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United States

Las Vegas: The Entertainment Capital of the World!

This entry is part 12 of 27 in the series A-Z of America

 

The Sin City – a place that no one ever regrets visiting is one of my favorite destinations in the United States. Las Vegas, in Nevada’s Mojave Desert, is a much sought-after and major resort town famous for its buzzing energy, 24-hour casinos, fine dining, shopping, nightlife and endless entertainment options; for the first timer, the night owl, the art lover and the outdoors enthusiast. There is something in here for everyone.

Vegas at dusk from Top of the Eiffel Tower - Courtesy - Flickr by Bill Gracey

Vegas at dusk from Top of the Eiffel Tower – Courtesy – Flickr by Bill Gracey

 

#LasVegas: The Entertainment Capital of the World! #TravelwithArchie #Nevada @archanackapoor Click To Tweet

Often simply referred to as Vegas, it is the most populous city in the state of Nevada. It is the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Southern Nevada. . A growing retirement and family city, Las Vegas is one of the top three leading destinations in the United States for conventions, business, and meetings; and one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

An overview of Vegas - Courtesy Flickr by Felix's Endless Journey

An overview of Vegas – Courtesy Flickr by Felix’s Endless Journey

 

The city’s tolerance and love for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of ‘Sin City,’ and has made Las Vegas a popular setting for films, television programs, and music videos. Las Vegas is not only used to describe the city itself, but also areas beyond the city limits – especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip and the Las Vegas Valley. Its focal point is the Strip (the stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard), just over 4 miles long and lined with the most gorgeous elaborate theme hotels such as the pyramid-shaped Luxor and the Venetian, complete with Grand Canal; luxury resorts including the Bellagio, set behind iconic dancing fountains; and innumerable casinos. Vegas has more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world, and is a global leader in the hospitality industry.

Las Vegas sunrise - Courtesy - Flickr by RosieTulips

Las Vegas sunrise – Courtesy – Flickr by RosieTulips

 

If it’s your first trip to Vegas, you must stay somewhere in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. Well, I wouldn’t stay anywhere else even if it were my 100th trip to Vegas. The Strip is where all the amazing action is and staying on the Strip enables you to walk to as many places as possible. There are elevated walkways between all of the hotel properties to make it easier to get from one to another. One thing I must say is that there is a lot of thought and strategy that has gone into the planning of the Strip – the way it is. And that is what makes it completely world class.

Sunrise in Vegas - Courtesy - Flickr by socialBedia

Sunrise in Vegas – Courtesy – Flickr by socialBedia

 

Another reason why I simply love Vegas is its weather. The city enjoys abundant sunshine all year round and has an average of about 310 sunny days every year. For someone like me, it is paradise. Though during the summer months of June to September it is very hot, the solace is that the temperatures in the night most often remain well above 80 °F. And we all know that the nights are when one enjoys the most in Vegas. Winters are short and mild. The mountains surrounding Las Vegas accumulate snow during the winter, but in Las Vegas itself, snow is a rare commodity.

History of Las Vegas

Las Vegas was founded as a city in 1905, when 110 acres of land adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks were auctioned in what would become the downtown area. It was finally incorporated as a city in 1911. The earliest known inhabitants in the Las Vegas area were nomadic Paleo-Indians, who traveled here 10,000 years ago, leaving behind petroglyphs. Anasazi and Paiute tribes followed at least 2,000 years ago. In 1829, a trader named Antonio Armijo led a 60-man party along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles, California. The area was named Las Vegas, which means ‘the meadows’ in Spanish because it featured abundant wild grasses, as well as desert spring waters for westward travelers. The year 1931 was a critical one for Vegas, as Nevada legalized casino gambling that year. This year also saw the beginning of construction on nearby Hoover Dam. The influx of construction workers and their families helped Las Vegas avoid economic calamity during the Great Depression.

After World War II, lavishly decorated hotels, gambling casinos and big-name entertainment became synonymous with Las Vegas. The 1950s saw the opening of the Moulin Rouge, the first racially integrated casino-hotel in Las Vegas. During the 1960s, corporations and business powerhouses such as Howard Hughes were building and buying hotel-casino properties. Gambling was referred to as ‘gaming,’ which transitioned into legitimate business. It is still referred to as gaming in the Vegas world. It is in 1989 that entrepreneur Steve Wynn changed the face of the Las Vegas gaming industry by opening up The Mirage, the Las Vegas Strip’s first mega-casino resort. And since that time, there was no looking back!

