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Tag - Fountains of Bellagio

How Miss America contestants see Vegas

     They all come from different states, but this week, the contestants in the 2012 Miss America Pageant have one thing in common -- Las Vegas.

     The participants in this year's pageant got a chance to experience Vegas this week before a new Miss America is crowned this Saturday night at Planet Hollywood. We asked some of them about the host city:

Miss California   MISS CALIFORNIA, NOELLE FREEMAN

   Q: Where do you love to shop in Vegas?

   A: The Forum Shops at Caesars are always the first stop when shopping in Las Vegas!
   There is so much to see and buy, I could spend an entire day there! Love the huge staircase too!

Miss ConnecticutMISS CONNECTICUT, MORGAN AMARONE

Q: What's your favorite Las Vegas restaurant, or the one you want to try the most?

A: You can't beat any of the restaurants in Las Vegas, but Nobu (at the Hard Rock Hotel) takes the cake!

  Miss District of Columbia MISS DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ASHLEY BOALCH 

   Q: What luxury spa would you like to spend a day enjoying in Vegas?

   A: I have read that the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas has one of the most amazing spa 
   treatments in the world. Experiencing the Luminescence Massage and Body Treatment,
   which entails a Swedish massage, revitalizing body scrub and Pearl Powder, is definitely on my must-do list!

MIss HawaiiMISS HAWAII, LAUREN CHEAPE

Q: What's your favorite Las Vegas restaurant, or the one you want to try the most?

A: Hash House A Go-Go (Imperial Palace, Plaza, M Resort). After seeing it on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, I just had to try it. It has a unique combination of foods and huge portion sizes.

Miss Kansas   MISS KANSAS, CARISSA KELLEY

   Q: What luxury spa would you like to spend a day enjoying in
   Las Vegas?

   A: Canyon Ranch Spa at The Venetian.

Miss LouisianaMISS LOUISIANA, HOPE ANDERSON

Q: If you could live at any resort in Las Vegas, which would you choose?

A: The ARIA at CityCenter. It's smack dab in the center of everything and the architecture and open layout make it a perfect place to relax and people-watch. The restaurants are incredible, it has a fabulous mall and you're minutes from everywhere else.

Miss Mississippi   MISS MISSISSIPPI, MARY MARGARET ROARK

   Q: What would you do if your talent led to a headlining show in Las Vegas on the first
   night your name appeared on the marquee?

   A: Faint! Then take a picture. Then rock it out on stage!

Miss MontanaMISS MONTANA, VERONIKA OHLINGER

Q: What is the best advice you can give to a first-timer in Vegas?

A: Take in as much as you possibly can! There are tons of shows, shopping areas, restaurants, and even more activities to experience. Do some research online and figure out which of these attractions appeal the most to you and make sure you put them on the top of your list!

Miss Nevada   MISS NEVADA, ALANA LEE

   Q: What's the one thing in Las Vegas you can't miss?

   A: No trip to Las Vegas is complete without seeing the spectacular Fountains of Bellagio.
   They have become a Las Vegas staple through exposure on television and in
   numerous films. It's a wholesome activity that's sure to impress!

Miss OklahomaMISS OKLAHOMA, BETTY THOMPSON

Q: What would you do if your talent led to a headlining show in Las Vegas on the first night your name appeared on the marquee?

A: If I was on the marquee for a headlining show in Las Vegas, I would definitely want a picture in front of it with as many of my friends and family as possible!

   Miss South CarolinaMISS SOUTH CAROLINA, BREE BOYCE

   Q: What Vegas performer do you think you are most like and why?

   A: Terry Fator! I love his impersonations and comedic style. I definitely feel that with my
   celebrity impersonations and humor, we are most alike! I love to make people laugh and it
   is evident he does as well.

Miss VermontMISS VERMONT, KATIE LEVASSEUR

Q: If you could only bring three things on a trip to Vegas, what would they be and why?

A: My Burt's Bees lip balm for the desert air, my camera to document the incredible experience and my best friend to share the experience with!

Miss Virginia   MISS VIRGINIA, ELIZABETH CROT

   Q: What Vegas performer do you think you are most like and why?

   A: I'd like to think Elton John (at Caesars Palace), because I can sing in multiple
   genres.

Miss WashingtonMISS WASHINGTON, BRITTNEY HENRY

Q: What luxury spa would you like to spend a day enjoying in Vegas?

A: Green Valley Ranch spa. I've been before and it was a great experience!

Spark some romance this Valentine’s Day in Vegas

  Book a romantic Las Vegas getaway this Valentine's Day and enjoy a romantic retreat that will keep your flame burning for that special someone all year long.

