What Makes Las Vegas Great?
Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole world.
11:44 04 October 2019
Almost all of us have met someone who has a crazy Vegas story, and if you haven’t, here are a few which will make you raise your eyebrows. Vegas is Sin City. It’s the place where people go to misbehave, and become hedonists for the duration of their stay. Put simply, it’s the most spectacular adult playground in the world.
What is it that makes this strange city in the middle of the Nevada desert so special, though? It has casinos, but so does almost every major city in the western world. It features spectacular shows, but so all the world’s major capital cities. The lights on the infamous Strip are spectacular, but no more so than the ones you’ll find in the middle of Times Square. Is Vegas overhyped, or is there something about it that makes it more than just the sum of its parts? Read on, and we’ll try to pin down the source of Las Vegas’ magic.
Yes, it’s true that there are big shows in almost every big city in the USA and Europe. New York has Broadway, and London has its West End. Those aren’t the type of shows you’ll find in Vegas, though. Vegas is where major stage performers and musicians take long residencies to entertain the public night after night. Normally, if you want to see a big-name act perform a show, you have to wait for them to visit your city on tour. Failing that, you have to travel to see them. If Vegas, they come to you. Almost every world-renowned music act of the last fifty years has taken a residency in Las Vegas at some point. It’s not just musicians either. Penn and Teller, who have a strong claim to being the biggest names in magic on the planet, have been performing in Vegas for well over twenty years. Cirque do Soleil never leaves town. You can get shows in other places, but you won’t get shows the way Vegas does them.
The World At Your Feet
Traveling all around the world can be a very expensive business. Travel broadens the mind, but it also empties the bank balance. The idea of visiting every single major landmark in the world to see it with your own eyes is a dream for a lot of people, but the sad reality is that it's just financially out of reach for the majority. Vegas can help you with that. There are hotels in Vegas designed to simulate many well-known attractions from around the globe. The Luxor Hotel has its own pyramids, for example. The Paris, as the name suggests, is based on the capital of France, and has its own 1/3 scale version of the Eiffel Tower. Our favorite 'borrowed' location is The Venetian, which has a scaled-down version of the canals of Venice. You can take a gondola around them without worrying about the kind of weather that might ruin your vacation in the real Venice.
We couldn't do an article about Las Vegas and not mention the casinos; they're basically what the city is known for. Las Vegas and its casinos have managed to stay relevant. We're well into the era of mobile slots now, and so more people play online than visit casinos in the flesh. There's nothing wrong with mobile slots; we have a favorite mobile slots, as we're sure many people do. Many casinos in small towns don't offer you anything that mobile card games and mobile slots don't. Vegas isn't 'most towns,' though; Vegas is where glamorous gamblers come to play for high stakes, and look good doing it. The Bellagio Hotel and Casino, in particular, is a work of art as a building. It almost feels more like a palace than a casino, and everyone who enters it gets the full VIP experience. Just make sure you keep the presence of mind to spend no more than you can afford, and leave while you're in profit!
By 'scenery,' we don't just necessarily mean the sights and sounds of Vegas. They're spectacular, and they're worth seeing all on their own. Everybody should walk down the Strip and be amazed by the scale of it at least once. The scenery we have in mind, though, is the Nevadan desert around Vegas. Going a little further, Vegas is only a stone's throw from the Grand Canyon. Many people who visit Vegas from abroad don't even realize that the two attractions are so close together. Fortunately, Vegas has thought of everything. There are many ways to reach the Grand Canyon from Vegas, including spectacular helicopter tours. If you're staying at a reputable hotel, they should be able to arrange one for you with a single phone call. Death Valley is also within the range of a day trip. It's not as scenic as the Grand Canyon - and it's brutally hot - but you shouldn't pass on the chance to see it while you're there.
The Party Scene
New York likes to call itself the city that never sleeps. Las Vegas points and laughs at that reputation. You might think you've partied before, but you've never partied like the people of Vegas party. This place doesn't just offer a 24/7 party lifestyle - it almost insists on it. How many major cities in the US can you name where you can still drink on the streets if the mood takes you? It goes without saying that the casinos never close, but the casinos are only part of the story. On the Strip, you'll find shows that start at 3 am. When they finish, you can head somewhere else and find one that starts at 6 am. There's art, music, comedy, theater, and a carnival atmosphere everywhere. Sleep is strictly optional when you come to Vegas. You might feel like you've aged a few years by the time you leave, but you'll definitely have made some memories. You're best advised to take pictures of the memories while they're happening though; they can be a little harder to remember when you wake up the next morning in your hotel room with a splitting headache!
All of these things combine to make Vegas the most magical place in the world outside of Walt Disney World, and we prefer the Vegas brand of magic to the Disney brand. You can find other destinations which are as good at some of the things that Vegas can offer, but nowhere that can offer you so many different things at the same time. Don’t get old and wish you’d gone when you were younger - go now.