What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, so the city's motto goes. For most of us, we first experience Las Vegas at the movies which is why Las Vegas is a great movie locations vacation.
For me, I primarily go to Vegas for business and have produced live satellite interviews from many of the Vegas hotels when they opened and also worked with Travelzoo's Gabe Saglie producing a "Europe with the Euro" segment Live from the Las Vegas strip.
Here are some of my favorite movies that were shot on location in Vegas and make this city in the desert an exciting place to visit based on the movie locations alone.
Movie: Vegas Vacation (1997)
The Premise: The hilarious Griswold family takes a a Vegas Vacation in this fourth film in a series of movies based on the original Vacation. Chevy Chase once again reprises his starring role as Clark W. Griswold, the patriarch of the family.
The Mirage Resort on the Vegas Strip was a primary filming location for this movie that was actually filmed from mid-June through late September 1996 - a busy tourist season. Several scenes of the movie were filmed the home of entertainer Wayne Newton, Shenandoah, and Newton who has been deemed "Mr. Las Vegas," also appears in the film.
Movie Trailer: Vegas Vacation
Movie: Ocean's Eleven (2001)
The Premise: Danny Ocean and eleven of his deviously talented friends plan an elaborate scheme to rob three Las Vegas casinos at the Bellagio, The Mirage, and the MGM Grand simultaneously. The movie had an all star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Elliott Gould, and more and was directed by Steve Soderbergh. The worldwide box office receipts hit a jackpot over $450 million.
In addition to the A-list cast, the Vegas backdrop and hotel casino locations serve as a co-star and makes Las Vegas a great movie locations vacation.
Movie Trailer: Ocean's Eleven
Movie: Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
The Premise: Danny Ocean is back in Vegas on this second sequel to the original Ocean's Eleven and Ocean, played by George Clooney, is scheming a third heist with his crew after one of the original eleven, Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), is double-crossed by casino owner Willy Bank played by Al Pacino.
More great Vegas locations were used to shoot many scenes in this film including some of the old favorites from the original movie.
Movie Trailer: Ocean's Thirteen
Movie: Miss Congenialty 2: Armed & Fabulous (2005)
The Premise: I love Sandra Bullock movies, but think I like her as FBI agent, Gracie Hart, the best. After the success of her undercover work in Miss Congenialty, this sequel, has Gracie once again going undercover in her efforts to rescue her friends kidnapped in Las Vegas.
The Treasure Island pirate show is prominently featured in the movie and a lot of fun in addition to scenes shot at the Venetian hotel.
Movie Trailer: Miss Congenialty 2: Armed and Fabulous
Movie: The Hangover (2009)
The Premise: Three groomsmen travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, staying at Caesars Palace. The next morning, they awake severely hungover and discover that they have lost their buddy during a series of misadventures. In order to find him, they must retrace their steps and end up at some famous and not so famous Vegas locations.
Although this was not my favorite Las Vegas movie locations vacation flick, I had to include it because it is a crowd favorite. I did run into Ed Helm at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica -- he was on his way to the loo.
Movie Trailer: The Hangover
I do like the scenes in The Hangover shot at Ceasars Palace since I've been there on many occasions and stayed there when I was producing the Travelzoo project. Ceasars had the best location to grab a shot of the Paris hotel's Eiffel Tower that was essential for our backdrop. What movie or movies first inspired you to travel? I'd love to hear about them below in the comments section.
You're packed and ready to go on vacation, so now comes the most important issue at hand: avoiding jet lag when you arrive at your destination. A survey by Conde Naste said that 93% of travelers get jet lag but you don't have to be one of them if you use my tips. ~Marianne Schwab
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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer
For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more