 Start with a little soothing of the senses. Las Vegas is also home to the more than 45 unique and relaxing luxury spas. Most spas offer specials for couples, and specialty services such as sport, Shiatsu and Swedish massages; herbal baths; wraps; aromatherapy and reflexology; steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools; and more. You'll be in the lap of luxury and leave feeling invigorated and refreshed.

Hugo's Cellar at the Four Queens is the perfect place for an intimate meal for two. Then you'll be ready for a night out just for two. Take a stroll around Fremont Street in the early evening and enjoy the overhead light show of Viva Vision. Then head into the Four Queens Hotel and look for Hugo's Cellar. As you might guess, it's in the basement of the hotel - a rustic, charming and vintage Vegas restaurant awaits you. The food and ambience are top-notch; both complemented by some of Vegas' finest servers. And tradition here is strong, as every lady receives a complimentary rose upon leaving.

If you don't want to dine in a cellar, you can have your head in the clouds instead, overlooking Las Vegas at the Stratosphere's Top of the World restaurant, or experience the ultimate in romantic getaways at Eiffel Tower Restaurant. Great food, piano entertainment and a view of the city - it's a Valentine's Day dinner your partner will never forget. Just across Las Vegas Boulevard, there is no better waterfront dining experience than Le Cirque. Exquisite French cuisine and an extensive wine list will tempt your taste buds as you enjoy the famous dancing Fountains of Bellagio.

Afterward, get cozy and enjoy some of Las Vegas' unique nightlife, including the retro-swagger of Matt Goss at Caesars Palace, or any of the free late-night lounge acts at many Strip hotels. For an only-in-Vegas experience, enjoy late-night cocktails at the Fireside Lounge at the Peppermill on the Strip - mirrored walls, fake flowers and a central fireplace add to the kitschy Vegas experience.

Spark your romance this Valentine's Day in Vegas!

Vegas is a picture perfect destination!

      You probably have a digital camera -- either one specifically made for taking pictures, or attached to your smart phone. When you're in Las Vegas, there are plenty of places to put it to good use, with its neon lights and famous boulevard.  Book your trip and stroll the Strip, because there's a photo op around just about every corner.

 The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.    No visit to Vegas would be complete without a stop at the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign.  Located on the south end of the Strip, it's one of the most recognizable signs in the world and also one of the most copied. The original designer, Betty Willis, created the sign in 1959 and never copyrighted it. It's the reason why you'll find this sign, or a version of it, everywhere from T-shirts to mugs to beach towels. So when you're here, get your picture with the real thing.

The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas.Romance is in the air when you arrive at Paris Las Vegas.  The hotel's focal point is a 1/2 size replica of the Eiffel Tower, with its 11th floor restaurant with stunning view of the lights below.  Of course, don't miss the elevator ride to the top - at 460 feet, you'll experience a perfect panoramic 360-degree view of Las Vegas. For more great photo ops, don't miss The Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre, The Paris Opera House, and the Alexander III Bridge-all reproduced to the smallest detail.

Those seeking vintage Vegas will enjoy the downtown area known as Fremont Street.  Although there are plenty of classic Vegas hotels here, you can't miss modern technology at its best with the world's largest LED canopy of light.  With more than 12 million lights, the overhead canopy displays music videos and special light shows nightly.  Make your trip to Fremont Street's Viva Vision show at night and you'll be amazed that it's as bright as day when the lights are on!

The Mirage Volcano has been erupting for more than 20 years, and now produces flames that are hotter and larger than ever, with a new fire lagoon feature.  The creators have installed dozens of fire cannons under water that will explode on command.  The effect is a choreographed fountain of fire and scored to the vibrant music of Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart.

The majestic Fountains of Bellagio.Just take a stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard and you'll get a glimpse of the world.  It's the most recognizable street in the world and you'll see first hand Bellagio's fountains, New York's famed skyline, Luxor's great pyramid, Venetian waterways and squares and secluded lakeside shows at Wynn Las Vegas.

For more scenic shots, take a quick trip to Lake Mead where you can see the famous Hoover Dam.  A quick 30-minute drive from the heart of Vegas, the Hoover Dam will amaze you with its size and commanding presence. 

Miss USA 2011: Some Southern hospitality

Note: This is the fourth in a series of blogs leading up to the Miss USA 2011 competition on June 19 at Planet Hollywood. In this entry, we're highlighting contestants from Southern states, and slowly worked our way up the East Coast a bit.

The contestants for Miss USA are used to answering questions, so we threw some Vegas-related Qs their way. Here are some selected answers:

MISS ALABAMA USA: MADELINE MITCHELL

Q: What are you most excited about seeing and doing in Las Vegas?
A: I'm most excited about the amazing shopping.

Q: If you had to pick five things to pack in your suitcase for a trip to Vegas, what would they be?
A: Swimsuit, oversized sunglasses, my favorite dress, skinny jeans and a sparkly top.

