‘Las Vegas is famous (or infamous, rather) for its nightlife. However, you don’t need to be shut away in a casino, throwing your life savings into a slot machine to have fun…’
It’s perfectly acceptable to go to Las Vegas and NOT gamble. You heard it here first, folks! I’ve done it many a time and enjoy the atmosphere and lights outside more than being inside. The exception to this is when there’s a cocktail bar nearby, obviously.
I have no objection to gambling, you understand, I’m just not that interested in doing it. I like to get outside and, well…wander. And, although you may not think it, Las Vegas is an excellent place to do this when the sun goes down.
The Strip is always busy, so there’s always a pleasant atmosphere and there are lights and amazing structures, quite literally, around every single corner. In fact, quite often you end up twisting and turning, working out where to focus your attention first.
Drinking and Walking…
Another excellent thing about Las Vegas (although I daresay it gets a bit riotous at times) is that you can take your drink outside with you. So if you pick up a frozen cocktail at one casino and then decide to hit The Strip, you don’t have to finish up your drink before you head out. It’s perfectly legal to drink in the streets. This has a lot of advantages and you can conduct your own frozen slushie tour around the city. Who could ask for more? It’s like taking a world tour on foot. You can visit Egypt, Paris, Rome, Venice, New York and a whole host more in the space of an hour. AND you can get legit exercise at the same time.
Starting at the North end of Las Vegas Boulevard, you’ll find the Luxor hotel. It has a massive glass pyramid, a Sphinx, obelisks and wonderful hieroglyphics. If you love taking selfies as much as my husband, you’ve come to the right place. Seriously – there was a queue of people waiting to snap themselves kissing the Spinx or touching the top of the Pyramid.
We didn’t do that. Mainly because I didn’t want to risk spilling my blueberry cocktail. I have my priorities.
|The MGM’s fantastic golden lion, gleaming in the fading sun|
|Just like the real Pyramids, it’s in the desert and it’s really hot. The similarities end there, though.|
Not far from the Luxor is New York, New York Hotel and Casino, which has a series of buildings outside representing the classic NY skyline. This includes the Chrysler Building, Empire State and Grand Central Terminal, amongst others.
The casino is impressive inside, but I do love the outside more. It looks fantastic at night, but also with the setting sun glinting off the rear views of the facades.
|The hotel that never sleeps?|
|Not a bad replica at all, is it?|
As the sun begins to fade on another day and the lights begin to illuminate The Strip, Las Vegas completely transforms. It’s hardly sleepy in daylight hours, but it comes alive *more* at nightfall. Hotel and homes empty and couples, groups and individuals spill on to the streets to see what the evening brings.
|The sun fades and the lights come up…|
Evenings equal madness in Las Vegas, but you can reign this in or go full whack; it’s entirely up to you. Me? I just love walking around the city when it’s transitioning between day and night. There’s always, always, a sense of the unknown. It’s undoubtedly at its best (in my opinion) when everyone starts to emerge for another night on the tiles.
|Planet Hollywood getting ready for the action|
|Ooh la la!|
Once you’ve marvelled at this little engineering gem, you can continue south towards the Roman-themed Caesar’s Palace. Aside from the hotel and it’s Romanesqueue pillars, it also has a fantastic double of the Trevi Fountain. For reasons I can’t quite understand, it’s usually pretty peaceful, despite its central location. Much like the real one, Caesar’s also has an impressive range of other fountains it its complex.
|a bit of Roman class in the desert|
If the sights of ancient Rome don’t do it for you, continue walking towards the south of the boulevard until you reach the Venetian. This is my favourite hotel in Las Vegas as it really goes the extra mile. The Venetian boats a gorgeous copy of the Rialto Bridge and, if that wasn’t enough, it has actual canals. I’m not even kidding. You can actually hop a gondola (if you’re a resident) and glide on down to the bar with your very own stereotypically dressed gondolier.
|I want to go on this to everywhere|
|This is right in the middle of the desert, people|
Once you’ve finished that frozen cocktail you purchased way back up at the Luxor (remember that?) grab yourself another one and finish off your walk with the piece de resistance of lights, water and magic in Las Vegas: The Bellagio.
I first saw this at the end of Ocean’s Eleven, which is my barometer for everything I wanted to see if Las Vegas, tbh, and made me want to rob casinos SO bad. I jest, of course, I was just there for the show. And possibly watch it in the company of George Clooney. Is that too much to ask??
|The perfect spot to relax after emptying casino vaults, allegedly|