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McCarran International Airport is located five miles (eight kilometres) south of Downtown Las Vegas, and just a couple of miles from the Strip. From the airport, bus routes serve both Downtown and the Strip from Level 0 of Terminal 1 and Level 2 of Terminal 3, while taxis will take you to your hotel for, on average, around $20.
A few words about the Strip: Officially, this is the section of Las Vegas Boulevard between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road, and encompasses all casinos not in Las Vegas County – meaning that, yes, the Strip is technically not in Las Vegas.
In terms of casino geography, the Strip runs from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere. However, the term is commonly used by locals to also include properties off the Boulevard, like the Hard Rock and the Rio.
At either end of the Strip is the more kitsch, plasticky and often depressing side of Vegas: drive-thru chapels, colourfully dressed loan sharks, gaudy strip joints and pawn shops full of lifetime gamblers.
However one defines it, the Strip is easily navigated by taxis or aboard the shiny Las Vegas Monorail, which hooks up several large casinos and runs from Sahara Avenue to the MGM Grand. A single ride on the Monorail costs $5, while a day pass is $12.
To get to Downtown Las Vegas, you have two options. Taxis are easily hailed but can be pricey – partly because they are liable to become gnarled in traffic, and partly because this is Las Vegas and you’re a tourist. Look to pay under $25 one-way.
Much cheaper is the Deuce, a bus that runs along the Strip and onto Fremont Street during most hours, every 15 minutes. A two-hour ticket costs $6, and an all-day fare will set you back $8. Depending on traffic, you’re looking at a journey time of 20-45 minutes.
To truly live it up, why not hire a stretch limousine? Various companies offer this service in Las Vegas, with hourly prices starting from $75.
Walking about is also possible, although be warned that the Strip is a busy road that measures 4.2 miles (6.8km) long. The biggest challenge can be crossing the wide boulevard, although there is an increasing number of pedestrian footbridges – some themed like the casinos they serve – being erected to help out.
It’s also worth noting that several hotels along the Strip provide regular free shuttles to other properties and attractions – although most only offer this to their own guests. Routes include those between the Hard Rock and the Fashion Show Mall, and between Trump International Hotel and the Wynn.
If you’re heading further afield, to the Grand Canyon or Death Valley, the easiest thing is to book an escorted tour via a local operator or through your hotel.
There are many trips available, from sightseeing and walking to kayaking and rock-climbing. These will either be road-based or, in luxury cases, via helicopter, hot-air balloon or private plane.
If you’re looking to rent your own wheels upon arrival in Nevada, find out about the options on our Las Vegas car hire page.