Here's What its Like to Live in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is one of the nation's most popular travel destinations, but why wait for a vacation to enjoy this amazing city? Discover why this Nevada hot spot is also a fantastic place to live.
Las Vegas sits in a basin on the floor of the Mojave Desert at the foothills of the Spring Mountains. It's a part of Clark County, which is near the southern tip of Nevada. Las Vegas is located roughly 13 miles from Henderson, Nevada's second-largest city.
The Best Places to Live in Las Vegas
Most tourists never venture beyond the Las Vegas Strip. However, there are many places in Las Vegas that will suit any taste and budget. Take a closer look at where you can settle down in Sin City.
Downtown Las Vegas is perfect for young singles and couples who want to be near the city's densest concentration of businesses, restaurants, and amenities. Condos and lofts in this part of the city are modern and luxurious, offering low-maintenance living and on-site perks such as gyms and pools.
Most of the Las Vegas Strip isn't in downtown Las Vegas at all; rather, it's the census-defined area known as Paradise. However, this area isn't just for tourists. If you have money to spare, you'll love the luxury apartments at Trump International and MGM Grand. You'll have to judge for yourself whether the glitzy side of Vegas is your idea of paradise!
The Arts District
If you want to move away from the glitz of the Strip without sacrificing the area's vibrant atmosphere, the Arts District may be right up your alley. Located just south of downtown Las Vegas, the Arts District encompasses the area bordered by Common Street, Hoover Avenue, Fourth Street, Las Vegas Boulevard, and Colorado Avenue. Though it is much larger than the 18 blocks it used to span, locals still refer to this area as 18b.
You'll find a quirky mix of homes to buy or rent in this dynamic neighborhood. Art galleries, creative restaurants, boutique stores, and yoga studios line its streets. Make sure you visit the First Friday arts festival, which is held in the Arts District every month.
Very few parts of the country are booming like Summerlin is. In 2000, this master-planned community had 59,000 residents. By the 2010 Census, it had 100,000 residents.
This friendly community, which is located in the western part of the city, is popular among affluent families who want a quiet suburban life with private yards and quality schools. Downtown Summerlin also boasts many modern restaurants and retailers.
The Las Vegas Lifestyle
Don't be surprised if you become swept up in the party lifestyle after moving to Las Vegas. Many residents take advantage of the fact that the bars stay open until the small hours of the morning. The Las Vegas lifestyle can be a lot of fun initially, but most residents eventually tire of the pace. Many catch their breath and clear their heads by hiking in the nearby mountain ranges and having quiet nights with friends.
In Las Vegas, there is a level of superficiality that can become grating. Appearances and wealth matter here. However, the city doesn't try to hide its flaws, and this honesty can be refreshing. Though it can take some time to find “your tribe,” the locals say that, once you do, these friendships will last for the rest of your life.
Despite the city's size, the cost of living in Las Vegas is actually lower than the national average. Dining and gas are significantly more affordable, and housing and utilities are slightly cheaper, even though most residents prefer luxury digs. In addition, Nevada doesn't collect income taxes, which can feel like a blessing for people who are moving from other states.
Working in Las Vegas
As the nation's entertainment and tourist capital, it's not surprising that hospitality jobs are plentiful in Las Vegas. However, the city's economy is much more diverse than you might think. Keep reading to learn about some of the largest business sectors in Las Vegas.
The hospitality industry is the city's largest business sector. Of the roughly 2.2 million people living in the urban area, approximately 335,000 are employed by hospitality businesses, including restaurants, bars, hotels, performance venues, and the iconic Las Vegas casinos.
Since more than 42 million people visit the city every year, the hospitality industry is expected to be an economic force for a long time. Expansions to the city's entertainment and tourism venues will create new jobs for the hospitality workforce.
Advanced Health and Medical Research
With several institutions doing cutting-edge work, Las Vegas is a leader in advanced health and medical research. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is one of the state's newest medical schools. It offers acclaimed residence and fellowship programs in trauma, surgery, pediatrics, geriatrics, and sports medicine.
The UNLV's School of Community Health Sciences is Nevada's only public school with public health training programs and research labs focused on environmental health and emerging diseases. In addition, the university has research centers dedicated to health disparities, Native American health, and health information and analysis.
The Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada has won awards for its innovative cancer care solutions. These awards include a Health Science Achievement Award from the Nevada Biotechnology & Science Consortium and a Hematology & Oncology Practice Excellence Award from Hematology & Oncology News & Issues. The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health has pioneered new approaches for delaying the onset of a variety of cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer's and dementia. The UNLV Ackerman Autism Center's cutting-edge multidisciplinary treatments, diagnostics, and support programs for people with autism have garnered significant attention from the medical community.
Other innovative health companies are also based in Las Vegas in order to be near the area's acclaimed medical schools. These health pioneers include:
- Cenegenics: The world's largest age management clinic.
- Turntable Health: An innovative membership-based primary care clinic focused on holistic treatments and preventative care.
- Lucine Health Sciences: A social-benefit company that researches the effectiveness of medications in order to benefit consumers and the health care industry.
With a variety of exciting opportunities, Las Vegas is a great place for health care professionals who want to work on the cutting edge of their field.
Manufacturing and Logistics
Las Vegas' location in the American West makes it the ideal base for a variety of manufacturing and logistics businesses. The city's efficient highway network offers easy access to Interstate 15, Highway 95, and U.S. Highway 93. For more distant locations, Las Vegas has McCarran International Airport. This busy transport hub handles 600,000 pounds of cargo every day. Las Vegas and other cities in Nevada don't charge inventory taxes.
Some of the leading manufacturing and logistics companies based in Las Vegas are:
- Pololu Robotics & Electronics.
- Elgin Fastener Group.
- Argyle Manufacturing Group.
- Advantage Warehousing & Logistics.
- Zelda Logistics.
Las Vegas is the perfect place to strike out on your own and create your own business. The Downtown Project, an initiative dedicated to revitalizing the city's downtown area, has cultivated a robust start-up culture. To date, the project has invested $350 million in more than 165 new businesses.
Las Vegas has several co-working spaces that were designed to bring entrepreneurs together. These spaces nurture innovation and make networking easy, providing the perfect breeding ground for enterprising business endeavors. Many run training programs and special networking events for their members and offer first-class facilities, including meeting spaces and kitchens, at substantially cheaper rates than other office space providers.
Schools in Las Vegas
Clark County School District oversees all of the public elementary, middle, and high schools in Las Vegas. With more than 314,650 students, it is the fifth most populous school district in the United States. Las Vegas' public schools are proud of the high standard of education that they offer. Many have perfect scores on greatschools.org. Some of the best schools in the district are:
- Walter Bracken Elementary School.
- John W Bonner Elementary School.
- Las Vegas Academy of the Arts.
- Advanced Technologies Academy.
- West Career & Technical Academy.
There are also many options for students who want to pursue higher education. The College of Southern Nevada has the third largest student population of any community college in the country. Las Vegas also has several quality universities that offer general or specialized studies. These include:
- University of Nevada.
- Las Vegas and Nevada State College.
- The International Academy of Design & Technology Las Vegas.
- University of Nevada School of Medicine.
- Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
Weather in Las Vegas
With more than 300 pleasant days every year, Las Vegas is good for people who love sunshine. As you might expect, considering its location in the Mojave Desert, the city has a subtropical desert climate.
The temperature rarely falls below 45 degrees during the winter, which makes Las Vegas perfect for people who hate the cold. Due to the city's elevation, it is slightly cooler in the city than in other locations around the Mojave. The temperature will occasionally drop to zero degrees, so you shouldn't forget to bring warm bedding. It rarely snows in Vegas, so, when it does, it's a cause for celebration. Cold weather never lasts for long, and you'll quickly get back to having fun in the sun.
However, it can take some time to get used to summers in the desert. They're very long and very hot, which, until you become acclimated, can make them seem even longer. More than 130 days reach or exceed 90 degrees, and, in July, the hottest month, the average temperature is 104.2 degrees. You'll want to invest in an air conditioner because the temperature usually does not fall below 80 degrees at night. The heat in Las Vegas is dry, though, so it is not as uncomfortable as it would be with a higher humidity level.
