This is an amazing place. It fluctuates from very tacky, very OTT, to totally amazing. Each hotel here is huge, most have a different theme, and each is amazing in its own way. You need to visit each of the hotels in Vegas--they're attractions in their own right.
It is incredibly hot here--110 degrees when we went in June--and it's quite an oppressive heat which makes you feel very tired, very quickly. We found we needed to keep popping into hotels just to get a blast of air conditioning. We also found that we needed to carry a drink around with us as we got extremely thirsty (water is best).
There are so many hotels and attractions here that it would be impossible to include them all, but I will give you a run down of my top ten, in no particular order.
a) Race for Atlantis--This 3D IMAX simulator ride is located in Caesar’s Palace. Be prepared to queue for this ride. The adventure starts when you're greeted by a toga-clad gentleman who explains that you have been chosen by Neptune to act as his champion in a chariot race. You are then given 3D goggles before moving onto the ride itself. You then sit in a chariot and experience a simulator ride that blows your mind. The 3D effects are brilliant and so is the IMAX effect--you feel as if you're really taking part of the race. The ride is quite jerky and fast but well worth it. It was great! It costs approx US$10 per adult.
b) Star Trek--The Experience--This is another simulator ride, this one based on the Star Trek films. This ride is located just off the strip, at the Las Vegas Hilton. Again, they make the most of the experience by allowing you to tour the History of the Future Museum first. Here you will see all the costumes, guns, phasers, etc., from the movies and get to tour the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. You are then told you need to evacuate the ship and get into a space shuttle. This is where you'll experience a simulator ride through space, eventually flying over Vegas and landing back at the hotel. When you get off the ride, there is a shop selling all manner of things and a restaurant–-Quarks–-which sells very strange sounding items that end up being very down-to-earth burgers etc. The cost is US$24 for all-day admission--you can ride the simulator as many times as you like by getting your hand stamped when you first go in.
c) Freemont Street Experience-–Literally, a downtown Vegas street located at the end of the strip. Above the street is a canopy of over two million light bulbs that are used nightly for different 6-minute light shows with fantastic lighting and brilliant sound. I cannot put into words how amazing this actually is--you'll have to go and see for yourself. The cost: FREE.
d) Eiffel Tower--A replica of the Eiffel Tower (50% size) at the Paris Hotel that rises 50 stories above ground. You go up in a lift and the views over the strip are amazing. This costs about $9 per adult and you can stay up there as long as you like. It's an excellent photo opportunity.
e) Secret Garden of Siegfried & Roy--This attraction at The Mirage Hotel, is actually a mini zoo. As you enter the hotel, go past a very large glass wall; behind it is a large water pool with white tigers playing in it. The garden entrance fee is about $10 and you'll get to see many different wild cats, such as lions and tigers, as well as elephants and so forth--all the animals that Siegfried & Roy used in their magic act. You'll also get to see the Dolphin Habitat; they don't train the dolphins, they just let them swim about and you can see them underwater.
f) Manhattan Express--This roller coaster is in the New York, New York Hotel at the top end of the strip. The coaster runs through the hotel and outside it. It's good to watch from outside too. Costs US$8 per person.
g) Big Shot--A ride at the top of the Stratosphere Hotel. The only trouble is that the hotel is 1,149-feet high--or 100 stories! You are strapped into a ride based round a very tall pole on top of the hotel and then shot 160 feet into the air in 2.5 seconds at 4 Gs, then back down again. Cost is US$14 to ride the Big Shot and High Roller (see below).
h) High Roller--This is a roller coaster on top of the Stratosphere Hotel. It's the world’s highest roller coaster and it's tilted at a 32-degree angle so you are literally hanging off the edge of the hotel. Cost is US$14 to ride the Big Shot and High Roller
i) Helicopter Rides--There are several companies offering helicopter rides over Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We chose the Vegas Night Ride, an after-dark ride that took us over the sights of Vegas. When you visit Vegas, you tend to stick to the 'Strip,' and don’t realize how vast the place actually is. From the helicopter you see the large sprawling town and realize that, yes, people actually live here. It's also amazing how flat the place is. It's definitely an enlightening experience. It can be quite expensive, but it's worth it.
j) Speed--The Ride--Another roller coaster, this time at the Sahara Hotel. It goes 224-feet high and contains loops, curves, and drops at a rate of 70 mph. Once you have completed the run, it goes in reverse and you go through the whole thing again--backwards! It's worth braving the lines you'll probably encounter and costs US$6 per adult.
There are many, many, other attractions in Vegas, such as: the Luxor Hotel which has the IMAX theatre and King Tut’s Tomb; the Mandalay Hotel; Shark Reef; Circus Circus; Adventuredome; Canyon Blaster; Rim Runner; Treasure Island; Pirate Battle; and The Venetian, which has Madame Tussaud's and gondola rides.
Every hotel also has huge casinos, but you only have to spend a few dollars as the slot machines start at 5-cents. You can eat whatever you want here, too--some places are expensive, others cheap, some in between--and there's food to suit everyone. Lots of shopping available too.
Las Vegas is an amazing place. I know I have gone on a bit, but with a place like this, it's hard not to. I will probably not visit Vegas again, but I am very glad I have experienced it first hand.