Looking out across the oasis of energy that is Las Vegas, it's hard to imagine that it started out as a small railroad town in the barren desert. Over the years, the city has reinvented itself several times. Days of mobster-run hotels built around gambling, lounge acts, and showgirls have been replaced by themed mega-resorts owned by corporations.
Today's Las Vegas continues to evolve. Celebrity chefs have opened signature restaurants, and luxury shopping among designer names has become a huge draw. Million-dollar Broadway productions stand next to stages where top comedians and entertainers perform, and Hollywood's elite frequent the city's never-ending nightlife. While gambling continues to be a favorite pastime, there are now many more reasons why people come here. Las Vegas offers it all with a unique style unlike any other destination.
Great live entertainment is everywhere in Vegas; some of the top shows include Donny and Marie at Flamingo Hotel and Casino, Jubilee! at Bally's Hotel and Casino, Le Reve at Wynn Las Vegas, or even a Haunted Vegas Tour and Show. If you're in the mood to skip the glitz and glamour, explore the surrounding desert on a Black Canyon River Rafting Tour, a Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride or fit in a round of golf on a Vegas course. Thrill-seekers won't want to miss a chance to skydive while in town - or to hit the road and experience the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon or Death Valley.
Photo 3: Las Vegas News Bureau/LVCVA