Las Vegas at Night - Courtesy - Flickr by Robert M

Las Vegas at Night – Courtesy – Flickr by Robert M

 

20 Quirky Facts about Las Vegas

  1. It would take 288 years for one person to spend one night in every hotel room in Las Vegas.
  2. Water structures in Las Vegas, like fountains and man-made lakes, use something called grey-water, which is recycled water from sinks, bathtubs and showers.
  3. The Las Vegas Strip is the brightest place on Earth when looked at from outer space.
  4. Apparently at least 1,000 people are estimated to be living beneath Vegas in underground tunnels.
  5. The Bronze lion outside of the MGM Grand Hotel weighs 50 tons, making it the largest bronze sculpture in the country.
  6. A study conducted in 2013 showed that 15% of people come to Las Vegas primarily to gamble, but 71% land up gambling during their visit.
  7. Las Vegas has a ‘black book,’ a list of people who are banned from setting foot in any casino in the city.
  8. The Luxor Las Vegas’ Sphinx, a re-creation of the Great Sphinx of Giza, is 101 feet high and larger than the original.
  9. Even though Las Vegas seems like a larger than life city, it’s located in the Mojave Desert, the smallest desert in America.
  10. Las Vegas Boulevard, where The Strip is located, has had several names. It’s been called 5th Street, Arrowhead Highway, Los Angeles Highway, Salt Lake Highway, US 91, US 93, US 466 and State Route 6.
  11. The white circles around the letters of the word ‘welcome’ on the Las Vegas sign are supposed to portray silver dollars. They were incorporated into the sign because Nevada is known as The Silver State.
  12. Las Vegas has a higher number of unlisted phone numbers than any other US city.
  13. In some Asian cultures, the number 4 is thought be bad luck. For that reason, some hotels in Vegas have no floors that start with the number 4.
  14. There are over 300 weddings per day in Las Vegas, making it the top wedding destination in the US and second only to Istanbul for most number of weddings in a single city.
  15. Most of the strip is technically outside of Las Vegas city limits.
  16. Contrary to popular belief, prostitution in Las Vegas is not legal.
  17. At 1,149 feet, the Stratosphere Las Vegas is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the nation.
  18. The largest sum won on the Las Vegas slots was at the Excalibur. After putting in $100, a 25 year-old software engineer won $39 million, beating the odds at the time for 1 in 16.7 million.
  19. There’s about one operating slot machine for every eight Las Vegas residents.
  20. There are about 15,000 miles of neon tubing in The Strip and downtown Las Vegas.
Also read:   10 Reasons Why I Love New York City

My Top 6 Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip

I have made no bones about the fact that the Strip is what I love about the Sin City. For me and my husband, just walking along the Strip passing by the stunning iconic hotels is a wonderful and exciting pastime in the evenings. I am going to list my favorite ones here as I think each one is no less than an attraction in itself.

1Bellagio

You just take one step onto the beautiful fountain-fronted property at Bellagio Las Vegas, and you will be instantly transported to an elegant European resort, replete with lavish rooms, award-winning restaurants and a luxurious spa, all the while surrounded by works from the world’s most renowned artists. About 1,000 fountains dance to music and light in front of the hotel. Cirque du Soleil presents the aquatic-based O, with an adjacent show-inspired gallery hosting works by renowned artists. The Bellagio guestrooms and suites feature semi-canopied beds with leather headboards, pillow-top mattresses, and down comforters; bathrooms offer marble and wood vanities, bathrobes, scales, and phones. From the natural light bathing the lobby through glass ceilings to the fresh flowers and trees of the Bellagio Conservatory and Gardens, whose displays change five times a year,  Bellagio is a piece of art. The only problem at Bellagio is the dining problem, where you will find how difficult it is to choose amongst the amazing selection. The 65,000-square-foot Spa Bellagio provides numerous ways to immerse yourself into the luxury this resort offers.

