“I’ve visited Las Vegas probably 20 times—and stayed in 20 different resorts. Whenever a AAA member asks about Vegas, my colleagues send them my way.” — Robin Olenick, AAA Travel Agent, Pennsylvania
“My wife and I have lived in Las Vegas since 2008, so 14 years. [Our kids [ages 3, 5 and 8] love the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.” — Matt Phelps, MGM Resorts, Las Vegas
Book the perfect lodging by asking yourself: “Who am I traveling with?” and “What am I looking for?”
Family trip? Look for a resort with numerous casual dining options and a food court. Check out the swimming pools and water-play areas. Mandalay Bay has one of the largest pool complexes in the city, including a wave pool and a beach. MGM Grand has a great family-oriented pool and a lazy river.
Romantic getaway? Choose a resort that caters to adults and has a high-end vibe. The Bellagio and ARIA are both appealing options. And now is not the time to skimp: book a resort with atmosphere and amenities for a memorable stay—and spend extra for an ultra-special room or suite.
Going for glitz? Pick a resort with a fun, over-the-top theme. The castle-like Excalibur features the Tournament of Kings dinner show. New York New York brings the city to you and showcases dining options with an NYC accent. The Venetian transports guests to Renaissance-era Italy, complete with a spectacular re-creation of St. Mark’s Square and serenading gondoliers.
Healthier digs? Park MGM recently announced that is has gone smoke-free throughout the resort—casino included—a first in Sin City. Reserve a room on the Stay Well floor to enjoy upgraded amenities to help you breathe better, sleep more soundly, and eat more nutritiously.
These in-residence shows and 2022 headliners are worth a trip to The Strip.
Cirque du Soleil—From humble origins in the 1980s near Québec City, this entertainment innovator has brought its unique showmanship worldwide. But Vegas is the only destination to feature five permanent shows: The Beatles LOVE, Mystère, O, Michael Jackson ONE, and KÀ. See one or see them all.
- Donny Osmond stars in his first-ever solo residency.
- Legendary illusionist David Copperfield is back in town—but only until April.
- Usher performs up-close-and-personal in the 4,300-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
- Headliners Carrie Underwood and Katy Perry started residencies at Resorts World in December; Luke Bryan arrives for his on February 11.
Cheer on the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium or go on a guided tour that takes in the locker rooms, broadcast booth, private suites and clubs, and more.
The Bellagio is a feast for the senses. Outside, the Fountains of Bellagio put on a show every 15 to 30 minutes. Indoors, stroll through the magnificent Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden, where the displays change seasonally.
View Las Vegas from 550 feet up on the High Roller observation wheel—the largest in North America, naturally.
Downtown’s Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall features free live music as well as Viva Vision music and light shows nightly from 6PM to 2AM. There are also casinos, restaurants, and SlotZilla—an 11-story slot-machine-themed zip-line experience.
Take the mandatory selfie at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada sign, a landmark at the south end of the Strip that dates to 1959. The letters spelling out “Welcome” appear in neon circles that represent silver dollars, a nod to Nevada’s moniker “the Silver State.” Solar panels provide all the green energy needed to power the sign.
VEGAS BY THE NUMBERS*
- 42.5 million—number of annual visitors
- 9—percentage of visitors who return four to five times a year
- 247 years—time it would take to spend one night in every hotel room on the Strip
- $591—average budget for gambling per person (of those who gambled)
- 33,922—number of slot machines on the Strip
- 50 tons—weight of the bronze lion that fronts the MGM Grand
*Source: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
A version of this article will appear in the March/April 2022 edition ofAAA World.