Las Vegas, NV
June 1, 2018
Mormons were the first settlers in 1855 but they abandoned the site in 1857. Then the U.S. Army built Fort Baker there in 1864 and it became a railroad center in 1905. Although incorporated in 1911, its commercial viability was not realized until the advent of legalized gambling and the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s.
Impressive natural and man-made wonders add to the popularity of the area. Many tourist visit Hoover Dam (30 miles southeast),Lake Mead (20 miles east),Mount Charleston Recreation Area, Death Valley National Park (80 Miles west) and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
The United States Government was and still is a vital presence in the area: Nellis Air Force Base and Small Arms Range are next to North Las Vegas, Nellis Air Force Range and Nuclear Testing Site and Indian Springs Gunnery Range are 60 miles northwest.
"The Strip," an array of luxury hotels, casinos/nightclubs, is the commercial and cultural center of the city; the University of Las Vegas is less than a mile from the Strip. The Strip is a combination of the Atlantic City Boardwalk of 1950 and NY Time Square of 1980 along with most of the world’s neon.
Downtown is an older commercial center that still retains a certain attraction. The hotels and casinos are reminiscent of a Las Vegas that existed before the mega-resorts of the Strip.
Las Vegas Population: City–552,539; Metro Area–1.8 million
Land Area: 131.3 square miles
Flight times: Chicago 3.5 hrs, Seattle 2.5 hrs, NY. 5.5 hrs, Dallas 3 hrs, San Francisco 1.5 hrs
Days of sunshine: Las Vegas averages 300 days of sunshine per year.
Average annual rainfall: 4.15 inches. The climate is very arid.
Average Daily High/Low Temperature:
March: 69°F / 42°F, 21°C / 8°C
June: 98°F / 69°F, 36°C / 21°C
September: 94°F / 65°F, 33°C / 18°C
December: 57°F / 33°F, 13°C / 1°C
McCarran International Airport: www.mccarran.com. Located next to the southern part of the Strip, one mile (1.8 km.) from the central Strip, and 5 miles (8 km.) from Downtown Las Vegas. This airport is extraordinarily accessible for the tourist.
Airport Shuttles: Taxis and mini-bus services are located at the West Entrance near the baggage claim area. Limo, group charter buses and courtesy pick up for hotels is located at the East Entrance. Limousines and mini-buses cost: approximately $4 per person to the Strip; $5 per person to Downtown (one way).
Ambassador/Ritz – (702) 889-4242
Bell Transport – (702) 739-7990
Grey Line – (702) 739-5700
Citizens Area Transit: 228-RIDE (7433) Citizens Area Transit (CAT) operates scheduled routes throughout the Las Vegas Valley, with service in Laughlin and Mesquite. Most buses operate between 5 am and 1:30 am, seven days a week
StripTrolley: $1.30 (exact change). Schedule: 9:30 AM to 2 AM. Trolleys run every 20 mins. From the Sahara Hotel to the Luxor Hotel. They stop in front of each major Strip hotel.
Downtown Trolley: 50¢. Schedule: 7 am to 11pm daily. Trolley departs every 15 mins from the Downtown Transportation Center.
Free Hotel/Casino Shuttles: Bally's Monorail to MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Rio Suites Shuttle to Fashion Show Mall, MGM and Stardust. Mirage’s Monorail to Treasure Island. Most other major hotels offer a variety of shuttles.
Ace Cab – (702) 736-8383
Checker Cab – (702) 873-2000
Deluxe Cab – (702) 568-7700
Star Cab – (702) 873-2000
Vegas Wester Cab – (702) 736-6121
Yellow Cab – (702) 873-2000
Hoover Dam and Powerplant (www.hooverdam.com): The dam is located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas Highway 93 at the Nevada-Arizona border. More than 1,000,000 visitors a year take the tour and millions more drive across the dam. Open 8 am, and the first tour departs at 8:30 am. The last regular tour departs at 5:20 pm and the facility closes at 5:45 pm. Hoover Dam is located less than 1 hour southeast of Las Vegas, on the Nevada-Arizona border. During the spring and summer months, visitors can expect traffic delays.
The Adventuredome At Circus Circus (www.circuscircus.com):2880 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 734-0410 or (800) 444-CIRCUS. A 5-acre theme park at Circus Circus. Features water rides, a roller coaster, laser tag, animated dinosaurs, an arcade, gift shop and restaurant. Admission: $12.95 for those 33-47 inches tall; $16.95 for those 48 inches and above; children under 33 inches tall- free.
Bellagio Conservatory: 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 693-7111. Glass-domed 90,000-square-foot conservatory at the Bellagio, features 1,200 bins of exotic plants and flowers. Admission: free.
The Fountains Of Bellagio: Bellagio, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 693-7111.These Water shows are choreographed to music ranging from classic opera to contemporary pop. Performances take place every half-hour 3-6 pm Mondays-Fridays and noon-6 pm Saturdays-Sundays. After 6 pm, performances are every 15 minutes until midnight. The show is free.
Holy Cow! Casino, Cafe & Brewery: 2423 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 732-2697. Free tours of its Las Vegas microbrewery. Guided tours: 11 am, 1, 3 and 5 pm daily. Self-guided tours: 8 am- midnight daily.
Caesars Magical Empire: Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 731-7333. Free tours 11 am-3:30 p.m. Tuesdays - Saturdays. Explore the catacombs en route to a 70-foot-tall central rotunda with high-tech special effects.
