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Sights and impressions on the Las Vegas strip.
Where can you see Africa, Europe and America, all in one street. Fly into Las Vegas today and land at the end of a string of multicolored jewels that have now reached out all the way to McCarran airport. The city that used to be called by its English name, “The Meadows” is the fastest-growing large city in the United States. There are many sights in this metropolis of one-and-a-half million inhabitants. The strip is the crown of the city and the casinos are the jewels in the crown. So stroll down from the airport and take a look at the world according to Las Vegas.
There are far too many fine Las Vegas hotel casinos to mention in one article. I've listed the casinos in the order below as you stroll from south to north on the strip. These are the ones I've visited. You will find your own pleasure palaces.
Mandalay Bay Hotel Casino
It's quite new and close to the airport. Like most things in Vegas, it's larger than life, containing a large tropical bay, complete with sandy beach. With 3,700 rooms, many restaurants, and two wedding chapels, and its own House of Blues, it's a world of its own.
Luxor Hotel Casino
Right next door is this black-glass pyramid, guarded by a huge sphinx. It has 4,400 rooms, not counting restaurants, spa, shops, and the replica of King Tut's tomb in the basement.
Excalibur Hotel Casino
For a change of pace, step along to the Excalibur Hotel Casino.
There are 4008 rooms in this huge white castle, which encompasses a complete medieval village. You want dragons, jesters and jousting? You want to take your sweetheart to the Excalibur chapel, become Henry VIII and marry your queen? You can do it here, and the marriage will be legal.
New York, New York
Let's walk past the Tropicana and the MGM Grand, and take a look at New York, New York.
Tourists from the Big Apple will feel quite at home – maybe – with the Statue of Liberty, the skyscrapers, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and Coney Island. You can eat New York food and watch Broadway shows in this small, exclusive (only 2035 rooms!) Hotel Casino.
Moving on, past the Aladdin, we reach the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino. If you haven't visited the original, this will do nicely. You can visit restaurants, a spa, tennis courts. You can take the River Ride. And, of course, there's the ubiquitous wedding chapel.
See the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe. Almost 3000 rooms, and quite European. Much of the staff was ferried over from France when the place opened; I don't know how many are left. Don't try to drop a quarter into the more expensive slot machines. Those are $25 slugs being fed in by that (ex)-millionaire.
Pass beneath Bally's moving walkways and enter the Bellagio, a Florentine palace with thousands of fountains and a unique display of dancing waterspouts. Wander the gardens and gaze at the Italian villas. This impressive cathedral of a casino contains a host of restaurants, an art gallery, botanical gardens and two wedding chapels. Take in the shopping mall, the spa, and the aquatic show.
Caesar's Palace Hotel Casino
Caesar's Palace, with its ornate statues and unique design, opened in 1966. It is still one of the most spectacular sights in Las Vegas. It conjures up the grandeur of Imperial Rome, with 2,440 rooms, spa, shops, restaurants, a wedding palace and a circus. Caesar's has been a top attraction in Vegas for three generations of vacationers.
Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
Continue past the Imperial Palace, the Mirage, with its erupting volcano, past Harrah's, and you will arrive at Treasure Island. Watch the naval battle, where the British and American navy battle to destruction. Guess which navy wins. There are restaurants and shows, and two wedding chapels, plus a full-sized replica of HMS Britannica, where weddings also take place.
Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
Like to visit Venice and ride the canals on a gondola? You can do all that, amongst ornate palaces. Visit the shopping mall and the health spa, and enjoy the wax museum. The hotel has 3,000 rooms, and there are plans for building a 1,200 seat event center.
Circus Circus Hotel and Casino
Past the New Frontier, the venerable Stardust, past the Hilton, you arrive at Circus, Circus, the first major casino to cater to families. This place is a circus, a theme park carnival, a casino, and a giant hotel in one exciting package.
We're almost at the end of the strip, now. We walk past the Riviera, the venerable Sahara, built in 1952, and the Palace Station Hotel and casino. What's left?
For the grand finale, we might as well soar. The Stratosphere Hotel and Casino anchors the strip, and, at 1081 feet, is the tallest building in Las Vegas. Here, you can dine at the top of the world, and look out at the strip, the downtown lights, and the desert beyond this glittering oasis. This stop is a fitting end to our tour of the sights of Las Vegas.