Famous throughout the world for its casinos and neon lights, Las Vegas lies on the basin of Nevada’s Mojave Desert like a glittering mirage. Most visitors to the city try their luck gabling at some point – but there’s a lot more to Las Vegas than just roulette wheels.
Once you’ve tired of casinos, or if gambling isn’t for you, head out and discover some of the many other attractions and entertainment Las Vegas has to offer.
Sightsee at the Bellagio
The Bellagio hotel and casino is probably the most famous of all Las Vegas landmarks. In front of the Bellagio is a 3.2 hectare lake, complete with one of the world’s largest water features – the Fountains of Bellagio, with over 1,200 nozzles. Every half hour during the day and every 15 minutes between 8 p.m. and midnight, you can watch a choreographed display in which the dancing of the fountains is coordinated with music and spectacular lighting.
The Bellagio also houses a conservatory and botanical garden, which is well worth a visit, alongside the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art; featuring works on loan from various museums and private collections around the world.
Finally, don’t consider leaving without paying a visit to the Bellagio’s lobby, where 2,000 riotously colourful hand-blown glass flowers adorn the ceiling.
Try the world’s most thrilling rides
At a height of just over 350 metres, the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest free-standing observation tower in the United States. The Tower includes two observation decks that provide excellent views over Las Vegas, as well as a revolving restaurant, aptly named “Top of the World”. Something you might not expect is; the Tower also includes four of the world’s most adrenaline-inducing amusement rides.
Big Shot is the world’s highest thrill ride, propelling riders to a height of nearly 330 metres. If that’s not enough, try Insanity, which spins riders at a height of 270 metres; SkyJump, which lets you experience a free fall of 260 metres, and the X-Scream; similar to a pirate ship ride with the exception that it’s suspended hundreds of metres above the ground.
A visit to Venice
Thanks to the Venetian Resort, you can experience Venice in the heart of Las Vegas (without the smell of centuries-old canals). At the resort, you’ll find replicas of the Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco, Piazzetta di San Marco, the Lion of Venice Column and the Column of Saint Theodore, St Mark’s Campanile and the Rialto Bridge. You can even enjoy a gondola ride through charming canals.
Pose with your favourite celebrities
Las Vegas boasts its very own Madame Tussauds, where you’ll find wax versions of all your favourite stars, from Elvis Presley to George Clooney and Sofia Vergara. A recent, popular addition is a section featuring Marvel’s super heroes – so you can pose with Thor or stand alongside Captain America and Iron Man.
Nightly volcano explosions
The Mirage is a Polynesian-themed casino and hotel resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Along with other performances, one show you shouldn’t miss at the Mirage is the nightly volcano show. Every hour from 8 p.m. to midnight, an artificial volcano in front of the Mirage “explodes”, complete with fire and pyrotechnics, intense heat and sound effects.
Experience the Titanic
At the Luxor Las Vegas resort, you can view one of the largest collections of artefacts from the ill-fated Titanic. The display features more than 250 authentic artefacts recovered from the wreck of the Titanic, as well as recreations of some of the ship’s most famous rooms.
If you’ve had all the glitter, glamour and show girls you can take, head for the award-winning, 180-hectare park called Springs Preserve. Just over six kilometres from the Las Vegas Strip, it features botanical and natural gardens, interactive nature exhibits and excellent walking and biking trails.
Alternatively, to truly get your breath back, head a little further out to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, or the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex. These provide stunning desert scenery and a chance to see some of the region’s interesting local birds and wildlife.