The Big Edge

This is a fascinating sculpture that rests in front of the Vdara hotel. It consists of a conglomeration of boats. Some of them are row boats, others canoes and kayaks. There seem to be a few surfboards as well. They are pointed in different directions, and there is a lot of color. It seems to have been constructed on a single beam of steel.

You can’t stand directly in front of it, but you can still get a good view from across the road that serves the Vdara hotel. You can drive to it from the Strip going down Harmon Ave., but unless you want to simply drive by the sculpture, you will need to park at the Vdara hotel. This article explains how to get there on foot from the Strip.

There are two ways to get there on foot: the easy way and the hard way. The first time I went here, naturally, I did it the hard way. It was an adventure, though. Let me first explain the easy way to get there.

The Easy Way

Basically, you go through the front door of the Aria and make your way to the back where the North Valet parking is located. There is a pedestrian bridge to your right to cross over Harmon Ave. The Big Edge is impossible to miss. Here are more detailed directions when coming from the Strip.

Starting on the Mandarin hotel side of Aria Place, simply walk toward the escalator, go up to the next floor and walk past the Gallery Row Shops. If you’re coming from the Crystal Shops side of the street, you’ll have to go up to the pedestrian bridge and cross over to the other side. When you reach the end of the Gallery Row Shops, you will go down a few stairs, walk across a crosswalk and you will see the front of the Aria hotel. Go inside and head to the back of the hotel. Look for the signs above you. You are looking for the North Valet parking. When you get there, go outside. To your right, there is a pedestrian bridge that takes you over Harmon Ave. You can then walk towards the front of the Vdara. I think the best photos can be taken here. You cannot cross over the street to get a closer look. There is no pedestrian crosswalk, and besides that, there is no place to stand on the other side.

The Hard Way

This is how I got to the front of the Vdara the first time I attempted it. I wasn’t sure I could make it from the Strip. Not everything in Las Vegas is accessible on foot, but I decided to see how far I could go.

Since there is no pedestrian access traveling down Harmon, I decided to see if I could make it to The Big Edge on foot through the Cosmopolitan. I made it, but it was tricky. If you start from the The Shops at Crystals side of Harmon, you can use the pedestrian bridge to get to the Cosmopolitan, but you will need to go down to the ground level. There are stairs and an elevator. Once on the ground level, you may notice a sidewalk alongside the outside of the Cosmopolitan, but this dead ends quickly. You must travel down the same direction, but inside the Cosmopolitan casino. If you are entering from the Strip, simply enter at the ground level and walk the same direction as Harmon Ave. You will be attempting to make it to the valet parking area that serves cars entering form Harmon Ave.

Once you go outside, through the doors to the valet area, make an immediate left. There is a crossing area here for pedestrians but be careful. Although the cars aren’t traveling fast, they are not looking for people. You will see Harmon Ave from here, but you still need to make a right and walk through the crosswalk here. Stepping toward Harmon, you will see a sidewalk. Start walking down the sidewalk. After a few yards you will see a fire station to your right. Above the fire station is the tram station. You can’t get from the tram station to where you are now, so don’t even think about it. Straight ahead and to your right is a flight of stairs that will take you up to the sidewalk that leads you to the front of the Vdara. There is also an elevator for people like me that need one.

Once you are at the top, you’ll see The Big Edge. It is huge. You can’t miss it.

I have written a book about free things to do on the Strip. It has sold quite well. This book is a self-guided tour, taking you step by step down the Strip to visit all of the notable free things to do. The trip begins at the Las Vegas welcome sign and ends in the downtown portion of Las Vegas Blvd. The entire trip on the Strip can be done with a combination of walking and using the free trams on the west side of the Strip.

More information about the book and where to purchase it can be found below.

Free Things To Do on the Las Vegas Strip: A Self-Guided Tour By Matt Lashley