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Las Vegas - A Photo Guide To Some Unique Sights

Updated on May 21, 2015
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Brian Gray obtained his degree in Language from Lee University and has been a published author and professional writer since 1985.

The 21st Century "City of Lights"

When most people decide to visit the fabled city of “Whatever-Happens-In-Vegas-Stays-In-Vegas,” they usually have one (or more) of several ideas foremost in their minds, those being gambling, unbridled sex, binge drinking (for the Spring Break crowd) or stage shows (for the more sophisticated). For most people who have never been to Las Vegas, even for those who are regulars, Las Vegas represents a virtual playground for adults. For these reasons and more, vast numbers of people coming to Las Vegas for the first time think they know what they are going to see and experience. They have formed preconceived ideas from movies and television shows, but I personally don’t think even preconceived ideas of Las Vegas prepare the first-timer for the total sensory overload they are going to experience from the minute they set foot off the plane. Las Vegas is truly unlike any other city in the world, and it has really become the 21st Century’s “City of Lights.” Once you see the sunset in Las Vegas, when the subtle glow of all of those glamorous and enticing lights begins to transform the already exciting to the “out-of-this-world” extraordinary, a person will experience the reason I say that nighttime in Las Vegas is the best time to see the city. The night skyline in Vegas is a virtual artist’s palette with each hotel, each casino, even each fast food joint, competing for your attention, and they have hired the best of the best, the geniuses of advertising and color and art to produce the world’s most attention-grabbing displays, going beyond normal to supernormal in their expressions. No one anywhere can beat the light extravaganza, the light show, that is Las Vegas at night. There is so much to see in Las Vegas by day, and there is equally so much to see when night falls. Here’s a photo guide of a few of my favorites for you...and they’re all free to see.

Vegas Architecture Pushes The Limits In Design

Wherever you go in Las Vegas, you are immediately awestruck by the imaginative shapes and styles of the buildings. There is absolutely nothing common or ordinary about any of them. It is as if the rules of skyscrapers do not apply here, and many of these buildings simply take on an other-worldly look with shapes and colors that defy description.

The Bellagio Hotel Famous For Its Fountains

While the Bellagio Hotel is probably more famous for its unsurpassed fountain shows, a phenomenal choreographed spectacle that erupts without warning presenting the tourist with dazzling displays of high-reaching jets of water to beautiful music like a ballet on a lake, especially at night, when the lights add color, there is so much more to the Bellagio than first meets the eye. One of my favorites spots at the Bellagio is up near the entrance. Standing there and looking down at the lake, a sight many people in a hurry will miss - swimming ducks. And the water there is so blue, you just want to dive in.

Ducks Swimming At The Bellagio

Lobby Of The Bellagio Hotel

Entering the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel is a stunning experience with breathtaking colors everywhere one looks. The highly polished floors immediately give guests a sense of pampered luxury. And, it does not stop there, of course, because once guests reach the front desk, there are even more inviting colorful displays to view.

Bellagio: Stunning Colors Beyond The Front Desk

Bellagio Hotel Presents Unsurpassed Floral Displays

Walk through the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel and go straight ahead. You will come to one of the most alluring floral displays outside of the Philadelphia Flower Show. Imaginative and creative, these gardens are award-winning and well worth the walk through.

To The Artist Who Made This Bouquet - You Got My Vote! Two Thumbs Up!

One Of My Favorites - This Giant Floral Turtle

Della's Kitchen, My Private Escape

It doesn't take long, after walking up and down the famous Strip, to get tired of the same old fast food places that are common and crowded. I begin to long for a real getaway, somewhere off the beaten path, some place with a bit of quiet, no loud music, excellent food, great service...somewhere where you can cool your heels and think. The Strip is LOUD! Incredibly, I stumbled onto my own private escape while walking through the Delano Hotel -the impeccable Della's Kitchen. I give Della's Five Stars!

The Sign At Della's

Magic Of The Excalibur At Night

If ever there was a hotel that brings out the imaginative child in all of us, it would have to be the Excalibur Hotel at night. All day long, I see tourists streaming in and out of this hotel, but once nightfall has darkened the scene, and the hotel turns on those magical lights, the place is transformed. At that moment, tourists start posing for pictures with the Excalibur in the background. Very magical indeed!

Exterior View Of The Luxor

Who needs to go to Egypt to see the Sphinx or the Great Pyramid? It's right here in Las Vegas. The Luxor Hotel is one of those rare hotels that looks stunning by both day and night. It needs nothing to help it stand out, because that giant black pyramid can be seen from the air when your plane is landing, and at night, once that tremendous beacon is turned on, the light can be seen for miles. The Luxor is artistically exotic, a visual splendor not to be missed.

