Courtesy of MGM Resorts International
Courtesy of MGM Resorts International
Courtesy of MGM Resorts International
Courtesy of MGM Resorts International
Courtesy of MGM Resorts International
Courtesy of MGM Resorts International
AAA Editor Notes
The Mirage is at 3400 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (between Flamingo and Spring Mountain rds.). When The Mirage opened in 1989 it raised the spectacle bar for Vegas megaresorts to a new level. The tropical South Seas theme creates one of the greenest hotel backdrops on the Strip. A variety of palm trees (not just the usual desert-acclimated date palms), manicured shrubbery and clipped lawns are kept green with constant sprinkler system help. Pools, waterfalls and dolphin sculptures also are sprinkled about the grounds.

Inside is an atrium with a 100-foot-tall glass dome that shelters a living rain forest of palms, banana plants and other vegetation. This also may be the only Vegas hotel where visitors will feel like lingering at the registration area, courtesy of a 20,000-gallon tropical reef aquarium built into the wall behind the check-in desks.

The Mirage pioneered the Vegas sidewalk spectacle with its erupting volcano. A man-made mountain rising some 50 feet from a palm-fringed lagoon, the volcano boasts effects by WET, the company behind the Fountains of Bellagio. Massive fireballs are choreographed to a hypnotic music score composed by the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart and performed by internationally renowned percussionist Zakir Hussain. A state-of-the-art sound system utilizing recordings of actual eruptions allows sidewalk observers to feel the ominous pre-eruption rumbling. Not enough excitement for you? The Mirage also is the home of Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat .

Food is available.

Volcano viewing free.
Self-parking $7-$10 (1-4 hours); $12 (4-24 hours). Valet $15 (up to 4 hours); $20 (4-24 hours). Fees may be higher during special events.
Volcano erupts nightly at 8 and 9 p.m. (also Fri.-Sat. at 10 p.m.), weather permitting.
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