Written by Administrator
Monday, 21 July 2008
Las Vegas is not a city that lends itself to organized sightseeing tours . On foot, you'd have to walk too far; on a bus, you couldn't visit the Strip casinos that are the main focus of interest. What bus tours there are head out from the city instead, mainly to the destinations in the vicinity - Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon, and so on. Several companies also offer free trips to the state-line casinos at Primm and Laughlin, of appeal to die-hard gamblers only. Most of the operators listed below also run flights or tours from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon.
Gray Line tel 384-1234, . "Las Vegas City and Shopping," including Liberace Museum and the Forum ($39); Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston ($39); Hoover Dam ($39); Death Valley ($139); Bryce Canyon ($139).
Maverick Helicopter Tours tel 261-0007 or 1-888/261-4414, . Las Vegas by night ($69).
The Missing Link Tours tel 1-800/209-8586, . Bus tours to Bryce and Zion national parks (two days/one night: $159) as well as the Grand Canyon, and shuttle services to LA.
Scenic Airlines tel 638-3200, . Fixed-wing air tours throughout the Southwest, including Zion, Bryce, and Monument Valley as well as the Grand Canyon.
Teddy Bear Express tel 737-6062. Laughlin (free); Primm (free).
GRAND CANYON TOURS
Whatever impression you may have, the Grand Canyon is not close to Las Vegas. The South Rim , the most famous tourist area, is 290 miles away by road, and the quieter North Rim only a little less. A Colorado River viewpoint on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, 130 miles from Las Vegas, calls itself the West Rim , but the views are not on the same scale.
Trying to see the South Rim on a day-trip by bus involves at least a ten-hour round-trip ride, and is not recommended. Competition on air tours , however - including an overflight of Hoover Dam - means that you may be able to find prices as low as $100 per person, which isn't bad for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Look for advertisements in free local magazines as they often feature two-for-one deals and other enticing offers. Rates usually include a shuttle service to and from your hotel; on a flight that doesn't land, the whole trip can take under three hours.
Air Vegas Airlines tel 736-3599 or 1-800/255-7474, . Helicopter tours of the West Rim ($250-359).
Gray Line tel 384-1234, . South Rim by bus, a fourteen-hour round trip ($159).
Maverick Helicopter Tours tel 261-0007 or 1-888/261-4414, . Helicopter tours of the West Rim ($250-359).
The Missing Link Tours tel 1-800/209-8586, . Fixed-wing tours to the South Rim for $209 with a bus tour or $179 without, or with a steam-train ride on the Grand Canyon Railway for $329, or to the less dramatic West Rim for $199.
Scenic Airlines tel 638-3200, . Fixed-wing air tours throughout the Southwest, including South Rim without a landing for $109, or with a ground tour by bus for $219, and also shorter tours to the West Rim ($199, or $259 with a helicopter flight down through the canyon).