To many people, Las Vegas is “Sin City” – the global mecca for adult entertainment visited by 40 million tourists a year. Without a doubt, tourism is the backbone of the city. More than 300,000 of its 2 million population work for the hospitality industry, with more working in related businesses. To Las Vegans, however, the city has so much more to offer than the glitz and glitter of The Strip.
Las Vegas is indeed full of excitement, but its residents know that living here can also be refreshing and laidback. Here’s a look at the city’s myriad facets.
The city’s long and colorful history started in the 1820s with the arrival of Mexican scout Rafael Rivera who named the area Las Vegas, which is Spanish for “the meadows.”
Las Vegas was incorporated in 1911, six years after the arrival of the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake railroad. The city’s famed history with mobsters began when Nevada outlawed gambling in 1910, leading to the rise of speakeasies and underground casinos.
In 1931, two events played significant roles in shaping the Las Vegas of today – the construction of Boulder Dam (later renamed to Hoover Dam) and the re-legalization of gambling. Workers came to the area in droves, and numerous casinos and entertainment venues opened on Fremont Street.
The opening of El Rancho Vegas resort in 1941 gave rise to The Strip, where other large hotel-casinos flourished. The city enjoyed a military boom during and after WWII when it hosted several Cold War facilities, including the famous Nevada Test Site.
In the 1960s, millionaire Howard Hughes bought several hotels in The Strip, ushering in the era of corporate-run mega-casinos and resorts. Gambling was re-christened “gaming” and became legitimate business.
Las Vegas enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year – and that means more opportunities to be out in the stunning nature that surrounds the city. All year round, you can enjoy the pools, golf courses, city festivals, endless parties, and the top tourist attractions in Las Vegas.
Just a little further away from the dazzling lights of The Strip, Las Vegas is home to tranquil family-friendly neighborhoods with spacious homes, topnotch community amenities, and nearby schools. Luxury properties are aplenty, but you will also find quite a few affordable housing options.
Las Vegas residents enjoy parks, trails, golf courses, museums, and theaters. You’ll never run out of places to shop and dine – there’s a plethora of stores, boutiques, malls, and restaurants in the area. Outdoor adventures await you at nearby Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead, and Spring Mountain Ranch.
Visiting The Strip leads the list of the top things to do in Las Vegas. The Strip is a 3.5-mile stretch along Las Vegas Boulevard. While it lies just south of the city limits in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester, it has always been considered the defining part of Las Vegas. It’s home to the iconic hotels, casinos, and entertainment centers the city is known for and is the main artery that connects the area’s major destinations, including Downtown Las Vegas.
Some of the earliest hotels and casinos that gave birth to The Strip, including the Flamingo, Caesars Palace, and Tropicana, still stand in their full glory, alongside the latest tourist meccas.
Modern architectural wonders are found everywhere, from the Luxor’s pyramid-inspired building to the futuristic Circus Circus Hotel & Casino. Street attractions range from replicas of the Eiffel Tower and the Venice Canal to exploding volcanoes and dancing fountains.
Las Vegas students attend schools in Clark County School District, Baker Valley United, and Bullhead City School District. There are around 292 schools close to the best areas to live in Las Vegas, giving you plenty of options for your children’s education. Among the top-rated schools here are Coral Academy of Science in Las Vegas, Northwest Career & Technical Academy High School, and Doral Academy.
Parks and Recreation
Surrounded by majestic mountains, grassy meadows, and stunning desert, there’s more nature in Las Vegas than the average visitor probably knows. The city and its suburbs feature miles of trails and acres of parks, some of which are just a few minutes from the strip. You’ll find dramatic falls, tranquil lakes, and rich forests that are home to all kinds of trees, plants, and animals. Sports and recreation facilities around the city encourage residents to have an active lifestyle. Check out this page for information on trails and this website for information on parks and facilities around the city.
- Arts and culture
Concerts, musical performances, movies, and live theater are regularly staged in venues like Historic Fifth Street School, Centennial Hills Amphitheater, Boulder Plaza, Sammy Davis Jr Festival Plaza, and more. Art galleries like Chamber Gallery, Charleston Heights Art Gallery, and West Las Vegas Art Center Gallery feature the works of local, regional, and international artists. The Office of Cultural Affairs organizes and sponsors various workshops and classes for the community. See this page for more information.
The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a major NASCAR venue and was voted SMI Speedway of the Year for the fifth time in 2018.
The highly-anticipated National Finals Rodeo is held annually at the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas’s only permanent rodeo venue, Plaza Hotel & Casino’s Core Arena on Fremont Street, was opened in December 2018.
There’s a festival in Las Vegas all year round, celebrating everything from the city’s Western heritage to food and music. Events you shouldn’t miss include:
- Las Vegas Chocolate Festival & Pastry Show
- Life Is Beautiful music festival
- National Finals Rodeo
- Las Vegas Greek Food Festival
- iHeartRadio Music Festival
Explore our vibrant and diverse city. We’ll be happy to be your guide in finding the right home and relocating to Las Vegas. Call us at 1-702-545-6050 or email Emily@LeadingVegas.com.