Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Las Vegas is the largest city in the State of Nevada, in the United States. It is located in the middle of the Mojave desert, in Clark County. Mormons founded the town in 1855, which became an agricultural village at the beginning of the XXth century. Nowadays the city is well known by its casinos, luxury hotels and all the entourage that attracts tourists from around the world. It has more than 120,000 hotel rooms, making it the first hotel city in the world. It is also a place of choice for large congresses. Its climate is desert hot and this is one of the sunniest cities in the world. Hotel-casinos are divided into two areas: downtown, with the oldest casinos and the Fremont Street Experience light attraction and the Strip or Las Vegas Boulevard, a long boulevard extending from downtown to the South toward Los Angeles. This is where lie the largest, latest and often most eccentric casinos hotels. Their architecture, often with theme, is sometimes striking. Many hotels of the boulevard also include shows rooms used for concerts, performances of prestidigitation and other shows like the Cirque du Soleil productions. Among the most attractive wefind:

The Venetian, dedicated to the city of Venice, with 7,000 rooms, is the largest hotel in the world. It has 15 restaurants, 150 shops, a Museum of motorcycles and also the Guggenheim Museum of Las Vegas.

Paris Las Vegas, where you can see the replica of the Eiffel Tower (165 meters). It is connected to the Bally’s hotel by a shopping gallery.

Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower, its main attraction is the Stratosphere Tower, which rises to 365 metres; at the top lies a small course of roller coaster and the Big shot; an attraction that propels customers at the top of a tower from 49 metres to 72 km per hour. It is also the highest attraction of the world; it offers also a breathtaking view on the boulevard and the entire city.

The Mirage, whose interior is marble from floor to ceiling and where there is an aquarium of about 90,000 liters and some 1,000 palm trees 20 metres high.

Luxor, there is a pyramid with 30 floors and 2 external towers with 22 floors. It is the 4th largest hotel in the world. It also has an Imax cinema and a small Nile on which you can sail. It is connected to the Mandalay Bay to the left and Excalibur to the right by a skytrain.

Tips

The CAT Bus (Citizens Area Transit) is a popular mean of public transportation among the inhabitants of the city and tourists with various routes which cover a large part of the Valley.
The Deuce bus (two-storey), shuttled on Las Vegas Boulevard, from the Strip to downtown, one valid for a two-hour service or another for the whole day.
The Las Vegas Monorail is a public transit system ranging from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel in the South of the Boulevard until the Sahara Hotel in the North of the Boulevard.
If you like shopping, Las Vegas is the ‘temple of shopping’; you will find many shopping malls as Fashion Show Mall.

Boldt Castle, Thousand Islands Archipelago, Alexandria, New York, USA

Boldt Castle is located on Heart Island in the Thousand Islands Archipelago on the St. Lawrence River, along the northern border of the State of New York, in Alexandria. This is a very important and known touristic place. Millionaire George Boldt, general manager of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and manager of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, and his family, used to stay in a cottage in the area near Wellesley Island. He loved the region very much and decided to build a castle for his beloved wife; Louise. The Boldt family asked to the GW & WD Hewitt architectural firm to build a sumptuous 6-storey castle with Italian gardens, tennis courts, golf courses, stables, a polo field and other four buildings on Heart Island with a yacht shelter on a neighboring island which they owned as well. He wanted to give this monument to his wife for Valentine’s Day but unfortunately she died in 1904 because of heart problems. After the tragedy, the millionaire decided to stop everything … After 73 years, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority bought Heart Island and the nearby yacht shelter in 1977 for one dollar, with the agreement that all revenues from the operation of the castle would be reserved for the restoration. The site followed improvements for several years and the original construction was also improved with marble, a dome of stained glass windows and the woodwork of the grand staircase; contemporary innovations that have embellished even more the castle. Most of the rooms are furnished with contemporary objects. In the unfurnished rooms of the castle there are exhibits showing images and objects made in the archipelago of the Thousand Islands at the time when the Boldt lived there. The bridge that connects the two banks can be lifted and lowered as required.

Tips

The castle can be visited with a fee in US dollar with a very good exchange rate for the Canadians. The price includes the shuttle transfer to the quay of the family ships, where 4 boats that belong to them are in demonstration.

It is accessible by ferry or tourist boat from Alexandria Bay or Gananoque, Rockport or Ivy Lea, all three in Ontario.

You must pass the US Customs and Border Protection office so you must provide proper identification.

Bucerias, Mexico

Bucerias is located towards the North shore of Banderas Bay at about 20 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was just a fishing village but nowadays many people choose this place for a quiet vacation. It has sandy beaches, cobblestone streets and people are really kind. You can also find restaurants of any kind along or near the beaches. There are a lot of activities to do in the village like whale watching (November to March); sea sea turtles (June to December); do deep sea fishing (all year long); see the Blue Footed Booby ( a special bird found in a few places in the world); see the iguanas of different colours and sizes, and more. Only 20 minutes by boat is full of underwater caves, reefs and neat tunnels. On your way there you can see dolphins, whales, sea turtles, manta rays, sea snakes and jumping fish.

Tips

You can find lots of accomodation: hotels, appartments, houses to rent for short or long periods and you can also invest if you prefer. Lots of American and Canadian use to spend their long holidays there.

There is a small open market in the town centre to buy local crafts and souvenirs.