Vegas baby, Vegas. It’s the adult Disney World. The biggest 21 and over theme park ever imagined. With a population of just over a million in the wider Vegas area, more movies and TV shows have been based on this pretty little neighborhood than New York and LA combined. Nearly every famous comedian, actor, singer, and performer has done (or is doing) a show in Las Vegas. Then of course there is the gambling. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Christmas, New Years, at the grocery store and in the casino, fortunes are being made and lost in the blink of an eye.
And the crowning jewel of Sin City’s universal fame is this little street Las Vegas blvd. The boulevard is 4.1 miles long and was originally Highway 91. Today when one refers to the Las Vegas Strip they are talking about the 1 mile of Las Vegas blvd that stretches from just South of Flamingo to Sahara Road and the Stratosphere. This is the biggest concentration of casinos in the world, offering everything you can imagine from gambling naturally, to shows, to wildlife and science exhibits, to apartments, to amazing pools and spas, and anything in between.
There are dozens of casinos on this short stretch of road. Some of the most popular include MGM which is one of the larges casinos in the world, Excalibur which is popular with families because of its medieval theme, New York – New York, which features a Coney Island style rollercoaster, Caesars Palace and Bellagio, both known for luxurious accommodations (they are all luxurious, these two are known more so for this) and Bellagio with its famous water show, Mirage with a “live” volcano visible from the Strip, Luxor shaped like a pyramid and with an Egyptian theme, Paris, Mandalay Bay with its famous Shark Reef and famous clubs, and Planet Hollywood.
Those are two words you will likely never hear on the Strip. Obviously the most popular pastime is gambling. That is what Vegas is known for and how the casinos pay the electric bill. Sometimes called the tourist tax, the gambling industry is the primary reason Nevada can afford an otherwise low cost of living. Some of the more popular games include blackjack, roulette, craps, poker, and the slot machines. If you are not a huge gambler, just sit down at a table and the dealer will take you through all of the rules. Be ready to lose though, odds are always in the house’s favor.
It’s not a scam though, some do come to Vegas and win, and the dealers are definitely on the player’s side (their tips depend on it, and that makes up the lion’s share of their income). Along with the classic casino games you may want to try some of the novelty games each casino has, like wheel of fortune and other less popular but very original gambling options.
It’s been said that Vegas is where stars go to die… that is only because you haven’t seen what these “dying” stars get paid for what amounts to a few hours of work a week. Every casino on the strip has at least one show, most have a few shows, from comedy to performance to adult, whatever your taste chances are there are at least a dozen great shows you will want to see. Here is a list of some of the more popular shows in each category in no particular order:
It should be noted that along with adult shows, the strip is literally surrounded by quality (and some down and dirty) strip clubs both male and female. If it were cops and robbers, clubs would have the Strip surrounded, cuffs out, and it would be forced to turn itself in… or strip if that’s your thing. If you are a young man (or girl, you don’t even have to be young actually) looking for some of the extracurricular fun Vegas is inexplicably famous for, you’re out of luck. Prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas and it is enforced. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen hooker and mark alike escorted from hotel rooms. I’m not sure where the rumor started, but prostitution is illegal here…
On the other hand, it is perfectly legal only 15-20 miles south. We have maps and they have menus. Have fun.
Literally the list of shows in Las Vegas could fill a book. There are hundreds in every genre and that is not even including the guest appearances and one night shows performed regularly by comedians and other celeliities.
Every single casino on the Strip has a nightclub. Many have more than one. These aren’t your Midwest, close at 2am nightclubs either, these are the “holy crap is that the sun, where’d my pants go?” nightclubs. Some of the popular ones are Jet at the Mirage, Pure at Caesars Palace, Tao in the Venetian, XS Nightclub in Encore, Body English at the Hard Rock (Hard Rock is off the trip about half a mile, but has some outstanding nightlife), Tryst at the Wynn, Studio 54 at MGM, and The Bank in the Bellagio.
Vegas is also home to some amazing golf courses. There are many golf courses throughout Las Vegas, the nearest to the strip is Desert Inn Golf Course which is situated right behind the strip in between the Stratosphere and City Center.
Spas are in nearly every casino on the strip. These feature full service and some of the most luxurious accommodations you will find anywhere.
Pools obviously are huge, especially in the summer when it gets over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The Mirage and Caesars Palace both feature Topless pools, so you may want to ask for details.
Las Vegas is called the adult playground for a very good reason. And the Las Vegas Strip is at the center of it all. You won’t find a more exciting mile of road anywhere else on earth.