Mandalay Bay Casino, Aquarium and Beach#6 in Best Things To Do in Las Vegas
Sure, this towering gold building at the southern end of the Strip boasts all the slots, poker and game tables you want in a Sin City venue, not to mention a variety of restaurants and nightlife venues. (Plus, it's home to the House of Blues Music Hall and plays host to "Michael Jackson ONE," Cirque du Soleil's tribute to the 80s pop icon.) But Mandalay Bay doesn't exude the same level of kitsch found at other casinos along Las Vegas Boulevard – a major selling point for more laid-back travelers. In fact, this is the place you go if you're looking for an escape.
One of the major highlights of Mandalay Bay is its man-made beach: 2,700 tons of sand and a 1.6 million gallon wave pool create an oceanside atmosphere in the middle of the Nevada desert. You can kick off your shoes and work on your tan in one of the rentable cabanas; those looking to avoid bikini tan lines can ditch the top at the Moorea Beach Club.
Meanwhile, a variety of pools and a lazy river are appropriate cooling-off venues for the kiddos, while the summertime Beach Concert Series is fun for the whole family. Unless you're a guest at the Mandalay Bay or THEHotel at Mandalay Bay, you will have to rent a cabana in order to access the pool and beach areas – prices vary by day and occupancy levels.
Speaking of families, no trip to Mandalay Bay is complete without a trip to the Shark Reef. The massive aquarium houses more than 2,000 animals, including stingrays, sea turtles, crocodiles and, of course, sharks. General admission is $25 for adults and $19 for children ages 4 to 12 (children ages 3 and younger can enter for free). Discounts are available for senior citizens and Nevada residents. To learn more about what to see and do, visit the Mandalay Bay website.
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#1 The Strip
Once you pass the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign along Las Vegas Boulevard South, it won't be too long until you're cruising the Strip. Sin City's notorious artery acts as the epicenter of any Vegas getaway. Here you'll find Las Vegas' most iconic landmarks, including the Bellagio Fountains, the Eiffel Tower at Paris, Las Vegas, the pyramid and sphinx belonging to The Luxor and The Venetian's Grand Canal.
The "Strip" technically runs from Mandalay Bay on the south end (home to an aquarium and a man-made beach) to the Stratosphere casino on the north end, where you'll find the tallest free-standing observation tower in the country (this is where you'll go for the perfect Vegas photo).
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