The transitional seasons of fall and spring are also warm. Expect average highs between the low 70s and the high 80s during the spring. The beginning of fall is warm, with average highs in the high 80s and low 90s, but the temperature drops to the mid-60s by November.
It doesn't rain often and, when it does, it's not much more than a sprinkling. Las Vegas receives only a little more than 4 inches of rain annually. Most of this rain falls during the winter. However, the North American monsoon can cause thunderstorms during the summer.
Getting Around Las Vegas
Las Vegas was designed for tourists, so you'll find that it won't take long to get your bearings. Whether you want to use public transport, drive yourself, or get some exercise by walking, you'll find several transport options in Las Vegas.
Downtown Las Vegas is very pedestrian-friendly, with flat roads and a simple, easy-to-follow grid system. Restaurants, bars, and cafes tend to be clustered together, though you may have to walk for 10 to 15 minutes to get from one casino to the next.
Bottles of water are essential for walking around the city during scorching hot days. You can stay out of the heat by using the special passageways that connect certain casinos. For example, a small shopping mall joins the Luxor and Mandalay Bay, and pedestrian overpasses run between MGM Grand, Tropicana, Excalibur, and New York-New York.
Most Las Vegas residents prefer driving their own vehicles. Driving your own car means that you have the freedom to leave the downtown area and the Vegas Strip and visit other parts of the city. However, traffic can get heavy, especially around tourist traps, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Try avoiding Koval Lane, which is always busy, regardless of when you're commuting. Traffic tends to be lighter on Frank Sinatra Boulevard and Dean Martin Drive than on other roads around the Strip and airport.
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) operates 49 bus routes in the area. These air-conditioned buses are an affordable way to get around the city and escape the summer heat. They run regularly up and down the Strip and around the downtown area between 5:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.
RTC bus services typically have fixed single-journey rates, regardless of how far you're traveling. However, the Deuce and SDX, which run on Las Vegas Boulevard, have timed passes. Single and 30-day passes are also available; these can be more economical if you expect to take several trips. Children and seniors receive discounted rates on RTC buses, though they may need to present identification to qualify for these savings. Buy your tickets from the downtown or South Strip terminals or from the ticket vending machines located near certain bus stops.
Las Vegas Monorail
The Las Vegas Monorail is a fun way to visit the city's busiest tourist areas. It runs along the eastern side of the Las Vegas Strip from the MGM Grand to the SLS Resort and stops at several other popular hotels and the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The monorail offers fixed one-way, return, and one-day passes, regardless of how many stops you make. Your Nevada driver's license, Nevada Sheriff's card, or State of Nevada government-issued ID card lets you purchase no more than two single-ride tickets at the discounted rate.
The trams aren't as scenic as the monorail, but they are an economical way to get between major hotels on the Strip; you can ride them free of charge. Las Vegas has three trams:
- The Mandalay Bay Tram: Runs between the Mandalay Bay Hotel and the Excalibur via the Luxor.
- The Aria Express: Runs between the Park MGM and the Bellagio via The Shops at Crystals.
- The Mirage-Treasure Island Tram: Runs between the Mirage and Treasure Island.
Eat Your Way Around Las Vegas
There's always a lot buzz about Las Vegas' food scene. The city prides itself on innovation, and it's always one step ahead of what's trending. New restaurants open frequently, but, if they don't serve excellent food, they're unlikely to last for long.
The Best Restaurants in Casinos
Though many casinos still have tired, slightly suspect buffets, other casinos boast vibrant, critic-celebrated restaurants. These casinos offer some of the best dining in the city:
- Park MGM: Eataly, NoMad Restaurant.
- The Palms: Tim Ho Wan.
- Palazzo: Mott 32, CUT.
- Aria: Bardot Brasserie, Herringbone.
- Bellagio: Lago, Harvest.
The Best Buffets
Buffets weren't created equally. While some serve predictable, lukewarm food, others elevate one of Las Vegas' most popular culinary traditions. For a meal that will make you reconsider buffets, try these excellent options:
- Garden Court Buffet, Main Street Station.
- The Buffet at Wynn, Wynn Las Vegas.
- Cravings Buffet, The Mirage.
- Carnival World Buffet, The Rio.
