If you’re considering moving to Las Vegas, there’s a lot to know about Nevada’s largest city! Though Vegas is often referred to as Sin City and associated with “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” stories, it’s better known as the Entertainment Capital of the World with the Las Vegas Strip as its tourist magnet. But the city has so much more than the Strip! Let’s take a look at the reasons you’ll love living in Las Vegas.
1. Las Vegas Is Growing
Las Vegas is the largest city in Nevada with a population just over 600,000 and nearly 2 million in the metro area. And it’s primed to grow at its fastest rate since 2007 due to massive job growth in the retail, construction, and hospitality industries. This is a great sign if you’re thinking about moving to Las Vegas.
2. No State Income Tax
One major perk of living in Las Vegas—and the state of Nevada as a whole—is that residents don’t pay state income tax. Nevada is one of only seven states in the U.S. with no personal income tax and one of five states with no corporate income tax.
3. Tourists Help With the Rest of Your Taxes
Nevada hotel-casino operators accounted for roughly 45% of State General Fund revenues in 2014. Why does that matter? It means residents enjoy the third lowest state and local taxes in the U.S. Also, Nevada has low property taxes, and approximately 33% of the state sales tax is paid through the gaming industry. Thanks, tourists!
4. Cost of Living
Despite all of the glitz and glam that comes with Las Vegas, the cost of living is relatively low. According to PayScale, the overall costs to live in the city are only 6% above the national average with groceries, health care, housing, and transportation all hovering just above the national average. Meanwhile, the cost of utilities in Vegas is actually 9% lower than the national average.
5. Warm Weather Year-Round
If you love warm weather, you’ll love the desert climate of Las Vegas. Temperatures during the summer regularly surpass 100°F while the average temperature in winter months hovers around 60°F. Sure, the summer temperatures seem daunting, but it’s a “dry heat” that makes the 100°F far more comfortable than what people from more humid areas are used to.
6. Great Residential Neighborhoods & Suburbs
Las Vegas has plenty of family-friendly neighborhoods and suburbs! Communities like Summerlin and Centennial Hills are popular areas to live within Las Vegas’ city limits, and Henderson has been voted the second safest city in the U.S. by Forbes. If you’re moving to Las Vegas, you won’t have any trouble finding a nice, quiet residential area that feels like home.
7. All You Can Eat
No one does buffets like Las Vegas. No one. The Buffet at Bellagio and Le Village Buffet at Paris Las Vegas are two buffets that consistently show up on the best Vegas buffet lists. Another all-you-can-eat option Las Vegas is known for is sushi, and Yama Sushi might just be the local favorite. Locals swear that it’s the best sushi in Las Vegas and is remarkably affordable for the quality.
8. Further Your Education
Between UNLV and the College of Southern Nevada, you won’t have to leave Las Vegas to get a higher education. Though often referred to as a “commuter school,” UNLV offers everything you’d hope for from a major university, including on-campus housing, Division I athletics with the UNLV Rebels, Greek life, and more. College of Southern Nevada is primarily a two-year college with 161 degrees and certificates in fields like automotive technology, business, and dental hygiene.
9. Outdoor Wonders
Hiking, climbing, boating, sightseeing—Las Vegas is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream! Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a gorgeous natural wonder just west of Vegas with hiking trails and a 13-mile scenic drive. Mount Charleston, the highest mountain in Clark County, is popular for hiking and climbing. Valley of Fire State Park, just an hour northeast of Las Vegas, is a big destination for hiking, photography, picnicking, and camping. Last but not least, Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers boaters and fishers a place to get their water fix in the middle of the desert.
10. National Parks Nearby
If all the outdoor options directly surrounding Las Vegas aren’t enough, you can head just a few hours east or west to some of America’s incredible national parks. Death Valley National Park is just over two hours west of Las Vegas, and Grand Canyon National Park is four hours to the east. Las Vegas is seriously one of the best places to live if you love the great outdoors.
11. Las Vegas Motor Speedway
NASCAR fans, Las Vegas is the place for you! Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts various races throughout the year, including the NASCAR Sprint Series Kobalt 400. But you can do more than just observe a race at LVMS! Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush by riding along in 600 HP NASCAR race car as part of the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
If you’re moving to Las Vegas from a city where you didn’t need a car, you’re going to need one now. There is some public transportation, including the Las Vegas Monorail, which is popular for traveling the Strip. But Las Vegas is much bigger than just the Strip. There’s still Summerlin, Henderson, and North Vegas. You’re going to lose a lot of time if you only rely on public transportation.
13. Park In The Shade
Unless you’re moving to Las Vegas from Phoenix or another desert-like area, you’ll be in for a surprise the first time you get into your car after it’s been sitting in the sun on a hot summer day. You’ll learn quickly that parking much further away in a shady parking spot is worth it—and that windshield and window covers are your best friends.
14. Home of the Shrimp Cocktail
The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino introduced the shrimp cocktail in 1959. Since then, the Golden Gate has sold more than 30 million cocktails, and the shrimp cocktail has become a staple on appetizer menus across the city and the state of Nevada. Though Vegas is known for buffets featuring menu options from everywhere else in the U.S. and across the globe, this is one menu item that Las Vegas can claim as its own.
