Las Vegas

Easter Island, Machu Picchu, and other celebrated wonders of the world are certainly impressive. But Las Vegas . . . Las Vegas is a land where jungles thrive and fountains dance in the middle of the desert. It's a place that unites medieval England and ancient Egypt with modern-day Venice, Paris, and New York. It's a never-ending source of irony and improbability where you can turn a chip and a chair into a million dollars, or celebrate your shotgun wedding by shooting machine guns. Where else does such a wonderland exist? Nowhere. But. Vegas.

The smallish city (geographically) is larger than life, with a collective energy (and excess) that somehow feels intimate. Maybe it's the agreeable chimes and intermittent cheers from the casino floor that fade to tranquillity when you enter a sumptuous spa. Maybe it’s the fish flown in nightly from the Mediterranean that lands on your plate. For each individual, Vegas is an equation where you + more = more of you: more chances to explore aspects of your personality that may be confined by the routine of daily life. It's for this reason alone that the "what happens here stays here" phenomenon is shared by so many visitors.

The city itself has a number of different faces. For a dose of history, head Downtown and explore everything from old casinos to a museum that pays homage to the mobsters who built them. For fun, glitz, and glamour, head to the Strip, which itself has three distinct sections (south, center, north). For outdoor adventure, head west and south, either to the Spring Mountains beyond Summerlin or out to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead—man-made accomplishments of an entirely different sort. Along the way, you can pamper yourself at world-class spas and restaurants, engage in retail therapy at some of the best shopping spots in the world, dance the night away at rocking nightclubs, or—of course—court Lady Luck long enough to strike it rich. With the right itinerary, Vegas even can work for families with young kids.

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  • 1. The Roller Coaster

    South Strip | Amusement Park/Water Park

    There are two reasons to ride the Coney Island–style New York–New York roller coaster (aka Manhattan Express): first, with a 144-foot dive and...Read More

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  • 2. "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign

    South Strip | Historic District/Site

    This neon-and-incandescent sign, in a median of Las Vegas Boulevard south of Mandalay Bay, is one of Sin City's most enduring icons. The landmark...Read More

  • 3. Hershey's Chocolate World

    South Strip | Store/Shop/Mall

    Chocoholics rejoiced in 2014 when the two-story, West Coast flagship of Hershey's Chocolate opened as part of the streetscape between the New...Read More

  • 4. Shark Reef

    South Strip | Zoo/Aquarium

    Your journey through Mandalay Bay's long-running Shark Reef attraction begins in the mysterious realm of deep water at the ruins of an old Aztec...Read More

  • 5. Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer

    South Strip | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Churchgoers staying in the South Strip area stagger into this iconic Roman Catholic church for mass seven days a week. Among the more popular...Read More

  • 6. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

    South Strip | Museum/Gallery

    Travel down to the bottom of the North Atlantic where the "ship of dreams" rests after grazing an iceberg in 1912. The 25,000-square-foot exhibit...Read More

  • 7. Fantasy Faire Midway

    South Strip | Amusement Park/Water Park

    Merrie Olde England meets a modern-day carnival with all your favorites like skee-ball, old-fashioned horse-racing games, and a few high-tech...Read More

  • 8. GameWorks

    South Strip | Amusement Park/Water Park

    GameWorks is the biggest, most boisterous arcade in town. The multilevel arcade has more than 250 games, loosely arranged by genre, including...Read More

  • 9. Lion Habitat

    South Strip | Zoo/Aquarium

    Whether you'll actually see the lions in action is as big a gamble as there is in Las Vegas. Nine times out of 10 when you walk through the...Read More

  • 10. Mob Attraction Las Vegas

    South Strip | Museum/Gallery

    Since it opened in 2010, this mafia-themed attraction inside Tropicana Las Vegas has been plagued by poor technology, controversial exhibits...Read More

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