I had always had an aversion to making a specific trip to Las Vegas. Everything it stood for, in my mind, was not really something I had a great desire to be a part of. However, as part of a broader holiday into California and in wanting to see the Grand Canyon, it felt like an ideal starting point on a road trip.
The first thing that struck me about the city was that as you fly towards it from the UK, you see a barren, largely deserted landscape for a good while before a brightly-lit beacon that is Las Vegas comes into view…quite literally like a desert oasis.
The whole of the main strip feels like it is largely superficial and for show, but for a couple of days it was really great entertainment (any longer and I think I would tire of it very quickly). There is just so much going on which is fun to observe and be a part of (and often you don’t need to spend any money) and even if you don’t gamble (which I didn’t), the hotels themselves are tourist attractions in their own right – I got the impression that they are all competing to try to get you into their casino so that you will lose your money there. Just walking down the strip can easily keep you entertained for half a day or more.
A couple of points of note…if you decide to do the rides on top of the Stratosphere, be warned that having an aversion to heights may make you think twice. Make sure you take in a show too (why not?). Where else can you see the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Venetian gondolas (indoors!), Pyramids and more on the same street? It is remarkable…and like nowhere else.