Las Vegas is famous around the world for its upmarket casinos, where vacations are made or destroyed on the roll of a dice or the turn of a card. But gambling isn’t all this desert oasis has to offer.
Plenty of Nevada visitors feel that sinking feeling as they sit at the blackjack table, but to feel it for real you have to step outside and check out the SkyJump at the Stratosphere. Hurl yourself over the edge of the building and you’ll fall 108-storeys before slowly landing at the bottom thanks to a pair of cables that ensure your safety.
As you slow down you’ll have a chance to see the Las Vegas skyline from above and can even choose whether to take the plunge in the burning Nevada daylight or by the neon nightlights of the Strip. This ride is open until late.
Alternatively, check out the New York-themed roller coaster at New York-New York. Sitting in what at first glance appears to be a yellow taxi cab, you’ll climb 200 feet before dropping into a hair-raising series of twists and spirals. If you want, you can even get married on it.
Getting married is, of course, another notorious escapade during Las Vegas holidays. The Graceland Wedding Chapel is famous around the world after appearing in films like The Hangover, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fools Rush In. It’s also the wedding-venue of choice for Bon Jovi, Billy Ray Cyrus and Rob Zombie. And, of course, it’s known for providing Elvis impersonators to perform the ceremony.
If you’re thinking about getting married and suspect that you would have a change of heart if someone threw ice water over you, head along to the Adventuredome at Circus Circus. There you’ll find the Rim Runner; a soothing ride along a gentle stream that climaxes with a drop down a 60-foot waterfall.
For something a little less physical, check out a Las Vegas show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Modeled after New York’s Madison Square Garden, this venue has played host to artists like Elton John, Backstreet Boys and Bon Jovi, as well as sports events and rodeos. If you’re visiting for a few days, check out some of the other big show venues as well – Vegas is nearly as well known for concerts by global megastars as it is for gambling.
Finally, why not visit some of the city’s museums. Unlike more traditional city break destinations, Las Vegas tends to house its exhibits inside the hotels. At The Mandalay Bay hotel you can visit Shark Reef, or even swim with the fish if it takes your fancy.
Alternatively, visit the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art Museum for some classical culture or find out about Nevada’s plant and animal life at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.