The party scene is definitely what’s on most people’s minds whenever anyone mentions our magical city, but Las Vegas is also a fascinating place to simply capture scenery on your camera. Each hotel, resort, and casino along The Strip showcases its own theme, style, and signature elements that allow it to stand apart from the rest. Also, if you make your way off the central hub, downtown Vegas offers up plenty of photography hot spots as well.
When you have the kind of landscapes and subjects like this desert town has to offer, it’s almost impossible to take a bad picture no matter where you are. When you start planning your street photography shot list, think of what makes Las Vegas iconic to you.
What do you want to remember? Is it the skyline? The architecture? The people? Or perhaps it’s the beautifully plated dishes found in the city’s best restaurants? There’s not enough time to see everything in one trip, but we’ve created a shortlist of photographic spots in Las Vegas to get you started.
1. Las Vegas Sign
A trip to Las Vegas isn’t complete without a selfie by the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. After all, if there’s not a picture to prove it, did it really happen? Head past Mandalay Bay & Casino at the golden hour and put your best face forward. Now that there’s an upgraded parking lot surrounding the sign, it makes it easier (and safer) than ever to get the ideal shot, since in days past the access to the sign was by way of the median curbs.
2. Fountains of Bellagio
You can’t take a trip to Las Vegas and skip the enchanted scene found at the Fountains of Bellagio. Although the fountains are always running, the synchronized light and music show is scheduled at various times during the night & day, so make sure to time your walk when you’re headed to that part of the Strip.
3. Luxor Pyramid and Sphinx
The black pyramid of the Luxor Las Vegas is America’s largest at 36 stories tall. The light shining from the top can be seen all down the Strip, inviting guests to take a look at the Egyptian influence this hotel and casino provides. It’s also been reported that the pyramid’s light can be seen from airplanes above Los Angeles, which is nearly 275 miles away. If that’s not striking enough for you, the Sphinx out front is quite the focal point as well.
4. Castle Tops of Excalibur
The exterior of Excalibur Hotel and Casino Las Vegas is like stepping back in time to the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. In a city where everything has been modernized, it’s fun to feel like you’ve step back in time, if only on the outside. You’ll want to head outside to the pedestrian bridges between Excalibur, NYNY and the MGM Grand to get the best shot of the castle peaks in the background.
5. Aria's Modern Architecture
If you’re a fan of contemporary architecture and design, the space in and around ARIA Resort & Casino is a photographer’s dream come true. The multiple angles and sleek panels create a futuristic quality that focuses on sophisticated complexity, especially when compared to the more ostentatious design personalities of casinos further down the Strip.
6. New York-New York Skyline
Although there’s no substitute for the real NYC, New York-New York Hotel & Casino does a good job at capturing the essence of one of the world’s most beloved cities. From the towering Chrysler Building to the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, there are enough featured sites to make you feel like you’ve reached the five boroughs all by simply walking down the street. Plus, this casino has one thing the original NYC doesn’t: a roller coaster atop a building, one of the most popular attractions in Las Vegas. And, a bonus spot here, if you head out to the pedestrian bridge between the NYNY and the MGM Grand you can get some great shots with the Brooklyn Bridge and the Las Vegas Strip in the background.
7. Neon Museum
If you haven’t guessed it by now, Vegas is known for its neon signs. The bright lights are part of the city’s historical charm and they actually used to be a lot bling-ier. Visitors can take a trip down memory lane in downtown Las Vegas to the Neon Museum a.k.a. the neon sign graveyard and get an up-close look at old showy signs of yesterday. At the museum, pick up a free pamphlet, which will pinpoint several of the original neon signs still active today.
The botanical beauty of the Bellagio Conservatory is transformed to change with the seasons. Every spring, summer, fall, and winter, guests can expect to enter a brand-new world just steps away from the hotel lobby complete with recycled trees, flowers, plants, and decorative displays to fit the theme planned for the 14,000 square-foot space. One of the most heavily trafficked areas inside a casino on the strip, you should plan on spending some time getting that perfect selfie.