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Online Tour of the Las Vegas Strip

View of the Las Vegas Strip from the Stratosphere, March 2006 View of the Las Vegas Strip from the Stratosphere, March 2006


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The south & central strip area (Las Vegas Blvd between Mandalay Bay and Wynn) is typically what comes to mind for most people when they think of Las Vegas. This section of the strip is also the area of Las Vegas most often featured in movies and television shows set in Las Vegas. While downtown is favored by serious gamblers, and the north strip (Circus Circus, Stratosphere) or off-strip (Arizona Charlie's, Palace Station) is generally where people end up when they are looking for the lowest price and are unfamiliar with the vast array of Las Vegas hotels; the central and south Las Vegas strip have most of the glamour and luxury a traveler who enjoys a more upscale atmosphere could hope to find. With a few exceptions.

This tour of the Las Vegas strip covers the main attractions from the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign at the south end, to the Stratosphere at the north end (the strip actually ends at Sahara Avenue about half a mile south of Stratosphere... but the Stratosphere shouldn't be left out of a description of the Las Vegas strip). In addition to the properties featured in this tour, there are a large number of small souvenir shops, convenience stores, car rental agencies, camera & 1-hour photo shops, timeshare sales offices, fast food restaurants, gas stations, and other small businesses.

Focusing on the largest attractions, let's start our tour at the south end of the strip and work our way north.

The south & center Las Vegas strip



    

Although the south end of paved Las Vegas Blvd. is 39 miles south of Las Vegas (in Jean, Nevada where it turns into a dusty desert trail) this sign marks the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. It's half a mile south of the Mandalay Bay megaresort. You can park near the Las Vegas Tourist Bureau and walk a short distance to the sign, or use the parking lot just south of the sign that was constructed in 2008 right there in the middle of Las Vegas Blvd.



It almost looks like a different sign in the daylight.





The Klondike has gone out of business and has been demolished. This used to be the first casino at the south end of the Las Vegas strip, just a few feet north of the Welcome sign. The building was still standing in December 2006 when this photo was shot. That's a good location since so many tourists like to take pictures of the "Welcome" sign. That shadow in the parking lot of the Klondike belongs to the Las Vegas Tourist Bureau sign.


Diamond Inn pink elephant

Diamond Inn
4605 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89119.
702-736-2565.

Diamond Inn now has a web site! It's a small motel with a small pool and a paper mache pink elephant on the front lawn.





Laughing Jackalope
3969 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV.
Phone: 702-739-1915

Laughing Jackalope was about a half mile north of the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign. Online reports indicate that Laughing Jackalope has closed.


Except for CityCenter, most new construction on the strip was suspended from around 2008 to 2014. Stardust was demolished in 2007; Echelon Place was supposed to replace it. Six years later the property has been sold to The Genty Group. Boyd Gaming abandoned Echelon Place. Fontainebleau was constructed near the Sahara and has remained unopened, still, in 2015. The old Westward Ho and Frontier properties are still empty. Sahara is now "SLS" and THEhotel is called Delano.

During our December 2014 trip to Las Vegas we saw the "High Roller", a huge ferris wheel behind the Flamingo. The Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel had not been constructed. The entire block between the Flamingo and Casino Royale has been remodeled and updated, however. Imperial Palace is now the LINQ, and all the other Harrah's properties on that block have been made more upscale and modern. (And more expensive.) Bill's Gamblin Hall which used to be Barbary Coast is now Cromwell.

  



Mandalay Bay & Delano

3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South Las Vegas, Nevada 89119.
Phone 877-632-7800

Mandalay Bay is the first "megaresort" on the south end of the strip. I don't know if there is an official definition of "megaresort" but I define it as a large hotel / casino that includes restaurants, retail shops, a showroom for concerts and other Las Vegas style shows, and extensive recreation such as swimming pools, tennis, and golf. Mandalay Bay was rated the #1 place to stay in Las Vegas by The Travel Channel in 2004. Mandalay Bay is one of the nicest properties on the strip; a very close second to the super-upscale properties like Bellagio and Wynn, although their room rates are nearly always much lower. It seems that they can't demand a super high price way at the south end of the strip. Many tourists prefer to stay on the center strip. Mandalay Bay has friendly staff and a pleasantly understated tropical theme. The casino is huge but the slots (like most strip casinos) are tight (meaning they don't pay off so much) and betting limits for table games are higher than the casual player might like (such as a $10 minimum bet per hand for blackjack.) We stayed at Mandalay Bay in December 2008 and thought it was an outstanding value. We had a 550DR (which is the smallest size) strip view room and it was awesome. We stayed at Encore in June 2009 and Wynn in December 2014, and noticed that the Encore and Wynn rooms are very similar to the Mandalay Bay rooms in size and quality.

Mandalay Bay also contains the House of Blues and the very upscale Red Square restaurant, which has a bar topped with a sheet of ice and a huge selection of vodkas. Delano was simply a second room tower to Mandalay Bay when it was first built in 2003 (there are photos of it on this page with both the "Mandalay Bay" and "THEhotel" lettering on it) then it was renamed THEhotel until 2014 when it was renamed again. Delano is marketed as a separate property. All the rooms are suites and it has its own parking garage but no casino. Guests at Delano use all of the Mandalay Bay facilities (swimming pool, casino, etc.)





Four Seasons
is a very upscale 424 room hotel located on the 60 acre Mandalay Bay resort property. It's actually the top five floors (35 thru 39) of Mandalay Bay.



  

The photo on the right shows Luxor and Mandalay Bay's second tower (now known as Delano) in 2003.


Luxor

3900 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89119.
Phone 888-777-0188

Luxor is a unique property in its design. After landing at McCarran, the Luxor is usually the most prominent building you'll see out the airplane window. It appears to be on the airport property, but it's about 2 miles from the terminal. Driving from the airport to the Luxor is a straight shot westbound on Tropicana.

The main Luxor building is a huge black pyramid with a bright beacon on top that shines straight up for miles. Smaller lights outline the pyramid shape and sometimes blink in patterns, while a reproduction of the Sphinx glares toward Las Vegas Blvd. The theme is ancient Egyptian and the guest rooms line the inside triangular walls of the pyramid, looking out over the casino and main level. They also have tower rooms separate from the pyramid... but you can get a tower room anywhere. If you choose the Luxor as your hotel I recommend asking for a pyramid room between the 11th and 24th floors (lower down you get noise from the casino, higher than 24 is the "top cap" of the pyramid which is fully enclosed like a regular hotel.) Luxor is usually priced around $70 at off-peak times for standard (what they call "deluxe") rooms. We stayed here twice in the mid 1990's and once again in December 2006, and can recommend it as a very good mid-level to budget property, meaning it's a good choice if you can't afford the place you really want to go. Their basic rooms are small and spartan, however.

Las Vegas Strip tour continued --->