordion playing and ‘blue skies’ above, the Venetian hotel is the only place you can enjoy an Italian style street whilst chomping on, a typically American, supersized portion of fries. Take an actual gondola ride with your special someone and soak up the moment whilst travelling down the canal. We recommend people watching – it’s half of the fun in a place given the name ‘Sin City’.
If you wish you could see New York as well as Vegas then don’t worry, there’s a not-so-small version of the big apple right in the middle of the Strip. You can spot the iconic sky-line from miles away and a New York replica wouldn’t be complete without the statue of Liberty. You can take a roller coaster ride around the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State building and the Soldiers and Sailor monument or a wander around the complex and embrace the New York spectacles.
Caesars Palace is one of the most famous hotels in Vegas, with a Roman Empire theme, you’ll feel the Greco/Roman influence as soon as you catch site of the casino hotel. Considering Caesars is one of the older resorts on the Strip, it’s kept up with modern times and produces an air of luxury before you even walk in.
Treat yourself to a Roman spa with a huge range of treatments and facilities – they even have an ice room where it actually snows and a tea sommelier to make sure your tea cravings float away just like your troubles during your world-class massage. The Caesar Palace spa, Qua Bath and Spa, is fit for a king.
The world trip wouldn’t be complete without the Eiffel Tower. If Italy, Egypt and America weren’t enough, holidays in Las Vegas invite you take in a little bit of France too. Paris in Vegas is full of Parisian cafés and boutique shops so you can wander down the cobbled streets passing the elaborate fountains. There’s also a restaurant in the Eiffel tower you can dine at before reaching the top.
Viva Las Vegas
Vegas isn’t recognised as the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ for nothing. The whole city comes to life at night with neon lights everywhere, so many shows you can’t decide on and parties taking place in every direction, you won’t know what to do first.
Hundreds of different shows are available every year and some say they’re what make Vegas so great. The amount of professions showcased in this wild city is impressive. You can watch ballet dancers, acrobats, singers, show girls, comedians, magicians, puppeteers and lots more we don’t even know how to describe. We recommend seeing at least one Vegas show during your stay.
The majority of the hotels in Las Vegas have their own nightclubs and in some resorts, they have more than one. For the party people who love to dance into the early hours of the morning, visiting huge nightclubs like LiFE, Hakkasan and Tao should be a priority, and we guarantee you’ll love Vegas nightlife.
Rooftop and pool parties are huge on the Strip, so you’ll have lots to choose from. Chateau Garden’s rooftop in Paris and Ghostbar in Palm Casino resort (great for celebrity spotting) are just two of the many rooftop bars. If you fancy going to a pool party you should head over to Moorea Beach club or the Foxtail Pool Club at SLS Las Vegas.
Since gambling became legal in 1931, Vegas has taken full advantage, there are slot machines in the airport, the supermarkets and even the petrol stations have them. Over half of visitors to the city gamble during their stay, so it’s only natural that there are casinos in almost every hotel and they’ve been decked out with the finest interiors.
Vegas fun for all ages
It doesn’t matter if you’re travelling with a 7 or 77 year old, there are plenty of experiences to suit tourists of all ages. Whoever said Vegas is Disney Land for adults appears to have to forgotten that it’s a jam-packed adventure for children too.
If you gathered up all the rollercoaster rides in the city and plonked them down in one place, it’d be the craziest theme park you’ve ever been too. There’s SlotZilla, a zip line that flies you over the pedestrians of Fremont Street, Xscream, a huge see-saw like ride that’s positioned 900ft in the air and goes 30 miles an hour and there’s lots more dotted around the city. There’s actually a big theme park in the Circus Circus hotel too.
All the family is sure to enjoy seeing the tigers and hopefully their cubs in the Secret Garden at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. If you love nature you could also take the family to Mount Charleston for a picnic and maybe even a hike.
For something a little different to the usual holiday attractions, you could take the kids to M&M World, the CSI: Experience, the Pinball Hall of Fame or even have a go at driving an actual bulldozer, it’ll be the holiday they’re talking about all year.
