Las Vegas has just been crowned the best USA city for the budget-conscious traveler. Costs were calculated on average costs for a 4 star hotel, round-trip taxi, cocktails and dinner for two. The Trip Advisor survey studied 15 cities across America with Dallas and New Orleans the second and third cheapest cities. So long as you don’t go too mad on the local entertainment, Vegas should prove the ideal destination!
Cirque Du Soleil @ Las Vegas
The extraordinary movements performed by the Cirque Du Soleil acrobats should not be missed on a trip to Las Vegas. The Canadian dance-troupe extraordinaire bill themselves as a “dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment.” Visitors are able to view the Cirque Du Soleil shows at several of the hotels in Las Vegas. The shows include The Beatles Love show at the Mirage Hotel, Chriss Angel Believe at the Luxor, Ka at the MGM Grand, O at the Bellagio, Viva Elvis show at the Aria Resort, Mystere at Treasure Island and the Zumanity show at the New York-New York complex. The group formed in 1984 and their shows are phenomenal spectacles of beautiful costumes and innovative movements that are often awe inspiring. The longest running performance in the Cirque Du Soleil family is Mystere a show that displays remarkable aerobatics and innovative themes and has been a permanent billing at the Treasure Island Hotel since it opened in 1993. One of the newer shows is Zumanity which has been running since 2003 and is a power packed cabaret-style adults-only performance with a sensual twist to the standard Cirque Du Soleil show.
Black Canyon Springs and The Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam is a great daytime diversion when staying in the Las Vegas area. Built as a powerplant and water-dam system in 1936 the construction itself is of Art Deco style. The dam is about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas and daily powerplant tours are given to over one million visitors every year. You can also drive across the dam itself for an up close view.
Just downstream from the Hoover Dam is the Black Canyon Springs which is located in the Lake Mead National Recreation Park where visitors can try both the thermal springs and the regular springs. You can take a twelve mile boat tour as well which is an excellent opportunity to view the hot springs, desert and Willow Beach. Travelers are also able to view the majestic blue heron, big horn sheep and osprey during their trip down the river.
Las Vegas Shopping
Las Vegas offers an incomparable shopping experience with themed shopping destinations located in the Las Vegas hotels. One of the most popular destinations is the Grand Canal Shoppes located in the Venetian hotel. The location is lined with cobblestone walkways and illuminated skylights that display the beauty of calm summer day. Shoppers are able to enjoy a gondola ride along the quarter mile Grand Canal or simply window shop as they enjoy the beauty of the shopping destination. Just remember though, if you’re here on a budget-break, leave your credit cards behind and enjoy a window-shopping experience instead!
New York-New York Roller Coaster
Those that enjoy thrill rides must visit the roller coaster that surrounds the New York-New York Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. The ride extends to 230 feet in the air with a 140 feet drop at 67 mph. The ride also has a barrel roll that turns riders upside down similar to a jet fighters barrel rolling in the sky. And if you fancy getting hitched – ditch the local chapels in favour of a wedding on the roller coaster!
The Mirage Volcano
This is a free outdoor attraction display on the strip in front of the Mirage Hotel. The presentation is one of the oldest shows in Las Vegas and runs nightly. The show originally was a standard volcano, but has evolved to a stunning 3-D musical performance with famous producers brought onboard. Nightly eruptions are hourly from 8pm though to midnight.
By Julie Bowman