Where to Walk and Gawk on the Las Vegas Strip

Visiting the Las Vegas Strip for the first time can be…overwhelming. It’s a whirlwind of lights, sights and sounds, all vying for your attention. Exploring the entirety of the Strip can take all day, and then some. Meanwhile, some of the casinos and resorts are so big that you can spend an entire weekend just wandering the various wings of one property. So how do you determine what’s worth your time and what to avoid? Well, I’ve done the research and walked countless miles through every spot on the Strip. The Las Vegas portion of my travel app, Revealed Travel Guides, covers absolutely everything Las Vegas has to offer, plus the surrounding areas. Using a wide range of custom filters, you can narrow down the dining options, amenities, shows and activities that most interest you. But when it comes to my favorite properties to visit and take in the sights and overall atmosphere, there’s a number of standouts. Here’s some places on the Las Vegas Strip that I think are an absolute feast for the eyes.

The Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan is all about glitz, glamour and bling. Just the lobby alone is a dazzling display of opulence and technology, with lights and dynamically changing screens on the columns and walls. They even have a digital concierge, called Rose, that can give recommendations and directions, make reservations for a show, order fresh towels for your room, and do it all with a sense of humor. Within the Cosmo, you’ll find nearly 30 restaurants—more than much larger resorts, especially on the third floor. All the dining options are very high caliber. One of the most visible is a three-story bar that’s actually within a chandelier. Some places to eat or drink are hidden. Secret Pizza is on the third floor, and there is no sign. Ghost Donkey is an unmarked tequila bar on the second floor that you enter through an exit door. Or a Barbershop where you can have complimentary scotch while getting your hair cut—check out their janitor closet after 5 p.m. (Trust me.) The Cosmo doesn’t offer free attractions like other resorts. But it’s worth wandering into to see if it’s your kind of place. “Proper attire requested,” they say on the door. They may not toss you out if you don’t follow that guideline, but you will feel underdressed if you’re in a tank top and board shorts.

Aria Resort & Casino

Aria is a luxurious resort that is part of a massive $9 billion private construction project called City Center. As you walk around the Aria—as well as its shops, restaurants and casino—you can feel the opulence. Numerous (and very good) restaurants, bars and nightclubs seem to be hidden in every corner of this place. The casino, pool area, salon and spa, convention center and theater are all expansive. The resort embodies what the modern Vegas Strip strives to be and you’ll feel like you’re in the cool crowd just walking through property. Rooms have touch-screen tablets that allow you to control things such as lights, curtains and temperature, as well as make reservations and order room service. The location of the property is top-notch as well—centrally located on the Strip, you’re just steps away from many of the best sights to see. As you explore Aria, note how many walls and supports are not plumb (straight up and down). It’s one of Aria’s distinguishing characteristics, along with so many decorative elements that it’s hard to keep track. The casino has high ceilings and a rich, welcoming feel, and side rooms, such as the High Limit Lounge and the Baccarat tables, look like the kinds of places where you’d expect to find James Bond ordering a martini. (Shaken, of course, not stirred.) The restaurant, Catch, has one of the most beautiful entrances you’ll find in a restaurant, and they claim that their only marketing is done by social media posts from customers enamored with the look of the place. It’s a place you want to dress nice for, though you’ll need to tap into the kids’ college fund to dine there.

The Venetian

When it comes to things to see and do for people not staying at a resort, no other place can rival the Venetian. As the name implies, the hotel and casino are an homage to Venice, Italy. The art, architecture, restaurants and shops all make this a great place to wander about gawk, plus the location is prime for exploring the Strip. There are two main levels, and they need to be explored separately. The sprawling resort covers 70 acres (a third of it is for support), and you can easily spend half a day just wandering around. Before the main entrance, look to your left and you’ll see the Rialto Bridge, an impressive replica of the real one in Venice that spans its Grand Canal. As you walk through the main entrance of the hotel and pass the Armillary Sphere, you find yourself under a high archway and beautiful frescos on the ceiling hand-painted by Italian artists, along with exquisite details and marble columns. Yeah, the Venetian makes an incredible first impression. The biggest attraction here is the Grand Canal, and you can even take a short but quaint gondola ride. In this area you’ll find St. Mark’s Square, or at least the Venetian’s version of the famous landmark in Venice. The cobblestones, lit building facades, canal, bridges and the incredible blue sky roof with puffy clouds are a must-see in Vegas. There are restaurants, shops, gelato stands. Multiple times a day you can see various free shows, including the statue lady, singers and dancers, and a guy who seems more comfortable on stilts than on his own feet.

