In one sense, Las Vegas doesn’t have an abundance of “attractions” like other cities do with museums, theme parks or historic buildings, but in another sense the entire city is one attraction after another. Of course the famous Las Vegas Strip is the center of the show. Featuring many of the world’s largest hotels, the Strip is both a collection of attractions and an attraction in and of itself.
Located along Las Vegas Boulevard South, the Strip encompasses four full miles of massive hotels, acres of casino floors, shows, nightclubs, world-renowned restaurants and thousands of shops.
There are many hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, though they wouldn’t all be considered attractions. Highlights include:
- Stratosphere – The tallest free-standing structure in the state is the Stratosphere tower, which looms over the northern part of the Strip. It’s 1,149 feet (350 m) tall, and there are a few thrill rides at the top.
- Circus Circus – This hotel may be a bit older than others on the Strip, but it’s worth checking out for the big-top theme and circus acts. There are midway booths and arcade games to keep the kids busy, which makes this one of the more popular hotels for families.
- Treasure Island – The pirate-themed show outside of the hotel is not family friendly, but it is popular with adults.
- Mirage – The erupting volcano outside of the Mirage is not exactly the most authentic lava-spewing natural wonder you’ll ever encounter, but it’s a fun spectacle nonetheless. Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is a popular draw for families.
- Venetian – Stop by this hotel to check out St. Mark’s Square and the gondolas running the canals.
- Caesars Palace – This hotel’s Roman theme is everywhere, including the Forum Shops, the high-end retail and restaurant district just off the main casinos.
- Bellagio – Known the world over for its famous fountain shows, the Bellagio’s highlights also include a conservatory and botanical gardens that are decorated differently each season as well as an art gallery.
- Paris Las Vegas – The Eiffel Tower outside is hard to miss, but wander inside to walk streets reminiscent of this European city.
- New York New York – This hotel is one of the most themed hotels on the Strip, with an Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and Statue of Liberty out front. A roller coaster running throughout the building provides a thrilling way to see it all in just a couple of minutes.
- MGM Grand Hotel – Though impressive for its size alone, MGM Grand is also home to a lion habitat, which is worth checking out.
- Excalibur – This King Arthur-themed hotel is a bit kitschy but still a lot of fun with its arcade and medieval decor.
>>More information about Las Vegas hotels.
A lot of people travel to Las Vegas for the casinos and for good reason: There are tens of thousands of slot machines, countless gaming tables and incredibly high tech sports bars throughout the city. If there’s a game you’d like to play, chances are you can find it in Las Vegas. Even if you aren’t a gambler, many of the casinos are spectacular just to look at and walk through anyway.
The diversity of shows in Las Vegas means that there really is something for everyone. Cirque du Soleil has a dominant presence in the city, but there are also magicians, comedians, adult revues, variety shows, dinner shows and concerts. Just about every hotel on the Strip has a permanent show, though some, such as The Cosmopolitan, draw in crowds with ever-revolving, small venue, big name performers.
Many hotels on Las Vegas Boulevard draw in crowds with at least one nightclub, if not two or three. These clubs range from small boutique nighttime hot spots to large venues with massive dance floors. Nearly all offer bottle service and VIP treatment for the right price. The nightclubs open late in Las Vegas and leave their doors open until the wee hours of the morning. During holidays and special events, you’ll want to make sure you arrive early enough to avoid being shut out.
>>More information about nightclubs in Las Vegas.
>>More information about how to get to the front of the line in a Las Vegas nightclub.
Celebrity chefs and award-winning restaurants are the norm in Las Vegas. Casual American dining, sushi, steakhouses, tapas, lavish buffets, extravagant desserts, alcoholic beverages of every kind, and cuisine from every corner of the Earth can be found on the Las Vegas Strip.
>>More information about dining in Las Vegas.
There are a few places to get your shop on along the Strip, including the Fashion Show Mall, Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood, Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian and Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. In addition, several of the hotels have a few small specialty stores.
>>More information about shopping in Las Vegas.
Getting Around the Strip
Though the Strip can look deceivingly short, don’t be fooled by the four miles it takes to get from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere. You’ll be able to walk short chunks of the Strip, but if you plan on walking the whole thing, wear comfortable shoes and take lots of water with you. Most people like to take a taxi to get where they need to go, but a cheaper option is riding the bus. The Las Vegas monorail runs along part of the Strip, but there are also free trams that run from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur, Bellagio to Monte Carlo and Treasure Island to Mirage.
>>More information about transportation in Las Vegas.
Photo credit: Stuck in Customs