Q: What's the best advice you can give to a first-timer in Las Vegas?
A: You can sleep when you get home!

MISS GEORGIA USA: KAYLIN REQUE

Q: Where do you love to shop in Vegas?
A: The Shoppes at The Palazzo.

Q: What's the best pool in Vegas?
A: Tao Beach.

Q: What's the one thing in Vegas you can't miss?
A: The scenery. I suggest taking a few laps on the Las Vegas Strip to see the people, the buildings and lights at night.

MISS FLORIDA USA: LISSETTE GARCIA

Q: Who would be your dream date in Vegas?
A: Brad Pitt and George Clooney ... and with the rest of the Ocean's Eleven cast!

Q: What's the most unique experience you've had in LasVegas?
A: In 2004, my mom came to Las Vegas to get married by Elvis. I arranged all the wedding events and we had dinner at the Top of the World in the Stratosphere.

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Las Vegas?
A: My favorite restaurant is American Fish in ARIA. I love eating seafood, and with Michael Mina restaurants, you can never go wrong.

MISS SOUTH CAROLINA USA: COURTNEY HOPE TURNER

Q: What's the first thing you want to do when you get off the plane in Vegas?
A: I want to watch the Bellagio's water show!

Q: What's the one thing in Las Vegas you can't miss?
A: The Luxor, especially if you admire Egyptian culture.

Q: What's the best advice you can give to a first-timer in Las Vegas?
A: Pace yourself, stay hydrated, and bring plenty of sunscreen.

MISS NORTH CAROLINA USA: BRITTANY LEIGH YORK

Q: Who's your favorite Vegas icon?
A: Frank Sinatra is a classic Vegas icon. I absolutely love the era that he represents.

Q: Who would be your dream date for a night out in Vegas?
A: Paul Walker! Fast cars, big blue eyes, and an awesome smile ... who could ask for more?

Q: If you could live at any Las Vegas resort, which one would you choose?
A: The amenities at ARIA seem phenomenal; I could definitely see myself living there!

MISS VIRGINIA: NIKKI POTEET

Q: What is the first thing you want to do when you get off the plane in Vegas?
A: It's a long flight from Virginia, so after I stretch my legs I want to see the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign!

Q: What might you wear in Vegas that you wouldn't wear back home?
A: I have in mind a 1950s showgirl costume, with lots of sparkle and glitz, and a feathered headdress 4 feet tall. Pretty sure that outfit would not be Richmond, Va., appropriate!

Q: What would be your dream date for a night out in Vegas?
A: First, I would want to go to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and race a Lamborghini. Then, to celebrate my victory over my date, I would like to enjoy a nice dinner at a restaurant with outdoor seating. Then, to finish off the evening, I would find the highest point that I can go to, possibly at the top of the Eiffel Tower restaurant, and enjoy my view of the bustling nightlife.

MISS PENNSYLVANIA USA: AMBER-JOI WATKINS

Q: What is the first thing you want to do want to do when you get off the plane in Vegas?
A: Visit one of the amazing spas so I can relax before the competition starts. The locals tell me I should try the Encore spa.

Q: If you had only one night in Vegas, which nightclub would you choose?
A: XS at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, I always have a great time there.

Q: What's the best advice you can give to a first-timer in Las Vegas?
A: Meet new people, ask the locals for advice and do as much as you can. There is something for EVERYONE in Vegas.

MISS WEST VIRGINIA USA: WHITNEY VEACH

Q: What are you most excited about seeing and doing in Las Vegas?
A: The Vegas Strip and all of the lights. I can't wait!

Q: What might you wear in Vegas that you wouldn't wear back home?
A: That fully sequined mini dress that has been sitting in my closet since I bought it.

Q: What are your must-see shows in Vegas?
A: Peepshow. I love Holly Madison.

All Miss USA contestants surveyed are over 21 years of age.
Images courtesy of Miss Universe Organization

First trip to Vegas? Some advice from your peers

We asked our legion of Facebook fans (you are following the official Las Vegas page on Facebook, aren't you???) what advice they would give to first-time Vegas visitors.

We had some great responses -- and thought we'd share our top 10 answers with you!

1)      Wear comfy walking shoes
2)      Stay hydrated
3)      Pace yourself
4)      Bring lots of cash/singles (for tipping)
5)      Fly in at night
6)      Get lots of sleep before, don't sleep while you're there
7)      Split your time between the Strip, Fremont Street, and outer attractions (such as Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area)
8)      See the free Fountains of Bellagio
9)      Enjoy the buffets
10)   You don't need a car if you're on the Strip -- use the monorail, taxi, or bus (here are some tips for getting around Vegas)

If you are planning your first visit to Las Vegas, be sure to check out our list of to-dos on the Vegas First-Timers itinerary available on LasVegas.com ... we're the experts on How To Vegas!

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