The glittering Las Vegas Strip is the city’s heart and soul. Lined with Sin City’s top hotels and largest casinos, this 4.2-mile (6.8-kilometer) thoroughfare is the United States’ biggest adult playground. A number of its iconic complexes—Treasure Island, the Venetian, the Mirage, MGM Grand, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Flamingo—are recognized around the world. All along the Vegas Strip, travelers can spot over-the-top architecture, revel in trendy nightclubs, take in dazzling shows and avant-garde performances, and sink forks into five-star dinners.
Stroll the Strip on a walking tour for an up-close sensory overload, zip through on a Segway, or catch a ride with an Elvis impersonator to see the action from a Pink Cadillac. For a day away, take to the skies for aerial views of the Grand Canyon’s West Rim, Lake Mead, and the Hoover Dam. Come nightfall, explore the Vegas Strip via nightclub and food tours or bar crawls. But what happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas: Some private hop-on hop-off limo tours come with personal photographers to document your big night out. Scenic nighttime helicopter rides are also extremely popular, allowing travelers to view the Strip in all its colorful, illuminated glory from above.
Things to Know Before You Go
Most official Las Vegas nightclubs do not allow baggy jeans, sports hats, tennis shoes, or shorts.
Be aware that costumed characters on the strips expect payment if you’d like to snap a photo with them.
How to Get There
The Las Vegas Strip runs along Las Vegas Boulevard South, bounded by McCarran Airport to the south and downtown and Fremont Street to the north. Taxis are abundant, but you can also walk to and from many of the Strip’s destinations along the roadway—there are pedestrian walking bridges over the busiest intersections.
When to Get There
If you’re flexible, head to the Strip between Sunday and Thursday when big conventions aren’t in town; you’ll have better room selection and rates are often lower. The weather is scorching in Las Vegas in summer and chiller than you’d expect in winter; July, August, and mid-December are considered off-season. Expect long wait times for taxis and dinner tables between 6 and 8pm each night. Vehicle traffic on the Strip is almost always busy, but especially so on weekends and holidays.
The Vegas Strip for First-Timers
There are two types of experiences when in Vegas: those brought about by spontaneity and chance, and those that must be had. For the latter, be sure to see the Mirage volcano explosion, lounge poolside with a tropical beverage, and try your hand at slots or table games. If you’ve never gambled, lessons offering insights on popular games’ rules, strategy, jargon, and etiquette are available in most of the casinos, and are a good starting point for first-timers. Ask for a schedule at your favorite casino’s customer service desk.