Las Vegas, or in Spanish "The Meadows". Las Vegas started off as a railway stop in the early 1900's for military personnel. This sleepy desert outpost would be forever changed in 1931 with legalized casino gambling and the building of the Hoover dam shortly there after.
By 1946 Mafia money starting flowing into Vegas along new glittery hotels the likes that had never been seen before in the US.
Today the Mafia is long gone, Vegas has gone corporate. One is awe stuck by the magnificence and mega size of the resorts, many of which have 3000 plus rooms a piece and themed to international attractions such as Paris (Paris Hotel), New York (New York New York), Venice (The Venetian) , Rome (Caesar's) , Lake Como (Bellagio) and even the Egyptian pyramids (Luxor) for example. For those that still wish to see Vegas of yonder Fremont Street or Old Vegas may be more appealing.
Vegas has a reputation as Sin City, and is often tagged with the motto as "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". The city is renowned for its outlandish night clubs parties, themed hotels, lavish restaurants, scantily dressed bar keeps, world class entertainment and of course its extreme activities.
Some of the extreme activities of late include: Crushing Cars with heavy equipment, Shooting assault rifles at the local gun ranges, Ferrari test track racing, Helicopter rides over the city and into the Grand Canyon. There is also an extreme attraction called "Helicopter Machine Gun Vegas" where one sits in a sniper position and takes out ground targets. For those that don't mind heights there is zip-lining over Fremont street, riding in the worlds largest Ferris Wheel "The High Roller", and various thrill rides from atop the Stratosphere hotel. The Stratosphere features 3 exhilarating gravity defying rides as : "The Big Shot", "Insanity" and "Extreme".
There is a real energy in Las Vegas, and especially at night. As the sun sets over the desert the city illuminates the desert sky. Even if one isn't a gambler, the city is still very worth while to see. It's often said that Las Vegas is a barometer for America's economy. If America is the worlds great capitalist nation, than Las Vegas is its capital. One wants for nothing in Vegas. Everything is available in excess if you have the money.
There are 100' foot long Buffers featuring every food item you can imagine. All of the worlds great talents make a stop here often in the form of a month long residency. There's also world class sporting events as UFC, Boxing, NHL hockey and coming soon NFL football. If all that's not enough, Las Vegas also features mega malls and some of the best gastronomic experiences one may ever encounter.
In Las Vegas there is no expense spared in the construction of the hotels and in the obtainment of a tourist dollar. Nothing but the very best of materials are used. In the heat of a Las Vegas summer where temperatures can swelter to 40 degrees C and or 100 plus degrees F, its common for hotels to have their lobby doors wide open with the AC pouring onto the street as a means of attracting visitors in; and it does.
In an effort to compete for customers, each hotel tends to put on their own extravagant out door show.
From the top of the world's largest Ferris Wheel "The High Roller", there's an excellent view of Vegas at night. Like all of Vegas, beer / alcohol is served.
Just off the Vegas strip is the expansive Linq entertainment district. It features many cool bars, great food and entertainment. Here one can find everything from Irish pubs, Memphis blues bars to unique Vegas one of kind cocktail lounges.
Walking through the massive themed hotels there are elaborate malls, cafes and in the case of The Venetian a Gondola ride. Its easy to forget these are billion dollar casinos designed to relieve you of every last dollar you have.
Everywhere you look while walking down the Blvd there is a great photo opportunity, as in the interiors of the hotels no expense has been spared with the architecture and or to the attention to design detail.
I can't think of any other place that has a many options for high quality and exotic entertainment as Las Vegas. The options are basically unlimited. I myself enjoy the musical performances, comedians, UFC, NHL hockey and extreme activities as the shooting ranges and helicopter adventures.
There are many shooting ranges in Vegas, all one needs is a valid driver's license in order to fire the likes of a military grade assault rifle. No training and or experience needed.
No trip to Las Vegas is complete without a trip to the Grand Canyon which is a mere 30 minute helicopter ride away. Its a little pricey but worth every penny to see one of the worlds great wonders up close and in person. It has to be the quietest place I've ever been. No sound what's so ever, very strange but peaceful. I would think it would be a great place for yoga or meditation.
Getting There: Las Vegas is directly serviced from pretty much every medium sized airport in North America. Just be forewarned the summer months are exceptionally hot, and with Vegas being at altitude its very easy to become dehydrated at this time of year. Some say its a dry heat, but it really feels more like a microwave heat.
Winter nights can be very cold in Vegas with temperatures barely above freezing.
Spring and or Fall in my opinion is the is the best time to visit, often the hotel pools may also be open at this time too.