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jwmarkham Las Vegas - A travel report by James
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Las Vegas,  United States - flag United States -  Nevada
6493 readers

jwmarkham's travel reports

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

  30 votes
There is no city in the world like Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. It is known as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and for good reasons. It is like an adult Disneyland. Gambling, food and drinks, live entertainment are available 24 hours everyday. report of the month contest
Mar 2005

The Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip
In the vast Nevada desert, in the Southwest USA, lies a splat of asphalt known as Las Vegas. It is the fastest growing city in the US. The Las Vegas of the past was known as Sin City, ruled by crime bosses, with gambling, legalized prostitution, and a non-stop party. It is still pretty much like that, but has a brand new face. The crime bosses have been replaced with giant entertainment corporations, the legalized prostitution has been banished to the edges of town, and family entertainment has changed the image of the city. Don't worry! The gambling, drinking, anything goes partying are still the reason that tourists flock to Las Vegas. It is a very expensive city, but vacation packages can save a lot of money. There are incredible restaurants, and shops everywhere. But the gambling can be the most costly. Vegas wasn't built by winners!

Favourite spots:
The Luxor Hotel and Casino
The Luxor Hotel and Casino
I have to say that The Strip is my favorite place, because there are too many exciting casinos to choose only one. All the major Resort/Casinos are along Las Vegas Boulevard, known as The Strip. More casinos are being built every few months, and many are on steets near to, or crossing Las Vegas Blvd. The casinos are built with themes, making each one a unique tourist experience. I stayed at The Mandalay Bay, which has an island beach theme. Next to it is the Luxor, a beautiful black glass pyramid. with an ancient Egypt theme. The next casino is The Excalibur, with a Medieval England theme. New York, New York looks like a skyline of skyscrappers, and has a roller coaster that runs through the tops of the buildings. Paris has a Parisian atmosphere, The Venetian feels like being in Venice, Italy. The Bellagio is built like a Renaissnce Italian palace, with a beautiful art museum, and a huge dancing fountain that is programmed to move to music. And many more.

What's really great:
Dancing Fountain at Bellagio Casino
Dancing Fountain at Bellagio Casino
I love Las Vegas! It is so totally unique. It is a little like going to another planet, because it is so different from my normal daily life. The casinos are beautiful, and huge in size, and there are so many of them. One of my favorite things to do is to watch the Mardi Gras parade at the Rio casino. The parade is suspended from the ceiling, above the casino, and you watch it from the second floor balcony. It is dazzeling, and free! The dancing fountain at Bellagio is always worth watching. It cycles through several different songs throughout the day, so the fountain is always doing something new. In the Spring, the temperature is mild enough to walk along The Strip during the day.

New York, New York Casino
New York, New York Casino
The casinos and The Strip are the focal points in Las Vegas. There are also some beautiful desert trips within a day of the city. Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead, and the Valley of Fire, are all wonderful things to see, and often a welcome break from the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas.

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
I went to Las Vegas for a convention, at the Mandalay Bay convention center, and decided to spend the extra cash to be in the same hotel. I could have found cheaper rooms, but I wanted to be close to the convention activities.

The Mandalay Bay is a beautiful, and gigantic hotel complex. They recently added a new building, called THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay. I particularly liked the Island Beach atmosphere. There is a wave pool, that generates medium sized waves, a river ride, and three different swimming pools. The beaches are made of real beach sand, and covered with beach chairs and towels. There are restaurants and bars along the beach. It was a very nice break from the 4-day convention.

There are some very excellent restaurants at Mandalay Bay. All kinds of international cuisine, ranging from American breakfasts to elegant gourmet dining. The prices reflect the quality of the restaurant. Thankfully, I was too busy to spend the whole time eating!

The beach at Mandalay Bay
The beach at Mandalay Bay
Mandalay Bay has two very nice lounges with live music for free. One of the most famous and popular bars in Vegas is The House of Blues, also in Mandalay Bay. The Hard Rock Casino is another popular nightclub. Every casino has free lounge music and a featured entertainment act. Celine Dion has her own theater specially built for her show. Cirque de Soliel has several permanent shows at different hotels. Gladys Knight has a permanent show also. Top name stars are always performing in the casinos. Elton John was at Ceasar's Palace the day after I came home. The shows are very spectacular, and worth the cost, which is around $80 to $100 each.

