Las Vegas is not only the gambling capital of the planet but also has established itself as an all-around tourist destination. The town buzzes with couples and families alike, out for a little fun in the desert sun. Casinos, restaurants and bars are packed with tourists from all over the world, ready to enjoy themselves in the glitz of the city! So what else can you do in Las Vegas other than play blackjack or poker till dawn? Plenty!
The city’s Casinos are far more than gaming rooms. Both inside and out, you’ll find extraordinary sights and sounds all vying for your attention. The casinos feature some of the most elaborate attractions on earth. Ancient Egyptian, Venetian, fairy castles, pirates or Paris. Roller coasters, wave pools, dancing fountains, erupting volcano or tigers - the list of themes is endless and the Las Vegas strip is simply one of the most exciting places on earth.
Naturally there’s every type of gaming you could imagine from a wilderness of slots, to the classic table games such as roulette and craps, and the card games such as baccarat, black jack and poker. You can bet on your favourites sports games, or sit in the lounge and play keno.
But Las Vegas is as much about the jaw-dropping shows on offer. The city attracts some of the biggest names in show business with live theatrical shows, magicians, circus acts and dance. You might see Phantom of the Opera, Cher, Cirque du Soleil, or any one of a dozen high quality tribute shows from the Beatles to Motown. Then there’s the late-night bars, nightclubs and live music.
That not enough for you? Well you could spend literally night after night just wandering the streets and taking in the spectacular light show that is Las Vegas. The glittering and pulsing explosion of lights will thrill you at every turn.
How about Golf? There is only one course in the world which is right next to a street as famous as the Las Vegas Strip, the Bali Hai Golf Club. This 7002 yard Schmidt/Curley design offers a tropical paradise with views of the Strip from greens and tees. Or you can test your Indy car or NASCAR skills in the Mario Andretti and Jeff Gordon Racing School at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
For a ‘breath-taking’ experience in every sense try the Stratosphere Tower, the tallest free-standing observation tower in the US. The view from the top is spectacular taking in the hotels on the Strip, the suburban sprawl, and even the snow covered peak of Mt Charleston in the distance. But that isn't enough try the world’s highest rollercoaster at the top! Or to get your heart pumping even more try the Big Shot, a reverse bungee jump which will shoot you 160 feet into the air at 45 mph - and then bring you back down again!! Or try Insanity, the Ride, a mechanical arm extending 64 feet over the edge of the Tower which spins you at a force of 3G’s – it’s a mind-blowing experience!
Take the kids (big or small) to the Adventuredome where they can try the roller coaster, play laser tag, spin out in the motion simulator or play the arcade games for hours. Make sure you visit the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory and Botanical Cactus Garden. Apart from the sweet treats, the breathtaking Cactus Garden is one of the world's largest collections featuring four acres of drought-tolerant ornamentals, cacti, and other succulents.
Don’t miss the Casino Legends Hall of Fame with heaps of memorabilia and videos of old Las Vegas hotels, gangsters and demolitions! Or the Liberace Museum, a fitting tribute to the pianist and showman. It's all there: the rhinestone-studded, fur-draped costumes; the mind-boggling jewelry; the pianos and cars, among them a 1934 Mercedes Excalibur covered in Austrian rhinestones. You'll walk in the door thinking this is high camp, but you'll most assuredly leave an admiring fan.
The city has gained increasing popularity for shopping, to the point where this is now a major tourist draw in itself. Visitors can look forward to a wide variety of boutique shopping, featuring major European and American designers, as well as inexpensive factory outlet shopping. There is also the stereotypical memorabilia on hand - such as Elvis outfits – doesn’t everybody want one?
If you need to escape the manmade and get in touch with nature, there’s plenty around on that front too. Nevada is one of the largest states in the US and it’s one of the only places you can ski world-class runs in the morning, then walk world-class greens in the afternoon.
In the northeast is Cowboy Country, and like the cowboys and ranchers who call it home, the region is rugged and untamed. From hunting to snowmobiling and snowshoeing, this is one place that will test the mettle of even the roughest hombres.
The northwest is Reno-Tahoe Territory, home to America’s Adventure Place. World-class skiing, hiking and biking at Lake Tahoe are just the beginning of all the outdoor recreation you’ll find here. For an experience like no other, the counterculture celebration of Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert can’t be beat.
Pony Express Territory crosses the north central region of Nevada. A drive on ‘The Loneliest Road in America’, US Highway 50, takes you roughly along the same path as the fabled Wild West mail route with which the territory shares its name.
Nevada Silver Trails is not a destination for the faint of heart. Encompassing everything from the tallest point in Nevada, Boundary Peak, to scorching Death Valley National Park and secretive Area 51, this part of the state is an adventure unto itself.
Pencil Las Vegas in for your next vacation – there’s no doubt it’s a winner.