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. Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

    Center Strip | Garden

    The flowers, trees, and other plants in Bellagio's soaring atrium are fresh and alive, many of them grown in a 5-acre greenhouse. The artistic...Read More

  • 2. The Arts Factory

    Downtown | Museum/Gallery

    An intriguing concentration of antiques shops and galleries is found on East Charleston Boulevard and Casino Center Drive, anchored by the Arts...Read More

  • 3. "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

  • 4. Downtown Container Park

    Downtown | Store/Mall

    It turns out shipping containers—the same kinds you see on cargo ships and tractor trailers—can be pretty versatile. At this open-air mall,...Read More

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  • 5. Fremont Street Experience

    Downtown | Pedestrian Mall

    The Experience was originally the name for the 1,450-foot arched canopy that was built 90 feet above "Glitter Gulch," downtown's main drag,...Read More

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  • 6. Guardian Angel Cathedral

    North Strip | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The Roman Catholic cathedral often has standing-room only on Saturday afternoon, as visitors pray for luck—and sometimes drop casino chips into...Read More

  • 7. Las Vegas Arts District

    Downtown | Neighborhood/Street

    The emergence of the offbeat Las Vegas Arts District (which comprises 18 blocks bounded by South 7th, Main, Bonneville, and Charleston Streets...Read More

  • 8. Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art

    University District | Museum/Gallery

    This museum on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus, formerly the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Natural History, has a growing collection...Read More

  • 9. Vegas Vic

    Downtown | Public Art

    The 50-foot-tall neon cowboy outside the Pioneer Club has been waving to Las Vegas visitors since 1947 (though, truth be told, he was actually...Read More

  • 10. Volcano at Mirage

    Center Strip | Other Attraction

    This erupting volcano, a 54-foot mountain-fountain surrounded by a lake of miniature fire spouts, is a must-see free attraction on the Strip...Read More

  • 11. Picnic

    Downtown | Pool

    The 35,000-square-foot party deck atop the Downtown Grand Las Vegas is two venues in one. By day, it's the hotel pool, complete with a grassy...Read More

  • 12. Antique Collection at Main Street Station

    Downtown | Hotel

    The hotel's collection of antiques, artifacts, and collectibles includes Louisa May Alcott's private railcar, stained glass from the Lillian...Read More

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