The City of Las Vegas, usually shortened to Las Vegas or, simply, Vegas is a thriving town in the heart of the Mojave Desert in the state of Nevada. The city is relatively young, having only just passed its first century. The town was established in 1905 and incorporated as a town in 1911. It is now one of the top tourist destinations in the world, attracting around forty million visitors each year. It is best known for its many casinos, but is also the home to wedding chapels, fantastic shows, theatrical events and other similarly hedonistic pursuits.
Best Time to Visit
The climate of Las Vegas tends to be hot year round and this is something to take into event when travelling to the glittering city of dreams. Nestled in a valley of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas is bounded by mountains, a geographical quirk that acts as a heat-trap and permits the occasional torrential flash-floods that occur from time to time. These are much less frequent now, thanks to improvements in the drainage systems in and around the city. For those who want to avoid the heat, visiting in winter is the best bet, while for those in search of a bargain break it is best to visit between Thanksgiving and Christmas or any time between the fourth of July and the end of August.
Las Vegas is served by the McCarran International Airport (LAS). While Las Vegas is a year-round resort, if you start your search for flights early, you can make some huge savings. On average, you can expect a flight from New York to Las Vegas to take 5 hours.
Las Vegas is home to a large and varied collection of accommodation, including some of the largest hotels in the world. The resort’s most luxurious hotels tend to be situated south of the famous Las Vegas Strip. These hotels often boast their own entertainment venues and theme parks. Two of the most renowned hotels in Las Vegas include Caesars Palace and the Venetian which offer views of The Strip as well as lavish rooms and suites.
If you are looking for somewhere more affordable to stay, head to the Downtown area. Here you will cheaper but more basic accommodation options.
While Las Vegas has plenty of accommodation, hotels do book up quickly. Therefore it is important that you make your reservations well in advance, especially if you have your heart set on a particular hotel or resort.
Top Things to do in Las Vegas
Young couples have been heading to Vegas for years to take advantage of the more relaxed regulations regarding both marriage and divorce. Unlike many other states, Nevada does not require any waiting period to pass between application for a marriage license and the ceremony being performed: licenses can be purchased up until midnight every night. Divorces too are easily acquired with little waiting time and no proof of reason for the disillusion of the marriage being required.
Vegas is also well known for fantastic entertainments: from lounge singers to cabaret acts to illusionists and magicians to strip bars, there is something for everyone! Internationally famous artists such as Tom Jones, David Copperfield, Prince, Penn and Teller and even the legendary Elvis Presley – to mention but a few – have all headlined at Vegas at one time or another.
Of course, there is another side to Las Vegas, the side that has given rise to the tag-line ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.’ I am, of course, referring to the sensual world of adult entertainment, featuring strippers, pole dancers, exotic dancers and burlesque shows. While many people visit Las Vegas with their families, seeing the sights and enjoying the PG-rated attractions, many more visit to glimpse the more titillating side of life – sometimes even combining the visit with a wedding, using their stag party or hen night as an excuse to see all that the city has to offer!
Gambling is the lifeblood of the city, and it is also the main reason for the millions of visitors every year! The city caters for the avid gambler with slot machines in every possible space, from hotel lobbies to airports to toilets. There are establishments for every pocket too, with seriously expensive tables for those with the cash to spare and more modest stakes for those just looking to raise their pulse a little.