A tour of the Southwest USA wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Las Vegas, Nevada. Well-known for its casinos and nightlife, Las Vegas is a city that is always moving and there is never a dull moment. The excitement makes it one of the top tourist destinations in the entire world.
The city is nearly 136 square miles and besides the buildings and roads, it is all desert terrain. One thing you may not expect when visiting Las Vegas is the extremely beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. While Las Vegas is 2,000 feet above sea level, the peaks around it reach above 10,000 feet and are often still snow covered late into March.
Las Vegas is all about tourism and there is plenty to do. Of course there are plenty of opportunities for gambling, but you can also make your visit one of relaxation. There are several spas within the resorts that will cater to you. The city even has dozens of parks to enjoy.
One of those is the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. It is just outside of downtown and features gardens, museums, walking trails and even an indoor theater. The park also includes a wetland habitat, where you can take in natural beauty and just relax.
If excitement is more your style, you may want to check out the Stratosphere Tower. Aside from the jaw-dropping views from more than 1,000 feet up, there are thrill rides high on this tower. X-Scream is only a few feet in length, but its sudden brake and see-saw action will make you feel like you are about to be dumped onto The Las Vegas Strip from hundreds of feet up. Big Shot is more than 900 feet up, making it the world’s highest amusement park ride. It actually shoots you straight up more than 100 feet. Insanity earns its name by literally dangling you over the side of the tremendous tower. If you are really into getting your adrenaline going, take a leap. The SkyJump Las Vegas actually lets you jump off of the tower with a super-fast controlled decent all the way to the ground.
Many folks visiting this city enjoy the shopping, dining and shows. There are hundreds of stores, gift shops and even malls inside the casinos and along The Strip. It doesn’t matter what kind of food you are in the mood for, you can find it.
The Strip underwent major boom in the 1980’s with the building of modern day casinos such as the Bellagio, New York New York, the MGM Grand, Excalibur and the Luxor. The original Las Vegas however is located a few miles north of the Strip in the area surrounding Fremont St. Well worth a visit to step back in time. Full of historic artifacts and home to the famous Fremont St light experience which is the world’s biggest LED light show on the canopy above Fremont St.
Our favorite walk:
The Strip at night.
Why we love it:
It is what you think of when you think of Las Vegas. Huge themed casinos, bright lights, thrill rides and plenty of people watching.
Forget the high heels ladies! Wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared to drink lots of water. The Strip itself is 4 miles long not including walking inside the casinos themselves.