Do you want to impress your family and friends with unforgettable pictures from your trip to Las Vegas? You know they’re going to ask to see them! So here’s a list of 10 of the most iconic spots in and around the city. These are must-visit places that should be prominently featured in your photo collection.
1. The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
Of course, this is the first place in town where you should snap a pic! The famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign has been in almost every movie and TV show filmed here. Designed by Betty Willis and erected in 1959, it’s located at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip (across from the Bali Hai Golf Club). In the past, you had to park at a nearby business and dash across several lanes of traffic. Now there’s a special parking area that you can safely drive into and out of – but spaces are limited. Access to the parking area is only available from the southbound side of the Las Vegas Strip.
2. The Fountains of Bellagio
Head north along the Strip until you get to a stunning Italian-themed resort fronted by a man-made lake. With dancing waters ingeniously choreographed to music, the Fountains of Bellagio are simply mesmerizing. It’s no wonder why they were featured in the closing scenes of the 2001 film “Oceans 11.” With shows occurring in the evenings every 15 minutes from 7 p.m. – midnight, you’ll pass at least an hour (maybe even longer!) in awe while you click off countless photos. It’s best to go after dark, as the fountains are at their most beautiful when enhanced by the lighting. And if you have the time, step inside the resort to snap a quick pic of the elaborate floral display in the Bellagio Conservatory.
3. The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas
Step across to the street to the French-themed Paris Las Vegas. Although this Eiffel Tower isn’t as tall as the original, it’s still an exact, half-size reproduction based on Gustav Eiffel’s designs. Get a photo from the observation deck, which sits about 450 feet above the Strip. The elevator ride up is breathtaking, as are the 360-degree views of the city, mountains and the Strip (including the Fountains of Bellagio from a bird’s-eye perspective!).
4. The canals at The Venetian
Walk several blocks south until you reach the re-creation of another beloved European city at The Venetian. Wander inside and stroll the cobblestone streets lining a pleasant canal system. With the nearby bridges, balconies and an array of stores and cafés, it makes for an enchanting Old World setting. In addition, you’ll see authentic gondolas cruising the waterways – both inside and outside the resort. For $16 you can hop on board and not only have one of the charming gondoliers (many of whom are from Italy) take your picture, but they’ll also sing to you!
5. The volcano at The Mirage
Do you feel the heat coming from the other side of the street? Mosey over to The Mirage to check out its renowned volcano. During the day, water cascades down its sides…but at night – every hour on the hour from dusk until midnight – it spews flames more than 60 feet in the air. You’ll also notice 150 specially designed “FireShooters,” which spurt fireballs choreographed to original music by classical Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain and the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart. This incredible display of fire and smoke is definitely worth a photo.
6. The Stratosphere Tower
Get your wide-angle lens ready! Rising 1,149 feet in the air, the Stratosphere Tower is an awesome place to capture a sprawling view of the city. The elevator ride goes up more than 100 floors and takes less than a minute. There are indoor and outdoor observation decks. Although the valley is breathtaking by day, you should try to go at sunset. As the sun dips behind the mountains, you’ll be enchanted watching all the lights along the Strip and in downtown come on. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try one of four terrifying thrill rides: SkyJump, Insanity, X-Scream and Big Shot. Bear in mind: A daredevil moment on any of these must be caught on film.
7. Fremont Street Experience
Want a well-lit photo? Then be sure to stop by this unique attraction in downtown Las Vegas. Fremont Street Experience features an overhead canopy that extends five football fields in length and is comprised of more than 12.5 million synchronized LED modules. Every hour from dusk until midnight, you’ll be able to enjoy free shows boasting animated display technology and a 550,000-watt sound system. Several vintage neon signs can be found on or near Fremont Street Experience as well. Check out Vegas Vic, the giant cowboy that was once the world’s largest mechanical neon sign. He’s at the west end of Fremont Street. Or stroll through the Neon Museum’s installation of nine refurbished signs. Located near Las Vegas Boulevard at Fremont Street, you’ll spy the well-known Aladdin’s lamp and the Hacienda’s horse and rider as part of the collection.
8. Binion’s $1 million cash display
While you’re in downtown Las Vegas, drop in this landmark casino, where you’ll have the chance get up close and personal with a whole lot of cash. This display has been a longstanding tradition at Binion’s. First, you’ll have to register for casino’s Club Binion’s players card, which is quick, easy and free. Then a staff member will take a photo of your grinning face while you stand next to towering stacks of green paper. Like the players card, the souvenir photo is free. It’s offered daily from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
9. Hoover Dam
Located about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas (via U.S. Highway 93 and State Route 172), this gigantic, 6.6-million-ton concrete dam that reigns in the Colorado River is spectacular, especially with Lake Mead forming the backdrop. On top of Hoover Dam, there is a plaque that was installed in 1955 declaring it a “Modern Civil Engineering Wonder of the United States” and marking the stateline. Put one foot on the Nevada side and one on the Arizona side, so you can shoot a photo while straddling two states. And now, thanks to the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, you can also get an aerial photo of Hoover Dam. The longest single-
10. Red Rock Canyon
You’ll be astonished by the giant and multi-hued rock formations found in this national conservation area (the first in the state of Nevada), which is located about a half hour from Las Vegas. The easiest way to get to Red Rock Canyon is by taking Charleston Boulevard west to State Route 159. A $7 entry fee is charged per vehicle at the visitor’s center. This allows you access to a 13-mile, one-way scenic loop. It winds through the fiery-colored grounds offering many viewpoints and vistas that are certainly photo-worthy.