Glitz, glamour, parties, gambling, theatre and showbiz are some of the things that come to mind when thinking of Las Vegas. And, as newcomers to the city will find out, it is indeed all of those things, and then some. Vegas is not necessarily top of mind when thinking of family-friendly environments, but the city is about more than just its famous Strip, and its suburbs are as family-friendly as any other major city's.
Shopping in Las Vegas
Shoppers will be in seventh heaven in Vegas. Though quite pricey in general, the variety is endless and there are bargains to be had if shoppers know where to look. Fashion Show mall is a good starting point and houses all of the world's top brands. It hosts fashion shows every weekend on a retractable runway in the middle of the mall.
The Forum Shops in Caesars Palace are not to be missed, even if just for a spot of window shopping. Self styled as 'The Shopping Wonder of the World', the Forum Shops include top-end designer stores, but also lower end outlets. Shoppers can even take in a free show while shopping as there are regular performances inside the Forum Shops.
The Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood are quite the experience. Shoppers can take in live entertainment, drinks and food while they get in their retail therapy at more than 150 shops.
And lastly, the Grand Canal Shoppes will have shoppers feeling like they've set foot in Venice. Over 500,000 square feet, the mall even has a man-made river running through it on which shoppers can take a gondola ride. The mall also hosts live entertainment daily. Shoppers shouldn't miss out on the famous Black Tap Las Vegas burgers to refuel between sessions.
Nightlife and entertainment in Las Vegas
Las Vegas hasn't been awarded monikers such as the 'Neon capital of the world' and the 'Entertainment capital of the world' for nothing. People from all over the US come to Vegas for the epic nightlife, and stag parties are a dime a dozen as many bachelors and bachelorettes make a point of it to spend their last days of 'freedom' in Sin City before tying the knot. Speaking of, Vegas is also sometimes referred to as the 'Marriage capital of the world' owing to the sheer amount of (often intoxicated) couples that get married here due to the ease of acquiring a marriage licence and the minimal costs involved.
For the best nightlife in Vegas, there's no point in looking beyond The Strip. The Las Vegas Strip's lavish lounges and extravagant clubs and casinos are world famous for good reason, and revellers often continue partying throughout the night and into the next day. Dress codes of smart casual are enforced in clubs and lounges on The Strip, especially for men, which means no baseball caps, sneakers or open-toed shoes. New residents of Vegas may be shocked at the drinks and food prices at many of these venues, and may decide to limit their partying to a couple of times a month. Famous clubs include Hyde Bellagio which affords views of the famous fountains of the Bellagio; Jewel which is inside the ARIA hotel; Hakkasan, the MGM Grand's own superclub; and XS, which resides at the Encore hotel and whose walls are lined with actual gold.
The best restaurants are also located on The Strip, many of which convert into nightclubs after dinner service.
Sports and outdoor activities in Las Vegas
Vegas is not all about the party though. There is plenty to get up to for outdoors enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies. Adventurous new arrivals could write a whole bucket list with items such as bungee jumping off the famous Stratosphere Tower; hiking in the Valley of Fire, kayaking the Colorado River, riding a helicopter over the Grand Canyon; golfing at the famously beautiful Angel Park; cycling around Red Rock Canyon; zip-lining in Bootleg Canyon; taking a boat cruise on Lake Mead; racing a dune buggy in the desert; and even skiing and snowboarding near Mount Charleston – yep, it snows in the desert. In fact, 'nevada' is the Spanish word for 'snow-capped', and the mountains around Vegas get plenty of it.
Sports fans will be happy to know that Vegas is home to plenty of professional sports teams, including the Vegas Golden Knights who play in the National Hockey League, and the famous Raiders NFL team that relocated to Vegas from Oakland in 2020.
►Check out some of our favourite Las Vegas attractions here.
Are you an expat living in Las Vegas?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Las Vegas. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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