When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Las Vegas is pure exuberance, where anything goes... or almost anything! It is also called “Sin City”. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...
Las Vegas is renowned for its countless casinos, its reputation as a party town, its bright and colorful neon lights, its fantastic hotels, its theaters, and its plethora of shopping opportunities.
Most of what there is to see in Las Vegas is concentrated along "the Strip", a 6-kilometre stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard, roughly between the Stratosphere and the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The best way to explore it is on foot with a good pair of shoes, or by taking one of the city buses that run along the Strip between the different attractions.
What better way to get to know a new city than with a breathtaking bird's-eye view from high in the sky? That is what you will find at the Stratosphere, a 350-metre tower that has dominated the Strip since 1979.
The best time to visit is in the evening, when you can marvel at the lights of the city. In addition to enjoying spectacular panoramic views, you can even try one of the heart-stopping rides outside the observation tower... Yes, outside: at the very top of the tower! Not for the faint of heart!
The Adventuredome is an indoor amusement park located in the Circus Circus hotel-casino complex that features a wide array of rides and attractions for visitors of all ages. It's a must for the whole family, especially on a hot day when it is uncomfortable to be outside.
Generally open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (opens earlier and closes later in high season).
This luxury resort and casino was built on the shores of a magnificent artificial lake, hidden from the Strip by an artificial mountain whose pine trees, lush vegetation and large waterfall give the place an exotic feel.
Some of the resort's restaurants and bars offer stunning views of the lake.
The Bellagio is one of the most beautiful hotels in Las Vegas, inspired by the Lake Como town of Bellagio in Italy. Next to the hotel lobby, whose ceiling is adorned with hundreds of colourful hand-blown glass flowers, there is a large conservatory housing magnificent floral displays that change with the seasons.
The Bellagio's main attraction is the world-famous sound and light fountain show on the large lake just in front of the hotel. The thoughtfully interwoven spectacle of water, music and light is mesmerizing!
Monday-Friday every 30 minutes from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday-Sunday from noon to 7 p.m., 7 days a week, every 15 minutes from 7 p.m. to midnight.
PARIS LAS VEGAS
This hotel is a Hollywood-style blend of some of the great Paris monuments and attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d'Orsay, the Place de la Concorde fountain, the Louvre and the Paris Opera House.
The hotel houses one of the most beautiful casinos in Las Vegas with its lampposts, Alexandre-III bridge, covered market, cobbled alleys and Fontaine des Innocents.
This luxury tropical-themed resort is home to the Shark Reef, one of the largest aquariums in North America, with one hundred species and more than 2,000 animals, including 15 different species of sharks.
Open Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For a few extra dollars, you can add the Undersea Explorer VR Experience to your visit.
Mandalay Bay also has a magnificent aquatic playground featuring lush vegetation, a real sandy beach and several swimming pools.
THE CASINO WITH THE KIDS?
To get the whole family into the Las Vegas spirit without spending a fortune, there are many arcades where the kids can enjoy a wide range of games.
The Fun Dungeon at the Excalibur Hotel is particularly popular for its many Redemption Games, where players earn tickets that can be exchanged for prizes.
Perpendicular to the Strip and just north of South Las Vegas Boulevard, Fremont Street is the heart of Old Downtown Vegas.
Its pedestrian section, between Main Street and 4th, is lined with souvenirs shops and casino hotels, including the oldest casino in downtown Las Vegas, the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino (1906), and other iconic establishments including Binion's Horseshoe (1931), the Golden Nugget (1946) and the Fitzgerald (1980).
You need to go at night to live the Fremont Street Experience – Viva Vision, a sound and light show presented on an immense canopy screen measuring 457 m by 27 m, suspended at a height of 27 metres above the heads of the crowd.
The show lasts about 6 minutes and is presented daily, every hour, starting between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and finishing around midnight. Special events and free concerts are also held there.
"WELCOME TO FABULOUS LAS VEGAS" SIGN
What could be a more typical Vegas experience than to have your photo taken next to the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign? If this is something that interests you, you will find the sign on the Las Vegas Strip, near the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, at the south entrance of the city. You can get there by bus: take the Deuce Bus or the SDX (Strip & Downtown Express), get off at the Mandalay Bay and walk south for about 15 minutes.
