Colorful Sin City
72-Hours in Las Vegas
desert watering hole began its slow growth in the
1930s with the building of Hoover Dam. The
revolution that propelled Las Vegas to the status
of mecca for themed mega-resorts and gamblers' heaven
began with the 1966 opening of Caesars Palace, enhanced
by the influx of star-chef restaurants in
1992 with the opening of Wolfgang Puck's Spago.
Casino resorts throughout the Las Vegas Valley, including
several surrounded by world-class golf courses, serve
as vacation and special-occasion getaways for almost two
as well as visitors (currently a record 39.7 million a year).
A monorail transports riders (for a fee) to Strip
resorts from the MGM
Grand to the Las Vegas Convention Center, and free trams connect the Monte Carlo to CityCenter and Bellagio, Excalibur to Luxor and Mandalay Bay, and Treasure Island to Mirage. (Consult GAYOT's Las Vegas Business Travel Guide for information on transportation to and from the airport.) Concierges will help you plan trips to worthy destinations
such as the dam, Grand Canyon and the brilliantly
colorful Valley of Fire, where nature
has crafted sandstone formations from centuries-old
is no shortage of accommodations in Las Vegas. Visitors
will find some of the world's most luxurious hotels
here, as well as bare-necessity lodgings. Don't be
daunted by the bigger names: there are usually great, affordable deals year-round. If you really want to be spoiled, Encore Las Vegas and Wynn
Las Vegas, both by mega hotelier Steve Wynn, are tony choices. If you want top-of-the-line accommodations
with some distance between your
hotel and the bustling Strip, we suggest the JW
Marriott Las Vegas Resort, Spa and Golf. Younger hipsters
might be most in their element at the trendy Palms
its sister boutique hotel Palms Place Hotel & Spa, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino or at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.
No matter where you decide to stay, Las Vegas is all
about leaving your worries behind and diving right
into the city's many diversions. After all, what happens
in Vegas...well, you know. Here's your itinerary for
three unforgettable days of glitz, glamour, nature
and fine dining in the Valley.
LAS VEGAS DAY
1: The Las Vegas Strip
Bay's Shark Reef tunnel
Start your day with breakfast at Verandah at the Four Seasons Hotel,
or on its stylish outdoor patio overlooking the lush
gardens and pool area. You might also want to enjoy eighteen holes at the
gorgeous Bali Hai golf course. A couple
of blocks farther south on the Strip, visit Mandalay
Bay's Shark Reef,
relax on the resort's sandy beach complete with a wave pool or shop at The Shoppes at Mandalay Bay between Mandalay Bay and the Luxor.
complimentary monorail connects Mandalay Bay, the
(complete with the Bodies and Titanic exhibits)
and King Arthur's Camelot-inspired Excalibur
Tournament of Kings dinner show.
Cross Tropicana Avenue to take in New York New York's Big Apple Coaster, the world's first coaster to feature a 180-degree "heartline" twist and dive maneuver. Cross Las Vegas Blvd. to the MGM Grand to test your inner crime-solver at the CSI: The Experience! attraction, where you'll be guided by videos featuring cast members, alongside real-life forensic scientists, and play the role of a crime scene investigator in this hands-on interactive challenge based on the hit TV show.
A few blocks north of the MGM Grand and Tropicana is Planet Hollywood and its Miracle Mile, which houses an extensive array of shops and restaurants. At the adjacent Paris Las Vegas, take a ride to the observation deck at the top of the Eiffel Tower and enjoy the view. Then dine outdoors on Mon Ami Gabi's sidewalk patio, which includes a dazzling view of Bellagio's lake and iconic fountain show across the Strip, where the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and botanical conservatory with its seasonal flowers, plants and décor are also popular attractions.
Take the elevated pedestrian skywalk to cross the street for lunch at
the plush Bellagio;
(with seating in its handsome dining room and on its
outdoor patio on the lake) is a superb choice.
Or eat across Flamingo Road at Caesars Palace in Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, Wolfgang Puck's Spago, or on the Trevi patio next to the statues complete with waterfalls. Catch the Forum Shop's complimentary show, Fall of Atlantis, presented several times
Just because it's the desert doesn't mean that we don't have an abundance of wildlife.
Cross the Strip to Flamingo Las
Vegas, where the lush pool area's Chilean flamingos,
brown pelicans, swans, turtles, Mandarin ducks and Koi fish live in luxury surrounded
by three-story-high waterfalls.
north a short block to The Quad to tour The Auto Collections. Resuming your trip up the
Strip, stop in at The Venetian to pose for a photograph with the lifelike wax recreations of famous figures from the past and present at Madame Tussauds. Head onward to visit the beautiful Wynn Las Vegas with
its water features, fine art adorning the casino area's
walls and array of outstanding restaurants.
The matching bookend next door, Encore Las Vegas, features restaurants such as Sinatra, Lakeside and Wazuzu.
Cross the Strip and set your sights north once again for Circus
Circus and its family-oriented Adventuredome Theme Park.
Hip and stylish Ghostbar
spa treatment back at Mandalay Bay or afternoon tea
might be a welcome respite before dinner at Hubert
Keller's Fleur, Charlie Palmer's Aureole,
Alain Ducasse's Mix or Rick Moonen's rm
seafood, followed by a concert at House of Blues or cocktails in the Mix Lounge or in the Foundation Room.
As to post-dinner diversions, the very hip Palms has a stronghold on the nightclub craze with its Ghostbar and Rain, where resident DJ Mark Stylz performs. The Palms is where big-name stars vie to stay in the full-floor Real World Suite (in which the MTV show was filmed). The Palms' Fantasy Tower features Moon, which is sure to impress partiers with its retractable roof above the dance floor, and the 2,500-seat state-of-the-art Pearl Concert Theater hosts headliner concerts, comedy and sporting events.
Continue to Day 2
MORE LAS VEGAS INFORMATION
Top image of the city by Las Vegas News Bureau; Shark Reef photo courtesy of Mandalay Bay; Bellagio fountain photo courtesy of the Bellagio; and Ghostbar photo courtesy of The Palms