Live it up in Las Vegas

What to do with your time in America’s Sin City

Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of those places that barely requires an introduction. It’s big, it’s brash, it’s bold; it probably couldn’t exist anywhere but the United States of America. If you haven’t been, you’ve probably heard of it. If you’ve heard of it, you’re more than likely familiar with the images of grand hotels, dazzling casinos and gaudy neon, from the city’s many starring roles in Hollywood films and American TV shows. Whatever your impressions though, nothing can quite prepare you for the extravagant reality of the place. Even if it isn’t your usual type of city destination, which it wasn’t for me, it’s well worth the trip. If nothing else, you’re sure to leave feeling like you’ve visited somewhere unlike anywhere else on the planet.

Live it up in Las Vegas: Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas
Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas

Live it up in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada, boasts a vast array of enormous, luxury hotels. Many come in at fairly reasonable prices, in comparison to much of the rest of the USA, and given what you’re getting they can be a downright bargain. When I visited I had the pleasure of staying at the Venetian, which was great. Most of the major hotels along the Strip have their own casinos (although, if you’d prefer one without, they’re available), bars, clubs, restaurants, exhibitions, shows, pools, spas and shopping plazas. In fact it’s easy to get lost in the sprawl and it’s often difficult to leave.

Live it up in Las Vegas: Las Vegas Sign
Las Vegas Sign

What to do in Las Vegas

Gone are the days when Las Vegas was just about gambling, drinking and general debauchery. Although there’s still plenty of that, there’s also a wide range on offer for families or those looking to relax. The pools, spas, casinos, bars, clubs and shops are all there for the exploring, and will keep many busy for days, but here are some alternative things that you definitely shouldn’t miss out on.

Las Vegas Exhibitions

There are an increasing number of interesting exhibitions around the city, again mostly housed within the hotels. Check online or with your hotel’s concierge for details. When I was there, I saw the fascinating ‘Bodies: the Exhibition’, at the Luxor, which offers a unique and fascinating view into the inner workings of the human body.

Live it up in Las Vegas: Bodies - The Exhibition
Bodies – The Exhibition

Las Vegas Shows

The range of shows on offer in Las Vegas is a little mind-boggling and there really is something on offer for everyone: from dance and acrobatics to musicals, comedy and magic shows. Again, these can be booked online, over the phone, through your hotel concierge or from discount ticket offices along the strip. I saw a couple of shows but was most impressed by the fantastic Cirque du Soleil, Beatles show, Love.

Get out of the City

Las Vegas doesn’t have to be all about the bright lights of the city. Not far from the giant hotels is some stunning, dessert scenery. The vast panoramic vistas of Red Rock Canyon are a breath of fresh air, albeit the balmy fresh air of the dessert. Red Rock Canyon is less than an hour from the Las Vegas strip and getting out there is a great way to break up a few days in the city and gives some insight into the vast and rugged beauty of the American landscape.

Live it up in Las Vegas: Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon

Getting to Las Vegas

For many Las Vegas, Nevada, is a destination in its own right. There certainly is plenty to keep you busy for a few days or longer, if you have the money to support it. You can pick up a RV rental or car rental at Las Vegas McCarran Airport; or as part of a longer holiday it’s also very reachable from California. Pick up a Los Angeles rental car or campervan hire as it takes around 5 hours to drive there from Los Angeles.

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About James Gill

Born and raised in the UK, James got his first taste for travel on an inter rail trip, round Europe. Since completing his English Lit. degree, he has spent most of his time working and traveling in Asia. As well as the UK, James has lived in Thailand and southern China and is now trying his luck in Australia. He has backpacked throughout Southeast Asia and China and travelled in America, Australia and Europe. He is a keen reader and loves eating spicy food.

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