Las Vegas is a spectacular city that has loads to offer travelling tourists. It may be most famous for the multitudes of casinos, including some of the most famous venues in the world. However, there is so much more to Vegas than casino games. The city was founded in 1905, and over 640,000 people live in it. There are loads of monuments and landmarks that enrich this city and distinguish it from other cities in the US. It is not far from iconic landmarks in the US such as the Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam. Many people don't know that it lies close to a nuclear testing site, and during the 50s it was common for residents to see massive mushroom clouds coming from up North.
The Vegas Strip is a 4km segment of the Las Vegas Boulevard that is full of all the resorts and casinos you could possibly need. It is just South of downtown Vegas and is where most tourists will go to see the wonders of Las Vegas. The Strip is home to many casino hotels and massive resorts. Within these buildings, you can find all sorts of restaurants, shops, spas and other leisure facilities.
At practically any time of day, you can find something to do on The Strip. Whether you take in a show, go for a Gondola ride, eat in a celebrity chef restaurant or go to a nightclub and enjoy the endless booming basslines. This part of the city truly never sleeps, and it is scattered with historic venues.
The Smith Centre is an arts centre in Downtown Las Vegas that has three theatres. It opened in 2012 and is one of the top places to go and catch a show at Vegas. Though many casino resorts have their own theatres, this venue is dedicated to theatre and musical productions.
You can come here to view the Las Vegas Philharmonic or Nevada Ballet Theatre, which are resident companies in the Smith Centre. It has hosted tonnes of the top theatrical productions which will resonate with theatre-goers. Broadway blockbusters such as Les Miserables, Chicago, Peter Pan, The Lion King and Hamilton have all come to Smith Centre. These are played on the main stage, the Reynolds Hall. For a more intimate show, you can go to Myron's Cabaret Jazz or Troesh Studio Theatres.
The Strip gives you a very grand experience of Vegas, but for a more scaled-down version, you can head to Fremont Street. This street has far more history, and though you can find the same flashy buildings, they are far smaller. At the beginning of the street, there is a pedestrian mall attraction, called the Fremont Street Experience. This trendy area stretches out over five blocks and is an ideal destination for tourists. Fremont Street has its fair share of casinos and entertainment and is more pedestrian-friendly than The Strip. You can easily walk down it and check into a casino, entertainment venue, or leisure facility.
It also features in a lot of films and music videos. If you watch the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds are Forever, then keep your eyes peeled for the chase scene in which Bond side-rolls a car onto Fremont Street. Or music fans may recognise some venues from U2's “I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For” video.
4. Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is on the Southernmost part of the Vegas Strip and is one of the most iconic signs in the world. It was erected in 1959 and has become a hugely popular tourist destination. The sign is encrusted in incandescent bulbs and the letters “Welcome” are engraved in large white neon circles. The sign was designed by Betty Willis and is a classic example of Googie Architecture.
This style of design reflects the ideas at the time of what the future may be like. Nowadays, it is seen as a defining style that captivated the imagination of many an artist in the 50s. A picture with the sign will also get you your likes on Instagram.
The High Roller is a massive Ferris wheel in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. It towers at 550 feet tall with a 520-foot diameter and is the second-largest Ferris wheel in the world. High Roller is one of the best places to catch views of The Strip, and is an iconic attraction. It has 28 cabins, which can hold up to 40 people at one time, making for a total of 1,120 passengers. These booths that go round the giant wheel can easily fit larger groups and are great for tourists who want iconic pictures of The Strip.
Its location, right in the centre of The Strip, means that you will pass this landmark numerous times when you visit Vegas. Rides on High Roller are not as expensive as you may think. You can take a day ride for as little as $24.95 and a night ride for $34.95. The lines may be a bit long, but if you want to cut ahead, then you can pay for a $59.95 Express Pass and go straight to your cabin.
Paris Las Vegas is a casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip that is most famous for its replicas of Paris landmarks. You can find the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and Paris Opera House here. The most famous landmark is a half-sized replica of the Eiffel Tower. This is not the only replica of the Eiffel Tower in the world. There are replicas in the UK, China, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan and Indonesia, among various other countries. However, whereas a lot of these landmarks may be “inspired by” or have similar motifs, the Las Vegas Eiffel Tower is an exact replica.
