Walking, Las Vegas
Walking in Las Vegas is hard work; distances between places are always further than you think, and the sun can be hot for those from more northerly places. In addition, the sidewalk is ofter lined by people offering flyers for good time girls etc.
However, we noticed on our most recent trip that using the west sidewalk (New York, Bellagio, Circus CIrcus) was much less crowded both with less pedestrians, and less street hawkers, making movement between places easier.
Like most things in Vegas, there's a certain pace to the Strip that's unlike anything I've ever seen. I call it the Vegas shuffle for no other reason than the fact that I don't know what else to call it. Hordes of tourists either on sensory overload or gastronomical excess, move very slowly, pausing to point, stare or to photograph anything and everything, They move in all directions, the most common of which is directly in your way. And no matter where you go, there they are.
Walking is a great way to see Las Vegas. You can wander in and out the various hotels and get a great feel for the city.
If you're looking at a map of the Strip, the distances can be a little misleading ... what looks like a close walk really isn't.
We spent our first full day walking the strip and only got as far as the Venetian (we started at the MGM Grand). For hotels that are a litle farther away you may want to take a taxi.
The best way to get around the hot spot is by walking. If you plan on sticking around the Las Vegas Boulevard...it will take longer just to drive through the crowds then just parking your car and walking on your own two feet. There is so much to see, and it's good excerise :) Just make sure you have comfy shoes.
The best way to see the Strip is on foot. Forget driving during evening hours, you can walk much faster. When you tire, just take one of the many monorails or moving walkways between casinos.
Do NOT try crossing Las Vegas Blvd in the middle of a block or against the light however. Traffic comes from several directions at a high rate of speed. Use the walkways or wait for the signal.
Folks, if you are coming to our fair city and especially if you are planning on imbibing heavily and walking around, please be warned that Las Vegas drivers are, a) ALWAYS in a hurry and usually drive 55 mph or better on the major streets b) Usually pissed off, talking on a cell phone, slapping a kid in the back seat, or otherwise distracted and you should never assume someone will see you and slow down. (You will be lucky if you get them to swerve), and c) unfortunately far too many drivers, both local and tourist, are often drunk themselves. Several people get killed on the sidewalks here at night or early morning.
And one more thing. NEVER jay-walk (run accross the street to avoid walking to a traffic light). The streets here are 7 to 8 lanes wide and as I said, everyone is driving way faster than you can run...
I highly suggest walking around Las Vegas...you see so much! The people are hysterical, and by walking you can pop in and out of many places with no commitment to staying.
Alternatively, take a cab to one section and then walk towards your final destination from there. Of course, in summer this may not be a viable option.
Hubby & I lost our bearings briefly during our sidewalk hike. Near the Strip's Fashion Mall, the left sidewalk is closed. We were routed through the Mall itself. (Bleh. All malls=same.) Just enter and bear to your right. A small sign will lead you out a side door. The Strip's to your right.
We started out by car, ended up on foot once we found a parking spot. Plan on a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Between the traffic back-up on the Strip, and trying to find a parking space once you get where you are heading ... plan on a lot of walking, the best way to get around the Las Vegas Strip. There are lots of sights to see all along the Strip itself, not to mention old Downtown and off the Strip. For the sights along the Strip, it is best to plan on doing a lot of walking.
You can rent a car to drive around; but walking is ok too.... after all, the casinos are all well connected and next to each other on the strip, so you might find a bit silly to have to be parking from casino to casino.
If you plan to go everywhere on foot, just be aware that there are some long distances between hotels. For example, I have walked from the Mirage to the Luxor. It took about 45 minutes. Here's another pic of me with a group in '97 before heading back to the Strip from the Freemont Street Experience.
As always, rent your own vehicle if you can. Although, if there's any place in this country that doesn't require car, it's here. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. Rent, be free and go everywhere you can. Then go back a 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc...time so that you can see everything you didn't have time for your 1st visit.
Just as in Monaco (Europe), there are pedestrian bridges with elevators or escalators over the road. Safe and handy to make pictures of the Strip.