This is Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World, where fantasy is the mayor, nickel slots applaud as you walk into a casino, and a cab ride rolls you past Egypt, Paris, Venice and New York faster than an Elvis impersonator can shake his hips.
For the best Las Vegas vacation deals and the greatest adventures outside, your safest bet is to contact a trusted travel agent. Travel agents won’t tell you when to double down, but they will put you in the flashiest hotel at the right price, leaving you with enough chips to act like James Bond at the baccarat table.
Anything is possible on the Las Vegas Strip, a four-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard anchored by 18 of the 21 biggest hotels in the world. The Strip is the heart of Vegas, where you will find kings sitting next to jokers and dice that defy gravity; hypnotizing roulette wheels and ringing armies of slot machines; ex-model cocktail waitresses and pit bosses named Nikki; and parking attendants wearing Prada shoes next to showgirls with electric smiles.
Las Vegas hotels need more than razzle-dazzle to lure visitors, so they bring in the biggest names in showbiz to headline mind-blowing spectacles, leaving audiences breathless night after night. With more than 40 major shows each night, the Strip has it all from divas and magicians to Cirque du Soleil and the Rockettes.
Once the shows are over, nightclubs provide even more to do in a city that never sleeps. The bartenders at Baby’s tucked away inside the Hard Rock Hotel, wear black leather from head to toe—the way its celebrity clients like them. Crazy nights are guaranteed at Studio 54 and rum jungle, while dance frenzies prevail at Club Rio and Dragon.
And what do you do after meeting someone in a nightclub? You get married! Well, not really, but at least it’s always an option in Vegas, with more than 80 independent chapels offering everything from traditional ceremonies to fantasy weddings 24 hours a day. And in Vegas every wedding includes a fabulous honeymoon, all you have to do is step outside the chapel doors and voilà!
Getting hitched on the Strip is a Vegas right of passage for some, but you’ll need to walk past the wedding chapels and casinos to appreciate the city’s true beauty. Off the Strip travelers can discover Glitter Gulch, where Vegas Vic and his pal Sassy Sal, two of the best-known neon icons in the country, shine. Seventeen miles west, Red Rock Canyon celebrates everything Vegas is not: raw, naturally beautiful, and very old, 65 million years old to be precise. Also nearby is Hoover Dam, a giant slab of concrete that’s as high as a 70-story building and as thick as two football fields, making it an architectural gem that was named the Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium.
Both inside and out of the city limits, a Las Vegas vacation offers you a chance to surrender to fantasy and you’ll have the time of your life doing it. Whatever you do, never take Vegas seriously, and always enlist the aid of a trusted travel agent to stack the deck in your favor. You’ll need it in a town like this.