Las Vegas, Nevada, the largest city in the state and the seat of Clark County. It is 220 miles (354 km) northeast of Los Angeles.
Las Vegas is noted for its gambling casinos, many of which offer lavish entertainment and many are housed in luxurious hotels. Some of the casinos are located downtown along Fremont Street but most are in an area known as the Strip, which is south of downtown along Las Vegas Boulevard. Stretching along both sides of the Strip are many of the city's largest hotel-casinos, including the Stratosphere Tower, which rises more than 1,100 feet (335 m). Most of the hotel-casinos along the Strip feature theme parks and a variety of live entertainment. The city is also a major convention center.
Cultural attractions in the city include an art museum, a museum of natural history, and a museum of Nevada history. On the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, are a concert hall, a theater, and an art gallery. Nearby Lake Mead Recreation Area is a vacation resort. Las Vegas is served by McCarran International Airport, a railway, and an Interstate highway.
In the outlying desert are several air force bases and nuclear energy installations. Hoover Dam is 22 miles (35 km) southeast of the city.
Las Vegas was settled by Mormons in 1855, but they moved on two years later. The area was the site of a ranch until the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad built a permanent settlement here in 1905. Las Vegas was chartered in 1911. Gambling u as legalized here in 1931. Since World War II, the city has experienced rapid growth.