The tower rises up to a height of 540 feet and has an observation deck that can hold 96 people. There is also a restaurant in the Tower, located 11 storeys above ground level. Though it is not the real thing, the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas is quite spectacular and worth a visit. If not for anything else, then for a funny holiday picture.
The Sphere at The Venetian Resort, or simply The Sphere, is an entertainment complex near the Las Vegas Strip. This auditorium is extremely advanced and uses state-of-the-art technology. It has a massive 16K resolution wraparound interior LED screen, with cutting-edge sound systems and 4D physical effects. These effects include sounds from beneath the floor, as well as scents and winds within the complex. The outside dome also has LED displays, measuring around 580,000 square feet across the massive facade.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which owns The Sphere, announced that there will be music concerts, sports, fighting sports and even eSports events held at The Sphere. With its amazing range of technological features, it is set to be one of the most significant venues in Las Vegas.
Not many people would think that Las Vegas has proper sports teams, but it does. The City has teams in the NFL, NHL and WNBA. The Las Vegas Raiders play in the NFL, the Vegas Golden Knights play in the NHL and the Las Vegas Aces play in the WNBA. All three have their own stadiums, where you can go to watch games and big events. The biggest of the three is the Allegiant Stadium, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders. This massive stadium is not far off The Strip and can seat up to 65,000 fans during a game. It opened in 2017 and is a truly spectacular stadium, and well worth visiting if you are in Vegas. For big NFL buffs, it is worth knowing that this stadium will host its first Super Bowl championship game in February 2024.
If it is not NFL season then do not worry, as the stadium hosts many other events. A lot of other sports teams and events are played at Allegiant Stadium. For example, the Soccer 21 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final was played here, as well as the CONCACAF Nations League Finals in 2023. It also hosts concerts, with many A-lister bands. Metallica, the Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Guns ‘n Roses have all played here.
The Las Vegas Festival Grounds are further up North on the Las Vegas Strip. It is just beyond Circus Circus and covers an area of 37 acres. This ground is a massive attraction for festival goers. It has multiple outdoor stages and pavilions and has hosted many massive festivals in Las Vegas. These include the ACM Party for a Cause Festival, iHeartRadio Music Festival and the 2015 Rock in Rio USA festival. With a capacity of 80,000, this festival rivals some of the biggest venues around the world.
As is customary in Vegas, you can expect a wide variety of good quality food. There are many food vendors here selling their food, and the sheer amount of competition in Vegas is enough to tell you it will be good. If you prefer to have a cosy meal at a restaurant, then fret not. The Las Vegas Festival Ground is within walking distance of many casinos. Within 15 minutes you can arrive at Circus Circus, Resorts World or Encore at Wynn. In 30 minutes, you can reach The Venetian, The Mirage and Caesars Palace.
10. The Strat Tower
The Strat is a hotel and casino in Las Vegas, that has numerous amenities and an 80,000 square foot gaming space. The main attraction at this resort is the massive observation tower, called The Strat. This observation point is 1,149 feet tall, and towers above everything else in Las Vegas. You can visit the tower and travel up to the top, where there is a revolving restaurant, lounges and observation decks.
The Tower opened in 1996, and it has become an iconic part of the Las Vegas skyline. At the top, you can view Vegas from the clouds, and tuck into an amazing meal at the “Top of the World” revolving restaurant. It is definitely an experience to be had, and do not worry about the journey up and down either. You are definitely not taking the stairs! The Strat elevators are among the fastest in the world, travelling at the speed of 1,801 feet per minute. This translates to 20 miles per hour, which does not sound fast when you are in a car, but just imagine that speed while shooting straight upward. From this view, you may even see some of the parties on the rooftops of the big casino resorts.
These attractions are just the tip of the iceberg of all the wondrous sights you can see in Las Vegas. There is so much to explore, and within the resorts themselves there are also all sorts of amenities. From massive golf courses to private clubs and exclusive dining options, you can have a blast here. If you are on a tighter budget, then perhaps you may give the golfing or fine dining a miss. However, that does not mean you do not have your fair share of places to go and things to do. Maybe a visit to a museum or a dip in a Vegas swimming pool would fit into your schedule better.
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