Here’s where you’ll find the quintessential Vegas: Lavish casinos, glamorous clubs, hopping piano bars, and those infamous wedding chapels and neon lights.
At the heart of the Las Vegas is the four-mile (six-kilometer) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard affectionately dubbed “The Strip.” Hotels and casinos began cropping up here in the mid-1940s. The Flamingo was among the first, opened by mobster Bugsy Siegel in 1946 and named for his leggy girlfriend, whose nickname was Flamingo. The Strip was made popular as a location in countless Hollywood films, and is known today for its five-star casino resorts, decedent day-spas and pools, and glamorous nightlife.
As well as the much-photographed “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign, erected in 1959 and now listed on the National Register of Historical Places, The Strip is home to landmark hotels and casinos. There’s the pyramid-shaped Luxor, the elaborately themed Treasure Island (or “the TI”) with artificial cove, the old-world MGM Grand, glamorous Caesars Palace and Bellagio, where the illuminated fountain show attracts throngs of tourists every evening.
Stroll the sidewalk at night to witness the lights of Las Vegas at their outlandish best. Ride to the top of an Eiffel Tower replica at the Paris hotel, and tour miniature Manhattan at the New York-New York Casino. The Venetian offers, gondola rides along it’s canals, and there’s a lava-spewing volcano at the Mirage. Be sure to wander through the hotel lobbies, often a show in themselves, and try your luck on the gaming floors—zinging slot machines, cards and chips slapping on tables, and both cheers and groans from the players — for the true Vegas experience.
The Strip isn’t as lively by day, but it’s more family-friendly. Tourists of all ages hit the many shops in the casino galleries and sample the cuisine from top-notch restaurants and quick snack bars. You can get anything from sushi, to a five-course Italian meal, to a sumptuous burger and shake. You’ll find it all!
Once the sun begins to sink, get ready to do it all again. The Las Vegas Strip is a wild party every night of the year.
The Last Vegas Strip is not actually in the city, but only located just outside the city limits, just a ten-minute cab ride from downtown. Traffic is slow and parking expensive along this prime real estate. The best way to get around is by taxi, minibus or monorail.