Once upon a time, Las Vegas was a dusty, desert town in Nevada. Then, in 1931, the first gaming licence was issued here, which attracted casinos and gamblers in droves. Since then, Vegas has continued to expand and evolve, from a post-war gangsters’ paradise to the favoured hangout of the mid-‘60s Rat Pack to the glittering spectacle we see today—a playground of big hotels, outrageous neon lights and outlandish personalities.
The themed hotels in Vegas are legendary—it’s possible to travel around the world just by going up the Las Vegas Strip. Head back in time to ancient Rome at Caesars Palace or climb aboard a gondola at the Venetian. Marvel at the Mirage’s erupting volcanoes, see The Big Apple skyline at New York New York or drink a cocktail at the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel.
Despite being known as Sin City, there is more to Vegas than just gambling and adult entertainment. Families will find plenty of innocent fun, some of which, like the Bellagio hotel’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, you can 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—perfect for an overnight trip. Thrill seekers can try a record-breaking free-fall at Stratosphere Tower or swimming with the exotic sea creatures at Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium. Even Sin City’s seedy past is on display at the fascinating Mob Museum.
The classic hamburger joints, diners and American-style all-you-can-eat buffets are still a feature of Vegas, but there are also plenty of options for the more discerning eaters who come here, with many newly opened restaurants to explore. 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.