Las Vegas, officially known as “The City of Las Vegas”
is the most populated city in Nevada state and the 28th most populated city in the United States. In its less than 100 years existence, Las Vegas has attracted many millions of tourists and drawn hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth to the state of Nevada. Las Vegas is of course known for its nightlife, gambling, shopping, and fine entertainment.
In fact, there’s nothing wrong with calling Las Vegas as the entertainment Mecca. Whenever you arrive in Las Vegas, there’s a possibility for you to find a concert or show of your taste pretty much 24/7. No matter what your tastes are, Las Vegas offers at least something for you!
Looking for all the information about Las Vegas on the web? Want to know about the Strip and Las Vegas Downtown? Searching for the best tourist attractions in Las Vegas? Hunting for the best restaurants in Las Vegas? Trying to find out the best night clubs in Las Vegas? No worries, we have some information for ya! Here’s all the information you’ll ever need to make your stay in Las Vegas a memorable one.
History of Las Vegas:
Before Las Vegas was the land of mega entertainment, widespread gambling, and a bright nightlife, its lands were inhabited by Southern Nevada Native Americans. How did a city situated so far from the rest of the civilization become so lively of a city as it is today? The history of Las Vegas is as interesting as the city itself. Here are all the interesting facts about the history of Las Vegas you’ll want to know:
Pre-history of Las Vegas:
The land on which Las Vegas is situated was once an abundant wet marshland cluttered with vegetation. However, as the marsh and water disappeared from the land, the region transformed into arid desert land. The water that was trapped underneath rose to the surface and watered the surviving vegetation and formed a miraculous oasis.
The Spanish exploration:
During the XIX Century, the Mexican explorer named Antonio Armijo was working on building a way from New Mexico to California on a business caravan. En route to Los Angeles, the group suddenly changed their traditional route and settled at a 100 miles northeast of the present-day Las Vegas. Rafael Rivera, with his scouting company, traveled west to find water.
Rafael Rivera decided to explore the desert on his own and stumbled upon the oasis of Las Vegas. This discovery is as important as it sounds in the history of Las Vegas. When abundant grasses were found growing in the valley, Rafael named it Las Vegas which means “The Meadows”.
In the final decade of the XIX Century, it was decided that this beautiful valley called Las Vegas would be as a prime railroad hub along San Pedro CA, Salt Lake City UT, and Los Angeles CA railroad lines. It was also decided that the railroad lines would connect Las Vegas to major cities on the West Coast.
Rise of the gambling:
One very important aspect of the history of Las Vegas is gambling. Despite Nevada’s gambling ban in 1910, illegal gambling activities were on the rise. In Las Vegas NV a city at this point mostly occupied by railroad construction workers, cowboys and ranchers, the spirit of the Wild West blossomed in Las Vegas: prostitution, gambling and partying. It brought along an appetite for gambling and drinking.
In 1931, gambling once again became legal in Nevada. During the construction of Hoover Dam, thousands of workers came to Las Vegas. New casinos and showgirl venues were inaugurated along Fremont Street, in hopes of attracting workers. Las Vegas first hotel “El Rancho Vegas” opened in 1941.
Geography of Las Vegas:
Las Vegas is located in the center of Vegas valley. It’s a desert region of about 600 square miles. It’s surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Spring Mountains. The seasons are hot, windy and dry, with desert conditions and maximum temperate of a 100 degrees F during the summer. Due to the mountains surrounding Las Vegas, summer nights are cool and chilly. Isn’t that an ideal geography for the Mecca of entertainment?
Development of Las Vegas:
It was in 1921 when small ranches began to pop up in and around Las Vegas when Clark sold his share of the railroad to the Union Pacific Company. The town soon became a popular weekend destination for the residents of Los Angeles. Construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s proved to be a major boon for the development of Las Vegas.
The city benefited a lot from thousands of dam workers who came to the town each weekend, lured by the handful of casinos and other recreational diversions.
When World war 2 started, Las Vegas grew even larger as the dam workers were followed by department of defense workers and military personnel. As people’s interests in the entertaining gambling of Las Vegas grew, Las Vegas grew as well and now here it stands, being one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world.
