The upside to the frequent winds is, for a city of 1.9 million, the skies are amazingly clear.
Another thing that gets little mention is the mountains. You may have pictured Vegas all by itself, alone on a dry dusty plain. In reality, Las Vegas is in a bowl, surrounded on four sides by mountains: the Frenchman, Spring, Sheep and McCullough ranges.
On the eastern side of the Spring mountains, facing town, is the Red Rock Canyon area, probably the most striking natural feature visible from Vegas. The reddish-brown ridges of rock (turning to orange when the sun hits them) are simply stunning to behold, especially when alternated with bands of white after a snowfall.
Oh yeah! Snow. It snows at the higher elevations every winter, and every third year or so, there's snow on the Strip itself!
Las Vegas is the most populous city in Nevada, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping and fine dining. Las Vegas, which bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for the number of casino resorts and associated entertainment. A growing retirement and family city, it is the 28th most populous city in the United States with an estimated population by the U.S. Census Bureau of 607,876 as of 2009, by 2030 it will have 735,000 according to the city master plan. The estimated population of the Las Vegas metropolitan area as of 2008, was 1,865,746.
Established in 1905, Las Vegas officially became a city in 1911. With the growth that followed, at the close of the century Las Vegas was the most populous American city founded in the 20th century (a distinction held by Chicago in the 19th century). The city's tolerance for various forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, and this image has made Las Vegas a popular setting for films and television programs. On the other hand, Las Vegas also has the highest number of churches per capita of any major U.S. city. Outdoor lighting displays are everywhere on the Las Vegas Strip and are seen elsewhere in the city as well.
The name Las Vegas is often applied to unincorporated areas that surround the city, especially the resort areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip. The 4 mi (6.4 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip is mainly in the unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester, while a small portion overlaps into Las Vegas and the unincorporated community of Enterprise.