Las Vegas

Las Vegas Attractions

MGM Grand Casino © Mike Leco /
The MGM Grand Casino on the Las Vegas Strip

Casino Gambling is the biggest Las Vegas attraction

Casinos and gambling are the main attractions in Las Vegas; but if you are not a gambler, you will still find plenty of entertainment in Vegas. The portion of Las Vegas Boulevard known as "The Strip" will amaze you with its incredible display of extravagance and glitz. Within a short distance, you can see an immense glass pyramid, a huge multicolored castle, a replica New York skyline complete with Statue of Liberty, a full-scale pirate cove, a fire-spewing volcano, a scale model Eifel Tower, miles of neon signs and billions of colored lights. Besides gambling, the casinos offer spectacular shows, plenty or free entertainment, a wide variety of restaurants and lots of shopping opportunities. If you have strong will power, you can wander into any casino, view all the wonderous sights, enjoy the free entertainment and not spend one dollar. Naturally, the casinos are betting that you will spend some money during your visit.

Gambling is everywhere in Las Vegas. As soon as you step off of the airplane, you will be greeted with the sounds of slot machines in the air terminal. Slot machines are located in nearly every gas station, convenience store, super market, Laundromat and bar. All through the city and suburbs and on into the small towns of Nevada you will find Poker Parlors and small, medium or large casinos.

Las Vegas Shows and Entertainment is the second Las Vegas attraction

Entertainment is big business in Las Vegas with each of the major casinos offering one or more nightly shows. Some of the productions are spectacular extravaganzas with top quality talent including world famous singers, dancers and comedy acts. Compared to Broadway, Las Vegas is usually considered to be less serious but more glamorous, glitzy and spectacular. Originally, Las Vegas shows were known for their sexy productions with scantily-clad dancers, ribald comedy and bawdy acts.

Sex has also been a famous part of the Las Vegas scene. There are still many topless and nude dance shows in the city, but they are mostly in the adult entertainment clubs. Prostitution is legal in some parts of Nevada, but not in the city of Las Vegas. The legal brothels are located in some of the small Nevada towns not far from the city.

The Strip and Freemont Street are spectacular at night

The Las Vegas Strip is the nickname applied to several miles of the southern part of Las Vegas Boulevard. This is the location of the biggest, most modern and most spectacular Casinos in Las Vegas. The scenery along this stretch of the boulevard is unbelievable. It looks like you have been transported into some gigantic fantasy world. At night, it sports an amazing display of colored lights.

Freemont Street, in downtown Vegas, has been converted into a pedestrian mall with a 90-foot high (30-meter) canopy providing shade from the hot desert sun. Musicians and street entertainers provide free entertainment day and night. After dark, 2.million lights in the canopy are used to create a wonderful display of animated color images known as the Freemont Street Experience.

Las Vegas Weddings are another attraction

Las Vegas weddings and Las Vegas divorces originally became popular due to the lenient marriage and divorce laws in the state of Nevada. It was possible to go to Las Vegas for a weekend, to divorce your old husband or wife and to marry your new love. Wedding Chapels are still a prominent feature on Las Vegas Boulevard. How strange to see the little white chapels surrounded by rose gardens tucked between enormous casinos and sleazy bars. Stranger yet to see a bride and groom being married by Elvis Presley! Today, Las Vegas is the wedding capitol of the USA. Almost every hotel-casino has one or more wedding chapels. You can be married in a romantic chapel, beside a tropical lagoon, on a British Man-of-War ship, or even in a helicopter high above the Las Vegas Strip.

Shopping opportunities abound in Las Vegas. Each major hotel-casino has a variety of upscale shops with representation from nearly every famous fashion designer. The Forum Shops in Caesar's Palace are vast and entertaining to visit. There are several shopping malls on or near the Strip and more in the suburbs of Las Vegas. For the Bargain hunters, there are three outlet malls located in the city.

Mirage Casino on the Las Vegas Strip © Corel
The Mirage Casino Volcano on the Las Vegas Strip

Golf, glitz, computers and cowboys

The Las Vegas climate allows you to enjoy golf all year round at the many public golf courses and private golf clubs in the vicinity. Tennis, swimming and many other outdoor activities can be enjoyed most months of the year in this warm desert climate.

The Liberace museum is dedicated to Las Vegas' most famous entertainer. It contains many of the flamboyant costumes and personal effects of the "King of Glitz".

The NASCAR weekend is held every March at the Las Vegas Motordrome.  In April, Las Vegas hosts the All Indian Powow.  In May, it holds its Helldorado Days festival with a championship rodeo.  The National Finals Rodeo is held in Las Vegas every December.

Fine Dining is Las Vegas

Las Vegas has always been known for its copious “all-you-can-eat” dining buffets that provide a plethora of food choices.  In the past decade, it has also become the place to go for fine dining.  Many of the great chefs from cities across the USA and around the world have come to Las Vegas to open restaurants.  Now, you can partake of gourmet offerings at a hundred or more fine restaurants in Sin City.  Many of these signature establishments are located within the grand casinos, but a few are also located off of the Strip.

Other area attractions

Red Rocks National Park is located just 15 miles west of downtown. Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are about 30 miles (50 km) to the south. The Grand Canyon, one of the natural wonders of the world, is only about 100 miles (150 km) east of Las Vegas in northern Arizona; but it requires a 300 mile (500 km) drive to reach the South Rim visitor's center. Fortunately, there are many bus-tours, helicopter tours and airplane trips departing from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon every day.

Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon Park are located in southern Utah within four hours of driving. They offer a glimpse of the splendid western landscapes that you usually see in many cowboy movies.

Written by: Mike Leco
Top Photo Credit: © Mike Leco /
Photo Description: Freemont Street, in downtown Vegas, has been converted into a pedestrian mall with a 90-foot high (30-meter) canopy.