No matter how jaded a Vegas denizen you are, the Fountains of Bellagio will never not be magical. Routinely ranked among the lists of the most Instagrammed places in the U.S., they’re a dramatic, romantic paean to the city of Las Vegas. And with two decades-plus of nightly choreographed performances under their belt, they’ve earned icon status here.
To give you a sense of just how big a production the best free show on the Strip is, consider this: the lake in which they’re set is nearly 9 acres, and more than 1,200 powerful sprayers and shooters send spouts of water up to 460 feet high, reaching nearly the height of Bellagio’s tower. With nearly 200 speakers playing the music to which the dancing fountains are choreographed, they’re an integral part of the Las Vegas Strip experience.
When to Go
If you’re walking along the Las Vegas Strip on any single night after 8 p.m., you’ll invariably see the fountains in action. The show begins every 30 minutes from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, switching to every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight. On weekends and holidays, they start at noon every 30 minutes and change to 15 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight.
The fountains dance and sway to a catalog of 35 permanent shows. Those of us old enough to remember the original television commercials for Bellagio will recognize “Con Te Partiro,” now an oldie-but-goodie sung by Andrea Bocelli and Sara Brightman. Elvis Presley (“Viva Las Vegas”) and Frank Sinatra (“Fly Me to The Moon”) are in the mix, of course. But in recent years, Bellagio has mixed things up by adding selections by Tiesto, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and Cher.
Things to Do
So you don’t want to mingle with the throngs on the sidewalks to watch the show? Understandable, especially during the height of the summer when nighttime temperatures don’t cool down much from triple digits. Book a dinner reservation at one of the restaurants on the Strip with fabulous fountain views. If you sit at one of the tables right next to the railing on the small outside terrace at Lago by Julian Serrano, you can actually feel the mist of the fountains, which is refreshing, and you can still hear your dining partner speak, since most of the speakers are facing away from you.
Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, which relocated from the Forum Shops at Caesars to Bellagio, has both al fresco tables right in front of the fountains and a main dining room whose floor-to-ceiling floating glass windows have fantastic views.
Bellagio’s new Mayfair Supper Club (in the old Hyde Bellagio space), which touts a return to old-school Vegas glamour, has some of the best views. Book a table and settle in for a night of dinner, live performance, late-night lounge, and of course, that view.
Tips for Travelers
Popping the question? Ask for one of the corner tables at The Eiffel Tower restaurant, which has intimate corner seats that face away from the dining room and toward the fountains. You can even get married overlooking the fountains, at Terrazza di Sogno, a private terrace you can rent through Bellagio’s wedding chapels.