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The spectacular Strip is synonymous with the city of Las Vegas, a world unto itself where anything is possible. The success of a single casino in 1941 laid the seeds for what would eventually become the extraordinary and unparalleled Las Vegas Strip, a cultural phenomenon that attracted legendary musicians, top-notch hoteliers and a whole host of colorful characters, their stories interwoven into the very fabric of the city. This stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard is bejeweled with luxury hotels the likes of which are found nowhere else, entertainment venues that host some of the world's top acts, and attractions that run the gamut from the dancing fountains of the Bellagio to the dazzling lights of the Fremont Street Experience. Here, it's possible to enjoy a gondola ride down Venetian canals, tour the amazonian forests and admire the Eiffel Tower in a single day; a replica of some of the world's wonders packed into a single street. The Strip's 30 odd casinos are a whirlwind of flashing lights where time holds no sway and fortunes are won with the roll of a dice or the spin of a wheel, while world-renown restaurants, shopping centers, nightclubs and arenas vie for attention too. So grand is the spectacle, that the Strip is clearly visible from the sky, its glimmering facades, brilliant lights and distinctive architecture unmistakable as anything else.
A visual water symphony choreographed to music provides an unforgettable welcome to the Bellagio Hotel Casino. The water jets span more than 1000 feet (304 meters) and can shoot up to 250 feet (76 meters) in the air while seeming to dance to choreographed lights and romantic classical music. It is a spectacular sight and one worth taking the time to view while strolling along the boulevard. As evening sets in, the lit up fountain is a sight to behold. Be sure to bring a camera as this is one of Vegas' best attractions - and it's free! The magic happens every 30 minutes until 8 PM, after which shows are every 15 minutes. Please note that shows may stray from this schedule due to the weather.
Located on a lush 15-acre (six-hectare) landscape at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino, this wildlife habitat is home to exotic birds, fish and turtles, rare to find in the Nevada desert. Surrounded by waterfalls and breathtaking flora, explore ponds filled with koi fish and turtles, and islands dotted with pelicans, ducks and swans. The flamingo island, home to a flamboyant flock of pink flamingos is especially popular. This attraction promises an enjoyable time for the whole family. Admission is free.
Are you in Paris or Las Vegas? Ride to the peak of the 46-story replica of the Eiffel Tower in the glass elevators and you'll find you're in both places at once! At the observation deck on top, you will behold a breathtaking view of the Las Vegas Strip from 540 feet (165 meters) up. The 11th-floor Eiffel Tower Restaurant is formal dining at its finest; reservations are necessary. Tickets are available at the Tower.
The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden is one of Las Vegas' claims to fame. The garden is a sanctuary to more than 7,500 flowers, which are well-kept by 140 horticulturists. With its beautifully placed gazebos, ponds, bridges and water fountains, it's a refreshing oasis amidst the city. It's a delight to stroll through this riot of colors during the day with the light pouring in from the glass ceiling. The night tours are equally exotic with the stars overhead giving the garden a tranquil, fairy-tale feel.
By far the most famous attraction at the Mirage Hotel is its Volcano. It's the closest it could be to a real volcano. Amidst three acres (1.2 hectares) of water, the volcano comes to life several times every night. It shoots up 54 feet (16.4 meters), spraying smoke and fire. The water below is transformed into streams of "molten lava" as tribal music rounds out the whole experience. Admission is free of charge.
Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is a tropical paradise dedicated to the wild things. You will find many exotic animals housed here, from panthers and leopards to elephants and tigers. This exhibit is presented in an effort to spotlight the need to protect vanishing species. There's also the intriguing Dolphin Habitat. You will thoroughly enjoy watching the antics of these amazing creatures that love to show off for onlookers.
The Fremont Street area of Las Vegas is located downtown, north of the famed Vegas Strip. Here you will find Las Vegas' original strip with classic casinos, hotels, restaurants, and shopping. To attract more tourists away from The Strip, the Fremont Street Experience was created. The massive entertainment venue is home to Viva Vision, the spectacular light and music show. Using over 12.5 million lights projecting onto a 500-yard-long (457-meter-long) canopy 90 feet (27 meters) above the ground and a 550,000 watt sound system, it truly makes Fremont Street a prime attraction. Shows are free and play every night, making your time on Fremont Street all the more exciting. Keep your head and do not miss the famed Vegas Vic, the neon sign that looks like a cowboy. Made in 1951, the sign has ruled over Fremont Street since it was put up.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located just a few miles west of Las Vegas, is named after the deep red 3,000-foot (914.4 meters) high sandstone cliffs that are perched above the dusty wastelands of the mighty Mojave Desert that encompasses it. The site has served as ancestral homes for the tribes of Paiute, Patayan, Anasazi, San Dieguito and Pinto since 11,000 BCE and thus features a diverse and rich network of vivid petroglyphs that can be been scattered all along its canyons, making the conservation area a popular destination for admirers of Native Indian culture and traditions. An ecosystem rich in flora and fauna, the Utah desert-parsley, the Mojave yucca, the ponderosa pine, the desert bighorn sheep and the endangered desert tortoise are some of its most notable inhabitants.