WHY WE LOVE IT
- Excess, madness, extreme extravagance—the gambling capital of the world is deliciously, deliriously over-the-top.
- Unbelievable hotels with every amenity. Top spas. Famous chefs vying to open ever more fabulous restaurants. Countless casinos.
- Visit Venice, Paris, New York and Egypt without leaving Nevada.
- Mind-blowing theatrics—from Cirque du Soleil to Monty Python's Spamalot.
- This is the city that really never sleeps, with a celebrity club scene like no other.
- Shop-till-you-drop retail that's as over-the-top as the rest of the town.
WHEN TO GO
Go anytime: There is no off-season. In fact, there are hardly any seasons at all, though the desert heat is most intense from June through September. Las Vegas attracts megaconventions year-round, so the city has one of the country's highest hotel-room occupancy rates. As soon as you decide when you want to come, book your hotel of choice so you won't be disappointed.
WHAT TO PACK
Las Vegas is famed for its virtual environments, and you can wear virtually anything in them. No one cares if you don your Blahniks for breakfast or wear designer jeans for a night on the town. But this is a great place to roll out your hottest, most outrageous duds. Pack a sweater or wrap, even in summer. Las Vegas doesn't stint on anything—air-conditioning included.
And don't forget comfortable shoes. Whether you're walking through shopping malls, strolling between resorts on the Strip or even going back and forth from your hotel's porte cochere to your room past the vast casino, the pedometer will be ticking away. Save your feet for when it counts: club time!
The possibilities for things to see and do in Las Vegas can be mind-boggling. Two top resources for information in advance of your trip are Lasvegas.com and the official Web site of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association (visitlasvegas.com). If you have a specific question, try the Las Vegas information hotline (702-892-0711).
Once in town, the Las Vegas Visitor Information Center (3150 Paradise Rd.; 702-892-7575) is a good resource. But your hotel concierge stand is likely to be the best—and most convenient—place to go for information.
GETTING MARRIED IN LAS VEGAS
There's a reason so many couples get married in Las Vegas: It's easy. You don't need a blood test, and there's no waiting period. What you do need:
- Proof of age (driver's license, passport or birth certificate).
- Social Security number.
- Parental consent and a court order if you're under 18.
Get your license ($55 in cash) at the Clark County Marriage Bureau (201 Clark Ave.; 702-671-0600; co.clark.nv.us/clerk/marriage_information.htm), open from 8 a.m. to midnight daily.