2. History Prehistoric Southern Nevada was a virtual marsh of abundant water and vegetation. As eons passed, the marsh receded. Rivers disappeared beneath the surface. The once teeming wetlands evolved into a parched, arid landscape that supported only the hardiest of plants and animals. Water trapped underground in the complicated geologic formations of the Las Vegas Valley sporadically surfaced to nourish luxuriant plants, creating an oasis in the desert as the life- giving water flowed to the Colorado River. Construction workers in 1993 discovered the remains of a Columbian mammoth that roamed the area during prehistoric times. Paleontologists estimate the bones to be 8,000 to 15,000 years old. Hidden for centuries from all but native Americans, the Las Vegas Valley oasis was protected from discovery by the surrounding harsh and unforgiving Mojave Desert. Mexican trader Antonio Armijo, leading a 60-man party along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles in 1829, veered from the accepted route. While Armijo's caravan was camped Christmas Day about 100 miles northeast of present day Las Vegas, a scouting party rode west in search of water. An experienced young Mexican scout, Rafael Rivera, left the main party and ventured into the unexplored desert. Within two weeks, he discovered Las Vegas Springs
3. Atmosphere Las Vegas is internationally known as the city that does not sleep, with lights beaming everywhere, legal prostitution offered nearby, and gambling taking place at every market, dry cleaner and hotel. This past weekend, I traveled into this sinful hole with the intentions that I would be responsible and honest to my upstanding character. I really wanted to stay away from the corruption and scandals that mark this community as so unrespectable. And though I knew I would be surrounded by some very bad things, I promised myself that I would not cross over to the dark side. As soon as I entered the MGM Grand Hotel, however, this promise I made to myself was broken when I heard, &quot;Excuse me, sir... can we get you a drink while you gamble?&quot; Somehow, when I heard those words, I had fallen victim to the needful ways of the city before I even knew it. The slot machines, the roulette wheels, the card tables, and the sounds of coins hitting other coins put me into a trance, and as I inadvertently walked over to a slot machine and began to put money into it, I was approached by a waitress who was willing to serve me free drinks. What had I done? What had I become? Why had I succumbed to the standards of this dirty place? Most importantly, though, where had my willpower gone?
4. Attractions Las Vegas is about entertainment and what better way to have a great time than by seeing a Las Vegas show. All the best entertainers in the world come to Las Vegas and its time you reserved a spot at one of the many Las Vegas shows available. If you need times, prices, venues or a synopsis on any show click on the appropriate title of the Las Vegas show you want to see.
5. SHOPPING Town Square Las Vegas Town Square Las Vegas, developed by Turnberry Associates and Centra Properties, is an open-air shopping, dining and entertainment center on the Las Vegas Strip at the Intersection of I-15 and the 215 Beltway. An eclectic mix of retailers comprise Town Square Las Vegas including, H&M, Apple, bebe, Chico's, Express, Guitar Center, Lucky Brand Jeans, Marciano, Martin + Osa, Metropark, Michael Stars, an 18-screen Rave Motion Pictures, Sephora, White House | Black Market and more. Borders Books, Whole Foods Market, Robb & Stucky and many others will debut at various times through the spring. ElevenSpa Vegas also will open a large day spa on site. Town Square Las Vegas features an interactive children's park, Town Square Park for special events and Class A office space
6. Nightlife Club hopping is best when you don’t have to walk too far with the rest of the crowds. For best results, choose a clump of connected hotels (many feature skyways or indoor walkways) or at least hotels near each other. A nice sampling of the best Las Vegas clubs are located in the middle of the Strip at the Bellagio ( Bank ), Paris ( Risque ), Planet Hollywood ( Asia or Triq ). The best clubs in Las Vegas can also be found in another clump—Mandalay Bay ( Foundation Room or Eye Candy ), Luxor ( LAX or Cathouse ), Excalibur , New York New York ( Coyote Ugly ), and MGM Grand ( Tabu or Studio 54 ).
7. Hotels and Accommodations Billed as “the ultimate address in Las Vegas,” The Trump International Hotel and Tower Las Vegas has a prominent place on the legendary Las Vegas Strip. The 64-story hotel-condominium Trump Hotel Las Vegas is located right where Fashion Show Boulevard meets the Strip .
8. Restaurants Golden Steer Steak House Established in 1958 Golden Steer is the oldest Steak House in Las Vegas. Enjoy great steaks and step back in time at the former hangout of &quot;the Rat Pack&quot;. Indigo Joe's Sports Pub & Restaurant Over 20 beers on tap, a full bar, and a menu that ranges from our signature salads and chicken wings to chargrilled sandwiches and CERTIFIED ANGUS BEEF® steaks and burgers Tasty Island Jamaican Restaurant &quot;Dreaming of Jamaican food? Wake up and go to Tasty Island.&quot; Max Jacobson, Las Vegas Weekly
9. How to get around The Trolleys The Trolleys do not stop at all hotels, but there are stops at most of the larger ones - from the Stratosphere on the North to Ballys at center Strip, to Mandalay Bay at the South end of the Strip. The Trolleys run the complete length of the Strip every 30 minutes or so. Also, you can transfer over to the South Loop Trolley at Mandalay Bay and go to the Outlet Mall south of McCarran and to Southcoast Casino; or you can transfer at the Downtown Terminal to the North Loop Trolley and go to the World Market or the Designer Outlet Mall. An East Loop Trolley route has been added since the beginning of 2007. At this time, it is a bit &quot;iffy&quot; to ride. Sometimes it doesn't show up at th Bally's connection point; other times, it doesn't show up for the return trip. This loop runs to the Hard Rock and Terribles casinos, but figure about a mile walk or cab fare if the return trolley doesn't appear. A single ride is about $3 (I've found the prices to change on a 6-month to a year basis). You currently can get an &quot;all day&quot; pass for $6.50 (this is the one you want if you don't plan on using the Trolley for more than a day or two, since you must pay for a new trolley ride each time you transfer from one Loop to another if youve bought a single-ride ticket). Ask for the Convention ticket; the 24-hour pass has now been eliminatedl. There is also a 3-day pass available for $12.50 and a 5-day pass for $20. You can get from the driver a schedule which includes a list of locations where the Trolley stops. The Trolley gets around relatively faster than the Deuce since it travels along the &quot;back streets&quot; and does not traverse much of The Strip proper to get from location to location. Usually its stops are located near parking areas of casinos or attractions. At the Mandalay Bay, it is now located outside the doors to the parking lot near the Reef attraction. Took me forever to find it since most of the casino staff did not know where it was located. There are also free shuttle buses from some casinos to others. There is a free shuttle between Harrah's and Sam's Town and between Harrah's and Rio. Shuttles to Sam's Town also run from a couple of the downtown casinos. There may well be other hotels serviced by these shuttles, so check around. There may also be other shuttles from other hotels to other casinos, so be sure to ask your bell captain.