A skylight in the casino
A skylight in the casino
Pubs are not a scene in Las Vegas. The bars are hard liquer bars, and more nightclub oriented. Anyone actively gambling will be brought free drinks. I didn't see any taverns or brew pubs.

The Border Grille at Mandalay Bay
The Border Grille at Mandalay Bay
In Las Vegas, it is very difficult to decide which restaurant to eat at. They are everywhere, in every hotel and casino, on every street. The selection, quality and prices cover anything you could want and more. I have not found a restaurant that disappointed me.

In particular, I enjoyed The Border Grille, in Mandalay Bay. The seating was outside, near the swimming pools, and the food is what we call Border food, because it is a blend of Mexican food and the food of the Southwestern US states. It was very good, and reasonably priced.

I had a very excellent Italian dinner at Regale, in The Excaliber hotel. It was reasonably priced. There are several Italian restaurants that are very expensive, so I was happy to find Regale.

Other recommendations:
The entrance to Mandalay Bay Casino
The entrance to Mandalay Bay Casino
I recommend that you shop around for Air/Hotel package deals. Single rooms at the large casinos are typically $250 - $300+ per night, and you can get the same rooms for half price or less, if the time is right. There are also many medium priced hotels, just off of the Strip, that offer package deals that can save a lot of money.

Spring and Fall are the best times to visit Las Vegas. The summer temperatures are 100 - 120 F. Everyplace is airconditioned.

Beware of pickpockets!

Use the trams and the monorail to get around to the casinos. It can be a pleasant walk along the Strip, if the weather is not too hot. You can usually get a shuttle bus from the airport to your hotel. Taxis are expensive because the traffic is so slow.

Published on Tuesday March 22th, 2005

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Sat, Apr 10 2010 - 08:26 AM rating by sujoy

Thanks for your lively report of Las Vegas . Sitting anywhere if u read this report u can visualize Las vegas . Great .

Sun, Mar 19 2006 - 06:08 PM rating by st.vincent

Great report from one of my favourite cities James. I also enjoyed the Bellagio fountains and the show at the Rio. Shame you never got Downtown to see the lightshow at Fremont St, it's quite spectacular. There is also a bewpub called the Triple 7 there at the Main Street Station Casino.


Sun, Jun 19 2005 - 10:05 AM rating by deriek-2

Hi James,
It's amazing report! Thank you.

Sat, Apr 02 2005 - 04:55 PM rating by yellow_daisy

Great report!

Tue, Mar 29 2005 - 06:36 AM rating by britman

Great report - well done

Sun, Mar 27 2005 - 08:36 AM rating by unravelau

James, what a wonderful report, full of interesting information and illustrated by fantastic photos. It makes me want to go there.

Fri, Mar 25 2005 - 05:04 PM rating by christianj.

Hi James,

really a great report. I suddenly remembered how I felt when I visited Vegas the last time - and it made me wish to go back soon...


Thu, Mar 24 2005 - 09:29 PM rating by picasso

Great report ,was a pleasure to read and the images are rightly feat
Thank you for sharing the Sin City with us.*****

Wed, Mar 23 2005 - 08:33 PM rating by magsalex

Not a place i have considered visiting but a great report!

Tue, Mar 22 2005 - 01:45 PM rating by gloriajames

loved your report, makes me want to pay a visit soon! 5*

Tue, Mar 22 2005 - 11:53 AM rating by mistybleu

This is a very nice report, for a very exciting city.


Tue, Mar 22 2005 - 09:45 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

excellent report

Tue, Mar 22 2005 - 09:20 AM rating by davidx

I have never felt the slightest desire to put Las Vegas on my wish list - and, sorry, but I still don't. I should expect to hate it as much as you love it! However this is a brilliant report and I enjoyed reading it.
Cheers, David

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