A guide to Las Vegas, from artsy neighborhoods to the neon-lit Strip

See & Do

Night Cruise on the Strip: Where else can you find a pyramid-shaped hotel casting a beam of light into space, a twinkling, half-size Eiffel Tower, and a thousand dancing, illuminated fountains, all within a four-mile walk ? Join the crowds for the unmissable and most Vegasy part of Vegas: the Strip. The bridge connecting the MGM Grand and the New York-New York Hotel & Casino offers one of the best views of the neon cacophony. Then, roam bold, air-conditioned casinos where slot machines cluck and chime, snapping photos with costumed staff – from feather-clad dancers to Roman legionaries.

See a show: There’s always something new (Katy Perry, Sting and Usher are just a few of the musicians performing this summer), but there are also classic residencies: opt for magician Criss Angel or the Blue Man Group for a unforgettable evening. The five Cirque du Soleil shows currently taking place, each at a different complex, are unique to Vegas, with the water-based exaggerated O being the hottest ticket.

Discover Fremont Street: North of the Strip in downtown, this is the original gaming district – and it could easily look like a time capsule from the 1970s, but for that reason, the largest video screen in the world (1 500 feet long) serves as a canopy, covering all five blocks. The gaming and entertainment hub capitalizes on the area’s seedy roots: here, electric guitar players stroll alongside lingerie-clad women holding signs proclaiming “dances for cigarettes and vodka.” Continue east and you’ll come to the open-air section of the street, the Fremont East District, which is full of bars and restaurants.

Explore AREA15: Discover alternate universes in this vast, immersive entertainment area. They include Omega Mart, a “supermarket” where a refrigerator leads to an alien world of slides and stairs. Expand your spirit in the mirror rooms of Wink World or head to the Lost Spirits Distillery, where an immersive distillery tour takes you through a recreation of 19th century London. Next door, the newly opened Illuminarium offers virtual safaris, underwater adventures and more, via “video transport technology”.

Visit the ‘foreign cities’: Las Vegas serves up the European dream in spades. Crooning gondoliers paddle past a replica of St. Mark’s Square at The Venetian Las Vegas, while at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel’s new Vanderpump restaurant in Paris, settle into a Belle Époque sofa for cocktails served in glasses in the shape of the pyramid of the Louvre. You can also travel back in time: taste ancient Rome at Caesars Palace or the era of the Egyptian pharaohs at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. For a conceptual leap across the United States, grab a drink at a Times Square corner bar at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino.

Hoover Dam Day Trip: This 726-foot-tall dam provides electricity to approximately 1.3 million homes. Visit the Boulder City-Hoover Dam Museum before learning the inner workings of this engineering masterpiece. Adjacent Lake Mead offers a myriad of excursions, from cruises on a Mississippi-style paddle steamer to kayaking. Everything is a 40 minute drive from the strip.

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