What does the Spanish phrase "Las Vegas" mean in English?
You would never know it by looking at the city today, but Las Vegas was built atop wetlands and meadows. "Las Vegas" translates to "The Meadows" in Spanish. The city was named in 1829 when a group of Spanish explorers, led by Rafael Rivera, encountered the land while traveling from Mexico to California. Rivera discovered a shortcut along the route and named the valley "Las Vegas" after its spring-watered grasses. Today, there is little evidence of the meadows that gave Las Vegas its name. Instead, the city is known for its mega casino-hotels along the Las Vegas strip.
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