Downtown Las Vegas:
A visit to Las Vegas is incomplete without a trip to Downtown Las Vegas. It’s situated just a few miles from the Strip. This historic neighborhood is rapidly growing and gaining popularity. Trust us, Downtown Las Vegas is definitely worth your precious time and money.
Walls of Downtown Las Vegas are illuminated with gorgeous old neon signs and are decorated with the most beautiful street art. It would be true to say that Downtown Las Vegas is a neighborhood in transition. The majority of visitors review Downtown Las Vegas as their top recreation trip in Las Vegas. Still not enough motivation to visit Downtown Las Vegas?
Listen up! What today is Las Vegas started in Fremont Street. Casinos thrived here even before the famous Mobster Bugsy Siegel finished building the Flamingo Casino and Hotel, on what is now the Strip. This is where that neon sign we always see in movies “Cowboy Vegas Vic” swinging its leg and boot has been since 1951. Downtown Las Vegas was always rich in casinos and restaurants but wasn’t one of the most popular neighborhoods for decades.
Since then a lot of money has been poured into trying to revitalized downtown Las Vegas and there have been a lot of projects since 1995 until the date of this writing.
Let’s have fun in Downtown Las Vegas
Wondering what things you must do during your trip to Downtown Las Vegas? Don’t look any further, we got you covered. It should be pretty obvious by now that there are tons of things to do in this lovely bright neighborhood.
There are now a lot of new restaurants, renovated hotels, high rise condos, and cultural sites like The Smith Center for the Performing Arts with off broadway and broadway shows for example, the Mob Museum and the Neon Museum have transformed Downtown Las Vegas into a very charming, lively and lightful area. These new and historic sites in Downtown Las Vegas are a must-visit during your trip to Downtown Las Vegas and will surely take your trip experience to the next level.
Food in Downtown Las Vegas:
Are you a foodie? Are you interested in trying out new foods rather than admiring culture? Downtown Las Vegas does offer excellent cultural sightseeing experience, in addition to that, the food in Downtown Las Vegas is outstanding as well. Not surprisingly, people love doing food tours in Downtown Las Vegas and it’s often the first thing people do while visiting here.
An ideal food tour in Downtown Las Vegas could start from Fremont Street Experience and ending at the Downtown Container Park. Remember, always hide a local guide. They will make sure you don’t miss a thing and experience all the great things of Downtown Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Strip is the central artery of the city and the mainline to a majority of the city’s best sights, gambling, fun, and food. The Strip is an eight-mile street of casinos and hotels surrounded with huge led screens and the dancing fountains of the Bellagio.
The Strip is also a must-visit on your trip to Las Vegas. You don’t want to miss out on such a splendid experience, do you? Some of the latest sights to visit at The Strip are the City Center one of the most beautiful projects of modern architecture and engineering in the world.
These are just the latest additions to the ever-growing list of fun things to do at The Strip. Besides these, here are some other sights to hit during your trip:
‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada’ sign:
At the southern edge of The Strip, this iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign serves as an eye-catching welcome message to the visitors. This sign has been welcoming visitors to The Strip since 1959. This incredible gift was given to Las Vegas city by a commercial artist and sign designer Betty Willis. This sign was never trademarked hence you will often find this sign printed on T-shirts, mugs and other things. This sign is one of the most popular selfie spots in the town.
Copycatting isn’t exactly considered a positive act to do in the rest of the world, but Las Vegas is not like the rest of the world. Las Vegas has many copycatted monuments including New York, Paris, Venice, and others. The 1900s-built Luxor Hotel is one such monument built in the shape of a pyramid. Inside Luxor Hotel, people ride “inclinators” instead of elevators to their rooms. Pretty interesting, right?
What else would you expect from a pyramid-shaped hotel in Las Vegas? Outside, a spotlight at the Pyramid’s peak has the pride of being the strongest beam of light in the world.
Wildlife Habitat at Flamingo Las Vegas:
This zoo-like oasis is located in the courtyard of the Flamingo Las Vegas and is the home to more than 50 exotic birds, 290 fish, and 19 turtles. This free tourist attraction opened up in 1995 and is one great spot for the visitors of The Strip.
