Want to enjoy the perks of living in Las Vegas? No, we don’t live in hotels, not everyone works on (or even regularly visits) the Strip, and gambling is not taught in schools. What we do well, however, is we know how to have fun. Vegas is full of entertainment, eateries, events, and the occasional Elvis. We’ve put together a Las Vegas locals guide to help you make the most of your time in Sin City.
Las Vegas is in the desert and a common misconception is that while we are known to get very hot with temperatures topping 115 degrees in the summer, we also get very cold at night, especially in the winter. Many people are surprised to discover that just 45 minutes outside of the city, we get snow atop Mt. Charleston, which is a local favorite for skiing and hiking. Even when the temps reach their respective extremes, always having a light jacket or sweater nearby is always advised regardless if you’re indoor or outdoor. We have so many outdoor activities and sightseeing attractions to enjoy, from biking to camping to water parks and the Hoover Dam- you’ll want to be prepared! Especially when you’re walking down the Strip or on Fremont Street, just know that the casinos keep it chilly inside. And unless you’re going into a nightclub with specific dress codes, having a comfortable pair of tennis shoes or sandals is always in style.
Vegas is a true 24-hour town. It’s a shock for those of us who live here when we travel outside of the city and can’t get dinner or a drink past 9pm. While you’re here, however, be sure to visit the Peppermill; an old-school lounge, restaurant and coffee shop that is open 24 hours a day and has that ‘classic Vegas’ appeal. There are tons of other late night eating options both on and off the Strip, but if you’re looking for a unique Vegas experience after a night of clubbing or shows, this spot is the bee’s knees.
In Vegas, sunscreen is your best friend. It’s sold in basically every convenience store and by every dayclub, but make sure to use something with an SPF of at least 30 (although 50 is better). Reapply regularly if you’re fair-skinned, swimming, or if you sweat a lot. A hat and UV sunglasses are also highly recommended. You have been warned.
The average summer temperature in Las Vegas is 106 degrees. One of the most important pieces of advice that a local can both give and take is making sure you’re getting plenty of water throughout the day. The risk of dehydration, passing out, or suffering from heat stroke is a very real thing here. Lots of alcohol consumed at night or during the day by the pool also contribute to a hangover from hell. If you can, save the drink slaying for your evenings out at the club or casino, and focus your daytime hours on hydration and happiness. Your hangover (or lack thereof) will thank you later.
Until recently, Vegas was best known for shows, casinos, and fine dining. Now throw in: an NHL expansion team; the NBA Summer League; a WNBA team; FCC Soccer team; UFC headquarters; NASCAR speedway; multiple PGA events; T Mobile Arena and events center; the NFL Raiders team and brand-new stadium; plus, a new baseball complex being built for the Las Vegas 51s… and you’ve got a full-on sports hub exploding with action! Sure gambling on the games are fun (especially if you win), but being able to attend the games while you’re here makes it an experience unlike any other!
If you’re into gambling or gaming, or you simply just want to learn, then you’re in luck. Well, at the very least, hopefully, you’ll end up lucky. When you sit down at a table for a game of blackjack, craps or roulette, take lessons if the casino offers them. Many of them offer free table lessons on weekdays in the afternoons, but if not, spend a couple of bucks on the crib card that supplies the basics. Otherwise, don’t feel ashamed to ask the dealers questions on how to play. The dealers are there to help and are the only true professionals at the table. Las Vegas locals guide tip: start out downtown in the Fremont district. Table minimums are lower there than those on the Strip if you’re feeling intimidated by the high table limits on the Strip and your learning curve won’t cost you too much. Also, make sure to join the casino’s respective players club. All you need is a driver’s license to sign up and you’ll be given a frequent gamblers card that accumulates points towards free and reduced-priced incentives like buffets, comped hotel stays, and show tickets. You know what they say: it pays to play!