5 Things You Can’t Tell About Vegas from the Pictures

Las Vegas is one of those shining cities that photographers adore. It looks great in still images and video, and as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it’s no wonder that it features so heavily in TV and movies as well. But all is not quite as it appears.

It Gets Hotter Than You’d Imagine

The heart of the Las Vegas strip at sunset
Image Credit: 7-themes.com

You might have heard that Las Vegas is in the desert. You might even have heard that it’s really hot there. But it’s hard to put that in context. Plenty of people will say that it’s a dry heat and not as oppressive as some lower temperatures might be in high-humidity areas. That’s somewhat true.

The big but is that Las Vegas can hit 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.8 degrees Celsius) in the summer. When it gets that hot, planes can struggle to take off from the airport. When the temperatures soar, it can be dangerous to be outside without water or access to air conditioning for extended periods of time.

It’s Really Far to Walk from One Casino To the Next

People walking along the Las Vegas strip
Image Credit: linkedin.com

Many people get to Las Vegas and plan to walk the strip. The whole strip is about 4 miles, which can sound manageable to many people, until you realize some added elements.

First of all, the heat is a major reason not to walk. Even in the evening, temperatures can stay over 100 or in the 90s, making it a bad idea to spend time outside. If you do decide to walk, remember to bring a hydrating beverage with you. You might be allowed to drink alcohol publicly in Las Vegas, but it won’t help to prevent heat stroke.

Let’s say you watch the fountains at the Bellagio and want to hit The Mirage for the volcano eruption. There’s only Ceasar’s Palace between the two, making them look fairly close on the map. In fact, it’s a distance of about 0.7 miles, which means a walking time of about 15 minutes depending on your route and walking speed. Jetsetting from Paris to New York along the strip might not be a trans-Atlantic flight, but it’s still about a mile away, or a 20 minute walk.

Las Vegas Has Vibrant Suburbs

An aerial view of the Las Vegas suburbs
Image Credit: earthshots.usgs.gov

Why yes, people do indeed live in Las Vegas. In fact, most residents who live in Las Vegas rarely venture to the Strip unless they are meeting friends from out of town, or work in one of the casinos.

There are normal offices, museums, restaurants, shopping malls and other day to day things you’d find in any city in the country. The majority of residents live in the suburban sprawl, and visit local casinos, bars, gas stations or supermarkets to get their gambling fix.

Hotel Rooms in Vegas Casinos Aren’t All That Huge

You might have heard the facts about how many rooms there are in Las Vegas. With literally thousands of rooms at each of the biggest casinos on the strip alone, not to mention the rest of the city, you’d need 288 years to sleep in every room. But part of how they can do this is by making the standard rooms a bit smaller than you might imagine.

When you imagine hotel rooms in Las Vegas, you probably picture those luxurious suites. The ones with Jacuzzi baths and a bowling lane. But in actual fact most people will stay in a standard room. These have all followed modern trends, and tend to be less than 300 square feet. Some of them are even under 200 square feet.

Of course, if you’re spending all your time eating at amazing restaurants, playing at luxurious casinos and taking in an epic show, you won’t be planning on ordering room service and eating on the bed anyway.

 

There’s a City Under the City

Homeless people living in Las Vegas storm drains
Image Credit: theplaidzebra.com

For all the glitz and glamour of the city, there’s also an underbelly of it. No, this isn’t about crime or something you might have seen on CSI. Instead, this is an actual city beneath the Las Vegas Strip.

The city has quite a large homeless population. It’s a sad state of affairs for the thousands of people living on the street. Some of them actually set up makeshift homes in the storm tunnels under the city. With hundreds, possibly even a thousand people living in the complicated network of tunnels, there’s a whole second city living beneath the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.