Las Vegas, an ever-changing fantasy-land of a city, has seen unbelievable expansion since it emerged from the desert just over 100 years ago. The sights and sounds of Las Vegas are enjoyed by more than 39.2 million visitors every year. They stay in some of the most glamorous, unique hotels in the world. They eat at five-star restaurants and expansive buffets. They play at casinos, pools, health spas and golf courses. Sometimes (many times, actually) they even marry each other.
You will be dazzled by Vegas, but the sheer number of things to see and do can seem overwhelming. A little advance planning will help you to enjoy your Vegas trip. Continue reading for basic visitor information (what to bring, things to know) and an overview of this special destination.
The Strip—Las Vegas Boulevard—shines most brilliantly at night.
Magnificent hotels glow green and gold. Pink, red, yellow, blue and white neon pulsates all around. Electric lights flash. Music plays. Volcanoes erupt. Fountains soar. Cars create two moving streams of light, red and white. People by the thousands walk up, down and over the Strip. Roller coasters corkscrew high above the ground. A laser beam, visible from space, penetrates the night sky, inviting the whole universe to come and play. And that's only outside. Step into any of the iconic casino resorts along the Strip, and you'll enter a world of pure imagination.
Vegas past and Vegas future live side-by-side downtown, where the Fremont Street Experience, a spectacular $70-million canopy of light and sound, envelops the historic hotels and casinos along four blocks of Fremont Street. Like most things Vegas, downtown shows best at night, when the Fremont Street Experience lights up and street performers entertain the crowds. Downtown is where you'll find the brighter-than-day white lights of Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel. Or the Golden Nugget, where casino mogul Steve Wynn founded an empire. Or the venerable Golden Gate, Vegas' first hotel, built in 1906, which is still pulling them in from Fremont Street.
Shows & Events
The possibilities are endless in Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world. With more than 100 shows in town, there is something for everyone!
From classic showgirls and magicians, up-and-coming punk bands or legendary crooners, to Cirque-style acrobats and trapeze artists, you'll find something that will amaze and delight you.
Cirque du Soleil is a Vegas institution, with five astonishing, beautiful shows currently in production: The high-flying KA
plays at the MGM Grand, while the aquatics of O
amazes at Bellagio; Mystère
at Treasure Island (TI) started it all in 1993; Zumanity
at New York-New York explores the sensual side of Cirque. Their newest creation, LOVE
, explores the timeless hits of the Beatles.
Musicals move from Broadway to the Strip. Mamma Mia!
at Mandalay Bay rocks to the music of Swedish '70s super-group ABBA. The Wynn welcomes Monty Python's Spamalot
as it re-creates the laughs from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
; the long running Phantom of the Opera
dons new sets and a custom multimillion-dollar theater at the Venetian.
Thanks to the wide variety of concert halls and performance spaces, Vegas is a regular tour stop for many of the world's leading acts, such as U2, Madonna, Jay-Z and Beyonce.
Donn Arden’s Jubilee!
(Bally’s) and Le Folies Bergere
(Tropicana) define the classic Vegas showgirl revue, complete with rhinestones, feathers and enormous headpieces.
For the family audience, Vegas doesn’t miss a beat. Catch award-winning magician Mac King in the afternoons at Harrah’s; V—The Ultimate Variety Show
combines the best variety acts in town into one energetic show at Planet Hollywood; American Superstars at the Stratosphere re-creates famous musical acts from today and yesterday.