- Bacchanal Buffet, Caesar's Palace.
You can eat your way around the world without ever leaving Las Vegas. The city is home to many eateries that deliver authentic cuisine to diners who dare to try something different. Take your taste buds on a journey at these exciting restaurants:
- Persian: Hafez Persian Cuisine, Pro Kabob Persian Restaurant, Zaytoon.
- Korean: E Jo Korean Restaurant, Garden Korean Restaurant, Hong Lou.
- Peruvian: Lima Limon, Polla Inka Express, Once.
- German: Hofbrauhaus, Café Berlin, Ron's Market Eastern European Meat & Deli.
- Greek: Meraki Greek Grill, The Fat Greek Mediterranean Bistro, Estiatorio Milos.
If you're a real foodie, you simply must experience a chef's table. Forget about ordering from a menu. Put your trust in the chef's hands and know that you'll receive a delightful degustation that you'll never forget. You'll eat your meal at a communal table in the kitchen or a special VIP area, and you'll bond with your fellow foodies over each course. Chef's tables run at the following fine dining restaurants:
- The Buffet at Bellagio.
- Smith & Wollensky.
- é by José Andrés.
Things to Do in Las Vegas
Las Vegas offers much more than slots and table games. Get to know your new home and discover a wealth of entertainment options. Consider doing the following activities during your leisure time.
Visit the Casinos
Visiting the casinos is an obvious activity for Vegas residents. However, it's worth mentioning because the casinos offer much more than you might think. Sure, there are gaming floors that have every table game and slot machine title you can imagine, but there's much more to do in these luxury establishments. The best casinos regularly host musicians, cabaret acts, comedians, magicians, circus performers, and more. You should also check out some of the more unusual casino attractions, such as the dancing water fountains at the Bellagio and the gondolas at the Venetian.
Admire the Street Art
The best art in Las Vegas isn't hidden away inside a gallery; it's out for everyone to see. The downtown area got its first murals in 2013 when the Life Is Beautiful Festival brought a selection of international street artists and muralists to the city. The program has since become an annual event, and new works are added and old pieces are rejuvenated every year. Make sure to stop and admire the colorful works as you pass them.
You'll soon realize that, when you live in Las Vegas, you'll have to keep up appearances. Visit one of the city's shopping precincts to revamp your wardrobe or purchase the décor you'll need to create that enviable Las Vegas pad.
Tivoli Village claims to be “the premier Las Vegas lifestyle destination.” With designer stores and boutiques, this open-air mall caters to a high-end clientele. The mall's free valet parking will make you feel like a true VIP. After shopping until your feet hurt, rest them while you enjoy a meal at Brio Tuscan Grille; Echo & Rig, a steakhouse; or PKWY Tavern, a modern sports bar.
Town Square, located in Enterprise, was modeled after a European village. As you might expect from a shopping precinct, it has plenty of space: 117 acres to be exact. This makes it a popular choice for families, especially for parents who are transporting their kids in strollers. Kids will enjoy the outdoor Children's Park, and frazzled parents will appreciate the martini bar and saloon. Town Square also has a diverse selection of stores, including popular retailers such as Old Navy, The Container Store, H&M, and Whole Foods. After making your purchases, catch a blockbuster at the on-site 18-screen AMC cineplex.
Reconnect With Nature
Las Vegas' neon lights and impossibly beautiful people can occasionally make you feel a little disconnected from reality. When you need to remember what's real, visit Spring Mountains and the rugged beauty of the Mojave Desert.
Red Rock Canyon is just 26 miles from the Strip, but it feels a world away. There are 26 hiking trails crisscrossing its nearly 200,000 acres; you can spend several days exploring them. If you prefer getting around on two wheels, hit up Scenic Drive, a picturesque path that lives up to its name. Look for the gray foxes, mule deer, and hawks that live in the canyon.
Located just 56 miles from the city, the Valley of Fire is another must-see landmark. Opened in 1934, it is Nevada's oldest state park. However, its history stretches back much further; its striking petroglyphs are estimated to be more than 2,000 years old. During the summer, this area lives up to its name, though it has some shaded parts that are good for picnics.