Bellagio - Courtesy - Flickr by Mike Boening

Bellagio – Courtesy – Flickr by Mike Boening

 

Bellagio - View of the Fountains - Courtesy - Flickr by Mathew Paulson

Bellagio – View of the Fountains – Courtesy – Flickr by Mathew Paulson

2The Venetian

An opulent Las Vegas all-suite resort and casino with gondolas, The Venetian is a short drive from Fashion Show Mall, the convention center, Downtown, and McCarran Airport. The Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino provides a magnificent casino, full-service spa, and rooftop pool complex. Guests can attend popular Vegas shows and ride a gondola along Grand Canal Shoppes. You won’t miss Venice much after staying at The Venetian. The spacious guest suites at The Venetian offer sunken living rooms, Italian-marble baths, and 24-hour room service. Beds are dressed in Egyptian-cotton linens and white, goose-down duvets. High-speed wired and wireless Internet access is included in the resort fee. My favorite of all is the gondola ride where they even sing on the canals. That is quite an experience.

The Venetian - Courtesy - Flickr by Jason Mrachina

The Venetian – Courtesy – Flickr by Jason Mrachina

 

The Venetian - Courtesy - Flickr by melfoody

The Venetian – Courtesy – Flickr by melfoody

3Paris Las Vegas

Imagine strolling in Paris on the Strip! My love for Paris is what has also made me fall in love with the spectacular hotel. As the name suggests, it is Paris-themed hotel that is 3 miles from the Las Vegas Convention Center and less than 5 miles from downtown. Guests enter through the Arc de Triomphe. You can star-gaze from atop the Eiffel Tower and stroll past the Louvre and yet not miss the original Paris. The Paris Las Vegas includes an opulent health spa, a 2-acre pool complex on the casino roof, headline entertainment, and a 1920s Parisian street scene complete with shops, cafés, a bakery, and a creperie. The Parisian street gives you the complete feel of what Paris is! The guestrooms at the hotel feature French-inspired furniture and marble bathrooms with separate tubs and showers. Wireless Internet access is available.

Paris in Las Vegas - Courtesy - Flickr by CameilaTWU

Paris in Las Vegas – Courtesy – Flickr by CameilaTWU

 

Paris Las Vegas - Courtesy - Flickr by D L Wise

Paris Las Vegas – Courtesy – Flickr by D L Wise

 

4Treasure Island Hotel and Casino

This award winning outstanding resort on the Las Vegas Strip is connected to the Fashion Show shopping mall by bridge as well as The Mirage by tram, and within easy walking distance of Wynn/Encore, the Sands Expo, and Venetian/Palazzo. The Treasure Island Las Vegas features a tropical outdoor pool, a beautiful spa, a wide variety of dining, bars and lounges as well as romantic wedding chapel, headliner comedians, and the salient Mystère by Cirque du Soleil. The opulent rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and boast of spectacular views of the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding mountains. Pillow-top bedding is draped with canopies, and marble floor bathrooms with spa amenities. All in all a fantastic place to be in!

Treasure Island - Courtesy - Flickr by Taka

Treasure Island – Courtesy – Flickr by Taka

 

Treasure Island - Courtesy - Flickr by Ido Genealogy

Treasure Island – Courtesy – Flickr by Ido Genealogy

 

5The Luxor Hotel and Casino

This South Strip resort with its astonishing 350-foot pyramid is a place to die for. Forget Egypt, with two 22-story towers and the eye-catching 30-story pyramid topped by a powerful light beam, The Luxur Hotel and Casino is just 2 miles from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The hotel’s pool complex houses 2 seasonal pools, cabana rentals, and a poolside bar; Nurture – the Luxor spa, offers a variety of treatments and services. Entertainment includes celebrity shows and 2 museum exhibitions. All 4,408 smoke-free guestrooms and suites at Luxor Hotel and Casino include marble bathrooms. Free phone calls, newspapers, and Internet access are all included in the resort fee. It is a classy place to be in.

The Luxor Hotel & Resort - Courtesy - Flickr - Davie Dunn

The Luxor Hotel & Resort – Courtesy – Flickr – Davie Dunn

 

The Luxor - Courtesy Flickr by VanessaC (EY)

The Luxor – Courtesy Flickr by VanessaC (EY)

 

6The Mirage Resort & Casino

A Spectacle on The Strip, The Mirage is a Las Vegas classic. A 54-foot-high volcano spews fire and steam nightly by the entrance to this Strip resort. Inside, Cirque Du Soleil celebrates the musical legacy of The Beatles through original recordings in their production of LOVE. The major highlights at the Mirage Resort & Casino include the Dolphin Habitat, where tourists can become trainers, and Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden, home to the famous white tigers. Guests can also enjoy top-notch entertainment, nightlife, and the tropical pools. The spacious smoke-free guestrooms and suites at Mirage Resort & Casino feature Sealy® Posturepedic pillowtop mattresses and flat-panel TVs with premium channels. Marble bathrooms include Gilchrist & Soames® Aqua Lime English toiletries.

