Flying into Las Vegas after passing over miles of dessert and mountains, the city appears to be a mirage; it is so out of place in its barren setting. The huge skyscraper size hotel skyline barely seem real against the natural landscape with its towering castles, pyramids, and palaces. Las Vegas is like going to Disneyland for grown ups with its gaudy hotels lined along the Vegas Strip and overflowing outside of city limits. Duri ng the day, Las Vegas has a tacky glare, but at night the “sin city” comes alive with a sparkling display of colorful lights, sounds, and people wandering from one Casino to the next hoping to win big.
Rooftops are excuses for late night dance parties, and more than any city in the world, this is the one that does not sleep. Sexy young groups wander from club to club dancing and drinking until it is almost time for breakfast. Toothless men hand out cards with pictures of nude girls. These eventually end up covering the streets of this gritty city late at night so that walking on the streets and sidewalks without catching peeks at pictures of nude women is nearly impossible. Smokey entry ways welcome you to gamble. The regulars sit at slot machines, retired men with scruffy beards and cigarettes hanging out their mouths and older women with fanny packs secured around their wastes and dollar signs in their eyes. Well-dressed men and women stand on street corners handing out fliers for discounted entertainment and special entry bracelets for bars and clubs. It is hard to keep up in this city so full of constant stimulation from all sides.
Older casino’s, like the Flamingo, once run by gangster Bugsy Siegel, hold secrets no one will ever know. Its bright pink lights, although a bit overdone for today, hold memories of some of the old charm and elegance of the original Las Vegas. Newer mega hotels have sprung up and boast status as some of the biggest hotels in the world. Fancy hotels such as the Caesars Palace will take you back to the prestige of the Romans while MGM Grand, Bellagio, New York-New York, and Luxor are host to various Cirque du Soleil shows which are nothing like the circuses you went to growing up. The best part of Las Vegas is truly the variety of entertainment. The hotel, Circus Circus, has a full entertainment park inside including stomach dropping roller coasters that are perfect for those traveling as a family. Monte Carlo is host to Blue Man Group, the hit traveling sensation of blue men making music and art in comedic and alternative performances. The Las Vegas heat is a perfect reason to spend a whole day lounging around a pool, especially when you can swim with sharks at the Golden Nugget. The Artisan Hotel Boutique has a forbidden feel to it with its plush red furniture in a dark candlelit setting. It has a no-children policy due to its reputation for being a party place, best known for its topless pool and Gothic decor.
For some, Las Vegas is a get-away to indulge in pleasures and dark fantasies, but it also can be a great vacation spot for family and friends. There is plenty of entertainment for everyone and at all hours. Really the only question you need to answer is what is your Las Vegas fantasy? Chances are you can make it happen. As the popular saying goes, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”