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They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but chances are you'll want to tell every single person you know about your time in Sin City. After all, it's a place devoted to pleasure and excess in all its forms. Dazzling lights turn the Strip and Downtown Vegas into wonderlands of color, majestic casino-hotels throng with daredevil gamblers chancing it on roulette and blackjack, and some of the most famous singers, comedians, and magicians on Earth put on spectacular shows all year round. Anyone will feel like a member of the Rat Pack walking these legendary streets.
Things to see in Las Vegas
In the popular imagination, the Strip IS Las Vegas. Stretching over 4 miles and blazing with casino hotel signs and giant gaudy reproductions of world landmarks, it's the thoroughfare that always features in films and TV shows about Sin City. Just walking down the Strip will leave you giddy, and even amid this much sensory stimulation you'll still notice the iconic dancing fountains of the Bellagio, a particularly opulent casino hotel even by the Strip's standards (wait till you see the Mediterranean-style pool area, and the fine dining restaurants within). More razzle-dazzle can be found at the Fremont Street Experience – a pedestrianized area of shops, restaurants, and casinos covered with a jaw-dropping canopy of over 12 million lights. If you've got time to squeeze in some shopping, head over to the Fashion Show Mall. As well as housing countless department stores and designer boutiques, it has its very own runway where models strut their stuff. Fancy a break from the urban excess? Have a great escape to Red Rock Canyon, a rugged and craggy landscape like something from an old Western film – it's hiking like you've never experienced it before.
Accommodation in Las Vegas
It almost goes without saying that Las Vegas hotels are among the most lavish and breathtaking in the world. The big names on the Strip and in Downtown feature numerous restaurants (many high-end and run by celebrity chefs), spas that will make every guest feel like a film star, epic pools, and of course the sprawling casino areas. Your typical big Las Vegas hotel will cater for your every conceivable whim, and there's a price tag that comes with that, but it's worth remembering the city has plenty of cheaper hotels and motels to choose from as well.
Where to stay in Las Vegas
If you want to immerse yourself in the Vegas you see on TV, the Strip is where you want to stay. That said, if you fancy a taste of "old Vegas" then you may prefer to book a hotel in the Downtown area, where the original hotels and casinos took root, and where the Rat Pack were the resident hellraisers. You can also choose to set your base a little way from the hustle and bustle by looking for a hotel south of the Strip – look out for Town Square, a mall complex crammed with well known stores as well as a cinema and a park.
How to get to Las Vegas
If you're flying into Vegas, you'll most likely be landing at McCarran International Airport. This is the major gateway to the area, with flights coming in from cities such as London, Paris, Mexico City, Frankfurt, as well as many other US cities. It's only minutes away from the city, making it easy to get from Arrivals to the comfort of your hotel. Meanwhile, North Las Vegas Airport and Henderson Executive Airport cater to private planes and general aviation.