The Mirage - Courtesy - Flickr by Sean Perry

The Mirage – Courtesy – Flickr by Sean Perry

 

Entrance to The Mirage - Courtesy - Flickr by Derrick Story

Entrance to The Mirage – Courtesy – Flickr by Derrick Story

 

It’s good bye time again. Hope you liked the different take on Las Vegas attractions. I’ll be back again tomorrow with some amazing information about another lovely city in Tennessee- M – Memphis.

But before I sign-off, let me share another stunning picture of Vegas by night!

Vegas Strip by night - Courtesy - Flickr by Loïc Lagarde

Vegas Strip by night – Courtesy – Flickr by Loïc Lagarde

 

Love, Archie

 

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One who is born with wings has many stories to tell. I was a born wayfaring story-teller! But then, how does a chirpy story-teller who also has wings on her back and wheels on her feet find a colossal audience to recount those sometimes awe-inspiring, sometimes eccentric encounters. I realised there was no other way I could narrate my tales to the world unless i started penning them down in black and white. That's how TravelwithArchie was born. I love calling myself a vagabond! One who dreams about places and then travels there to see how they look in the real world. Come, borrow my wings for a while and see the world with my lens!

  • wow! This place looks incredible. we have to plan visiting this place sometime..

    http://www.luv4beautyblog.com

  • Archana

    Looks fantastic! I have avoided Las Vegas precisely for the glitter and glamour but your post has forced me to rethink!! The image of the sun rise is stunning.

    @yenforblue from
    Spice of Life!

  • Srivi

    Have heard about Vegas from so many friends of mine that I always used to wonder whether its really that good! But your post has totally justified their claims…. Hope to make it their someday 🙂
    Another awesome post Archana.. 🙂

  • The Sin City is in my bucket list this year!! Planning for the travels for a sooner date!! 🙂 Thanks much for the details!! 🙂 Nice collection of photos I must say!! 🙂 Love your blog Archana 🙂

  • Peter B

    Wow, excellent photography! I like how you search out Flickr photos and repost. Very cool idea.

  • Seena Antony

    I have been here and loved the sights. Once is not enough to take it all in.

  • Great post, I would like to go there someday

  • Well captured, especially the hotel bit. Have to yet visit this sin city. SIGH!

  • I wish we have hotels like this here. Well we have some great stuff too.

  • No doubt everyone want to visit Las Vegas at least once in their lifetime.

  • mithun malakar

    Will visit this awesome place some day. BTW the details you have captured is great

  • Arpita Dash

    Detailed and informative post… 🙂 One day I’ll definitely visit this place.

  • Jyotirmoy Sarkar

    Beautiful post.

  • Great post 🙂

  • Jyothi D’mello

    Those Quirky facts was fun read. Enjoyed knowing a little more about Vegas 🙂

  • Amazing post Archana 🙂 This is more than just a post, this is a travel guide :)) Thank you for sharing this. Have a great day.

  • sreedhar Bhattaram

    A beautiful Post, Archana.. It’s rightly called the ‘Sin City’.. Another saying goes.. ‘Money of Vegas forever stays with Vegas only!’ As we traveled from LA to Vegas in the night before approaching the City, we suddenly could see its lights dazzling at distance with so much brightness.. I remember I have traveled to this place 4 times between 2007 to 2013.. Thanks for sharing the Post which brings back my memories of touch with the City!

  • i b arora

    looks like a dream city

  • Great many wonderful options that you have listed here Archana for Las Vegas trip.

  • Purba Chakraborty

    I want to visit Las Vegas even more after reading this post. Very informative. And i loved reading the quirky facts 🙂

  • 2travellingsisters

    After watching the Bellagio in almost every movie shot in Las Vegas, this would be the first place we would like to visit in the city. :).

  • Nice facts; not my kind of place though, you know 🙂

  • Thanks, Archie, for the captivating views with such detailed account on Las Vegas 🙂

  • Amazing , Great post.

  • Green Speck

    Seems to be a happening place … lovely photography 🙂

  • Seshadri my husband went there and when I asked how was it, he replied- What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas 😀 So many movies too! Loved your hotel list!

  • Aniruddha Shrivastava

    Very good article.
    Vegas trip is on the wishlist 🙂

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