We visited Nevada during our Western USA roadtrip in 2022. When you say Nevada most people immediate think about Las Vegas, which was obvious our main goal of visiting Nevada. You can read all about it below. Before leaving Nevada we also visited Hoover Dam, which is located on the the border with Arizona.
Casino’s & The Strip
The casino’s are big, impressive and worth a visit. You can find indoor and outdoor gondola’s, a fairytale castle, a New York replica and many many more. The gambling area’s themselves are all the same. Plenty of lights, bling bling and loud musics. People cheering here and there, but after seeing 3 or 4 casino’s you have seen them all. Furthermore if you want to visit them all by foot, it will take you a couple of kilometers. Up and down the strip easily brings you to +12 km.
The Strip by night
I suggest to either walk the strip twice or to make sure you do a big park when the sun is down. It’s a totally different experience to experience it by daylight or by night. The number of lights and neon are really impressive.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
The famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is just outside the strip. We went by car and find out the sign even has a dedicated parking lot! People are queueing up to take a picture or a selfie. We were behind some group of young girls that took ages to get the perfect pictures, but it was also quite entertaining to see how they composed the perfect instagram picture.
The queue must be something daily from dust till dawn and beyond. A local person in a fancy car, slowed down, opened his window and shouted “It’s just a sign!”. Quite funny and he was right, nevertheless, we awaited our turn to take our own pictures 🙂
Las Vegas! It probably speaks to everybody’s imagination. That’s why it got listed on my bucket list quite some time ago. For many years we have been talking with friends to go to Las Vegas one day, but it never became concrete so far. Doing a roadtrip in Colorado, Utah and Arizona made it come so close, that we decided to go for it and spend a day in Las Vegas.
We had the chance to visit casino’s in other countries before and gambled during those moments. The very first time I really enjoyed it, however, during sequential opportunities I didn’t anymore. It’s simple, you can’t systematically beat the bank, so it always results in loosing your money. However, being in Las Vegas, I do think you can’t avoid gambling. We played on some slots and roulette. The minimum bet for roulette tables is 25$. (you also have tables of 50$ or 100$). It started with some wins and instead of stopping, we played till our (predefined) budget was gone. At 25$ per bet it goes really quickly! Certainly if you are not experienced and have no strategy except putting some money on the simple options like odd/even, red/black or first 12.
We enjoyed way more observing people. We have seen people loosing hundreds of dollars in a couple of minutes. We have seen how their mood changed from euphoric to frustrated in a couple of minutes. While observing we realised that you can increase your odds by building up experience and have a strategy. On the black jack table we even saw people have a small card with what where the best options trying to beat the bank.
On roulette the experienced people divide their bet on almost the entire field. They put on single numbers, on 4 numbers and many more options. It quickly adds up to a couple of hundred of dollars per bet, but with this strategy you can also increase chances to win and keep on playing, trying to gain… But let it be clear that our advise is to have some fun, stick to your predefined budget and then walk away, resisting the feeling of willing to gain back your money!
When you have enough from gambling, and shopping you can alway go look an outside short show at one of the casino’s. Both The Mirage and Caesars Palace have some short entertainment shows. They run either each half an hour or hourly for The Mirage. They are nice, but don’t expect too much from them. They also only last a couple of minutes, so make sure to be on time. Some crowds show up earlier to catch a good spot, so don’t go just at the beginning.
Locatad on the border of Nevada and Arizona you can find the famous built in 1936 Hoover Dam which appeared in dozens of movies, including Ocean’s Eleven (1960), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Superman (1978) and Transformers (2007).
While wandering around I was trying to figure out how this dam was built. Luckily you have signs around that explain they first built a bypass or spillway and rerouted the river. Quite straightforward if you know it, right?
The spillways also serve like the overflow hole in your bathtub. If the water gets too high, it would run off via the spillways. They were only used twice so far. The first time, in 1941, was a test of the system. The second time, in 1983, was for a flood. Each spillway can handle 200,000 cubic feet per second of water. The flow at Niagara Falls is about 200,000 cubic feet per second, so there is the potential for two Niagara Falls here. I thought that was quite impressive and hard to imagine.