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Aug 16 2010

Las Vegas Must-SeesPosted By Tielman - 08/16/10

Sunset over the Luxor

Las Vegas Must-Sees

A list of Las Vegas must-sees will provide perspective to any over-stimulated Las Vegas visitor. It's hard to choose from the blinding array of shows, casinos, and attractions on the Strip. This list reflects only the most iconic, enjoyable, and stunning attractions in Southern Nevada.

 

On Strip Attractions.


The Las Vegas Strip is a section of Las Vegas Boulevard containing a dense assorment of hotels, casinos, shows, restaurants, nightclubs, and people. It runs North-South in the approximate center of the Las Vegas Valley. While the exact boundaries of the Strip vary from person to person, it is generally considered to begin with Mandalay Bay at Russel Road, in the South, and end with the Sahara and Stratosphere casinos at Sahara Avenue, in the North. Sidewalks and public transportation abound on the Strip, so generally a car is not needed. Attractions like the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Rio, and the Palms are not technically on the Strip, but are close enough to be considered a part of it.

picture of the romantic Bellagio fountains For Everyone:

The Bellagio Fountains
The most spectacular water, music, and light show in the world is at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, and it's free. The show happens every day and night, and provides ample viewing space on the wide sidewalk in front of the 4-acre, man-made lake Bellagio.
Show Times:

Monday-Friday

3:00pm-8:00pm
Show every 1/2 hour

8:00pm-12:00am
Show every 15 minutes


Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays

12:pm-8:00pm
Show every 1/2 hour

8:00pm-12:00am
Show every 15 minutes

Stratosphere TowerThe Stratosphere Tower.
The tallest building West of the Mississippi river is also a hotel, casino, and a destination for thrill seekers. The outdoor observation deck on level 109 provides 40-mile views of the entire Las Vegas Valley, as well as a good look at rides that dangle, drop, and spin guests far above the city lights. The Tower is best visited at sunset, but any time of day brings a worthwhile view.

TOWER HOURS:
Sunday-Thursday: 10am-1am
Friday-Saturday: 10am-2am
TOWER TICKETS:
Adult - $15.95
Child - $10.00
Senior - $12.00
Hotel Guest - $12.00
Nevada Resident - $12.00

A Really Great Swimming Pool.
In July and August, when the thermometor can rise to 120 degrees, a pool is essential. Las Vegas has cool pools. Choose from these three:

The Golden Nugget's Tank The pool party at Rehab Swimming pool at the Mandalay Beach

For the scientist: The Tank, at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, is the most interesting and unusual swimming pool currently in Las Vegas. A two-story aquarium forms the centerpiece, filled with sharks, a waterslide, and other ocean life. Swimmers and sliders can view the deadly creatures from in the water or out, through a plexiglass separator. On top of The Tank, a separate pool for adults only provides a safe haven for topless sunbathing. And, of course, blackjack tables and bars surround all the water.

For the beautiful partygoer: Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was the first pool party in Vegas, and is still the loudest, raunchiest, and most stuffed with hard bodies. Don't go to relax, save money, or lay out. Do go to be a part of the wild side of daylife.

For the elegant: The Beach at Mandalay bay has everything: A sandy beach, a wave pool, a lazy river, a separate topless area, restaurants, bars, and cabanas. It contains four pools total spread out 11 acres, plus three whirlpools and a jogging track. All around the best pool in Las Vegas, but crowded on the weekends.

For Shoppers:


The Forum Shops at Caesars

Come see what the mall with the most earnings per square foot in America looks like. The Forum Shops was Las Vegas' first destination shopping center, and is still the best.

For Kids:


The Adventuredome at Circus Circus has been the kid destination in Las Vegas since the '90s. The 5 acre attraction is as stuffed as it can be with rides, junk food, kiosks, and families. Admission is free, and groups of ride tickets are available to fit different budgets.

Off the Strip:


Some Las Vegas attractions are just too far away to walk to, and at least one is actually located in Arizona.

For Everyone:

The famous Las Vegas signThe Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign:
While technically the Strip, the sign is about half a mile of uninteresting street away from the nearest resort, Mandalay Bay. The non-gaming hotel The Four Seasons is a tad bit closer. Those who don't mind walking can take the hike South to the sign, but be warned that it is just a walk, with none of the activity and glamour that make strolling the heart of the Strip so much fun.
It's better to drive to the sign, but even that has its hazards. The sign is smack in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard, a busy, six-lane street. The parking lot connected to the sign has ten parking spaces for cars, two for buses or limousines, and two handicapped spaces. It's not nearly enough. The line of cars entering this parking lot can grow long and untidy.
Those who want to see the Sign, but don't have a burning desire to snap their picture under it, should just have a passenger take the photo out of the window of the car. This will save plenty of time and headache. Those who absolutely need to get their picture by it should consider the alternative: an identical but slightly larger sign, erected on Boulder Highway just north of Tropicana Avenue. This gateway from Henderson sees far less traffic than the original.

Fremont Street
Also called Downtown, Old Las Vegas, and the Fremont Street Experience, the section of Fremont Street between Main Street and Las Vegas Boulevard is where Nevada tourism got its start. The oldest casino in Vegas, the Golden Gate (Est. 1906!), still operates here. Fremont Street is about two miles North of Sahara Avenue, so walking from the active part of the strip is not reccommended.
The Fremont Street experience is a 10-story tall, 4-block long covered walkway made from 2.1 million lights. After dark, the ceiling illuminates to the beat of booming music. The shops, casinos, hotels, and carts that share this space all add to the fun. This is the most likely place to get a picture taken with a showgirl, get cheap shrimp cocktail, and see the strangest mix of people in the world.

The Hoover Dam
The hoover dam, seen from above One of the engineering marvels of the world is free every day for those willing to make the drive. About 45 minutes from central Las Vegas, the Dam is accessible via highway 95. Drivers should travel East from the Strip, on any major street or highway, then South on the 95 through Henderson and Boulder City. Make a left turn onto Highway 93 in Boulder City, and continue to the Dam.
The Hoover Dam is the most imposing man-made structure many travelers will ever see. Since 1936, visitors have been able to stare 726 feet down into the Colorado River as it emerges from the hydroelectric plant.

The Grand Canyon
While residing entirely in Arizona, the Grand Canyon sees more visitors from Las Vegas than from any other destination city. Visitors from other nations often use Vegas as their gateway to the West, traveling to Death Valley, the Canyon, and Zion nation park from this one convenient location.
The West Rim of the Grand Canyon is two hours away by car, making it the most popular day trip. Helicopter tours to this area require only an afternoon or evening to view the scenery. The South Rim, six hours away by car, is more of a commitment. The North Rim, also six hours away, is and the most sparsely visited Canyon access point, closed during the winter.

Las Vegas Facts:
Tourist vists/year: 38 million

Public Transportation Costs: The Deuce Bus: $7/day pass, $3/two-hour pass.
Monorail: $12/day pass, $5/one way.

Average Temperature: Summer 103 F (39 C)
Winter 61 F (15 C)

Hotel Room Rates: $50 - $10,000

Cost of a lightbulb in the Luxors' apex: $1,200

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