McCarran International Airport (LAS) is America's 7th busiest passenger airport and has two operating terminals. It features art and WiF and carries the distinction of including over 1200 slot machines. LAS is also well known for shops that will seperate you from a day's pay with must have gift items before you leave town. Though LAS has pelnty of lounges, dining options are somewaht limited for an airport of this scale, since the powers that be prefer that you dine on the Strip or at a casino. A pleasant surprise is that the airport includes an Aviation Museum tha chornicles when aviation first arrived in Las Vegas. LAS AIRPORT TERMINAL MAP
Jet taking off from LAS Airport
Taxis are plentiful, but there are long lines to board when big trade shows are in Las Vegas, like Comdex and Consumer Electronics Show. Taxis cost $10-$12 per person to the Strip and $20 to downtown. If going on the east side of The Strip, ask the driver to take Paradise Road. If going the west side of the Strip when its not commute hour, ask the driver to take I-15 Freeway north, then exit at the first Sinatra Drive exit. If going downtown, take I-15 Freeway north during non-commute hours, otherwise take Paradise Road, north. Shuttles to the Strip cost $10. Limousines to the Strip cost $15-20. If you are headed Downtown, add $5-$7 to the fare. Car Rental: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Rent-A-Vette, Hertz, and Thrifty. Tip: Taking I-15 freeway from the airport is a good option when headed to north of Caesar’s Palace or to Downtown. Otherwise take Paradise Road.
There is no Amtrak service to Las Vegas.
The good news is Los Angeles-Las Vegas is designated as a U.S. High Speed Rail Corridor by the U.S. Department of Transportation for future funding. For more contextual information, see this important article about Interstate High Speed Rail.
To the relief of many visitors stuck driving or walking Las Vegas Strip during hot or cold weather, the 4-mile monorail runs up to 50 mph to these 7 stations on the east side of Las Vegas Strip:
• Sahara Station
• Las Vegas Hilton Station
• Las Vegas Convention Center Station
• Harrah’s/Imperial Palace Station
• Flamingo Station
• Bally's-Paris Las Vegas Station
• MGM Grand Station
Las Vegas Monorail at MGM Grand Resort
If you plan to visit a lot of casino-resorts on the east side of Las Vegas Strip, its best to purchase a 1-day pass for $12 or a 3-day pass for $28; otherwise it costs $5 per ride. Service is every 3-5 minutes from daily, 8a–2a.
Now if only the casino-resort owners would fund monorail extension south from MGM Grand Resort to LAS Airport, instead of bowing to pressure from taxi and limo operators.
Free Trams on the West side of the Strip
Casino-Resort owners on the west side of Las Vegas Strip don’t want their patrons exhausted either, so they built 3 disconnected but, nonetheless useful trams that run every 3-7 minutes:
• Mandalay Bay-Luxor-Excalibur (7a-2a)
• Bellagio-CityCenter-Monte Carlo (7a-10:30p)
• Mirage-Treasure Island (8a-4a)
Downtown Transportation Center located at 300 North Casino Center hosts extensive Bus Rapid Transit service and regular bus service. The best part is that you can catch a bus next to a casino resort on Fremont Street that travels frequently to the shopper's bonanza called Las Vegas Premium Outlets.
Las Vegas Freeway Network, oriented to The Strip, Downtown and a few east-west residential areas, is severely challenged by population growth. Fortunately, County Route 215 is being upgraded to I-215 Freeway status that will ultimately encircle the metro area. This is important to travelers because it allows more residents to get across town without funneling all traffic on I-15 Freeway running next to The Las Vegas Strip ("The Strip")and Downtown. Though I-15 Freeway has been upgraded in every way, allow extra time to destinations along its path during commute hours. If traveling beyond the Strip or Downtown, acquaint yourself with these freeways and parkways:
Summerlin Parkway, connects from I-515 going west
15 Interstate Freeway, north-south to Utah and Los Angeles
93 US Highway from Las Vegas to Lake Mead and southeast
215 Interstate Freeway, connects I-515 with the Airport and I-15
515 Interstate Freeway, northwest to downtown to southeast
602 State Route, Las Vegas Blvd, "The Strip" to Downtown
The world-famous Strip is a magnificent landscaped boulevard that compliments billion-dollar casino resorts on each side. The northern part of The Strip begins at Sahara Blvd. The northern part of The Strip ends at Russell Road, just below Mandalay Bay Resort.