Sunday, December 8, 2013
"Las Vegas is a 24-hour city. It never stops." - Eli Roth
Las Vegas is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Nevada and the county seat of Clark County. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city known primarily for gambling, shopping, fine dining, and nightlife and is the leading financial and cultural center for Southern Nevada. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, and is famous for its consolidated casino–hotels and associated entertainment. A growing retirement and family city. Las Vegas is the 31st-most populous city in the United States. The 2010 population of the Las Vegas metropolitan area was 1,951,269. The city is one of the top three leading destinations in the United States for conventions, business, and meetings. Today, Las Vegas is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Established in 1905, Las Vegas was incorporated as a city in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, Las Vegas was the most populous American city founded in that century (a distinction held by Chicago in the 19th century). The city's tolerance for various forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and this image has made Las Vegas a popular setting for films and television programs. There are numerous outdoor lighting displays on Fremont Street, as well as elsewhere in the city. Las Vegas also is used to describe the city along with areas beyond the city limits, especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, and the Las Vegas Valley. The 4.2 mi stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip is in the unincorporated communities of Paradise, Winchester, and Enterprise.
1. The Fountains of Bellagio
The Fountains of Bellagio is a vast, choreographed water feature with performances set to light and music. The performances take place in front of the Bellagio hotel and are visible from numerous vantage points on the Strip, both from the street and neighboring structures.
The show takes place every 30 minutes in the afternoons and early evenings, and every 15 minutes from 8 pm to midnight. Before a water show starts, the nozzles break the water surface and the lights illuminating the hotel tower turn to a purple hue (usually), or red-white-and-blue for certain music. Shows may be cancelled without warning because of wind, although shows usually run with less power in face of wind. A single show may be skipped to avoid interference with a planned event. The fountain display is choreographed to various pieces of music, including "Time To Say Goodbye", "Your Song", "Viva Las Vegas", "Luck Be a Lady", and "My Heart Will Go On".
The fountains are set in a 8-acre man-made lake. Contrary to urban myth, the lake is not filled with treated greywater from the hotel. The lake is actually serviced by a freshwater well that was drilled decades prior to irrigate a golf course that previously existed on the site. The fountains actually use less water than irrigating the golf course did.
Four types of nozzles are used for the various effects:
Oarsmen – jets with a full range of spherical motion.
Shooters – shoot water upwards.
Super Shooters – send a water blast as high as 240 ft in the air.
Extreme Shooters – send a water blast as high as 460 ft in the air.
Night time is the best and there are a few different shows to different songs and it is just amazing. The Bellagio fountains are a must see attraction while in Vegas. Their show is possibly the best fountain show in the world; it is at least the best you will ever see. The view can be taken in directly in front or on the side, or can be seen across the street. Try to watch the show from the Paris tower once, you'll be very lucky if able to do so.
The show is put on every few minutes, so if you are walking the Strip and don't see the fountains going off, stop and wait for a few minutes. It won't take long for them to begin again. Finally, You have NOT been to Vegas if you haven't visited Bellagio Fountains.
2. Red Rock Canyon
A one-way loop road, 13 miles long, provides vehicle access to many of the features in the area. Several side roads and parking areas allow access to many of the trails located in the area. A visitor center is located at the start of the loop road. The loop road is very popular for bicycle touring; it begins with a moderate climb, then is mostly downhill or flat.
Red Rock Canyon itself is a side-canyon accessible only by a four-wheel-drive road off of the scenic loop. The unnamed but often-visited valley cut through by State Route 159 is commonly, but incorrectly, referred to as Red Rock Canyon. The massive wall of rock called the Wilson Cliffs, or Keystone Thrust, can be seen to the west along this highway. Towards the southern end of the National Conservation Area are Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, the western ghost town replica attraction of Bonnie Springs, and the village of Blue Diamond.
Southern Paiute 900 to modern times.
Patayan Culture 900 to early historic times in the 1800s.
Anasazi 1 AD to 1150.
Pinto/Gypsum (Archaic) 3500 BC to 1 AD.
San Dieguito 7000 to 5500 BC.
