DeWitt: Viva Las Vegas


Las Vegas with its decadent charm remains a popular destination for Central Ohio travelers. Whether you are looking for a quick getaway, long weekend or attending a conference, the city offers something for everyone with its wide variety of things to do and see as well as taste and touch.

As the largest city in Nevada, Las Vegas sits within a desert valley surrounded by mountains and sparkles at night with the neon lights. The city provides much to do whether it’s the excitement of gambling or the grand shows and concerts. You can also come for the pool-side parties and massive food buffets — Las Vegas has it all and never fails to entertain.

When you are not winning in the casino, lounging by the pool or savoring delicious cuisine, you’ll find there are a variety of must-see attractions and entertainment options to keep you and the whole family occupied. From thrilling roller coasters to virtual-reality simulator rides and erupting volcanoes to wax museums, there seem to be attractions that appeal to people of all ages, interest and budgets

New shows that have recently opened or are coming soon include the Backstreet Boys at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino and Superstar Cher, Bruno Mars and Ricky Martin at the Park Theater in the Monte Carlo Las Vegas Resort and Casino. The Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino just opened providing guests with an authentically Asian experience including a tea sommelier and garden, Asian-influenced restaurants and spa which can be found on the north end of the Strip. Check out the newest hot spots such as The Dorsey, a luxurious lounge in the Venetian or savor a meal at Morimoto Las Vegas where you might spot the Iron Chef. Or grab the best dessert you’ll never forget at new Momofuku and Milk Bar.

Choices about where you stay are many with over 300 hotels providing over 170,000 hotel rooms within the city, accommodating every budget. Bundling your hotel and airfare into a package deal can save you some money as well as making some high-end hotels more affordable. Several airlines run non-stop flights at convenient times from Central Ohio that allow you to leave early and come back late allowing you to maximize your vacation time. Be aware of the resort fee that is charged by most hotels on a daily basis ranging anywhere from $10 to $50. Be sure to ask when making your reservations.

Choosing a hotel on or near the Strip makes it easier to get around because of the affordably priced Las Vegas Monorail. The trains arrive every few minutes and run late into the night with seven different stations stops that land at or near some of the Strip’s top resorts and attractions. Sightsee affordably aboard the Las Vegas Deuce on the Strip, a double decker bus that operates 24 hours a day. The Deuce runs up and down the Strip, stopping at virtually every hotel and casino along the way. Buy an inexpensive bus pass with uses ranging from two hours to three days.

Beyond the Strip there is also much to do. You can watch a race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, stroll the nature trails at Las Vegas Spring Preserve with its 110-acre botanical garden, or go horseback riding at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Try jet skiing or go boating on Lake Mead or tour Hoover Dam for a behind-the-scenes look at the engineering marvel. Golf at one of the Jack Nicklaus-designed courses or hike the Sierra Nevada mountain range. You can even take a helicopter to the see the Grand Canyon.

Las Vegas has much to do and see and, no doubt, you’ll return needing a vacation from your vacation.

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By Marci DeWitt

Contributing Columnist

Marci DeWitt owns a local travel agency, Anchor and Away Travel, a Dream Vacations franchise. She can be reached by email at mdewitt@DreamVacations.com.