It may feel to many as if the heyday of Las Vegas is behind us. Indeed, many of the things we closely associate with the city become increasingly old-fashioned. That includes big money boxing matches, VIP poker players in tuxedoes, well-dressed high rollers sipping martinis, and other hallmarks of the town’s glitz and glamor. It all feels like part of a bygone era. When you think about it, it’s been 16 years since the release of Ocean’s 11, which provided many younger people with their own ideal image of the famous city.
The notion that Vegas has been left in the past is a faulty one though. This is still one of the most fascinating and entertaining cities in the United States and makes for an excellent vacation. These are just some of its lingering charms.
This has always been the most underrated aspect of Las Vegas. People are so distracted by casinos, luxury suites, shows, and clubs that they often overlook the fact that there’s an awfully impressive selection of restaurants in town. To try to narrow down the best restaurants in Vegas is something of a fool’s errand because there are so many different venues to choose from. That said, I’d point to Echo & Rig, a two-story steakhouse, a short distance away from The Strip, and Herringbone Las Vegas, a delightful, lounge-like seafood restaurant at the Aria resort, as two options to prioritize.
One of the most famous tourist activities on the planet is riding a gondola down a canal in Venice, Italy. You can’t quite get the same thing in Las Vegas, but as silly as it might seem, The Venetian does a pretty good job of simulating the experience. It’s a very relaxing way to spend an afternoon, taking a gondola ride down one of the artificial canals within the grounds of the resort. You can also follow up the trip with a dip in one of the resort’s spectacular pools.
MGM Grand Casino
Online casinos have seized the advantage from real-life venues in many respects, largely thanks to their variety. Web platforms have the ability to offer a vast range of games to cater to players’ every whim. But the MGM Grand is one older, traditional Vegas casino that can still give even the best online platforms a run for their money. There are literally thousands of slot and video arcade gaming options on the sprawling casino floor, and the added thrill of playing games in one of The Strip’s most famous resorts isn’t lost on most visitors.
Cirque du Soleil
Vegas is famous for all kinds of shows and performances. On any given night the biggest band or pop star might come to town, and the top venues remain active pretty much all year long. But the constant is Cirque du Soleil, which exists in several different forms at a number of different resorts. These shows travel the world, but they’ve also managed to become synonymous with Las Vegas. And the over-the-top nature of their costuming and acrobatics fits perfectly with the surrounding atmosphere. It’s truly special to see a Cirque du Soleil show at a Vegas resort.
The Bellagio Fountains
If there’s a single symbol of Vegas, it’s the Bellagio fountains shooting up against the night sky and bright lights of The Strip. The fountains feature at the end of Ocean’s 11 as well as in other films and were singled out as the top thing to do in town by none other than Time Magazine. It may seem like the generic tourist activity to embrace, but standing to watch the fountains burst is legitimately majestic, particularly at the end of a long night out on the town.