Las Vegas Zoo: The Children's Zoo at the Southern Nevada Zoo. 1775 N. Rancho Drive, (702) 647-4685. Open daily 9 am-5 pm. Admission: Adults-$8, Children and Seniors-$6.
Eiffel Tower Ride: At the Paris Hotel/Casino, 3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 946-7000. Admission: Adults- $8, Seniors and Children-$6.
Forum Shops at Caesars: Caesars, 3500 Las Vegas Blvd. South. 702-893-4800. Features more than 100 specialty retailers and upscale restaurateurs in an ancient Roman Forum with classic skylike ceiling, central piazzas with ornate fountains and classic statuary. The Fountain Festival shows starts at 11 am daily and run every hour.
M&M'S World & MGM Grand Adventures: 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 891-7979. Theme park rides, non-stop entertainment, casual dining, shops, fantasy streets and city facades. See the SkyScreamer, world's largest skycoaster. Admission: $15 during spring break, $12.95 during the regular season. The SkyScreamer is not included, Admission: $35 for a single ride.
Venetian (www.venetian.com ): 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Resort, hotel, casino.
Gondola Rides: (702) 414-1000, Gondola rides through a clean though ersatz Venice while being serenaded. $10 per passenger for a 10-12 minute ride. 10 am-11 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and 10 am-midnight.
Madame Tussaud's Celebrity Encounter (www.mtvegas.com): 3377 Las Vegas Blvd South, (702) 367-1847. The 30,000-square-foot museum showcasing more than 100 wax figures of celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. Open10 am-10 pm daily. Admission: General-$12.50.
Theatres of Sensation: The Grand Canal Shoppes. (702) 733-0545. Two separate theaters where 3-D ride/films, virtual gondola ride, Venetian carnival, King Tut's Tomb and outer space are experienced. $12 for a two-ride combo and $9 for one ride.
Magic Motion Rides: Excalibur, 3850 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 597-7777. The Magic Motion Rides feature five-channel Dolby stereo sound and specially designed seats that move in sync with the on-screen action. $3 per ride. Open10 am-midnight Mondays-Thursdays; 10 am-1 am Fridays; 9 am-1 am Saturdays.
Pirate Battle: 3300 Las Vegas Blvd. South. (702) 894-7111. Short pirate battle at Buccaneer Bay in front of Treasure Island. Every 90 minutes, Monday-Thursday 4-10 pm, Friday-Saturday 4-11:30.
The Secret Garden of Siegfried & Roy (www.siegfriedandroy.com/animals/garden.php): The Mirage, 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 791-7111. Features some of the world's rarest and exotic animals, including the Royal White Tigers of Nevada and the White Lions of Timbavati. Admission: $10, free for children 10 and under. Price includes admission to The Mirage Dolphin Habitat. Siegfried & Roy's performing white tigers also seen 24 hours a day at the south entrance of The Mirage.
Stratosphere: The Stratosphere Tower, 2000 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 380-7777. America's tallest free standing tower with indoor and outdoor observation decks. Two great rides available: the High Roller Coaster and the Big Shot. Open 10 am-1 am daily (until 2 am Fridays-Saturdays). Admission to the tower is $6.; $3. for Nevada residents, Senior s and Children. $6. for the Big Shot, $5. for High Roller.
The Tomg And Museum of King Tutankhament: The Luxor, 3900 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 262-4555. Full-scale replication of King Tut's Tomb and a museum. Open 9 am-11 pm daily (until 1 am Fridays-Saturdays). Admission: $5.
Titanic: The Exhibition: The Rio, 3700 W. Flamingo Road, (702) 252-0315. Artifacts recovered from the Titanic's wreck. Open: 10 am-10 pm daily. Admission: Adults-$15, Children-$9.95.
Volcano: 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. South. In front of The Mirage, erupts every 15 minutes dusk-midnight daily. Free.
Wet 'N' Wild: 2601 Las Vegas Blvd. South, (702) 871-7811. Featuring great rides -- the Black Hole, the Bomb Bau, the Royal Flush and the Blue Niagra. Picnic area plus lockers and shower facilities. Admission: $25.95, $19.95 for children under 48 inches, free for children under the age of 5. Season passes are available.
Boulder City-Hoover Dam Museum: 1305 Arizona St., Boulder City, NV 89005. 702-294-1988. Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Sun. 12 pm-5 pm.
GUINNESS WORLD OF RECORDS MUSEUM: 2780 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109. Open daily. Phone 702-792-0640. On the Las Vegas Strip. Brings the Guinness Book of Records to life.
LAS VEGAS NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM: 900 Las Vegas Blvd. N. 89101. 702-384-3466. Features past and present wildlife including dinosaurs, desert life, and marine life with live sharks.
LIBERACE MUSEUM: Liberace Plaza, 1775 E. Tropicana Ave. 89119. 702-798-5595. Mon.-Sat. 10am-5pm, Sun. 1pm-5pm. Jewelry, pianos, rare cars and especially Liberace's wardrobe plus the world's largest rhinestone and other memorabilia.. Group rates available for after-hour tours and special events.
Lied Discovery Children's Museum: 833 Las Vegas Blvd. North, Las Vegas 89101. 702-382-3445. Arts, sciences and intriguing hands-on exhibits. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday. Closed Mondays except most school holidays. Admission: Adults $5.00; Senior, Military, and children 2 - 17 $4.00; Children under 2 FREE!
UNLV BARRICK MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 4505 South Maryland Parkway, 89154. 702-895-3381. Mon-Fri, 8am-4:45pm; Sat, 10am-2pm; Free Admission.