If you really want to escape the hustle and bustle and beat the notorious Nevada heat, take the two-hour drive to Lake Mead. Though it is nice to stare at the beautiful water, jumping in is more fun. Rent a boat at Lake Mead Marina, Temple Bar Marina, or the Callville Bay.
Annual Events in Las Vegas
Las Vegas loves parties, so it's not surprising that it always has a full social calendar. You won't want to miss the following events after you move to Las Vegas.
- CES: A consumer electronics show that attracts the world's best tech companies.
- Chinese New Year in the Desert: Fremont Street hosts Chinese dragon dances, acrobatics, martial arts, traditional musical performances, and Chinese food vendors.
- Black History Month: The Nevada Preservation Foundation stages walking tours and lectures that educate visitors about the contributions of African-Americans to the country.
- St. Patrick's Day: Wear green, drink green beer, and watch the parade go through the downtown.
- The Great Crafts Festival: Usually held during the third week of March, this event lets local artisans display their wares at the Cashman Center.
- Nevada Women's Film Festival: A cinematic celebration of women and their contributions to the film industry.
- Fremont Street Mardi Gras: Las Vegas might be a long way from New Orleans, but Cajun musicians and parties bring the spirit of Creole country to Las Vegas during the third week of April.
- Las Vegas City of Lights Jazz and R&B Festival: Originally only a jazz festival, this soulful Summerlin music event is held during the last week of April.
- Electric Daisy Carnival: Commonly called "EDC," this annual music festival is held at the Las Vegas Speedway and showcases the world's hottest EDM artists.
- Vegas Uncork'd: This is the city's most popular food festival and is staged at restaurants along the Vegas Strip.
- Helldorado Days: Las Vegas pays homage to the Wild West with a cowboy parade and rodeo.
- Las Vegas International Chess Festival: Hundreds of the best players from around the world compete for the prestigious title.
- Las Vegas Restaurant Week: Held from early to mid-June, this event has local chefs create impressive dishes for eager diners.
- Fourth of July Fireworks: Enjoy the fireworks displays at venues such as Cashman Field, Desert Breeze Park, and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
- Elvis Festival: Celebrate the life of the King of Rock and Roll at Sam's Town Hotel & Casino, where Elvis once performed.
- Psycho Las Vegas: A cutting-edge three-day rock festival that is held at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
- DEF CON: Started in 1992, this is the world's oldest and largest underground computer hacking event.
- America's Golf Festival: Hundreds of golfers from around the world compete for big prizes at this exciting event.
- iHeart Radio Music Festival: A popular music festival that is headlined by some of the world's best pop, rock, and hip-hop acts.
- Las Vegas Greek Food Festival: Taste the authentic flavors of the Mediterranean at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church.
- Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival: This event, which spans across 18 blocks, brings top acts and new street art to the city.
- Vegas Food and Wine Festival: A four-day celebration of gourmet delights held in Tivoli Village.
- The Las Vegas Farm Fall Harvest Festival: This family-friendly festival runs on weekends throughout October and features hay rides, pony rides, a maze, and pumpkins for carving.
- RiSE Lantern Festival: Thousands come together just outside the city limits, in the Moapa Desert, to release biodegradable illuminated lanterns.
- Vegas Valley Book Festival: With workshops and seminars, this event held in early November is a must-visit for literary buffs.
- Strut Your Mutt: Take a leisurely 5K walk or run with other dog lovers, and then enjoy the festivities at this pet-friendly event.
- Winter Wonderland at the Bellagio: The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens' Christmas display, unveiled on December 1, always gets locals into the holiday spirit.
- Chanukah Family Festival: Free family-friendly Chanukah celebrations at Tivoli Village.
Final Thoughts: Moving to Las Vegas
Las Vegas is a quirky city with a character that doesn't suit everyone. Long-term residents love it, but many people stay for only a short time before moving to other places that are much better suited for their temperaments. Remember: the city's strong personality is a part of its charm. Whether you're pursuing employment opportunities or seeking a change of pace, trust Allied Van Lines to make your Las Vegas move go smoothly. We'll transport all your belongings from anywhere in the country and get them to your new home safely. All you need to worry about is getting to know this Nevada gem.