These are just a few incredible spots at The Strip, but there are dozens of other options available for different people with different tastes. Some more of these are Adventuredome, Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, Fremont Street Experience, Downtown Container Park, and The Neon Museum.
Top 5 Tourist Attractions in Las Vegas:
Wondering what are the best tourist attractions in Las Vegas which you should definitely visit during your trip? We got you, here’s the list of top 5 best tourist attractions in Las Vegas:
Come on, which other tourist attraction did you think will be on the number one spot? It’s indeed The Strip. The Strip is one of the most popular and best tourist attractions in all of Las Vegas. Serving as the central artery of the city and being consisted of an 8-mile long stretch of pure entertainment overload, The Strip deserves to be on the number one spot of this list.
Red Rock Canyon:
Red Rock Canyon is a stretch of glowing orange hills along the east-facing side of the Spring Mountains, on the western edge of the city. The scenery is very splendid from afar but is best appreciated by the numerous hiking trails that run through the Red Rock Canyon.
Some of the most popular and best hiking trails of the Red Rock Canyon are Calico Tank Trail, Ice Box Canyon Trail, Keystone thrust trail, etc. Red Rock Canyon is an incredible gift by nature and definitely worth a mention in the top 5 best tourist attractions in Las Vegas list.
The Grand Canyon:
More than 5.9 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year to experience its native american culture, visitor center, bus tours, mule trips, helicopter rides and more. There are so many things to do here that you might even feel overwhelmed at certain times, but trust us, it’s worth it. The Grand Canyon offers some of the best experiences of their lives to the visitors.
You can have some of these great experiences yourself by Cruising the Colorado River in a dory, Stargazing, Hiking below the rim, Toroweap Overlook and more! The Grand Canyon is an outstanding tourist attraction when it comes to Las Vegas and definitely earns a spot in our top 5 best tourist attractions in Las Vegas list.
Mount Charleston is an inspiring place with healthy and fresh air, ice-cold springs and acres of evergreen forests. It packs deep and wide canyons, narrow slot canyons, and steep hillsides. Due to its very high elevation, it’s also known as “Sky Island” which is certainly not an exaggeration. Elevations in the Mount Charleston range from 4440 feet on the lowest slopes in the southwest part of the wilderness area, to nearly 12000 feet at the summit of Mount Charleston.
These incredible elevations and rugged sights earn a spot for Mount Charleston in this list of best tourist attractions.
This massive dam built on the Colorado River at the Arizona-Nevada border was built between 1929-1936. It was formerly known as the Boulder Dam but the name doesn’t matter when it comes to this incredible tourist attraction. It’s the highest concrete arch dam in the United States which adds to the appeal of Hoover Dam. It impounds Lake Mead which is the largest artificial lake in the world and extends up to 115 miles.
These unique features of the Dam attract enough tourists towards it to earn a spot on this list.
Top 5 Restaurants in Las Vegas:
No trip is complete without a delicious dinner at a popular restaurant in your destination. Here’s a list of all the best restaurants in Las Vegas you need to know:
Best Spanish – Julian Serrano at Aria:
Julian Serrano Tapas is a tapas restaurant in the Aria Resort and Casino. It was designed by Gente de Valor and Serrano himself. According to Serrano, this restaurant represents the “Vibrant culture of my Country” and he is not exaggerating. This restaurant is very popular among people who love their “Mushroom Soup” and “Tuna Carpaccio”. It also serves Spanish-style tapas with occasional Asian fusion influences.
Popular dishes include Paella, Ahi Tuna Tempura with seaweed salad and avocado-rocoto mayo and Ponzu sauce and more. Sounds delicious, right? That’s exactly why this restaurant earns a spot in the list of top 5 best restaurants in Las Vegas.
