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Viva Las Vegas!

The lights, the shows, the shops, the endless ringing of slot machines - that's Las Vegas baby! What started as a vast stretch of Nevada desert plane is now one of the world's biggest, and brightest, tourist attractions.

Founded as recently as 1905, the pace at which this neon fantasy land has developed is astounding. Now featuring a wealth of huge casino hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, bars and clubs, you'll never be short of something to do in Vegas.

And it's not all gambling and dancing girls - Las Vegas has recently transformed itself into a family-friendly resort destination with theme parks inside some if its hotels. The whole family is sure to find something to love in The Entertainment Capital of the World.

Cheap flights are available all year round, but before you pack your bags, check out our guide to some of its unmissable attractions.

The Las Vegas shopping malls are attractions in their own right. There are simply too many shops along the Las Vegas strip to count. And you'll find that many hotels have whole shopping malls incorporated, with Caesars Palace Hotel offering 108 shops of its very own. Most stores are open 24 hours a day, so you can literally shop til you drop!

Often referred to as the City of Entertainment, the Las Vegas shows are a must. An endless variety of shows play 7 nights a week at hotels and venues around the city. The shows are ever-changing, so it's best to check online before you fly to see what's on during your trip.

Still one of the hottest tickets in town is the spectacular Cirque du Soleil shows. And there are of course still a host of adult shows, as well as breathtaking magic shows - the scale of which you will never have encountered anywhere else.

And let's not forget the gambling. Las Vegas has been a gambling Mecca since 1931, and nowhere on earth can you find more craps tables and roulette wheels. Again, the casinos are often open 24 hours so night owls won't be disappointed.

You should remember however that gambling laws require all players to be over 21. Even players over this age will be required to show a form of ID at every casino. If you're new to any of the games, don't hesitate to ask the dealer's advice - they are always helpful and will even slow down the dealing to help you keep up.

It's best to try out unfamiliar games during daytime hours when the tables are less crowded. Alternatively, look online at sites such as 32red.com, an altogether cheaper (and comfier) casino alternative.

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