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  • Photo: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock

Center Strip

It’s fitting that this part of the Strip comprises the heart of today’s Las Vegas. It is, quite literally, where modern Vegas was born.

It began with the Flamingo more than 70 years ago. The Mirage ushered in the age of the modern megaresort in the late 1980s. That renaissance gained momentum with Bellagio and snowballed from there. Today the stretch includes other classics such as Caesars Palace and Bally’s, as well as thematic wonders such as Paris and Planet Hollywood. The centerpiece is, fittingly, CityCenter, a city-within-the-city that includes everything from public art to apartment-style living and more. Then, of course, there’s the relative new kid on the block: the uber-hip Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

There’s no shortage of spectacles in this part of town. From the fountains in front of ARIA and Bellagio to the Eiffel Tower at Paris and the volcano in front of The Mirage, the Center Strip truly is a feast for the eyes. Art is on display here as well; CityCenter has a $42-million public art collection for visitors to enjoy, and Bellagio has one of the most highly regarded galleries in town. Another popular pastime: shopping. A day of exploration here should include strolls through vast retail destinations such as Crystals, Miracle Mile, and The Forum Shops—all of which offer some of the finest boutiques and shops in the United States.

No visit to the Center Strip would be complete without a little pool time. For an intimate vibe, check out The Cosmopolitan’s eighth-floor pool deck that looks down on the Strip, which turns into a skating rink and winter wonderland during the chilly months. To live like royalty, check out the seven-pool Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace. Reclining on a lounger, soaking up the sun, you’ll be experiencing Vegas the way countless others have over the years. The more things change, apparently, the more they stay the same.

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