Las Vegas Holidays
Ding ding ding ding ding? Whoosh? Or tap tap tap?
Many visitors to one of the bulb-blinkiest, card-playiest, showgirl-featheriest places on the planet speak first to the sights of the famous Strip, known in more staid corners as Las Vegas Boulevard. But let us start with a slightly different question: What sound do you associate with Sin City?
The ding ding ding ding ding should be instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever set foot in one of the Nevada playground's casinos. Somewhere, at all hours of the day, a slot machine is making its distinctive, pitch-bright ding ding ding, though tones and rhythms may vary. Other sounds of the casino? The blackjack dealers laying down cards, slap, slap, slap; beer bottles clinking in the sports book as fans watch the ponies race on the big screens; and the squeals and groans emitting from the craps table.
The tap tap tap? It's the sound of a magician thrumming his wand against his upturned top hat, waiting for a shy rabbit to appear. It's the sound of a singer tapping a microphone, to see if this thing is on. It's the dancers who don a thousand sequins and hundreds of feathers and softshoe at one of the city's many stages and in the over-the-top music and comedy productions. For while Las Vegas is often portrayed by a deck of cards or a spread of poker chips, it is equally about its razzmatazz, its neon-dazzle, and its faded-but-not-gone Rat Pack-era glamour.
And the whoosh? That's the wind in the passing over Hoover Dam, one of history's great engineering projects and one of the must-see sights off the Strip. It's the sound of a welcome breeze passing through Red Rock Canyon, one of Nevada's most beautiful natural destinations, or the Valley of Fire, another hike-nice getaway that makes a peaceful respite from the faux-night of the casinos. And another whoosh? Sailing over Lake Mead, or rafting the Colorado, or making the bigger jump to the Grand Canyon, which tourists regularly do over a day or two.
Las Vegas is a city so fabled and so fictional that its reputation not only precedes it, it practically has its own address and personal staff. So finding what you love – the glitter, the showmanship, the desert history, the Bugsy Siegel stories, the Howard Hughes tales, the building of Hoover Dam, the reviving of countless celebrities' careers – may take a moment of quiet and reflection in a city that truly is up at all hours.
That's why we recommend falling silent, for a moment, and listening for the ding ding ding ding ding or the tap tap tap or the whoosh. The visual stimulation of Las Vegas cannot be topped, period. So tuning in on another level can help the Sin City visitor digest all of the lit-up, dice-rolling, buffet-style madness just a bit better. It's pretty yummy, if you don't gorge from the outset. Pause between bites, we say.
Las Vegas Time LapseA time lapse look at the Strip in Vegas shot by Benson and Jason Ma
A Little Las Vegas Luxury
*rates above are daily double room rates based on dates: 02-07-2013 to 05-07-2013.
Lonely Planet Las Vegas iPhone App
Lonely Planet's Las Vegas city guide app is the perfect on-the-go guide to get you to the heart of Las Vegas. Featuring all the top sights plus where to eat, sleep, shop and go out, researched and road-tested by their team of expert authors. And with their location-aware maps, you'll know exactly where you are, what's nearby, and how to get there - all without requiring an internet connection or incurring any data fees.
Download the Las Vegas Lonely Planet iPhone App from iTunes.
Las Vegas ResourcesGigapan Las Vegas - check out Bill Bailey's 616-image composite of Las Vegas shot from the 61st floor of the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas Hotels - check out a range of Las Vegas finest accommodation options with Las Vegas travel
Lonely Planet Las Vegas - the biggie guidebook's take on Sin City
The Bellagio - inspired by the Lake Como town of Bellagio in Italy, Bellagio is famed for its elegance
The Luxor - another of the big players on the strip, the Luxor is the second largest hotel in Las Vegas and the eighth largest in the world
Visit Las Vegas - what happens in Vegas...makes it on Visit Las Vegas