This is the ultimate Las Vegas travel guide. If you are looking to have a great time in the entertainment capital of the world in 2018, this Las Vegas travel guide is all you need. We provide you with advice on hotels, casinos, shows, restaurants, and shops in Las Vegas.
General Information of Las Vegas
Las Vegas may be one of the greatest places about America. It is easy to travel to, get around and boy is there a lot to see. From casinos, to luxury hotels, to restaurants, to shows, to street performers, to shops – Las Vegas has it all. There are lots of great things to do outside of Las Vegas as well, such as the Hoover Dam, but let us focus on the gem itself.
Las Vegas means the meadows in Spanish, although the city is actually in Nevada’s Mojave Desert. The name was given to the area by Rafael Rivera who was traveling from New Mexico to Los Angeles with the Antonio Armijo trading party in 1821. The urbanization of Las Vegas started in the early 20th century. Many farmers and workers were attracted to the area by Los Angeles Salt Lake Railroad. The city of Las Vegas was incorporated in 1911. The construction of Hoover Dam, formerly Boulder Dam, also brought a large number of workers to the city in 1930s. Believe it or not, the casinos in Las Vegas were initially built for the workers mostly by the Mafia. The arrival of Howard Hughes in the 1960s turned Las Vegas into a resort city featuring large-scale attractions and vibrant nightlife.
Las Vegas has a population of about 632,000 according to the United States Census Bureau, however, the city hosts more than 40 million visitors each year. You can’t talk about Las Vegas without mentioning its huge tourism and gaming industry. Tourists spend about $60 billion per year in Las Vegas.
Things to Do in Las Vegas
What is there you can’t do after traveling to Las Vegas? You can gamble. You can go see shows, from kid-friendly to risqué. You can shop for outlet mall bargain dresses to unique watches. You can gorge yourself on cheap buffets or sample fancy tapas menus. You can even skydive in Las Vegas.
For most people, seeing shows is part of their plans after traveling to the entertainment capital of the world. Here are the best shows in Las Vegas:
- Ka Show
- O Show
- Le Reve Show
Las Vegas Hotels
There is a variety of places you can stay in Vegas: on the Strip, off the Strip, budget hotels, luxury hotels, casino hotels, hotels beside casinos but not attached to them….The list is never-ending. If you are on a family holiday, check which casinos are hosting child-friendly shows. These casinos usually have other attractions for your children in addition to the shows. It also helps to stay in the casino in which you have a lot of attractions planned to reduce the time and money spent traveling up and down the Strip. If you are on vacation with your significant other, look into staying at a hotel on the Strip that is not directly attached to a casino. These hotels tend to be nicer, quieter and with very little foot traffic from non-guests.
Las Vegas Strip Hotels
The Strip is the focal point in Las Vegas and it is approximately 4 miles in length. Here is a travel guide to the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip:
- Flamingo Las Vegas
- The Linq
- Planet Hollywood
- Caesars Palace
- Circus Circus
- Best Western Plus Casino Royale
- The Cromwell
- The Mirage
- Treasure Island
- MGM Grand
- Park MGM
- New York – New York
- Mandalay Bay
- The Venetian
- The Palazzo
- Resorts World
- The Drew
You can also read our detailed review of Las Vegas Strip hotels for more information.
Las Vegas Strip Hotel Map
Here is a very large guide map of Las Vegas Strip Hotels. This guide map is for illustrative purposes only. The names of Las Vegas Strip hotels are in pink color on the map below.
Downtown Las Vegas Hotel Map
Here is a guide map of Downtown Las Vegas Hotels. The names of Downtown Las Vegas Hotels are in pink color on the guide map. Fremont Street Experience is located in downtown Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Hotels Near Airport
Here is a list of Las Vegas hotels near McCarran International Airport.
- Mandalay Bay
- Luxor Hotel & Casino
- Excalibur Hotel & Casino
- Tropicana Las Vegas
- Desert Rose Resort
- New York-New York Hotel & Casino
- MGM Grand
- Park MGM Las Vegas
- The Signature at MGM Grand
- Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas
- ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas
- The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
- Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
- Elara by Hilton Grand Vacations
- Vdara Hotel & Spa
- Marriott’s Grand Chateau
- Wyndham Grand Desert
- Alexis Park All Suite Resort
- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Taking a Taxicab in Las Vegas
While it is easy to get around Vegas without taking a taxicab, it is also easy to get one. If it is very hot outside, you are traveling a distance, or dressed to the nines, taking a taxicab is a great option. All casinos have a cab stand open 24 hours a day outside of their hotel registration area. Even if you are not staying there or even gambling there, the attendant will call a cab for you. Usually, there is a line of cabs just waiting to whisk you away – no waiting required! If you are too far from a cab stand, you can always call one from the street. However, going to a cab stand is the safest and easiest way to get one. Here is a complete list of taxicab companies in Las Vegas and their phone numbers:
- A Cab Las Vegas, 1-702-369-5686
- Frias Transportion Management, 1-702-888-4888
- Yellow Checker Star, 1-702-873-2000
- Deluxe Taxicab Service, 1-702-568-7700:
- Desert Cab, Inc., 1-702-386-9102
- Lucky Cab Company, 1-702-477-7555
- Nellis Cab Company, 1-702-248-1111
- Western Cab Company, 1-702-736-8000
- Whittlesea Blue Cab, 1-702-384-6111
If you want to take a cab at the McCarran International Airport, please continue to read the following section.
Las Vegas Airport Travel Information
McCarran International Airport (IATA: LAS, ICAO: KLAS, FAA LID: LAS) is the primary airport serving Las Vegas. It is on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. You can take a taxicab or a shuttle from the airport to your hotel. You can also rent a vehicle once you arrive at the Las Vegas airport. Airport personnel are available by baggage claim to answer any questions and assist travelers with directions. Terminal 1 and terminal 3 of McCarran International Airport are currently operational. Terminal 2 is no longer in use.
Terminal 1 serves the following airlines:
- Allegiant Air
- American Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
Terminal 3 serves the following airlines:
- Air Canada
- British Airways
- Hainan Airlines
- Korean Air
- Latam Airlines
- Norwegian Air Shuttle
- Thomas Cook Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Viva Aerobus
- Alaska Airlines
- Cal Jet Elite Air
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- JetBlue Airways
- Omni Air International
- Sun Country Airlines
- United Airlines
If a taxicab is required upon arrival at the Las Vegas airport, you can always find one at one of the following locations:
- Terminal 1: On the east side of baggage claim, outside door exits number 1 to 4.
- Terminal 3: Outside on Level Zero. Taxis serve domestic travelers on the west end of the building and international travelers on the east side of the building.
What to Wear in Las Vegas
Anything is possible in Vegas and the weather can change dramatically from time to time. Las Vegas is in the desert and the temperatures can swing! It’s hot during the day and cool at night. Dressing in layers is highly recommended, as even when it is hot outside, the casinos will be ice cold. Comfortable clothing is also recommended because even if you take cabs everywhere you go, you will be doing a lot of walking inside of the casinos.