The Wynn & Encore

The Wynn & Encore were built with one word in mind—luxury. The properties have won top awards from basically every ratings agency around (AAA, Forbes, Michelin, Mobil, Zagat, Condé Nast), more than any other resort in the world. Everything is upscale; everything is high end. The casino is so elegant and lush it makes you feel wealthy just walking through it (as long as you keep your wallet closed, of course). From the state-of-the-art water features, to the gardens filled with sculptures made from fresh flowers, to the amazing dining, this is a place that aims to impress. It’s a huge property filled with shops, beautiful artwork and other eye-candy. When you first get to the Wynn from the Venetian, accessed via a bridge, you come to the musical fountains. These were constructed by the same company that built the fountains at the Bellagio. But this one at the Wynn is a far smaller attraction, not nearly in the same league. Still, the more colorful fountains are worth stopping for, and they operate almost continuously, so you won’t find yourself waiting for the next show as you do at the Bellagio. Take a few minutes to enjoy, then move on to a couple of very tall, artificial (but beautiful) waterfalls. While inside, stop at the charming garden area that is packed with colorful flowers, brightly lit trees, ferns and tropical plants, along with a small but wonderfully bling-y, flower-encrusted merry-go-round.

Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace is what many people think of when they think of the Vegas Strip. It’s been an attraction since it opened in the 1960s and continues to pull in visitors by the droves. The property is huge and there’s lots to see and do for both guests and those just sightseeing. The Greco-Roman theme at Caesars is thick everywhere you look. Marble columns, giant statues, tons of fountains and water features, artwork—you name it. This is a great resort to wander around and gawk. Top notch restaurants, a huge mall (called The Forum), expansive pool areas modeled after Roman baths (called Garden of the Gods), a giant venue (called The Colosseum) and several towers of rooms and suites make this place a destination in and of itself. From outside the Forum Shops on the north side of the property, the giant screens in front are dazzling, and worth stopping to watch, even if much of the content is simply advertising what’s inside. Once you enter, the Forum Shops seem to go on forever with upper stories accessed by curving escalators. Continue through this section to find a larger area covered with a blue sky with puffy clouds, similar to the Venetian. If we had to pick a word for Caesars Palace, it would be grand.


This is a place that leaves a lasting impression. The look of the hotel was inspired by a village of the same name on the shores of Lake Como in Italy. The elegance and grace of the resort and the way it embraces its own “lake” is unmatched on the Las Vegas Strip. And it’s impossible to talk about the Bellagio without mentioning the renowned Bellagio Fountains. These fountains put on a light and water show, set to some classic Vegas tunes, from the afternoon until midnight. The spectacle of these streams of water dancing in this massive body of water is a majestic sort of sight that’s best seen at night. The interior of the Bellagio has a rich, elegant decor without being stuffy, and, just walking through it, you’ll notice that the casino has a decidedly prosperous feel. While inside the resort, you gotta stop by the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden. This is a garden that’s lined with exotic plants and immense sculptures, usually set to a theme related to the time of year it was put up. The conservatory rotates through designs every couple of weeks, meaning that the garden is an ever-changing sight. Another big draw for the Bellagio is the art collection. Throughout the hotel are art pieces that are interesting enough to justify wandering the property to take in the sights

There they are: some of my favorite spots to on the Strip to just take in the sights. Nearly every property along the Strip has something that will pique your interest. There is so much to see and do here, and all of it is described in Las Vegas Revealed. For your next Vegas trip, check out my believable guide and get ready for an unbelievable vacation.



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