The fascinating Las Vegas, built in the heart of the desert, attracts visitors from all around the globe.The first thing that comes to mind when we think about Vegas is of course gambling and our opportunity to return home with many more dollars in our pockets! As unorthodox as this may sound, there are more things to do in Las Vegas to discover this amazing city built right on the desert, with fountains, waterfalls and canals as its major attractions. All thematic hotels that create this unreal scenery of Las Vegas will make you feel like you are a Hollywood star on a film set. Grab your shoes and don’t be stuck inside a casino playing poker or the slot machines. There’s much more to discover!
There is no doubt that the Las Vegas Strip is the core avenue of the city, having if not the best, certainly the most spectacular hotels in the world. Each hotel is a theme park with a casino at the entrance and also luxury shops, cafes, restaurants, gardens, parks, amusement parks, nightclubs and theaters. I would totally recommend a walk on the 4.2 mile (6.8 km) long Las Vegas Strip. Definitely stop at the famous Bellagio Hotel and Casino, which is famous from the movie Ocean’s Eleven to admire the fountain show right in front the building. It is something incredible that you possibly haven’t seen before in your life. Show times vary from every half an hour in the morning to every fifteen minutes at night. Check the website below for a specific timetable. It is usually really crowded, so if you want to have a good spot make sure you get there at least ten minutes before the show.
2. Book an amazing Cirque du Soleil Show
Cirque du Soleil is maybe the most famous acrobat show in the world. They perform various shows every night at different hotels in Las Vegas. Choose the show that you’d like to see on their official website (see below). They use incredible techniques of acrobatics combined with fire, water, smoke, special lightning and art installations that create unbelievable shows that are fun, intriguing and exciting. Although Cirque du Soleil does world tours with their shows, in Las Vegas you will see the best of them as the permanent sets inside the hotels are simply amazing and cannot be moved elsewhere. You will understand only when you see the show yourself! Tickets are not very cheap, but they sell fast, so either you can book two or three days in advance from the official website or you can book them directly at the ticket office of the hotel that they perform in. Be prepared for a show that you will remember for a long time.
3. Shopping at Las Vegas Outlets
If you have expensive taste for your clothes, then the Las Vegas Strip offers many shops with luxury brands. But if you like expensive brands and you also want to keep your travel on a budget, then be a savvy consumer and head to the Las Vegas Outlets. Did you know that Las Vegas has two premium outlets centers? One is Las Vegas South Premium Outlet, located south of Mandalay Bay and just 5 miles from the Strip. You can easily get there with your car or by taking the buses DEUCE or SDX. There is free parking and 140 stores with famous brands plus restaurants and cafes. Four miles north of the Strip, there is Las Vegas North Premium Outlets featuring 175 stores with famous brands and huge discounts. There is free parking here and restaurants and cafes to have a rest while you shop. Both are outdoor malls and they are more or less similar. For detailed lists of the shops, you can visit their official websites. My advice is to get there early, as normally it gets very crowded and the shops are numerous (and prices are so good) that one day will not be enough.
4. Las Vegas is not only the Strip
The Fremont Street Experience is another attraction of Vegas that is not as classy and posh as the Strip. It is a covered street in the downtown, just 5.9 miles (~9.5 km) to the north of the Strip. It is an area full of shops, restaurants, hotels and, of course, casinos. It is a more authentic and more human side of Las Vegas because you can see people passing by, street performers and normal life going on. Of course, it is combined with gambling as there are casinos and hotels here as well, but they are not so classy and so bright. Have a burger at Heart Attack Grill (450 Fremont Street), famous for its killer burgers and its huge American-style milkshakes. If you are brave enough, fly over Fremont Street with SlotZilla! The Slotzilla platform is located at the end of the street. It is a zip line ride over Fremont Street that will make you feel like you are flying! There are quite long lines, so it is advisable to go early and book a place. Also, check out night rides when the street is lit. Fremont Street is a great place to spend a day exploring what’s outside of the Strip and if you wait till night, the lights of Fremont Street will impress you!
5. Visit nature's wonder, the Grand Canyon
When you are in Las Vegas, you can easily visit one of the most amazing and fascinating natural wonders of the Earth, the famous Grand Canyon. Nature lover or not, it is an opportunity to see this wonderful geological creation and canyon that will take your breath away. Grand Canyon National Park is about 450 miles (724 km) away from Las Vegas and it takes about 4 hours to get there. I would suggest booking a day tour with one of the companies that offer this itinerary, as it is the most convenient and easy way to make the most out of your visit. Companies pick you up from your hotel around 6 am and they return you back to it around 10 pm. Usually lunch is included, and on the way they make a stop at Hoover Dam. It is a relaxing and comfortable trip; inside the bus they show movies and on the way back you can sleep. You will arrive at Grand Canyon Park around noon and you will have about 3 hours to walk and wander around. There are several companies offering day tours to the canyon, you just have to decide whether to visit the South Rim or North Rim and, if you are brave enough, book a helicopter ride over it! The Grand Canyon Tour Company is a very well organized one; you may check their website below, see what they offer and book their tours.
Las Vegas, Nevada: there is much more than gambling
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas … but not if you are having a great time walking around admiring what humans built in the heart of the desert. Las Vegas is much more that gambling and getting wasted. You can stroll along the Strip and admire the amazing fountain show at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, see a Cirque du Soleil acrobat show, shop luxury brands for very low prices and take an excursion to Grand Canyon, a breathtaking experience. Apart from all these, there is a more human Las Vegas, the one that lives on Fremont Street, in downtown Las Vegas, which is a different experience than the big bright lights of the Strip.
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