The Sphinx At The Luxor By Day

The Luxor At Night

Front Entrance Leading Into The Luxor

Lobby Of The Luxor

The attention to detail inside the Luxor Hotel is amazing. It is the next best thing to actually going to the Valley of the Kings, or visiting the museums of Cairo. Explore the many nooks and alcoves in this hotel, because ancient Egyptian art pops up everywhere. Nothing has been left to chance, nothing has been overlooked. A true visual splendor - that's the Luxor.

Exquisite Tile Floors Of Mandalay Bay

You know when you are inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel - those inimitable and exquisite marble floors! The patterns are gorgeous, the colors perfect, but no one beats the shine on the marble floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. These floors are so perfect, I tell everyone to pay a visit to the Mandalay Bay Hotel if for nothing else but to look at those incredible and memorable floors.

My Award For Most Beautiful Staircase In Las Vegas - Mandalay Bay

No single photo can do justice to the inescapable beauty of probably the most inspiring staircase in all of Las Vegas. At the bottom is a beautiful lapis lazuli blue pool and fountain, a crystal chandelier at the top, and one long elegant descent lined with highly polished brass and carpeted in the most luxurious deep burgundy. I have seldom seen a staircase that so captures the romance and elegance of the Old World since the Titanic, and Mandalay Bay has done exactly that. People will want to pose for pictures on this beautiful set.

The MGM Lion

Guarding the entrance to the MGM Grand Hotel is the giant golden MGM Lion. As the day progresses, and the sun hits the statue, no one can miss its commanding presence. People can be seen posing for photos in front of the lion at any time of the day. A genuine must see.

Moving Sidewalks From Excalibur To Luxor

Las Vegas is a shopper's paradise, no matter what your income level. Whether it is out on The Strip, or in the malls that run for blocks indoors and out of the hot sun, there is definitely a store in Las Vegas for everybody. One of my favorite walks is to begin in the Excalibur, upstairs, and head to the moving sidewalks that take me effortlessly to the Luxor. From there, the indoor walk goes all the way to the Mandalay Bay. There are an incredible number of stores of all varieties along this trek, well worth the time.

Nora Blue - An Exquisite Shop

Shoe Obsession - My Sister, Resa, Would Love This One !

New York, New York By Day

How does anyone capture the personality of New York City in miniature, and still be impressive? The New York New York Hotel does it with a sight that inspires and captures attention...it even has a roller coaster that runs around the top of the hotel.

Night View Of New York, New York

Paris By Day

I love Paris. I have visited that city many times, and I never tire of seeing all of the incredible art there. A truly beautiful city, it is always difficult for anyone to try to duplicate that city anywhere else. Epcot in Florida does a nice job, but no one beats Las Vegas for getting it completely right. From the romantic sidewalk restaurants with waiters clad in typical Parisian attire, to the obvious Eiffel Tower, the Paris Hotel adds charm to The Strip that is uniquely French. And the best view of the Paris Hotel is at night. Stunning!

Paris By Night

Sunset Glow In Vegas

I tell everyone who is going to Las Vegas for the first time to make sure that they go out on The Strip at exactly sunset and watch the magic transformation. There is a visible glow that begins as the lights come on for the evening, a glow that at first is practically invisible, and it continues to intensify until the night extravaganza is in full electric force. The buildings begin to show colors that are not there during the day. I have presented a few for you to see the colorful transformation as it begins.

Unique View Of The Statue Of Liberty

Only in Las Vegas can you take a photo of the Statue of Liberty with a palm tree in the scene. I enjoyed the effects of the sunset one evening as the light played around the head of Liberty like a spiritual halo. It was a pensive moment. Enjoy.

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure Brian. I'm glad to read your hub anytime.

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Kristen,

      Always great to hear from you. Thanks for the comments.

      Brian

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Brian, this was a great travelogue of the sight and sounds of your Las Vegas trip. Lovely photos to accommodate them too. Voted up!

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

      lyoness913,

      Thank you for those comments. So much to see in Las Vegas, and when the slot machines have taken enough of your money, there is still enough to see that is free. Las Vegas is one city that always makes you feel younger just being there.

      Brian

    • lyoness913 profile image

      Summer LeBlanc 2 years ago from H-Town

      I love your pictures! I've been to Vegas twice this year but I hadn't been in about 16 years previously. I miss the days with the gawdy flashing lights, I must say. However, it was still a lot of fun even though I lost a ton of money!

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Kyballion,

      Thank you for that kind comment. I don't think anyone can ever get enough of Vegas.

      Brian

    • kyballion profile image

      kyballion 2 years ago from Tucson, AZ

      I was just in Las Vegas last week. I think you captured the essence of the city. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hanavee profile image
      Author

      Brian Gray 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Grandmaster Fedorko,

      Hope it brought back good memories.

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      Damian 2 years ago

      The article was informative and the pictures were awesome; very nice.