Las Vegas used to be all about the gambling, but while the blackjack tables and gaming are still a huge part of the action on the infamous Strip - the 6km stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard between Russell Road and Sahara Avenue - it is now partly about the luxury. The shopping, high-end spa treatments, celebrity-chef eateries, and headliner shows are what travellers increasingly buy airline tickets to Las Vegas for.
A world-class city, Las Vegas is the only place on earth where you can view a dazzling light show that takes in an entire street, take a ride in a gondola or see a volcano erupt, all in the same day. It's also the place to see an Eiffel Tower and Sphinx without hopping on a plane.
Beyond the glitz and the neon lights, there is plenty of nature to explore. Many travellers pencil in a visit to the Red Rock National Conservation area, Lake Mead National Recreation area and Mount Charleston, all a quick drive from the hotels and casinos.
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Las Vegas has a classic desert climate. Temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) during the summer months and it can be humid. Spring and fall are considered ideal times to take cheap flights to Las Vegas. The temperatures are mild. Winters are mild too.
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- Helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Las Vegas Strip depart every few minutes. Some are luxury affairs, with free limo upgrade and champagne picnic lunches.
- Flyaway is one of the very few places in the world where you can skydive indoors. A book of five flights costs a couple of hundred dollars.
- A boat tour of Lake Mead will take you from the Hoover Dam to the entrance to the Grand Canyon and back.
- Las Vegas has a wealth of museums such as the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum and Liberace Museum. The museum boasts a rare piano collection, antiques, jewellery, customised automobiles and elaborate costumes.
- The Stratosphere Tower is the tallest observation tower in the U.S. There are thrilling rides such as the Big Shot, that shoots passengers straight up 48 metres at more than 4 Gs until they are 330 metres above the Las Vegas Strip and the X-Scream, an enormous teeter-totter that propels you 8 metres over the edge of the Tower, 263 metres above the ground. The Observation Deck is the tallest free-standing observation tower in the U.S.
- To improve your chances at the roulette wheel or craps table, take a gaming class once you've settled in after your cheap flights to Las Vegas. Several hotels offer them free.
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