In the early 1900s, Las Vegas was nothing more than a random patch of Nevadan desert. Fast-forward to today and it’s now the world’s biggest entertainment capital.
You can do it all here, from driving racecars to getting married by a rent-a-preacher on the spot. You also have access to the finest luxuries, amenities, and resorts anywhere.
Here’s a closer look at some of the individual aspects that make Sin City different than any place on the planet.
1 – Vegas Strip
Las Vegas Boulevard is by far the most-popular area of the town. This is for good reason too when considering that the Vegas Strip is home to many world-famous resorts, such as the ARIA, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay.
The Strip is alive 24/7 and offers many entertainment opportunities beyond the resorts. Also, you can legally carry alcohol anywhere on Las Vegas Boulevard. Try doing this anywhere else without getting an open-container charge!
2 – Unique Performers on the Strip
One downside to the Strip is all the solicitors that try handing you different flyers (no thanks, I’m not interested in the Shady Lady Ranch 30 miles out of town).
But if you can get past these annoyances, then you’ll find plenty of unique characters on the Strip. Artists, break dancers, musicians, pirates, samba dancers, and more await as you walk up and down the street.
3 – Entertainment 24/7
They say that New York is the city that never sleeps. But the same billing applies to Las Vegas as well.
Assuming you have insomnia, you’ll find plenty of casinos, nightclubs, and restaurants that stay open all night. You can even see shows at Absinthe in Caesars Palace in the wee hours of the morning.
4 – Crazy Heat
Nevada isn’t technically the hottest place on earth (Dallol, Ethiopia is). However, you won’t know the difference if you’re caught in one of the city’s 110-degree summer days.
Usually, you’d stay inside with the AC cranked to full blast under the circumstances. But 100-plus-degree days may motivate you to try one of Vegas’ many lavish and giant pools.
Assuming you can’t stand the heat, then you’ll find the temperatures to be much more bearable throughout the winter months.
5 – The Boneyard (A.K.A. Neon Museum)
Las Vegas has been a premier gambling and entertainment hotspot since the 1930s. In the earlier days, casinos relied on gaudy neon signs to lure drivers.
The city has changed greatly over the years, with resorts going to much more-extreme measures to attract patrons (e.g. New York replica, pyramid shape). Therefore, many of the old neon signs were tossed years ago.
Luckily, this bit of history has been preserved in the Neon Museum (a.k.a. “Boneyard”). You can enjoy guided tours and see the many signs from Vegas’ past
6 – Best Shows Hands Down
The great thing about Las Vegas is that it has something for everyone. Assuming you’re not into getting slaughtered on the slot machines or stumbling from bar to bar, then you’ll surely find a show you like.
Cirque du Soleil, Lady Gaga, Penn and Teller, and the Blue Man Group are just some of the famed acts here. If you spend enough money in your favorite casino resort, then you might just be comped with free show tickets.
7 – Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam isn’t exactly in the heart of the city, but it’s still an important part of Las Vegas history. In fact, it’s located around 40 minutes away from the Strip. But many Vegas visitors still make the trip to see this 726-foot-tall structure.
It’s the world’s third-largest dam (following Oroville in California & Jingping-I in China) and walls off the United States’ largest reservoir.
Even if you could care less about this massive concrete wall, you may enjoy taking in the scenery of the Colorado River’s Black Canyon.
8 – Best Place to Hold a Party
With countless bars and nightclubs, Las Vegas was meant for parties. You can set up bachelor, holiday, or birthday parties at numerous locations throughout the city.
What’s nice is that you don’t even need to hit the club scene to celebrate. Instead, you can just invite a bunch of people to a resort and enjoy the amenities there.
9 – Great Service
Many Vegas resorts have been in business for decades. They haven’t lasted this long by spitting in your food and slamming doors in your face.
Instead, the city is largely known for good hospitality. The doormen, drivers, and bellhops are almost always courteous, because they know their tips are on the line.
You’ll enjoy especially good service at places like the ARIA and Bellagio, which have earned top-tier ratings for customer service.
10 – Fremont Street Experience
You don’t have visit to the Strip to have a good time. Instead, you can head downtown and enjoy many exciting activities on Fremont Street for half the price.
In particular, a two-mile stretch of Fremont Street boasts some of the town’s greatest attractions, including SlotZilla (world’s biggest slot machine) and ziplining.
You can also gamble cheaper and with better odds than on the Strip. El Cortez is especially known for giving you great odds.
11 – Centrally Located
The Hoover Dam draws the most attention as a surrounding attraction to Vegas. But you’ll find plenty of other worthwhile locations nearby as well.
Sin City is just two hours away from the Grand Canyon (Arizona) and Death Valley National Park (California & Nevada). It’s a three-hour drive from Zion National Park (Utah) and Big Bear (California).
12 – Budding Art Scene
Las Vegas doesn’t typically belong with London, New York, and Paris in terms of public art. But its art scene has definitely grown within the past decade.
Case in point: the Arts District is an entire neighborhood dedicated to galleries and abstract works. You can also enjoy plenty of cafes, restaurants, and stores in this area.
Assuming you decide to hit up the Arts District, then you should check out “First Friday.” This event gives artists and entertainers a platform to showcase their crafts.
13 – Mountain & Desert Scenery
If you’ve ever wanted to experience both a desert, greenery, and mountains in the same place, then Las Vegas is your place.
Red Rock Canyon is located just a short drive outside of the city. This rocky red area is home to many scenic hiking trails.
You can even find green space in the desert by traveling up north to Mount Charleston. This hiking/skiing destination gives you excellent views and a chance to enjoy natural grass around Vegas.
14 – Countless Bars
You’re always within a stone’s throw of a Sin City bar. This town offers everything from watering holes with three-story chandeliers (The Chandelier Bar) to venues with amazing views of the city (e.g. 107 Sky Lounge).
Of course, you don’t have to visit famous places with $11 drinks just to kick a few back. Many off-Strip locations also feature cool themes while serving drinks that are half the cost.
15 – Interesting Past
Vegas doesn’t have quite the same history as Rome or London. However, it certainly has an interesting past that’s worth revisiting.
It began as a simple mining town and eventually became a mob-run gambling destination. It’s also featured numerous famed performers, including the legendary Elvis.
16 – Major Conventions
Sin City has done a great job of transforming itself into a premier convention spot. It now boasts some of the biggest conventions in a variety of industries.
Some of the most-notable annual events that happen here include the Consumer Electronics Show, MAGIC (clothing), and Mr. Olympia (bodybuilding convention/competition).
17 – Adult Entertainment
Whether you like it or not, Vegas is home to numerous strip clubs. In fact, casino hosts will offer to send you to hotspots like the Spearmint Rhino as a comp. You can even order private shows in your hotel room.
Prostitution isn’t technically legal in Clark County (where Vegas is). But police aren’t exactly patrolling the streets to stop the many hookers looking for their next John.
Assuming you want to pay for romance the legal way, then you can head to one of the eight counties in Nevada where prostitution is legal.
Plenty of big cities throughout the world feature attractions and landmarks that make them unique. But none combine all of the different elements that Las Vegas does.
Speaking of the shows, you can take in some of the world’s most-famous acts. You’ll enjoy this aspect even more if you earn free tickets.
As if its massive casinos and countless entertainment options aren’t enough, Vegas also serves as a prime location for visiting other interesting places. The Hoover Dam, Big Bear, and Death Valley are just some of the nearby locations.
If you’re up for something more risqué, then you can find lots of strip clubs in the city and legal brothels in other Nevada counties.
Long story short, you should definitely consider visiting Las Vegas at least once. You’re guaranteed to be in for a truly unique experience.