Paleo-Indians (Tule Springs) 11,000 to 8000 BC. Numerous petroglyphs as well as pottery fragments remain today throughout the area.
By 1990, special legislation changed the status of the Red Rock Recreation Lands to a National Conservation Area, which also provides funds used to maintain and protect it.
The conservation area is one of the easternmost parts of the Mojave Desert; the lowest elevation of the area, from 3,600 to 4,500 feet, is in the Lower Sonoran Zone, while the area from 4,500 feet up is in the Upper Sonoran Zone. The character of the sandstone layers is such that a number of year-round springs may be found in the recesses of the side canyons. Some 600 species of plants are known in the area. Common types in the valley floor include the Joshua tree, Mojave yucca, banana yucca, creosote, and blackbrush.
Wild burros are a familiar sight, as are rabbits and ground squirrels. Desert bighorn sheep are occasionally seen at higher elevations. During rare spring and summer rainstorms, tiny red-spotted toads can be seen emerging from pools of water. The Conservation Area is protected habitat for the Desert Tortoise. A mascot tortoise, named Mojave Max, was kept at the Visitors Center.
Red Rock provides a wide variety of activities, the most popular being hiking, biking, rock scrambling, and rock climbing. Horseback riding and camping are also allowed on specific trails and designated areas. Automobile and motorcycle clubs, such as Flat 4 LV (Subaru enthusiasts club) and Sin City Sportbikes, often do group drives through the 13-mile scenic drive. ATV use is not permitted in the area.
Aside from the obvious dangers from climbing rock faces and cliffs, visitors should know that temperatures can routinely exceed 105 °F (41 °C) in the summer, so bringing plenty of water is a must.
The climbs of Red Rock have a broad range. Not only are there many long, easy routes, making the area a common climbing training ground, but Red Rock also features many more difficult climbs as well. Popular sport climbing areas include the Calico Hills and Sandstone Quarry.
Red Rock also has a multitude of traditional climbing areas including single pitch areas such as Brass Wall and Necromancer Wall, along with multi-pitch areas such as Eagle Wall, Aeolian Wall, Mescalito, and Solar Slab Wall. Multi-day big wall aid climbs are featured on the Rainbow Wall. Red Rock has hiking trails and picnic areas. Trails are changed and diverted depending upon the needs of the ecosystem. In early spring, depending upon the precipitation, it is possible to see waterfalls on the edge of the canyons.
Given the city's lure of easy money and "Sin City" reputation, Las Vegas naturally attracts a lot of unsavory characters, as evidenced by its rather high violent crime rate: 647.0 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants in calendar year 2011 (according to the FBI's Crime in the United States report). This is substantially higher than big cities like Los Angeles and New York, where the comparable numbers were 405.4 and 406.0 in 2011. Naturally, the crimes that drive Vegas's numbers so high are robbery and aggravated assault. Be vigilant and do not leave any valuables visible in your car. If you are lucky enough to win a large jackpot, you can ask the casino to hold your winnings in its safe or to pay you with a check so that you are not walking out the door with a large amount of cash. If you insist on receiving all your winnings in cash, all casinos have security personnel available to escort you to your car or room upon request. Like most large tourism destinations, the Strip has its share of pickpockets and purse snatchers, so keep your wallet in a front pocket or keep a tight hold on your purse.
Major casinos are generally very safe. Casinos take security very seriously and have cameras recording almost every square inch of their property, as well as uniformed and plainclothes security personnel patrolling at all times. Make sure your hotel door is closed safely at night and use the deadbolt if one is provided. If there is knocking on the door at night, don't open it unless you are sure of the good intentions of the persons that knocked. They might just be drunk, but there could be more serious trouble. Remain calm and call security when necessary. Numerous people along Las Vegas Boulevard will attempt to hand you fliers advertising adult entertainment or prostitution services. Simply ignore them and they won't harm you, although they are profoundly annoying. Others will try to give you cards for free entry and/or drinks in the various clubs scattered throughout the Strip hotels. They usually work in groups, and if you accept cards from them, they will demand a tip.