Beginner’s Guide to Las Vegas, Nevada – It’s Not All About The Casinos
If you think that people only go to Las Vegas to gamble, then think again. It may be known as ‘Sin City’ but Vegas could equally be known as fun city. There’s probably nowhere on earth where so much entertainment is packed into one area. Outrageous hotels, unbelievable shopping options, it’s not all about the casinos.
Well… It’s Still About The Casinos
It was to begin with, that’s why this patch of desert was turned into an oasis of pleasure, to facilitate gambling. Even if you’re not a gambler it would be a crime to visit Vegas without at least setting foot inside one of its famous casinos. Caesar’s Palace, nearly half a century old and the site of so much Vegas history, is an absolute must, even if you only go to soak up the atmosphere. If you’re planning a little excitement at the tables, first timers should check out this survival guide for tips. Other options are to head to the Bellagio or The Golden Nugget, where you can see some of the world’s top poker players in action.
Not perhaps as famed for its museums as London or Paris, Vegas has a very particular line in off beat museums. You might want to brush up on a little local history by visiting The Mob Museum, where you can learn all about what Vegas owes to organized crime. The Neon Museum is a gorgeous display of bygone signs by which Vegas is known around the world. At the Pinball Hall of Fame, you can return to a pre-digital era and experience the thrill of playing on over one hundred and fifty vintage pinball machines. Along at the Imperial Palace Auto Collection you can view Hitler’s 1936 Mercedes, JFK’s 62 Lincoln as well as cars that belonged to Al Capone, W.C. Fields and Howard Hughes.
Between 1951 and 1992, Nevada was a testing site for nuclear weapons. At the Atomic Testing Museum, you can enjoy, if that’s the right word, a motion simulator that will give you an idea of what it might have been like to sit in on one of the hundreds of nuclear tests.
Find a nice girl/guy and settle down
Probably the most famous place in the world for a quick wedding, even if you’re “knot” ready yourself, Vegas’ wealth of wacky chapels are well worth a look. Highlights include the Little White Wedding Chapel where Frank Sinatra married Mia Farrow or the Viva Las Vegas Chapel where sweethearts are joined in matrimony by an Elvis lookalike.
Take in a show
Some of the world’s most famous performers and some of the most famous venues are to be found in Vegas. Your only difficulty will be in picking one. You could do worse than a visit to Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio where seventy performers present a circus show like you’ve never seen.
Fine dining as good as anywhere in the world
Las Vegas is a magnet for talent in all fields so it should come as no surprise that some of the world’s top chefs have restaurants here. If you don’t mind what you spend then a night at Joel Robuchon’s three Michelin starred restaurant will be a night to remember. Its sixteen courses of the finest French Cuisine will take you over three hours to consume. The most opulent food in the most opulent surroundings.
Images by Kevin Benoit