Best Spanish – Jose Andres’ Jaleo at Cosmopolitan:
Jaleo is an award-winning restaurant in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas area. People love their delicious “Carne De Ciervo Asada” and “Gambas Al Ajillo” at this restaurant. It was founded by a Culinary mastermind Jose Andres and ThinkFoodGroup. Among the popular dishes of this restaurant are Paella, Jamon Iberico de Bellota, and others. The incredibly delicious taste of this restaurant’s dishes is why it earns to be in this list of top 5 best restaurants in Las Vegas.
Best Greek – Estiatorio Milo’s at Cosmopolitan:
Awarded as one of the finest Greek restaurants of North America, located at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip in The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Estiatorio Milos opened up in 2010. It brought the freshest Seafood to the Nevada desert and that’s how it earned its reputation. People love to have their fresh fish dinners at this restaurant.
Asian Infusion – Tao at Palazzo:
Opened up in 2005, this design-driven dining and entertainment complex in The Venetian. This restaurant is well known for its well-mastered Asian infusion dishes like Salmon Sashimi with Avocado, Crispy onions, Sweet and Spicy Sesame, and others. Mouth-watering tastes for all these Asian infusion fans out there is what makes this restaurant earn its name in the list of top 5 best restaurants in Las Vegas.
Italian – Panevino:
Panevino is one of the top Italian restaurants in Las Vegas, bringing specialized and authentic Italian cuisine taste to the deserts of Nevada. It brings unrivaled views of The Strip, framed by floor-to-ceiling glass windows, Panevino sustains an old and classic Las Vegas vibe. Popular dishes of Panevino like Eggplant and Mozzarella Bruschettone, Artichokes & Zucchini and Stuffed Roasted Bell Peppers make it earn its spot on this list.
Top 5 Night Clubs / Bars in Las Vegas:
As it might be obvious by now, Las Vegas trips are colorless without spending nights out at its night clubs and bars. You don’t need to look any further to find out about the best night clubs in Las Vegas, we got you covered here as well:
The Cosmopolitan Hotel is currently a hot spot at The Strip in Las Vegas, that makes Marquee the Hot night club in Las Vegas. You definitely want to experience this night club because everyone else does! You never want to miss out on experiences that everyone else talks about, do you? As this club is that hot, be ready to face a lot of other people looking forward to having a great time.
Looking for a big party in a night club in Las Vegas? Marquee is the place to head towards. All these pros make The Marquee worthy of its spot in the list of Top 5 Night clubs in Las Vegas.
When it comes to size and entertainment, no other night club in Las Vegas can beat Hakkasan. To begin with, there’s a two-story restaurant, which has a contemporary design and offers the perfect place to warm up for an evening in a night club. All the floors of this night club offer different feel and vibe for different types of people. The fourth floor of Hakkasan is where most of the fun happens though.
This is where party people can watch DJs like Calvin Harris, Above & Beyond and Tiesto perform. Massive night entertainment opportunities and the incredible size of this night club makes this night club earn the 2nd spot in the list of top 5 best night clubs of Las Vegas.
Tao is one of the top-grossing nightclubs in the United States for over a decade. It’s one of the busiest night clubs in Las Vegas and the perfect choice for the people seeking a busy mega-club on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. The hot “Voyeur Models” inside the bath tubes at the reataurant entrance is one of the most popular features of Tao Las Vegas. These are located throughout the main-room of Tao. It’s also well known for special DJ performances held on a regular basis.
As soon as you look at Blue Martini, you will notice something very quickly. It’s not just a lounge or a restaurant or even a place to listen to some live music. It is the right place to spend your entire evening and offers many different kinds of experiences as the evening progresses. Well known for live music, late-night DJs as well as a happy hour that will make you start drinking early in the day.
The offering of a different experience than the regular velvet ropes of Las Vegas Strip makes the Blue Martini stand out and earn a spot in this list of top 5 best night clubs/bars in Las Vegas.
House of Blues Club:
The House of Blues club is well known for its state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology in its uniquely designed concert halls. For the fans of live music on the Strip, there’s no other better place to go. True to its Southern theme, the House of the Blues’ decor feels like you have stepped into a Las Vegas version of New Orleans. This unique decor and incredible live music listening experience make this club slide into the list of top 5 best night clubs in Las Vegas.