If you prefer to drive, there is a small 12-space parking lot next to the iconic sign. Note that you can only enter the parking lot when heading south on Las Vegas Boulevard (not accessible when driving north). There are no spaces for RVs, but people still pull over and park at the side of the road when possible.
GETTING MARRIED IN LAS VEGAS
Whatever your taste or budget, if you wish to tie the knot in Las Vegas, you are sure to find the perfect fit.
Begin by going to the Clark County Marriage Bureau to get your marriage license. This will cost you about $100. Then it's up to you to choose among the many different options available, from luxury hotels to the many chapels such as A Little White Wedding Chapel. Expect to pay a minimum of $50 for the ceremony, and you can even rent wedding dresses and suits, flowers, etc. on location. Don't forget to book the chapel!
It is important to note that Las Vegas marriages are indeed legal and are recognized by the authorities in most countries around the world.
VALLEY OF FIRE
This state park about 80 kilometres north-east of Las Vegas is a must if you have time and the desire to get out of the big city. International tourists rarely go there, preferring to stay in the city! One could say it's a well kept secret that you will love to have visited on your west coast USA road trip.
The park is renowned for its 3000-year-old prehistoric petroglyphs, its vibrant red and orange sandstone landscapes, and its many geological curiosities of all kinds.
The Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the park closes at sunset.
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
VILLAGE STREET EATERIES / NEW YORK-NEW YORK RESORT & CASINO ($)
The charming atmosphere of Village Street Eateries leads to the heart of Greenwich Village, where you can stroll along cobblestone streets amidst replica brownstone walls and metal fire escapes. There's even a shoe-shine stand located underneath a replica of a Manhattan subway entrance. Signage, parking meters and public telephones add to the illusion. Enjoy sidewalk dining with typical fast food such as pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, quesadillas, fish and chips, ice cream and other treats. You will love the delightful decor!
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 or 3 a.m.
CHEESECAKE FACTORY / THE FORUM SHOPS AT CAESARS PALACE ($$)
The Cheesecake Factory is a very popular restaurant chain in the United States, serving good food and huge portions for a great price. Feel free to share dishes if you don't have a big appetite, because with more than 200 choices on the menu (starters, pizzas, pastas, seafood, steaks, salads, sandwiches and specialties like Madeira chicken, miso salmon, Cajun Jambalaya pasta and burgers) you can easily be tempted. And don't forget dessert, because you simply must try one of the 50 flavors of cheesecakes: white chocolate, raspberry and truffle, Godiva chocolate...
Generally open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Also serves brunch on Saturday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
BURGER BAR / MANDALAY BAY RESORT & CASINO ($$)
Enjoy the ultimate burger experience with renowned chef Hubert Keller. Integrating the best varieties of beef, buffalo, turkey, vegetarian and vegan products, and with a range of delicious gourmet toppings, the Burger Bar has a little bit of everything for the eater in search of originality. Top it all off with a sweet burger for dessert or a craft beer.
Open Sunday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Eureka! on Fremont Street serves great food at a good price. It offers a wide selection of craft beers for the connoisseur and specializes in burgers, but the menu also includes salads and other dishes such as fish or chicken tacos, salmon and beef.
Open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to midnight.
RED 8 / WYNN RESORT & CA ($$$)
For a typical Asian dining experience, try the Red 8. This casual restaurant offers dishes from China, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Singapore and Korea. Specialties include noodles, Cantonese dim sum and Hong Kong barbecue-style cuisine. Many dishes are to share and everything is à la carte, meaning that you can order several plates as a group and taste a little bit of everything.
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to midnight or 1 a.m.
L’ATELIER DE JOËL ROBUCHON / MGM GRAND RESORT & CASINO ($$$$)
Joël Robuchon was named cook of the century in his native France and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon is one of his two restaurants in Las Vegas. Experience a unique service counter concept where your meal is prepared right before your eyes. Enjoy tapas, a tasting menu and wines from around the world in a friendly and interactive atmosphere.
Open Thursday-Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m.
*** Hours may vary ***
Where to sleep ?
- Very Favourable