Las Vegas, or Sin City as it’s sometimes called, is a sparkling sea of neon in the Nevada desert that attracts tourists like moths to a flame. Anything goes in this former Old West outpost and there’s no better place to leave your troubles behind and let loose on an indulgent and entertaining holiday. The 4.2 mile long Las Vegas Strip is the pulse of the city and this is where you’ll find the lion’s share of Sin City’s must-see places. Whether you’re here to party, gamble or just unwind in the warm sunshine, don’t miss these must-see places in Las Vegas:
1 Bellagio Fountains
Las Vegas may be in the middle of the desert, but don’t tell that to the Bellagio. The high-end hotel and casino makes a statement on the strip with an incredible 8-acre lake that comes alive in a beautiful show featuring fountains, lighting and music. The famous Bellagio Fountains were immortalized in the 2001 film Ocean’s 11 and has become an icon in Las Vegas over the past decade. The fountain show runs daily every 15 to 30 minutes during the afternoon and evening hours. To view this spectacle, all you have to do is show up at the front of the Bellagio and find a good vantage point.
2 The Grand Canal at the Venetian Resort and Casino
Locals in Vegas always joke that they can go to Venice, Paris or New York anytime they feel like it. That’s because several of the casinos and resorts that line the strip have modelled themselves after these famous locales. The Venetian, which was inspired by Venice, does a particularly good shop of transporting you back to the beautiful Italian city. Head into the resort’s shopping area and you’ll soon find yourself walking on cobbled streets and surrounded by Italian cafes and restaurants. At the centre of all of this is the Venetian’s beautiful Grand Canal. True to form, you can even indulge in a traditional gondola ride around the waterway, which comes complete with a singing gondolier.
3 Fremont Street
While a majority of tourists never stray far from the strip, a trip to nearby Fremont Street should be on everyone’s Vegas itinerary. Fremont Street lies at the heart of downtown Las Vegas and represents old school Vegas at its finest. You’ll find more traditional casinos like the 4 Queens and the Fremont Hotel and Casino here, along with a menagerie of feathered showgirls and other imagery iconic of the city’s glory days. While you’re here, don’t forget to look up. The casinos on Fremont might offer nostalgia, but the covered roof of the street is anything but. The expansive canopy above the street is actually a giant screen, which displays lighting effects, shows on the hour from dusk until midnight each day. The show and overall experience is like no other and is worth the short trip to downtown.
4 Top of the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino
The skyline of Las Vegas is one of the most discernable in the world and is flanked on one end by the towering Stratosphere Hotel and Casino. Located on the north end of the strip, you can ride the elevator 108 floors up to the observation deck where you’ll be rewarded by stunning panoramic views of The Strip and the surrounding Las Vegas Valley. Adventure seekers can take it a step further and ride one or more of the four thrill rides located right at the top of the casinos, over 1,100 feet in the air.
5 Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Taking a departure from hotels and casinos, Red Rock Canyon offers visitors the chance to explore and discover a truly unique desert landscape and habitat. The area features numerous hiking and mountain biking trails that will give you a true taste of the desert and take you right up to the park’s stunning deep red rocks, which are a result of a geological anomaly. Along the way you’ll pass strange looking plants known as joshua trees, which are unique to this part of the United States. Red Rock Canyon is also inhabited by local wildlife, including desert tortoises, wild burros and desert bighorn sheep.