Las Vegas

Las Vegas. Whatever you have heard about Las Vegas—it is more than that! If you haven’t been there for over ten years, then you’ve never been there! Las Vegas is a dramatic destination. There is more to do there—either for an adult individual or for a family—than you could ever possibly fit in! Free shows are everywhere. And there are exotic expensive ones. Many of these, like "O" (the aquatic production by Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio) or Danny Gans and Seigfried and Roy at the Mirage,  require tickets in advance just like the theatre. But you never know—I got a last minute ticket for "Mystere", another Cirque de Soleil production, at Treasure Island! 

Some of the largest hotels in the world are in Las Vegas. The MGM has 5034 rooms. The famous Luxor (shaped like an Egyptian pyramid) and the medieval Excalibur each have over 4000 rooms. Many of the newest hotels, like the Bellagio and Venetian, are contenders too, with over 3000 rooms apiece. Numbers like these make the famous Caesar or the Rivera seem small at around 2000 rooms.

One thing these large scale numbers mean is that scale plays a role in this city. Las Vegas is the world capital for the convention trade. So BIG is definitely a factor in the city’s mystique—but only one factor. Look at these pieces of familiar looking architecture. Think you recognize them? But the proportion isn’t quite right? Las Vegas has absorbed the landmarks of other places, making it a genuine world-in-microcosm. And that world includes much more than the large and lavish. I stayed at the end of the strip at the Four Seasons Hotel, whose "presence" in Las Vegas is discretely located on the top floors of the Mandalay Bay, so I can attest that there is plenty of genuine elegance in Las Vegas.

The Bellagio and Venetian are the latest and hottest of the new hotels. (The Bellagio, by the way, is well photographed in the currently playing movie, Ocean’s 11!) When I visited, sadly, their large, museum quality art gallery was closed. But it is open now for you to browse and buy in!

Food quality in Las Vegas runs from the hot dog stand level to the highest quality cuisine. Being from Boston, and since I was there over Thanksgiving, I went to Todd English’s Olives to celebrate the day. In this fountain-side spot in the Bellagio, I spent a very pleasant evening relaxing, eating, 

watching the water works, and musing that the early Pilgrims and Indians could never have had venison like that!

So consider it—Las Vegas is the great long weekend getaway!

 

Harriet H. Ahouse | Independent Travel Consultant
Vista Travel, Inc.
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