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Shining bright in the desert like a beacon to all night owls, the modern-day oasis of Las Vegas is maybe the craziest, most excessive place on earth. Built as a pleasure resort, you will be surprised at the new side to Sin City.
All night casinos and massive ultra-luxury resorts are only the beginning in Las Vegas. And whilst well known as an adult playground, recent attempts at making Vegas a classier, more elegant place are being welcomed with open arms. Fantastic, award-winning signature restaurants of celebrity chefs have taken over from the humdrum buffets. Pool parties and big name DJs have replaced the erstwhile crooners and cabarets. Vegas is a holiday destination on the rise. Huge glamourous resorts vie for your attention on the Strip, replacing the old mob-funded hotels of yesteryear. Las Vegas is a city reborn, and you are invited to the party.
Sin City is one of the craziest cities in the world – the festivals on offer match this eclectic fusion of illusion, fun and showbiz. The Big Blues Bender returns to Vegas for its second fantastic year. The biggest and best in blues across the USA and beyond will be there, from 10 to 13 September at the famous Plaza Hotel. Following this, the infamous Life is Beautiful takes place in Downtown Las Vegas over two days 25 to 27 September. There are some brilliant acts playing, including Weezer, Duran Duran, Kendrick Lamar, and superstar Stevie Wonder. Not to be missed.
A jaw-dropping line-up of spectacular concerts comes in August, by some of the biggest names in music. Then September brings Labor Day parades, wrestling action and a duo of fantastic festivals. Halloween comes at the end of October, but there is lots to see before fright night.
Las Vegas welcomes one of the biggest names in rock - Aerosmith - who return to the MGM Grand Garden Arena on 1 August to perform a set of their biggest hits. From 6 to 9 August the Rio Hotel opens its doors to trekkies for the annual Star Trek Convention. Find out what gives this franchise its everlasting appeal – via auctions, trivia competitions and fan panels. Attendees like to dress up, so prepare to see Kirk, Spock and Scotty along the strip. Magic Live, a yearly celebration of all things magic, takes place from 9 to 12 August. This unique event plays on the element of surprise, choosing not to release a list of performers beforehand – so prepare to be amazed.
September in the States means one thing – Labor Day weekend. Expect pool parties a-plenty and a string of special club nights, including superstar DJ David Guetta at Encore Beach Club on 7 September. Or get ready to watch the world’s greatest compete for victory, when the World Wrestling Championships come to the Orleans Arena from 7 to 12 September. Browse exquisite handmade jewellery, ceramics, artwork and more from thousands of artisans at the Las Vegas Harvest Festival Annual Art & Craft Show on 11 to 13 September at the Cashman Center. Then grab tickets to see headliners, including the legendary Stevie Wonder and Imagine Dragons, at the Life is Beautiful festival in Downtown Las Vegas from 25 to 27 September.
Temperatures still soar in Las Vegas in October so why not cool down? Taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Frozen Fury XVII gives you the chance to watch the Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche’s annual pre-season game in the desert on 3 October. Elton John returns to Vegas, playing at the Colosseum in Caesar’s Palace, 13 to 31 October, for his Million Dollar Piano show, an unforgettable evening. The Red Bull Air Race is in town 17 and 18 October where pilots whizz around a course at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. And finally, Halloween madness is on at Circus Circus, when Fright Dome comes to scare you senseless, from 1 to 31 October.
Marvel at the myriad lights of Las Vegas. Discover its glittering casinos, world-class shopping, delectable dining and renowned nightlife. Take a day trip to the awe-inspiring Hoover Dam or majestic Grand Canyon. Then fly to New York and wander around skyscraper-studded Manhattan. See its legendary landmarks, shop at its iconic stores and picnic in lush Central Park. Catch a flight to Miami and soak up the Florida sunshine on its pristine white sands. Then sip sundowners at a buzzing South Beach bar.
Immerse yourself in the legendary nocturnal scene of glittering Las Vegas. Then take a flight to Los Angeles and take a stroll down renowned Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Treat your family to an unforgettable day out at Universal Studios. Unwind on the sun-kissed shores of Santa Monica. Take in the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, then groove to the beats at a hip West Hollywood nightspot. Fly from LA to Honolulu and spend some blissful downtime relaxing on the stunning sands of Hawaii.
See the twinkling lights of Las Vegas on an exhilarating helicopter ride over the strip. Drift in a gondola along the Venetian-style waterways of The Grand Canal Shoppes. Try your luck in the famous casinos then head to a pulsating nightspot. Drive to Arizona and gaze in awe at the rust-hued crags of the Grand Canyon. Continue to the historic town of Flagstaff on iconic Route 66. Before flying from Phoenix, stop at Scottsdale for a cool beer at a wooden-beamed saloon in Old Town.
Escape to the neon-lit paradise of gambling, shopping and entertainment that is Las Vegas. Then hire a car and take in the breathtaking natural beauty of Yosemite National Park en route to San Francisco. Explore this hilly city’s streets by vintage cable car. Dine overlooking the harbour at Fisherman’s Wharf and visit the notorious prison of Alcatraz. Continue to Los Angeles via the stunningly picturesque Pacific Coast Highway. Unwind on LA’s sun-drenched shores, or discover its world-class shopping, theme parks and nightlife.
Lose yourself in Las Vegas with its glitzy casinos, superlative shopping and world-class entertainment. Gaze at the glittering lights of the strip on a helicopter ride and visit the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Then fly to Miami and unwind on the Gold Coast’s glorious white sandy beaches. Treat yourself to a splurge at sprawling shopping malls and soak up the nocturnal energy of South Beach. End your holiday in the theme park capital of Orlando, where magical memories will be made at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.
Producer and DJ Paul Oakenfold is a huge Vegas fan. He shares his tips on where to party, refuel and repeat in Sin City.