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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrKnown to some as "The Jewel of the Desert" and by most as "Sin City", Las Vegas is the ultimate vacation spot for those trying to get away from the mundane of everyday life. In terms of American cities, there is no other place in the United States that has the nightlife, hotel scene, dining, and gaming that Las Vegas does. The city is one of the cheapest in the United States to fly to, and many will spend just a weekend there but end up staying long-term because it's so much different than the rest of the country.
Las Vegas is considered a town of transients. While the city is always bustling, there are just under 600,000 people that live within the limits. Most of the area residents live in nearby Henderson. As for those that live in the city, it is 47.9% White, 31.5% Hispanic, 11.1% African American and 6.1% Asian. The population has grown every decade since its inception, and is likely to continue that trend.
HistoryThe history of Las Vegas being a home to residents expands many millenia. However, it wasn't until 1829 when it was founded and claimed for the Spanish, but was abandoned within 15 years. When the railroad system expanded west, Las Vegas was finally established as a city after a land auction. 25 years later, Las Vegas allowed gambling and more lenient divorce laws. This caused tourists to visit and those wanting fewer strict laws to live there. The construction of the Hoover Dam helped to power the city and establish jobs for those that wanted to live in Las Vegas. The city has grown to its current state of being the “Jewel of the Desert” and is visited by millions each year.
Sightseeing in Las VegasThe first landmark you see up-close is the sign that welcomes you to Las Vegas. The sign reads “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” and is the most famous welcome sign in the world. When you get into the city, the Las Vegas Strip itself is a landmark. It is over four miles long and is home to the largest hotels in the world. As a matter of fact, 19 of the top 25 largest hotels are on the Strip. If you want to venture out of the city to see a landmark, the Hoover Dam is the place to visit. It was finished in 1936 and is in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River. Also located within the city is another famous sign, Vegas Vic. This neon sign was built over 60 years ago and is a smoking cowboy that sits outside of the Pioneer Club. Finally, everyone will want to check out the fountains outside of the Bellagio. It's believed that each show from the fountain costs the hotel tens of thousands of dollars.
FoodWhile Las Vegas does not have many native dishes, they do have some of the finest restaurants in the country that will help you find whatever you need from around the world. One of the best is Michael's Gourmet Restaurant, which sits miles from the strip. It is a classic venue that is only 25 years old, but looks like it houses 1950s' concerts. It is the best place for a good prime rib and glass of champagne. The CUT Steakhouse inside of The Venetian is also a great place for this type of food and atmosphere.
If you are looking for a buffet style of dining, then try the Wicked Spoon inside of the Cosmopolitan. It is the best of all of the buffets inside of the casinos, and you won’t regret going. For Asian cuisine, try Le Thai downtown, but make sure to get there early if you are looking to eat, as it becomes a hotspot at night. You really can’t stumble 100 feet in any direction without finding a great place for food.
HotelsLas Vegas is the capital city in the United States to some of the best hotels. There are hotels at all of the major casinos, some classic motels from the beginnings of Las Vegas, high-end non-gaming hotels, and resorts. If you are looking to get into the full Las Vegas experience, you will want to stick with the hotel casinos and resorts. Staying here usually gives you the ability to earn free money for gaming and food. The most popular hotel is the Encore at the Wynn Las Vegas Casino. The rooms can be expensive, but you may not want to leave the building. There is a nightclub located inside, as well as the casino.
Other popular hotels include the luxurious Four Seasons. This hotel is outside of a gaming establishment and is amongst the best in the country.
If you want to see monumental beauty, you should stay at The Venetian Las Vegas hotel. Included in this hotel is a river with gondola rides available.
The Bellagio, Palazzo, Vdara, and MGM Grand Las Vegas also rank amongst the best in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand was built in tribute to the movie studio of the same name. Included in this tribute is the fact that it resembles the Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz movie, and even has the studio's Lion logo outside in the form of a large statue.
The New York-New York Hotel and Casino is very unique as it is designed to look exactly like a small portion of the Big Apple, and even includes a scaled-down version of the Statue of Liberty.
The Paris Las Vegas is still very new, but is built in the same style as the New York-New York. It is built exactly like a smaller portion of Paris that includes a small Eiffel Tower that was going to be full-sized, but would have interrupted the airspace at a nearby airport.
ShoppingLas Vegas is home to some high-class dining, gambling, and shopping. In terms of shops, the nicest reside within Caesars Palace in the Appian Way Shops. There are several boutiques in the arcade that have high-end jewelry and clothing. That’s not the only hotel with a great shopping center, either.
Inside of Bally's Las Vegas, the Bally's Avenue Shoppes have nearly two dozen stores. No matter what you are looking for, Bally's will have it. There are designer clothes, handcraft chocolates, and souvenirs that will help you remember your trip. Excalibur, Circus Circus, and The Cosmopolitan all also have shopping centers that are considered to be among the best in the nation. Shopaholics will never be bored in a city like Las Vegas, especially on the Strip.
SportsGambling, when it comes to professional sports, is a very sensitive subject. For this reason, there are no teams in the major professional sports leagues currently. However, there are still many sporting events to watch in Las Vegas. There are two professional teams in Las Vegas, but they play at the minor league level. The first is the 51s of Minor League Baseball, and they play at Cashman Field . The other is the Wranglers hockey team that plays in Orleans Arena . The biggest sports draw, however, is the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The Rebels football games are popular, but not as popular as their basketball team.
SafetyWhile the city of Las Vegas is thought of as a dangerous city, there are only certain parts where crime is a factor. Overall, there are about 8 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 32 property crimes. Many of these crimes occur late at night on the Las Vegas Strip. The farther you get away from the downtown area, the faster the crime rates drop.
TransportationLas Vegas can be a difficult city to get to by vehicle since it does reside in the desert area of the United States. There is a major airport, McCarran International Airport, that brings in travelers from around the world. For domestic, executive, or short fights, many will use North Las Vegas Airport or Henderson Executive Airport.
Once you are in the city, there is no shortage of taxi cabs if you are close to the Las Vegas Strip. If you don't want to pay the extra money, you can use the RTC Transit, which will take you almost anywhere within the Las Vegas area, including Henderson. Shuttles also run on the Strip and the major parts of the city. For those that do want to drive there, Interstate 15 and Interstate 515 run to Las Vegas. I-15 stretches between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City while I-515 goes to Phoenix.
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Author: koreydbeckett. Last updated: Feb 24, 2015