America's Playground is the only place in the world where you can gamble in Ancient Egypt, float along the canals of Venice, and party in Ancient Rome in one night:
Bright, brash, and lavish, this city in the Mojave Desert exists only for the pursuit of pleasure and entertainment. Travel to Las Vegas to discover a city of fun and fantasy, filled with mega-resort casinos. Vegas has been dubbed the entertainment capital of the world, and its 'wow factor' continues to grow along with its building budgets.
No longer is a holiday in Las Vegas just for gamblers though. The city is now a well-rounded destination which offers everything from wildlife viewing and theme park thrills, to world class shows spectacular night clubs. This is truly a destination for anyone and everyone who is out to have fun. Even if one never enters a casino, the shopping, the lavish resorts, the restaurants, the theme parks, and the famous nightlife, will keep the excitement at boiling point for the duration of a holiday in Las Vegas.
Best time to visit Las Vegas
Anytime is a great time to holiday in Las Vegas, which is situated in a desert and therefore bathed in sunshine all year round. Summers, between June and August, can be blindingly hot, but never fear, everything indoors is air-conditioned.
GMT -8 (GMT -7 from second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November).
Electrical current is 120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are mainly the type with two flat pins, though three-pin plugs (two flat parallel pins and a rounded pin) are also widely used. European appliances without dual-voltage capabilities will require an adapter.
English is the most common language spoken but Spanish is often heard in the south-western states.
There are no specific health risks associated with travel within the USA. Medical facilities are excellent, but expensive. Only emergencies are treated without prior payment and treatment can be refused without evidence of insurance or proof of funds. Good medical insurance is essential.
A 15 percent tip is expected by taxi drivers, bartenders, hairdressers and waiters, but don't tip in fast-food or self-service restaurants. In expensive restaurants or for large parties, tip 20 percent of the bill. It is normal to tip staff such as valets and porters in hotels; this is discretionary, although a minimum of $5 is expected. Most services are customarily tipped if the service is good.
Travel within the United States is generally trouble-free, however, travellers should be aware that the US shares with the rest of the world, an increased threat from terrorist incidents. Security has been heightened, particularly at airports. Restrictions on hand luggage apply and travellers are advised to check on the latest situation with airlines in advance. Travellers should also be alert to the dangers of car and street crime in cities and should use common sense and take basic precautions. Hurricanes are common between June and November, putting the southern USA, including the Gulf Coast and the eastern US at risk. There is a risk of wildfires in many dry areas in the US, particularly on the West Coast from March to November.
Laws vary from state to state, including speed limit, fines and punishment. The age at which you may legally buy and consume alcohol is 21 years.
When you visit Las Vegas you quickly realise that the city itself is the biggest attraction. Simply walk the Strip and bask in the fluorescent light, listen to the pinging slot machines, and absorb the incredible energy of this fascinating desert city.
A century ago there was nothing much here, but since then Las Vegas has bloomed into one of the world's fastest growing cities. The key sites are naturally the extravagant casinos lining the Strip, all competing to attract passers-by with lavish displays and performances. Check out the MGM-themed Mirage, the Egyptian fantasy of the Luxor, and the opulence of the Bellagio.
Most people come to Vegas to gamble and party or perhaps to get married in one of the famous chapels, but the city is also an entertainment hub, offering theme parks, incredible swimming pools, giant shopping malls, and much more, which will easily occupy the whole family.
Music would do well to catch some of the grand shows and popular performers, while automobile nuts won't want to miss the world-class Imperial Palace Automobile Collection. If exploring on foot, do so at night when the lights make their biggest impact and the temperature is cooler. During the day make the most of the city buses which run the length of the Strip.
There was a time when Las Vegas' restaurants were known more for quantity than cuisine. This was due to the legendary casino buffets which offered mountains of food for modest prices on the well-calculated assumption that diners would hit the tables or slots machines to work off their meal, and would stay longer in the casinos if lavishly well fed.
Today, however, Las Vegas has a large selection of world-class eateries, with Italian trattoria, classic French fine-dining and luxury steakhouses especially well represented. Some of the country's top chefs are now based in Las Vegas and exciting new restaurants open weekly. In addition, Vegas is home to several world-class sommeliers. Eating out has definitely become one of the many entertainment options in Vegas, with restaurants competing for attention and many novelty eateries.
All this increasing activity and greater competition means that Vegas offers decent value for money compared to other large cities. The net result is that the former capital of the 99-cent shrimp cocktail is now regarded as a global cuisine capital. When it comes to eating at least, the odds are really in your favour. Don't panic though, the enormous buffets are still available!
There's a reason they say 'what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'. With bars, clubs, strip clubs, casinos, and world-class international shows running for years at a time, it's little wonder that Las Vegas has earned itself fame, and often infamy, as one of the world's party capitals.
The world-famous Strip can be bland and dingy-looking during the day, but the minute the sun sets this desert oasis springs to life. The real problem when heading out for a night on The Strip is choosing where to begin.
There are always headline comedy or music acts and large-scale Broadway productions on show, all of which can be seen at the main hotels throughout town. World-famous magicians like David Copperfield and Criss Angel, singers like Celine Dion, Bette Midler and Cher, and renowned acts like the Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group all call Las Vegas home.
Hotels in Las Vegas offering great entertainment include the Bellagio, the Venetian, Caesar's Palace, Mandalay Bay, Treasure Island, and the MGM Grand. Las Vegas casinos are also the best place to go for nightclubs and bars, with famous clubs throwing celebrity-hosted parties nearly every weekend.
Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas is hot and dry during summer with mild winters, and plenty of sunshine all year round. In the height of summer, during July and August, the mercury often soars above 100ºF (38ºC). Winters (December to February) are cooler and bring winds and cold nights, with daytime highs of around 60ºF (16ºC) and chilly nights averaging 40ºF (4ºC). What little rain there is usually falls in winter, between January and March. In summer there are sometimes late afternoon thunderstorms that move in from Mexico.
The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people differ hugely across the country. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Nevada enjoy the same liberties experienced by non-LGBT Nevadans. Same-sex marriage has been legal since October 8, 2014, due to the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Sevcik v. Sandoval. Same-sex couples may also enter a domestic partnership status that provides many of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage. However, domestic partners lack the same rights to medical coverage as their married counterparts and their parental rights are not as well defined. Same-sex couples are also allowed to adopt, and state law prohibits unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, among other categories, in employment, housing and public accommodations. In addition, conversion therapy on minors is outlawed in the state.
Nevada is frequently referred to as one of the most LGBT-friendly states in the Mountain West. The LGBT think tank Movement Advancement Project ranks Nevada first in the region for LGBT rights legislation. 2017 polling from the Public Religion Research Institute showed that 70% of Nevada residents supported same-sex marriage.
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