Walking Tour of Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is, without doubt, one of the most exciting locales in the world. What began as a premier gambling Mecca has evolved into a complete vacationland, with mega-hotel/resorts, incredible nightlife, activities for all ages, and even natural areas, within a few miles of the city limits. Many casinos vie for the tourist dollar by enticing them with both free and fee attractions. This is truly a place that never sleeps! Whether it is the water show at the Bellagio, or the “Battle at Buccaneer Bay” at Treasure Island, or shopping at the forum at Caesar’s Palace, or taking a gondola ride at the Venetian, Vegas has something for everyone, even those not into gambling. The nightly shows are tremendous, with semi-permanent top performers, such as Celene Dion, or Danny Gans, or Cirque de Soleil and, occasionally, famous guest performers. Each casino has tried to outdo its competition with beautiful and authentic venues. Examples include various Parisian monuments like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe at the Paris, a huge Egyptian-style pyramid at the Luxor, a tall monolith topped with an amusement park at the Stratosphere.
This walk begins at the center of Las Vegas’ Strip, the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road. On the southwestern side of the intersection is the Bellagio, world-famous for its spectacular water fountains, a well-coordinated aqueous ballet, done to music.
From here, walk south, past the Monte Carlo Hotel, to New York, New York. The iconic images of famous New York City attractions are easily recognizable. Thrill-seekers will want to ride the roller coaster which winds its way around the front of the casino.
Continue south to Excalibur, a fun place to wander with kids, and then to the Luxor, the immense black pyramid so noticeable to visitors. Stop for a photo with the Sphinx and to peek at the huge lobby.
Next, as you continue south, is Mandalay Bay, which attracts many tourists with its Beach and Shark Reef aquarium. From here, cross the street and begin to work your way north, on the eastern side of Las Vegas Blvd. The first casino, heading this way, is the Tropicana, scheduled for a complete overhaul and expansion. Next is the MGM-Grand, with its emerald-green towers. Take a peek inside, but continue north, past the Planet Hollywood, to Paris-Las Vegas. Here you will find the familiar mega-structures of Paris, France, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc d’Triomphe, and the Louvre. The beautiful interior also recalls the streets of Paris.
In the next block, as you walk northward, you will notice, in particular, the pink-colored Flamingo Hotel & Casino, one of the town’s originals, also being renovated.
Further north is the Venetian, one of the city’s most famous hotels. Enter through the Doge’s Palace into a virtual recreation of Italy’s splendid city of canals, complete with gondolas and ceiling frescoes. Next door is the Palazzo, a companion hotel which is even more upscale.
Now, cross the boulevard again, to the western side, and begin your return to the starting point. First up is Treasure Island, which offers a free, outdoor show, the Sirens of TI, a mock battle complete with cannons.
Further south is the Mirage, with its erupting volcano (every 15 minutes in the evenings). Inside is a tropical rain forest. The next hotel is Caesar’s Palace, whose theme is ancient Rome. Wander the Forum Shops and Appian Way, marvel at the Fall of Atlantis and the copy of Michelangelo’s David, and check out the many statues and other reminders of the eternal city.
When you are finished here, cross Flamingo Road to the Bellagio, where the walk began. Be sure to check out the splendid hotel interior, meant to suggest the opulence of a palace on Lake Como.