When Mormon pioneers established a fort in the middle of a punishing Mojave Desert landscape in the 1850s, only two short decades after the United States had annexed the area from Mexico, no one could have forecast that it would become a neon-festooned symbol of American ingenuity, capitalism, and round-the-clock fun. Yet here we are. What once was a dusty pit stop between California and Utah now attracts more than 40 million conventioneers and pleasure seekers a year. Las Vegas is the most unlikely of American cities. Ancient hunter-gatherers originally populated this area, and throughout the decades, Spanish merchants, pioneers, railroaders, Mafia crime bosses, and multi-billion-dollar gaming corporations have made their mark. Today it is a high-budget entertainment zone with over 4,000 restaurants—the highest per capita density of any US city—a packed and growing Strip of hotels; multiple mega sports arenas, and, thanks to savvy marketing, is one of the most recognizable brands on the planet.Learn more
The resort corridor of Las Vegas offers lots of ways to get around, from elevated trams and a monorail to fun tour buses and the largest fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms in North America. The city and its resorts offer everything from totally free transportation to invite-only rides.
Las Vegas’ specialty is taking everything up a notch—especially restaurants. You may see some names you know but they’ve been turbocharged and dusted in edible gold for a Vegas audience. Still, there are plenty of historic originals and local specialties to enjoy if you know where to go.
The Las Vegas resort corridor couldn’t be more convenient. Hotels are packed together on or not far away from a single four-mile-long boulevard, there’s a convenient Monorail and tons of rideshares and cabs, and it’s all just minutes from the city’s international airport. If you’re coming to Las Vegas and never intend to leave the Strip, renting a car isn’t necessary. But if you want to explore some of the surrounding attractions - Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire - renting a car is a great idea, if you do it right.
The unnatural wonders of the Strip are typically the star of a Las Vegas vacation, but to really understand the city, take a day trip to one of the natural wonders that surrounds it.