Baby, this is where it's at. The Strip, a 4.5-mile stretch of Las Vegas Blvd lined with hulking casino hotels and megaresorts, is so hypnotizing that few visitors venture beyond it. But the famous boulevard is always changing. The themed casinos built on Las Vegas Blvd in the last half of the 20th century drove home the idea that bigger is better.
Downtown & Fremont St
When the Strip feels too frenzied, you can always go downtown. The city's original quarter has long been preferred by serious gamblers who feel that faux volcanoes are beneath them. The smoky, low-ceilinged casinos have hardly changed over the years – but a 'downtown renaissance' kicked off by ex-mayor Oscar B Goodman is shifting the landscape.
Goodbye, kitsch and cigarette smoke – hello, high modern style. On the Strip, themed casino hotels compete to outdo each other, but CityCenter beats the competition by not competing at all. This contemporary mini 'city' of cutting-edge hotels, restaurants and designer boutiques is a towering, luxury playground.
New York–New York
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…even if in this version of New York, the people are tired from walking the Strip, poor from losing at the slot machines, and likely to be huddled over slices of pepperoni pizza in a food court modeled on the real Greenwich Village.
Paris Las Vegas
Napoleon once said, 'Secrets travel fast in Paris.' In Las Vegas, this casino hotel, which opened in 1999, is no secret anymore. Paris Las Vegas aims to capture the essence of the grand dame by recreating her most famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Maritime Fountain from the Place de La Concorde.
Rock 'n' roll history was made at this address. Planet Hollywood stands on the hallowed ground of the original Aladdin casino hotel, the swinging 1960s-era resort where Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu tied the knot. The Aladdin was dramatically imploded in 1998 and replaced with the new Aladdin megaresort, retooled to target the Asian and European jet set.
Fans of eye-popping luxury, along with movie buffs who liked Ocean's Eleven, won't want to miss Steve Wynn's original opulent Vegas pleasure palazzo. Inspired by the beauty of a lakeside Italian village, and built on the site of the legendary Dunes, the Bellagio is now a classic fixture on the Strip.