Las Vegas Vacations
Once a dusty, desert town in Nevada, Las Vegas is now a playground of big hotels, outrageous neon lights and outlandish personalities. Its transformation into a gambling hotspot began in 1931, when the first gaming license was issued. Since then, Vegas has continued to expand and evolve, from a post-war gangsters’ paradise and favored hangout of the mid-’60s Rat Pack to a glittering spectacle.
The themed hotels of Vegas are legendary. Experience ancient Rome at Caesars Palace or climb aboard a gondola at the Venetian. Marvel at the Mirage’s erupting volcano, see The Big Apple’s skyline at New York-New York, or drink a cocktail at the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel.
While it’s known as Sin City, Vegas is more than gambling and adult entertainment. Families will find plenty of innocent fun, some of which, like the Bellagio Resort and Casino's nightly fountain show, is free. A stroll along the Las Vegas Strip or The Forum Shops will also cost you nothing. At the Fremont Street Experience watch the nightly parade without paying a cent.
Las Vegas provides experiences on an extravagant scale. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon, is a just a few hours drive away. There’s a record-breaking free fall at Stratosphere Tower and exotic sea creatures at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino's Shark Reef Aquarium. Even Sin City’s seedy past is on display at the fascinating Mob Museum.
Though the famous all-you-can-eat buffets and juicy hamburger joints remain, Vegas has stepped it up in the food stakes, with a fresh crop of restaurants attracting discerning clientele. The shopping here rivals New York and Los Angeles, with hundreds of designer boutiques, opulent malls, children’s stores and plenty of souvenir stops. If you can't find it in Vegas, it probably can't be found.
For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in Las Vegas page.