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Neon lights, upscale casinos, and surreal architecture define the Las Vegas Strip, whose glittering skyline is a national icon. Most visitors know it simply as the Strip, referring to an area centered on Las Vegas Boulevard. Here you’ll find many of the area’s most famous sights — everything from a replica of the Eiffel Tower to dazzling fountain light shows. The Strip flaunts the brash, glitzy, over-the-top sides of Vegas. This is where you go when you want to ride a roller coaster on a casino rooftop, spend a few hours at the slots, or browse a shopping center designed to look like the canals of Venice. The Strip also has refined, award-winning restaurants and venues that bring some of the biggest musical artists alive to the boulevard.
Like many cities in the American West, Las Vegas was built for cars, which makes for long blocks and wide streets. Walking along the Strip is a fun way of taking in the sights, but it can wear on you if you’re bouncing around a bunch of attractions. That’s when you’ll want to hop aboard one of the public buses that stop at most of the popular spots. An important thing to note: Las Vegas prohibits taxis from picking up waving passengers off the street; instead, you must arrange to meet a cab at a specific address or hail a taxi at the designated waiting areas many casinos operate. Many attractions also have designated pick-up areas for rideshare services.
There’s always something happening on the Strip, no matter when you visit. Throughout the year, weekends bring out the crowds — attractions are busy and the sidewalks buzz 24 hours a day. This is especially true over winter holidays such as New Year’s Eve, when travelers descend on this Mojave Desert city for its dry climate and temperatures that rarely dip below freezing even in January. Summer temperatures are often scorching hot, with highs typically exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit in July and August. The daytime weather is more comfortable in spring and fall.
This vintage sign, created by one of the first women to make a mark in commercial neon art, ranks among the most iconic symbols of Las Vegas. It’s also one of the busiest selfie spots along Las Vegas Boulevard. During the afternoons and evenings, it gets downright crowded. To admire this fine example of the Space Age aesthetic, grab a coffee and head here in the early morning, when the temperatures are cooler and snapping a picture is a far less chaotic affair.
While wandering along the Strip, you’ll inevitably encounter a few landmarks intended to inspire a whimsical sense of déjà vu: Many of the most prominent casinos feature kitschy replicas of iconic structures and monuments from around the world, including convincing clones of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, New York City’s Statue of Liberty, an ancient Egyptian sphinx and pyramid, and the canals of Venice, Italy.
Few cities are as closely associated with the art of neon sign-making as Las Vegas. The nonprofit Neon Museum preserves and restores neon art and commercial signage. Notable artifacts in the museum’s collection of 200-plus signs flicker in the Neon Boneyard, an outdoor exhibition space that really shines after dusk.