Las Vegas is the gambling and vice capital of the United States (although the largest casino is actually in the unlikely state of Oklahoma). There is plenty to see and do in this city (and plenty to know about visiting in advance). Las Vegas is nicknamed “Sin City” for good reason and its catchphrase “What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas” epitomizes what Vegas is all about (or at least how it markets itself).
Vegas is also one of those destinations that can be very affordable — and even family-friendly — or as expensive as one can imagine. It all comes down to what visitors want to do, what their expectations are when they go, and how well they plan.
What To Know When Visiting Las Vegas
Las Vegas can be a family-friendly destination, but that is not its primary focus. Vegas is a top destination for bachelorette parties and for the ultimate nightlife and vice. There are many adult advertisements that parents may not want their children to see.
Vegas gets expensive if one visits at the wrong times, but is affordable during the week (especially in the off-season).
Vegas is not all about Vegas and The Strip. Vegas is also about visiting the Hoover Dam, The Grand Canyon, and the Mojave Desert.
That being said, the main attractions are gambling, shows, nightlife, and adult-related attractions.
Best Time To Visit Las Vegas
Las Vegas is situated in a hot desert, and so during the summer, it can be sweltering hot, although it can be visited throughout the year.
The best time to visit Vegas is before and after the sweltering heat of summer — March to May and from September to November.
- Best Time To Visit: March to May & September to November
- Busiest Times: Around New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day
By going in the shoulder seasons of the year, visitors get to enjoy some of the most moderate weather. The winter months are also a great time to visit weather-wise, but it also receives large influxes of visitors (especially around New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day).
Summer doesn’t need to be off the books either; visitors are just likely to spend more time in their casino hotels and the swimming pools and less time on an excursion in the desert.
Best Ways To Get Around Sin City
As with all American cities (apart from perhaps New York City), the best way to get around the wider city is by car. However, parking can be a problem on The Strip.
The major hotels offer shuttle services — they may be for an extra fee or complimentary.
If one is planning to just stay in The Strip for a few days and if one is flying into Sin City, it may not be worth hiring a car.
Vegas also has plenty of public transportation options to get around. It boasts a monorail, trams (they are free in Las Vegas), and a bus transportation network.
- One-Ride: $5
- 1-Day Pass: $13
Without a car, perhaps the most convenient way to get around is with ride-sharing; Uber and Lyft work really well, and often the cost of a trip will be only around $10.00.
Where To Stay On The Strip
The Strip is full of some of the most famous casinos in the world, like The Venetian Las Vegas, The Palazzo at the Venetian, Caesars Palace, Bellagio Hotel, MGM Grand, Resorts World, Paris Las Vegas, and many more. These are all on — or near — the famous Strip.
Staying on the Strip means that people can enjoy being right in the heart of the neon-light attractions of Vegas. Many things are also within walking distance, and so visitors don’t need to worry about getting taxis or public transportation.
All of these casinos are great options offering some excellent deals. Some hotels offer up to 30% off for longer stays when booking three or more nights.
There are plenty of excellent accommodation options as well off the Strip in quieter places in Las Vegas.
One great option is the Las Vegas Pool and Lazy River Complex (part of the stunning Tahiti Village) — it is arguably worth booking just for its lazy river.
Where To Eat In Las Vegas
Vegas has just about every type of restaurant and dining option one can think of – there are far too many great dining options to list out in detail here.
Perhaps the most unusual (and cringe) place to eat is at the Heart Attack Grill — not recommended for those on a diet.
According to TripAdvisor, the top places to eat in Vegas are:
- Primal Steakhouse
- Edge Steakhouse
- Fresco Italiano
- Mr. Mamas
- Weera Thai Restaurant
- Omelet House
- Esther’s Kitchen
- Italian American Club
- Arawan Thai Bistro and Dessert
Vegas also has plenty of great places to grab an adult beverage.
Top Vegas Attractions
Vegas is full of attractions; it has some of the world’s premier shopping destinations, many of the world’s most famous casinos, innumerable excursions in the desert around Vegas, and Neon lights galore.
But must-dos in Vegas include the Vegas shows and a day trip to the Grand Canyon.
Top Attractions In And Around Vegas:
- The Strip: Walk the strip at night (but be aware of the surroundings) — adults only
- Helicopter Rides Over Las Vegas & The Grand Canyon: Great day tour option
- The High Roller Observation Wheel: One of the largest Ferris wheels in the world
- The Mob Museum: Learn about the history of crime in the US
Additionally, many casinos have their own iconic attractions. The Venetian Hotel has its gondola rides, the Paris hotel has a reconstruction of the Eiffel Tower, and the Bellagio Resort has the (free to watch) Fountain Show.
Costs In Las Vegas To Know About
Vegas is almost unique in how affordable (or even cheap) some of the accommodations can be. Great rooms in some massive casino hotels can be found for $50.00 or less a night for two.
To enjoy the great deals, look on the hotel’s websites for upcoming deals (as well as various Vegas-dedicated websites).
The casinos can offer rooms at great rates because they are planning to make more money through their casinos, restaurants, and in-house shopping malls.
One of the key things to plan around is to try to visit Vegas during the midweek. Vegas is a very popular destination for Americans over the weekend, so prices shoot up on the weekend.
If possible, plan to visit Las Vegas between Tuesday and Thursday.
Tips For Visiting Vegas
The best thing one can do in Vegas is to plan ahead and look for great hotel deals.
But there are also exceptions for planning ahead. If one is traveling with an eye on the budget and is happy to be flexible with what show to watch, then book show tickets at the last minute.
- Car Hire: Don’t bother
- Download: Lyft & Uber
- Stay Hydrated: It gets super hot in Las Vegas; drink plenty of water!
Vegas is a city that never sleeps, with some of its businesses not closing through the night. Learn more about current events and offerings at Las Vegas’ dedicated tourism website.
Q: How much does it cost to visit Las Vegas?
How much a Las Vegas trip is going to cost depends on a range of factors. It depends on when one goes (some seasons are much more expensive as are the weekends). Gambling is a large variable for folks visiting Las Vegas as well.
As a rough guide, reckon on spending around $2,700 for a week for a couple or $1,500 for a solo traveler. Hotels range from as low as around $30 per night to well into the hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Q: How long should a trip to Las Vegas be?
How much time a first-timer needs to visit Las Vegas really depends on the person and what they want to get out of their trip to Sin City.
A single night is enough time to walk The Strip, visit a few casinos, go to a show, and perhaps do a little gambling on the side.
It is very common to spend a long weekend there, but the best to spend around five days — that’s enough time for multiple shows, day tours of the Grand Canyon, and to get the feel of the city much more.
Q: What is the best month to travel to Las Vegas?
The best months to visit Las Vegas are the more affordable shoulder seasons — March, April, October, and November (the summer is very hot).
But really the “best” month really depends on what the “best” means for each individual person (some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it…).
For most folks, spring and autumn are perhaps the best months to visit.