|Las Vegas, Nevada|
-- Las Vegas Boulevard is "the Strip" --
Las Vegas is located in the southwestern corner of Nevada near the borders of California and Arizona. It is 275 miles (450 km) from Los Angeles and less than a four-hours drive on excellent interstate highway. The city is situated in a broad flat desert valley surrounded by barren arid mountains. It receives only about 2 inches (5 cm) of rain per year; yet the city is an oasis of green grass, flowers and palm trees all subsisting on imported water. A vast checkerboard of low suburban homes sprawls across the valley floor for dozens of miles in every direction with new tracts of houses eternally sprouting like fields of cactus in the surrounding desert.
All the action is centered on one broad avenue that stretches from the southern fringe of the city northward for a dozen miles until it reaches the heart of old downtown. This is Las Vegas Boulevard, commonly known as "the Strip". McCarran International Airport is located adjacent to the southern end of the Strip, and nearly all of the major casinos are lined up along its sides. A drive down Las Vegas Boulevard takes you past the pyramid of Luxor casino, the skyline of New York casino, the Eifel Tower of Paris casino, the great tent of the Circus casino and the lofty tower of the Stratosphere casino. Eventually, it takes you to downtown Vegas and Fremont Street, home of the historic old gambling parlors like Binyons and the Golden Nugget. Just driving down the strip past all these spectacular casino resorts is a fantastic experience. At night, "the strip" comes alive with miles of colored neon and millions of dancing, pulsating lights.
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