PeaceJoyAustin

Cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to do in beautiful places

Las Vegas

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  • Known for its elaborate casinos, shows, clubs, and buffets
  • Extravagant replicas of world landmarks
  • One of the country’s fastest-growing cities

Metro Population: 1.95 million (#29 in the U.S.)

When To Visit: Year-round

Climate: Warm and sunny year-round with slightly cooler temperatures in the winter

The Sin City is a place of supreme entertainment and outlandish behavior. The Strip is the city’s iconic 4 mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that features its most elegant hotels and landmarks, while the rest of the city is largely untouched by tourists.

Photo: Paris Las Vegas

Where To Go in Las Vegas

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Treasure Island on The Strip

The Strip

  • Bellagio: One of the city’s premier hotels, Bellagio has a gorgeous atrium that is beautifully decorated for year-round holidays. Don’t miss their huge fountain’s water show every 15-30 minutes. Free.
  • The Cosmopolitan: An ornately-decorated modern casino with lots of shiny glamour. Free.
  • The Venetian: Take a stroll through this casino’s tranquil canals which are lined with shops and eats. Free.
  • New York New York: Hop over to the East Coast at this classic hotel, which features a large roller coaster.
  • Stratosphere: Get a birds-eye view of The Strip from the Observation Deck at the top of this over 1,000 foot tall tower. $20 admission.
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Bellagio on The Strip

Downtown

Just north of The Strip, Vegas’ downtown is booming, with tons of great new restaurants, shops, and entertainment options opening each year. Come here if you’re looking for dive bars or more low-key live music.

  • Fremont Street: Vegas’ 2nd most popular entertainment area after The Strip, this long row of casinos and bars hosts an amazing free nightly light and sound show. Free.

 

Las Vegas Cheap Eats

Las Vegas restaurants and fast casual eateries popular with locals where you can get a full meal for under $15. I always highlight some vegan or vegetarian options – cutting down on the amount of meat you eat is by far the #1 way you can reduce your environmental impact and contribute less to animal cruelty.

Earl of Sandwich: A wonderful fast casual hot sandwich shop with a few locations in resort areas across the country – their bread is delightfully crunchy and there’s a variety of great options from which to choose. Planet Hollywood, 3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South, The Strip. (702) 463-0259

KoMex Fusion Express: Incredible Korean-Mexican fusion cuisine at super low prices (most dishes are under $10). 633H N. Decateur Boulevard, Downtown. (702) 646-1612

Viva Las Arepas: This fast-casual Venezulean gem specializes in arepa sandwiches and also is very affordable. 1616 South Las Vegas Boulevard, #120, Downtown. (702) 366-9696

Mr. Mama’s: A wildly popular diner with hearty on-point takes on classic American food, friendly servers, and low prices. Their breakfast menu is especially great. 5693 South Jones Boulevard, Suite 106, Southwest. (702)-220-9224

Firefly: Choose from dozens of chilled and hot tapas at this Spanish eatery with a colorful vibe just a few blocks from The Strip. 3824 Paradise Road, The Strip. (702) 369-3971

Las Vegas Nightlife

Vegas is famous for its huge and elegant clubs on The Strip which often feature big performers and special events. If you’re going out with a large group, look up Vegas promoters online and text some to see if they can get you in for a free or reduced price (this works better if you have a high girl to guy ratio).

Marquee: One of Vegas’ premier clubs, Marquee has several large dancefloors, a hip-hop room, a lounge, and a rooftop pool deck. The Cosmopolitan. (702) 333-9000

Tao: This elegant club has acrobatic performances, multiple levels, a good-sized hip-hop room, and a small patio with great views of The Strip. The Venetian. (702) 388-8588

Daylight Beach Club: Vegas’ day clubs (usually open March-October) are the ultimate pool parties and this is the best due to its impressive amount of space both in and out of the pool. Mandalay Bay. (702) 632-4700

The Chandelier: Looking for a sit-down bar? This elegantly decorated bar in the center of the Cosmopolitan is a great place to relax, people watch, and sip on a fancy cocktail. The Cosmpolitan. (702) 698-7979

Nearby Side Trips from Las Vegas

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Calico Hills, Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon: Only a half-hour from The Strip, this collection of red rock formations is certain to delight. Be sure to take a walk in the impressive Calico area.

Mojave National Preserve – Located 1.5 hours southwest of Vegas en route to LA is this impressive and under-the-radar park with the densest joshua tree forest in the world, the 3rd tallest sand dunes in the country, and gorgeous desert landscape.

Death Valley National Park – Incredibly, the same corner of California that hosts the tallest point in the contiguous U.S. (Mt. Whitney) also has the country’s lowest – Badwater Basin in Death Valley. This hot and dry region 2 hours north of Vegas offers an incredible glance at an undeveloped and strangely beautiful desert.

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