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Vacationing in Las Vegas


By Jennifer Weiss

As one of the most extreme, over the top vacation destinations in the country and possibly the whole world, Las Vegas has every kind of entertainment option visitors could possibly imagine. Sitting in the southern portion of Nevada within the dry Mojave Desert, most visitors come for the excessive amount of casinos that line the Strip and the Fremont Street Experience in the downtown area. While gambling may be the biggest attraction, there is much more to see and do in Las Vegas than you probably every imagined, but you will need to leave the ringing bells and flashing lights behind.

To get the most obvious attraction out of the way first, the casinos on the Strip are the flashiest, most excessive option available in the city. Not only do they offer gambling, most provide forms of entertainment through nightly shows or outdoor extravaganzas that are meant to lure tourists towards their slot machines and poker tables. The Bellagio shoots off a magnificent outdoor fountain display at least once an hour and offers a fine art gallery and spectacular flower garden within, while the Mirage attracts visitors with its white tiger enclosure and dolphin habitat that can be viewed for a small fee.

The night shows of Las Vegas are well-regarded and world-renowned for being spectacular and somewhat pricey. Possibly the most popular or well known, Cirque de Soleil takes off at a few of the hotels/casinos with each show offering a different visual experience. “O,” at the Bellagio, is an aquatic show that pays tribute to the magic of theater while “KÁ,” at the MGM Grand, combines acrobatics, martial arts, pyrotechnics, and puppetry to illuminate the nature of duality. Other popular shows include “Mamma Mia!” at Mandalay Bay, the Blue Man Group at the Venetian, and the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur.

The buffets in Las Vegas are legendary for having amazing food for a fairly reasonable price. Eat everything in sight at some of the best buffets around at the Bellagio, Paris, Aladdin, and Rio, but try to avoid dinner if you want to save some money for the craps table. While dinner can cost around 30 dollars per person, lunch is typically just as appetizing and costs about half the price.

Off of the Strip in downtown Las Vegas, visitors will find the Fremont Street Experience, a pedestrian mall that extends five blocks on the westernmost side of Fremont Street. The most distinctive features of this area are the massive canopy that covers four blocks and the Light and Sound show that occurs every night at dusk. The Light and Sound show puts out synchronized music, animations, live video feeds, and special effects to create a must-see visual extravaganza on the high-tech overhead canopy. Surrounding the canopy, visitors will find ten casinos, sixty restaurants, numerous bars and lounges, and thousands of slot machines should the urge for a quick game of chance ever strike.

After sitting in a casino for hours or taking in shows each night, you will need to get outside to rejuvenate yourself for more Las Vegas fun and excitement. The golf lovers in your group will want to head out to Bear’s Best Golf Course, located about 20 minutes off the Strip. This Jack Nicklaus designed course brings together eighteen of his best hole designs on one course, meaning golfers of any skill level are in for not only a challenge but a feast for the eyes with the lush greens and shimmering blues set against the desert backdrop.

If you can manage to spare a day out of your schedule for a day of outdoor adventure, venture to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area for an abundance of year-round activities. The huge lakes that sit within this massive park make it easy to participate in numerous outdoor pursuits such as swimming, fishing, boating, or simply soaking up some sun. In addition, the desert is the perfect place for hikers and photographers to catch sight of gorgeous desert plants and animals, which have adapted to the extreme climate of this area.

While most people believe the hotels on the Strip are the most convenient option, consider Las Vegas vacation rentals for your lodging needs. You can revel in the amenities and privacy of home while truly enjoying the beautiful desert surroundings away from the glitz and glamour of the towering casinos. There are homes and condos available near the Strip for easy access to the gambling and shows, while there are homes off the beaten path for those looking for a more well-rounded Las Vegas experience. Whatever kind of Las Vegas trip you have imagined, you can realize it beyond your wildest dreams in a vacation home or condo rental.

HomeAway.com has the most comprehensive selection of vacation rental homes on the Internet. For an alternative lodging option, consider Las Vegas vacation rentals for your next trip to Sin City.

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