Travel Guide to Las Vegas, Nevada

By Caitlin Hornik

Colorful casinos. Flashy hotels. The strip glowing for miles. You’ve probably seen photos, but now you have the opportunity to experience Las Vegas for yourself! Here’s what you can expect, how to plan for your trip, and things to bear in mind along the way.

What to Know

Las Vegas was founded in the early 1900s as a railroad opened connecting Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Gambling was outlawed by the state of Nevada in 1910 but continued in speakeasies anyway, so by the time it was legalized in 1931, organized crime was secretly raging throughout the city. That same year, construction on the Hoover Dam (formerly known as the Boulder Dam) and Fremont Street became home to a handful of casinos and showplaces.

Later, in the mid-1900s, organized crime became paramount in Vegas. But along with that came legitimate investors who helped build the city up and attract notable performers and personalities including Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. The city also became a nuclear bomb testing site between 1951 and 1963.

The rise of the Vegas we’ve come to know today began in the late 1980s. Steve Wynn opened the Mirage, the first mega-resort, and the rest followed suit. People come to Vegas to walk along Las Vegas Boulevard, affectionately known as The Strip, where many of the biggest and brightest casinos, shops, and shows are located. You can travel from New York to Egypt to Paris and beyond by roaming through the hotels for a trip within a trip!

When to Go

Las Vegas is a year-round destination, though you can experience the best weather from March-May and September-November. Winter months bring in slightly cooler temperatures, while the summer months are hot, hot, hot! The dryness of the desert factors in here as well. So if you’re someone who enjoys an arid climate, Vegas will certainly meet your expectations.

Pro tip: If dry desert air is bothersome to you, consider bringing a portable humidifier with you on your trip! Running this at night while you sleep will help offset the atmosphere shift.

How to Get Around

If you’re staying along Las Vegas Boulevard, you’ll have no problem getting around! Most of the main attractions are located along The Strip and will be within walking distance. You can always take a cab or ride share service to Fremont Street or other nearby destinations.

Pro tip: Bring a comfy pair of walking shoes if you plan to explore on foot during the day! (You can thank us later)

What to Eat

The dining scene in Vegas is off the charts! You can find everything from gourmet restaurants headlined by some of the most well-known chefs in the world, to well-known chains like In-N-Out. You’ll easily be able to find variety in your dining experiences here, so leave your food boredom at home! Take advantage of the opportunity to dine on different cuisine at every meal.

Vegas is also known for buffet-style restaurants, commonly found in hotels along The Strip. Pay one price (at most) and pile your plate as high as you’d like! Highly recommend taking advantage of the all-you-can-eat opportunities as you wine and dine through the city.

What to See

Vegas attracts many notable performers who take up residency at a specific hotel. Celine Dion is just one of the most famous Vegas residencies in recent history. Other big names who have recently called Vegas home include Kelly Clarkson, The Backstreet Boys, and Gwen Stefani.

Aside from The Strip, Fremont Street is a notable Vegas attraction. There’s even a zipline you can ride to experience Vegas at all angles! Take some time during your trip to explore the original Las Vegas strip, and some of the history described above.

If you prefer to have fun in the sun, check out the different pool parties offered by some of the hotels! Some are themed and others offer drink packages and specials.

Tips and Tricks

Pro tip: If you love to gamble, you’ll love the casino scene in Vegas. And if you stay long enough, sometimes you’ll get offered a free drink! Many hotels do this to keep you at the slots and tables.

Another tip? Wear a watch to the casinos! You won’t find clocks on the walls- Also to keep you gambling longer- so having a watch (or a charged phone) is helpful.

Day Trips

A popular option for those looking to make the most of their time in the desert is a day trip to the Grand Canyon! If you have the time, it is well worth it. But know that it is a very full, day-long adventure, so prepare accordingly!

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