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Las Vegas, Bild: littlenySTOCK / shutterstock

Las Vegas – Desert metropolis and destination for gamblers

The United States of America has always been a popular destination for vacationers and some cities have a special attraction. These include, for example, Las Vegas, which is known as a marriage and gambler’s paradise. The city in the western state of Nevada has about 650,000 inhabitants, spread over 340 square kilometers. Every year, the metropolis attracts more than 40 million visitors, who flock to the city mainly because of the numerous casinos in the large hotel complexes and because of the possibility of getting married here quickly and easily.

From Mormon settlement to gambling paradise

Las Vegas, The Strip
THE STRIP at night, Image: Philip Bird LRPS CPAGB / shutterstock

If you visit Las Vegas, you will come across a place whose beginnings date back to 1854. In that year, the Mormon religious community founded a first settlement in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Interestingly, the city name Las Vegas (it comes from Spanish) is translated as “The Meadows” or “The Meadows”, which is surprising at first given the location in the desert. However, the city has various artesian springs where passing treks used to be able to supply themselves with water.

After the Mormons abandoned the settlement after only three years, the U.S. Army built Fort Baker from about 1865. When a widow named Helen Stewart sold much of her ranch to a large railroad company in 1903, and two years later the railroad ran from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City to Las Vegas, the acquired property was divided into individual parcels and sold to interested parties. This sale is considered the official birth of the city of Las Vegas as it exists today. The construction of the Hoover Dam between 1931 and 1935, as well as the legalization of gambling in Nevada in 1935, provided the final impetus for the city’s growth.

Las Vegas – Play, Play and Play More

Every visitor to Las Vegas should definitely visit one of the casinos, which are mainly located along the Las Vegas Strip and dare to make at least one bet. The hotel complexes in which they are located are as gigantic as they are unusual. The most famous casinos are:

  • For Seasons
  • Mandalay Bay
  • Luxor (a hotel in pyramid form)
  • Excalibur (a castle complex)
  • MGM Grand Hotel (venue of important boxing matches)
  • New York-New York (modeled on the skyline of the megacity)
  • Park MGM (also known as Monte Carlo)
  • Mandarin Oriental
  • Planet Hollywood (home to one of the largest casinos in the city)
  • The Cosmopolitan
  • Paris Las Vegas (recognizable by the replica of the Eiffel Tower)
  • Bellagio (5-star hotel)
  • Caesars Palace
  • Flamingo (hotel with 3,626 rooms)
  • The Mirage (one of the most famous houses in Las Vegas)
  • The Venetian (lagoon city-style facility)
  • Stratosphere (hotel, casino and observation tower in one complex)
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Las Vegas Sign
The famous street sign, Image: somchaij / shutterstock

In addition to these well-known houses, there are other opportunities to try your luck with Delano, Tropicana, Bally’s, The Cromwell, The LINQ Resort and Casino, Harrah’s, Casino Royale, Wynn, Trump, Circus Circus, SLS Las Vegas and Encore. Especially the large hotel complexes often have several thousand rooms as well as huge casinos, where guests can easily pursue their pleasure at the countless slot machines or gaming tables for roulette, poker, blackjack, baccarat or craps.

Hotels in Las Vegas as sights

Not only the casinos are considered a sight in Las Vegas, but also the hotel complexes themselves, in which the casinos are integrated. If you come to the city, you should take a closer look at the Luxor in the shape of a black pyramid, the New York-New York with its skyline based on New York or The Venetian with its canals and gondolas.

The hotel operators have each focused entirely on the theme specified in the hotel name in terms of design, entertainment and equipment. No matter which hotel you go to, you enter a world of your own and feel transported to Italy, France or Egypt . There are plenty of shopping opportunities in the hotel complexes and, of course, numerous restaurants and cafés.

High Roller, Big Shot and SkyJumping – experience for the very daring

For those who want to experience more than the thrill of the casino, Las Vegas has a very special experience in store. The Stratosphere Tower is not only a hotel and casino, but also a “world of experience” for visitors with strong nerves. If you have a lot of courage, you can use the roller coaster called High Roller, which has been installed on the roof of the tower, at a height of 240 meters.

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The Big Shot is a catapult with which you are catapulted about 40 meters into the air, mind you from the tower mast. With the chain carousel called “Insanity – The Ride”, which runs along the outside of the tower, pure thrills are the order of the day and those who dare can jump from the 350-metre-high Stratosphere Tower into the depths and do SkyJumping.

Las Vegas Stretch Limo Service and Dancing Fountains

Bellagio Water
Water show in front of the Bellagio Hotel in 2012, Image: Paul Brady Photography / shutterstock

Who doesn’t dream of being chauffeured in a stretch limousine at least once, like the big Hollywood stars. In Las Vegas, there are several providers for such a service. With such a vehicle, the big entrance would be guaranteed and the whole family would certainly have fun being driven to dinner in this way.

Another highlight is the water fountain in front of the Hotel Bellagio, which is up to 152 metres high and illuminated by around 5,000 spotlights. It consists of 1,200 water jets, is considered the largest fountain in the world and is launched at regular intervals of 30 or 15 minutes. Especially at night, the fountain, which dances to classical and modern melodies, is a truly impressive experience. The spectacle is complemented by the city’s incredibly extensive neon signs. With the Neon Museum, there is even a visitable “cemetery” for the disused neon lighting.

Hoover Dam, Colorado River, and Grand Canyon

If you are already a guest in Las Vegas, then you should also take a detour to the world-famous Hoover Dam and the Colorado River. The dam, named after the 31st US president, dams the Colorado River into a gigantic reservoir with a total volume of 35 billion cubic meters, is located about 45 km from Las Vegas and can be easily reached by rental car.

The dam has a height of 226 metres and the US 93 state road runs on its crest, but its traffic volume has now been reduced by a new bridge. You have to take a slightly longer trip if you want to visit the Grand Canyon National Park . There are special tour offers here.