In my opinion you don’t need a guide to Las Vegas. All you have to do is book your flight or pump up the gas in your car and just GET to Vegas. Although words cannot describe what I feel for Vegas, I shall try to pen down my fascination for the Sin City in this post. To start with, just writing this post is giving me goose bumps.
It was the year 2012, when this self-proclaimed mountain loving girl; fell in love with the city for the first time. When the plane landed at midnight, I was welcomed by the lights, sounds and thumping nightlife scenes of the Strip. The Strip is a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard where most of the major hotels/casinos are located like the Bellagio, Venetian, Caesar’s Palace, etc. The Strip in itself is considered a scenic route or attraction, especially at night.
I had read somewhere, that time is irrelevant in Vegas. And I believe it NOW. After a quick midnight meal at Denny’s we checked into the hotel, left our bags and went for a late night drive on the Strip. Simply stepping out on the Strip at night was a sensory overload. There are a gamut of hotels with in-house casinos that are open 24/7. At wee hours of the night, I was walking on the road among the exotic parade of people, feasting on the lights and glamour of the city.
When you travel to Vegas, you get the feel and look of different places in the world. The themed hotels are like virtual cities offering a unique experience. At one moment, you find yourself in an expansive medieval castle at Excalibur, inside a pyramid at the Luxor, having brunch under the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel, or taking a gondola ride at the Venetian. Whilst I was in the gondola that floated under bridges and balconies and the gondolier sang so beautifully, it was as though I was in Venice. Until I get to see the real Venice, I am happy with the Las Vegas version.
In Vegas, the hotels are designed and decorated as a work of art. First impressions matter and the hotels certainly make their entryways and hallways memorable. I am always in awe of the creativity that goes into it. Pardon me, if I went a bit overboard with the pictures.
Coming to the one attraction, I think is the heart and soul of Vegas, the Fountains of Bellagio. With a combination of music, water and light, the Bellagio delivers a spectacular audiovisual performance with its majestic fountains. The first time I saw the fountains dancing to the songs of Frank Sinatra, I was mesmerized. To think that this happens every night in Vegas, free of cost is amazing.
Downtown Las Vegas is much older in comparison to the Strip and I prefer the latter. But if it is your first time, then head to Freemont Street which offers live music, light shows on a giant canopy overhead, a zip line attraction amidst the crowd and retro signs everywhere. If anything, its funny watching people wear the most bizarre costumes on this street; like an old man wearing a diaper and bonnet.
Now Vegas may be all lights and show but I saw a different and quieter side, just 40 miles from the Strip; where the scenic drive to Mt. Charleston starts. The landscape was in stark contrast to what I had witnessed in the city. I saw open roads surrounded by mountains, the cool breeze and hiking trails. Mountains + casinos, it was a mega package deal!
There are so many reasons to love Vegas and I just don’t say it because I have to always praise the place I am writing about. I am not a party person or a gambler and I seldom drink, yet no matter how many times I drive down the Strip, I get this rush. I love being around nature, but I am still amazed by the power of human creativity that has transformed a desert into an oasis. Like my own contrasting thoughts, Vegas has the most expensive and palatial hotels and restaurants alongside cheap motels. You can enjoy a lavish spread at Bellagio and at the same time get a shake at Denny’s. By now you may have got the impression that I am a person who builds up your expectation, but knowing Vegas it will live up to its glory.