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First time in Las Vegas

By Edited May 14, 2015 0 2
Las Vegas Architecture

A Taste of Las Vegas

See the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Venice and gondolas, Luxor and many other landmarks all in one place.


If arriving by car, you will have driven through spectacular and sparse desert scenery. The contrast, as you drive into Las Vegas, couldn't be more pronounced. Everywhere you look there are huge buildings, vast noisy crowds and many vehicles that don't seem to belong in the desert area, yet it doesn't take long before you adapt to the size and vibrancy of the place.

If you fly into the airport you will be in the centre of Las Vegas and in your hotel room in less than an hour.

Open Top Sightseeing

An open top red bus is an excellent way to get a real overview of a new city. This is a hop on hop off facility which guides you around the sights of Las Vegas. It's a good idea to begin by staying on the bus for the whole tour to see where all the places of interest are. Then, as it gives unlimited rides over a set time period, you can stay on the bus until you choose the first place you'd like to visit. You can hop on and off as much as you wish until your ticket expires.


Alternatively, it's cheaper to walk. You can get a map, make sure you are wearing comfortable footwear, and set off on your stroll. If you are visiting in the summer then it will be intensely hot so sun tan lotion, headgear and sun glasses are essential.

If you become too hot from your stroll, every hotel and casino is air-conditioned so just dive into a nearby building. There'll be so much to see indoors too.

Hotel Paris

Hotel Paris is centrally located and has all the facilities you may need, including its own theatre.

It is easily identifiable by its Eiffel Tower jutting above the horizon. The casino is the first area you walk through to arrive at reception. There are dozens of machines  and poker and baccarat tables and that distinctive casino sound of bells ringing will follow you . You will be hit by the air-conditioning in stark contrast to the temperature outside but very welcome.

Check-in is efficient and you will find your room has excellent facilities.

There are various places to eat breakfast both in and around the hotel. Continental or more substantial breakfasts can be provided. The American  waiters and waitresses will be very helpful. You only have to ask!

There are so many hotels to choose it is easy for you to trawl the internet for ideas and costs to suit individual needs.

Eating Out

There is a restaurant for all types of food and budgets, from eating at The Bellagio and watching its water show every fifteen minutes. The outside patio eating area gives a superb view of the musical water show which is an ideal photographer's opportunity. However, it's an expensive place to eat because you are paying for the spectacular fountain display. But you can stand on The Strip and watch the water show as many times as you wish, and, it is free!

All the World in One Place

At first, you may think you've landed in the wrong country! The Eiffel Tower really does stand out as a prominent landmark. But then, so does the Arc de Triomphe, the Statue of Liberty, the Sphinx, the Pyramids, Caesar's Palace and the 'canal' in front of the Venetian Hotel. All the architecture is a credit to the designers and the construction workers. It is a whole world in one very small space and is a magnificent feat, a real juxtaposition and a huge draw for tourists who want to see the unusual. Photographers will have a full-time job!


There is so much entertainment. A treasure island story is enacted outside the Treasure Island Hotel. This takes place after dark and good use is made of lighting, flashes and bangs. Children will enjoy this spectacle.

Live shows must be on your itinerary, two at least, if you have the time. These range from concerts by celebrity artists to live shows like Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four seasons, or a really daring spectacle of skill by the Cirque du Soleil Company. Whatever your choice, there will be entertainment for everyone.


Casinos are synonymous with Las Vegas. In fact, the majority of tourists won't be able to resist walking into one of these vast casinos. They are all around and hotels usually have their own. 

If you decide to gamble make sure you take only the money you can afford to lose! You will be issued with a swipe card after you have shown your passport at the casino registration desk. You can load this card with cash as and when you wish. Alternatively, you can use dollar notes.

You can gamble on machines, roulette, blackjack, craps, poker, baccarat and keno [ a version of bingo].

You can order free drinks that will be brought to you by showgirls and you are allowed to smoke, all to encourage you to stay gambling.

So, the first rule is have the courage to walk away if you have won and, remember, you may have already lost the day before! The second rule is to remember your limit that you've already set!


There will be no problem with finding somewhere to shop. Caesar's Palace with its ornate statues transports you to Rome and has vast shopping malls as well as many places to eat. You will find all the famous brand names here and their famous prices but you may find some bargains too. 

And, of course, Golf

You'll find plenty of golf courses and golf package deals, too, but make sure you have enough hours in the day to do everything else!


Las Vegas is a tourist's dream if you want the brash and the spectacular, the quality and the variety. But just outside Las Vegas a car drive away, there is a real contrast, a sanctuary of peace and quiet and a magnificent landscape. Hoover Dam and Zion Park are well worth visits whilst in this highly desirable tourist region.


Bellagio Musical Fountain Display

Bellagio Water Display
Credit: Terrie Plowman

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Nov 21, 2011 10:22am
This brought back memories of the first time I visited Las Vegas, and your photos are beautiful, I would have loved to see more. Great article, TerrieTez!
Nov 21, 2011 10:28am
Hi Introspective. As I'm a Newbie I'm still learning how to import and place more than 2 photos. As I Improve and learn more from the brilliant forums, I'll include more in subsequent articles. Thanks for your lovely comment. It's such a good feeling to know other IB writers approve of my writing.
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