Last week I talked about the joys of old Vegas on a budget. After my friends and I left old Vegas behind, we spent the rest of our trip on the Las Vegas Strip, where every casino is doing their best to lure you into their building with attractions, odd architecture, shows and neon lights.
The Flamingo hotel has an animal conservatory free to access featuring their namesake — a flock of flamingos. At the Venetian, they’ve recreated the canals of Venice with gondolas and opera singing gondoliers. It costs money to actually ride a gondola but it’s free to watch and listen. Caesars Palace features a mall consisting of very posh stores and decor that would fit in perfectly in ancient Rome and a free show called the Fall of Atlantis, which had a tad too much talking that I couldn’t hear very well, though the animatronic guy with a flaming sword was neat. Circus Circus has free circus styled acts in the middle of their casino; we saw trapeze artists. The Mirage has an impressive erupting volcano in front of their hotel. Treasure Island has pirates and pirate ships and puts on a free show in front of their building but you need to get their early if you want a good view. (I didn’t actually see this one on my recent trip but when I saw it when I was 12 it was amazing.)
But by far my favorite attractions in Vegas were at the Bellagio. We spent hours watching the dancing waters of Bellagio fountain. The massive fountains, lit up and choreographed with music, are free to the public and the shows are often. The Bellagio also had another fun free feature, a conservatory filled with flower displays that change every few months. When I was there it looked like it was a Dutch theme with tulips and windmills, giant swans and bees made of flowers.
And of course I had to walk the strip with my camera. Where else can you see the Eiffel Tower, a pyramid, a sphinx, a medieval castle and the skyline of New York all within a few miles of each other? The strip is deceptively long — a few miles — and it’s not all a strait shot either. There are curves, corners, crosswalks, escalators, elevators and more stairs than I cared for. But that brings me to my last piece of advice — wear comfortable shoes. I walked so much that I got a blister, and I was wearing extremely sensible shoes. Personally, I thought the pain was worth it but then again you might feel like splurging and getting a taxi.