15. Golf Courses Everywhere
Las Vegas is home to Shadow Creek Golf Course, ranked as Golf.com’s 17th best course to play in the U.S. Looking for a golf experience only Vegas can offer? Golf right on the Strip at Bali Hai Golf Club or Wynn Las Vegas. Lastly, it wouldn’t be Las Vegas without some “out there” golf experiences. Hit some balls at Topgolf’s most insane driving range, or play KISS-themed mini golf at KISS MMG.
16. Let’s Go Bowling
If you like bowling, Las Vegas is the place to be! Not only does Vegas regularly host professional bowling championships, but it also has tons of bowling alleys across the city! South Point Bowling Center is a favorite among families. It has 64 lanes, an arcade, and a full-service snack bar and lounge. There’s also Red Rock Lanes, which is considered the most luxurious bowling alley in the city. This center has 72 lanes, cosmic bowling on the weekends, VIP lanes and suites, a lounge, a game room, and a snack bar!
17. Professional Sports Coming Soon
There’s a strong possibility that Las Vegas will be home to at least one major professional franchise in the near future. The NHL is looking to expand into Las Vegas with the Las Vegas Black Knights, which could start as early as the 2017-2018 season. On top of that, the Oakland Raiders are making a strong push to relocate to Las Vegas. If either comes to fruition, it will be the first time Las Vegas has ever had a team from one of the four major professional leagues (NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB).
18. Unique Cultural Attractions
Las Vegas has been criticized in the past for lacking cultural attractions. That isn’t the case anymore. Several incredible exhibits have been opened within the last few years, providing unique entertainment for people of all ages and interests. The Mob Museum, which opened in 2012, is an interactive journey through the history of America’s organized crime. Looking for something for the kids to do? DISCOVERY Children’s Museum gives children the chance to learn about the power of water, healthy eating, and sustainability, as well as use their problem-solving skills. Another recent addition is the Neon Museum, which opened in 2012 and features more than 200 signs from Las Vegas hotels, casinos, and businesses.
19. Celebrity Impersonators
Ever ran into Elvis at the grocery store? You will in Las Vegas! Because there are so many residents who moonlight as celebrity impersonators in tribute shows and on the Strip, you’re bound to run into some Frank Sinatras, Chers, Lady Gagas, and even a Zach Galifianakis. But locals say once you’ve lived in Vegas for a while, you won’t notice as much.
20. Eat & Drink Like a Local
If you don’t want to rub elbows with tourists at dinner, check out one of Las Vegas’ hidden gems! The Carson Kitchen might look like part of an old motel on the outside, but inside is the latest local venue from celebrity chef Kerry Simon. There, you can eat creative comfort foods in a hip environment. If you’re looking for dessert, Sweets Raku, specializes in inventive French/Japanese-styled “Pastry Entertainment.” Get started by eating your edible menu with a side of fruit sauce! Want to grab a drink? You’ll likely enjoy the Velveteen Rabbit. The craft cocktail and beer bar features a rotating menu with fresh ingredients, local art, boutique spirits, vintage furniture, and live entertainment.
21. An Incredible Comedy Scene
The comedy scene in Vegas is unmatched. Nowhere else will you find two incredible comedians doing shows on the same night in the same place. Vegas draws top veteran comedians like Jim Gaffigan, Jerry Seinfeld, Kathy Griffin, Jay Leno, George Wallace, Wanda Sykes, and more. But the big names and comedy shows on the Strip are only part Vegas’ great comedy scene. The local comedy scene is also thriving. This makes it a great place to live for up-and-coming comedians and comedy lovers alike.
22. Orleans Arena
Located just west of the Las Vegas Strip, Orleans Arena (attached to Orleans Hotel & Casino) is one of the nation’s leading multi-purpose sports and entertainment facilities. It hosts more than 200 events each year. If you want to see national music tours, NCAA basketball conference tournaments, conventions, motor sports, and more, head to Orleans Arena!
Looking for a unique festival to attend? Las Vegas hosts several a year! Las Vegas BikeFest brings in bikers from across the country for an extended weekend of motorcycles and good times. The Las Vegas Film Festival connects aspiring filmmakers with industry professionals in a week full of screenings and parties. For fans of the Wild West, Helldorado Days draws cowboys from all over for a four-day rodeo, parade, carnival, and famous facial hair contest, Whiskerino.
24. World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel
As a Las Vegas resident, you have the world’s tallest Ferris wheel right in your backyard! The High Roller is 550 feet high. That’s nine feet taller than the Singapore Flyer, which held the previous record. Each cabin of the High Roller can hold up to 40 people, and it takes about a half hour to go all the way around. You can choose a standard ticket or the “Happy Half Hour” ticket that includes an open bar.
25. Fun, Affordable Staycations
When you live in Las Vegas, you don’t have to leave to enjoy a vacation. There are plenty of great deals at hotels and resorts and an abundance of things to do for individuals, couples, and families. When living in Las Vegas, you can generally avoid the chaos of the Strip, but sometimes it’s fun to take part in it and be a tourist for a weekend.
Moving to Vegas in the near future? View storage units in Las Vegas to help with the transition!
“25 Things to Know About Living in Las Vegas” is part of the series “Resources for Parents Raising Children in Las Vegas.”
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