State: Nevada. Capital: Carson City. Largest City: Las Vegas.
When one city street contains a half-size replica of the Eiffel Tower, a larger-than-life Sphinx and a scaled-down skyline of New York City, including the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, you know you’re assured of a delightfully over-the-top experience. Packed full of neon-lit luxury, this gambling and entertainment oasis also hosts world-leading sporting events and offers stage shows to rival the best of Broadway. It goes without saying, that there are also ample opportunities to shop along the famous Las Vegas Strip - The Forum Shops at Caesars being one such attractive stop!
Nearby attractions are well worth seeing too and include the incredible Hoover Dam and Lake Las Vegas with its Mediterranean-inspired architecture, marinas shops and restaurants. Alternatively, head to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area or Mount Charleston Recreation area where you can burn off any hedonistic excesses and learn more about Nevada's unique flora and fauna. For those short on time, a helicopter tour may help you to explore a little more.
The Las Vegas Strip
The Strip is just over four miles long and is where many of the large luxury hotels, casinos and attractions of Las Vegas that form the distinctive Las Vegas cityscape, can be found including Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas part of the CityCenter leisure development. You’ll stumble across countless visual wonders including the Bellagio hotel’s fountains that have been programmed to perform to tunes such as ‘Hey, Big Spender’ throughout the day and the Volcano at the Mirage where a show of explosions and fireballs are choreographed to music each evening.
For those addicted to shopping, The Forum Shops at Caesars are just one possible sanctuary for a little retail therapy.
The casinos in Las Vegas are a sight to behold, whether you choose to try your luck or not! There are numerous casinos to choose from with everything from slot machines to card tables, whilst hotels like Bellagio and Encore at Wynn Las Vegas have their own casinos - in the case of the latter, they also have a Ferrari-Maserati dealership in the casino. If you do feel like a flutter, but aren’t too sure how to play, the casino dealers will give you a quick beginners guide.
World-renowned singers, tribute acts, comedians, cabaret and musical productions – you’ll find a show to suit all tastes in Las Vegas. At the Bellagio, Las Vegas , Cirque du Soleil®'s production, ‘O™’, incorporates acrobats, synchronised swimmers and divers into a beautiful and breathtaking theatrical production. At Wynn Las Vegas , Le Rêve, offers a spellbinding and dramatic aquatic-themed performance that will take your breath away.
Take an exhilarating flight over Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and Fortification Hill – an extinct volcano, before landing 3,500 feet into the Grand Canyon Hualapai Indian Territory for a Champagne toast and views down to the mighty Colorado River below. On your return journey, fly back through Grand Canyon, noting the spectacular red rock formations of the Bowl of Fire and pass over Las Vegas Downtown and the Las Vegas Strip. As you can imagine there is amazing view after amazing view, so don’t forget your camera.
If you’re a first-timer or a return guest (not keen to max out the credit cards) why not consider combining a few days in Las Vegas with a stay in California or Arizona. Feel free to ask your Travel Consultant to provide you with some itinerary options.
The Neon Museum
Located just outside the city is the final resting place for unused, retired neon signs that once adorned the façades of major hotels on the strip. With over 150 relic neon signs to admire, this neon graveyard is strangely compelling – part Disney, it is also symbolic of Las Vegas’ golden days and feels oddly historic.
The Mob Museum
A must-see if you are interested in the story of historical organised crime and law enforcement - interactive exhibits, one-of-a-kind artefacts and theatre presentations showcase both sides of this notorious battle.
For genuine history, the golden pyramid at Luxor Hotel houses a comprehensive Titanic exhibition (one would presume they’d have gone for an Egyptian theme but nothing is as it seems in LV). Inside you’ll find fascinating artefacts, personal belongings from the depths of the ocean and a full-scale recreation of the Grand Staircase. Brash but poignant, it makes an interesting, family-friendly alternative to the card decks.
Adrenalin junkies should ascend the Stratosphere Hotel and enjoy one of the many death-defying rides such as X-Scream, where you will be propelled twenty-seven feet off the side of the hotel's 160-foot tower. Stratosphere is the tallest building in Las Vegas and a key city landmark so if the rides don't appeal, the incredible views certainly will.
Families and sweet-lovers alike should visit M&M World, offering four-storeys of chocolate heaven, cinematic footage and life-size M&M characters it is a heady arena of rainbow-colours and sweet-smelling candy. Alternatively, adults may prefer to relax in one of the city's abundant five-star restaurants over an appropriately sinful cocktail.
Summers are extremely hot, while winters are cool. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit. It’s dry most of the year, though thunderstorms are not uncommon during the summer months.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Las Vegas.
British Airways direct from London Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic direct from London Gatwick and Manchester.
From London Heathrow to Las Vegas: 10 hours, 40 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Travel Advice Update
The FCO travel advice for the USA has been updated with an amendment to the Entry requirements section - on 18 December 2015, the US Congress passed a Bill updating the requirements for the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP); under the new rules, with effect from 1 April 2016 all travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP will need to hold a passport with an integrated chip.
The web-based Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) requires all passengers (including infants) travelling via or to the USA to apply for authority to travel a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel. You may be denied boarding or refused entry to the US if you have not registered and obtained authorisation. To apply visit the official website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta A charge of UD$14 per person (subject to change) will apply and must be paid by either credit or debit card. For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Customs and Border Protection programme Global Entry gets pre-approved travellers through border control faster at some US airports. If you’re a British citizen and a frequent visitor to the USA you can now register to get a UK background check on www.gov.uk/apply-faster-entry-usa. If you pass the background checks, you’ll be invited to apply for Global Entry.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.