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Couples may head to Las Vegas for quickie weddings officiated by Elvis impersonators. But as Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie have proved, eloping doesn’t always lead to a happily ever after. If you’re not one to rush, the Fountains of Bellagio and the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas have been known to inspire wedding proposals. Though tying the knot isn’t the only way to stir up some romance in Vegas: Take a gondola ride at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, check out the manmade lake at the Wynn and enjoy nature at the Springs Preserve on a date in Las Vegas.
1. Eiffel Tower. Las Vegas is a city obsessed with replication — and we’re not talking carbon copies and model airplanes. Though the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas is half the size of the original at 460 feet, the view from the top is equally stunning. A dizzying windowed elevator ride takes you and your loved one up nearly 50 floors to the open-air observation deck, which allows for 360-degree views of Las Vegas. It’s intimate up here, but it gets packed with tourists on the weekends.
2. Fountains of Bellagio. From plenty of different vantage points on the Strip, you can see the spectacular Fountains of Bellagio. Whether you’re up close or watching from afar, the water show is quite a sight. The choreographed medley features more than 4,500 flashing lights while music by the likes of Frank Sinatra plays.
3. Gondola ride. Who needs the murky waterways of Venice when you can take a gondola ride through the pristine, chlorinated canals of the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino? Choose the indoor canal or the outdoor one, and float in a gondola modeled after the real deal. The ride takes you through the Grand Canal Shoppes, which cover 500,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants.
4. Lake of Dreams. No multi-star hotel on the Strip is worth its weight without a manmade lake, and the one at Wynn is particularly special. Surrounded by a 120-foot-tall artificial mountain that shields it from Las Vegas Boulevard, the Lake of Dreams breathes an air of exclusivity, just like the rest of Wynn. But the lake’s true purpose is to wow onlookers throughout the evening, as it plays host to a variety of surreal shows: statues of men and women arise from the water, light and music spring to life, and there’s even a giant inflatable frog whose mouth moves in sync with Louis Armstrong’s sweet serenade, "What a Wonderful World."
5. Springs Preserve. The Mojave Desert isn’t all browns and grays. The Springs Preserve provides outdoorsy couples a nice green break from the glitzy Strip. Just a couple of miles from Las Vegas Boulevard, this 180-acre historic preservation project embraces the concept of sustainability — a positive step in a city known for its frequent building implosions. With eight acres of gardens, miles of walking paths, an amphitheater and even a Wolfgang Puck restaurant (and you thought all the good grub was on the Strip), the Springs Preserve offers everything you need to plan a great date.