Serious shoppers from all over the world come to Vegas to indulge in the fancy shops. If you’d prefer a full blown shopping spree or even just a window shop around the boutiques, Vegas has more than you could dream of seeing on a week-long holiday.
The list of places to shop in Las Vegas is longer than the Strip itself, there are thousands of shops and we’re sure you could spend your full trip shopping and then some. The Forum Shops at Caesars, the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood and the Fashion Show Mall are just a few of the favourites.
The Strip isn’t the only place that’s ideal for shoppers, a few miles away there are shopping malls just waiting for your hard earned dollars. For shopping with a twist you could try Bonanzas gifts and Route 66 or even take a stroll around the Coca Cola shop.
In true American style, the hearty portions and all you can eat buffets are everywhere. You can get anything you want at probably any time you like and the food is to die for. The variety of cuisines is huge, meaning even the fussiest of eaters will find something they love.
For couples looking for a romantic setting, Las Vegas has some beautiful and luxurious restaurants. Any special occasion can be celebrated in one of the many impressive places to eat or if you’re just looking for a quick pit stop or a place the kids can eat and play, Vegas has it all.
There are food stalls filled with the yummiest and the biggest take away treats you could dream of. You can grab all American food, BBQ food, soul food, Mexican food or stop at a specialised truck or stall for anything from bacon to corndogs to hummus, the hardest thing is deciding what to eat.
The vast amount of eateries means you can taste food from all corners of the world whilst enjoying the luxury of Las Vegas. For a unique dining experience you should visit Margaritaville, the family friendly, island-themed restaurant will entertain you for hours. We also recommend trying some frozen custard, the unofficial delicacy of Las Vegas.
Grab a Deuce bus
With just a 10 minute drive from the airport to the Strip, you won’t have to wait long to get your holiday started. Airport shuttles are available and tend to be the cheapest way to get to your hotel although, taxis are still cheap and can be found when you exit the airport.
Buses run regularly around the city and routes on the Strip are available 24/7. There’s also a monorail that runs from the south of the strip to the north and stops at many places on the way.
A cheap and popular way to see the sights is the Deuce bus, these double decker buses are famous around Vegas and are the primary public transport on Las Vegas Boulevard. With hourly or daily passes, the Deuce buses can be an easy way to get around.
If you’d prefer to travel by foot be sure to use the pedestrian areas when crossing the road as jaywalking carries a heavy fine in Las Vegas and the sheer volume of traffic makes walking across the road in undesignated areas dangerous.
You’ve been sightseeing in the land of dreams all day, you’re all glammed up and ready to hit the casino, you feel like a million dollars right? Well, why just feel like a million bucks when you can actually see it? In Binion’s casino, tourists can actually pose with a million dollars – we guarantee it’s the most expensive picture you’ll ever take for free.
If you’re tying the knot or renewing your vows, Las Vegas is a magical place to have your wedding. In the wedding city of the world, you can get married just about anywhere and even swapping vows whilst skydiving isn’t unheard of. Even if a wedding isn’t your reason for holidaying to Vegas, watch out for them, people go crazy at weddings – you never know what you might just see.
The Fremont Street Experience is one of a kind place, you can be in ‘Heart Attack Grill’ – a hospital themed restaurant – one minute and the next standing in the amongst fellow admirers of the famous light shows on the world’s largest video screen, and the pedestrian promenade is like no other.
Best time to visit
Luckily, Las Vegas is in the desert, so it never gets really cold, unless of course you step into one of the hotel complexes in your favourite summer clothes and the air-con is on full blast.
December, January and February are the coldest months with lows of around 4C and highs of 15C on average, these are still popular months and with over 300 days of sunshine, the lack of heat doesn’t mean rain.
From March, the months keep getting hotter with temperatures starting at around 20°C in March and reaching up to the high 30s to 40s in July and August. Although September is still hot, temperatures gradually decrease hitting 20°C on average in October and around 15°C in November.
Las Vegas tends to be busy all year long, with events nonstop all the way through the year. The quietest week (and supposedly cheapest) is said to be the week before Christmas, there are fewer shows scheduled and even the traffic is lighter.