5 Reasons Us Locals Love Las Vegas!
by Ms. Millennial
I moved to Las Vegas at the beginning of 5th grade. When I left my school in California, the students wrote me a goodbye book with letters and drawings, and I have kept it for almost 20 years. Moving recently, I took it out and gave it a read… wow, the memories! I found it so cute and hilarious how many of my classmates thought or asked if I’d be living on the strip- one of them drew me sticking my head out of my bedroom at the Luxor! It was the epitome of childhood imagination… or was it?
There are a lot of misconceptions about Las Vegas. It IS the city of sin, after all... but is it always that way? Do you HAVE to act a fool when you live here?
In college, I had to do a performance thesis on why I was deciding to return back to Vegas to pursue entertainment instead of taking the trek to NYC. People around me thought I was crazy for loving 115 degree weather, and trying to convince them it was more than a “city of sin” was rather difficult. Why?
Got me thinking- how many people who have never been to Vegas, or only come visit every so often, realize there are suburbs, families, and every day lives? I’d love to paint a picture of the TOP 5 REASONS why myself and many others love Las Vegas as much as we do!
Our Master-Planned Communities are famous, fabulous, and affordable!
I live in the rolling hills of Summerlin- a suburban community with a Las Vegas zip code, but filled with palm trees, grass, lakes, Target’s and Coffee Bean’s every few blocks, and even some great schools! I spent my childhood fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood where I could sell lemonade all summer, run to the local pool with friends, and ride my skateboard down the street without (much) worry from my parents. As an adult, I have both the conveniences of a suburban life (backyard, pets, a car), with the luxury of living in a big city! Not to mention- in comparison to another major city, our cost of living is remarkably low! For $250,000 you can get a beautiful 3 bedroom, 3 car garage home in a well-kept community. For about 100 grand more, you can be living in a 2,600 sq foot home on a corner lot with a pool.
Outside of Summerlin and Green Valley, homes vary in price, but don’t break the bank. My close friend just purchased a home downtown for $175,000 in an area they’ve recently cleaned up drastically. I love Las Vegas housing because we all can live comfortably, in the heart of a big city. That is basically unheard of! (PS: please don’t move here… we are experiencing a major “boom” and if we have much more, this point will become completely invalid. HA!)
We are driving distance from one of the greatest downtowns in the world, the mountains/snow, a world-famous lake, National Parks, and the ocean!
It takes me 15-20 minutes IN TRAFFIC to get to my job on the strip. That’s it! As much as us locals like to complain, we have an amazing freeway system, and our main roads are on a “grid.” Directions to get anywhere compared to that of LA or another major city are a cinch! Plus, if you get lost, just look up and see the mountains or the Luxor light and you’ll be back on your way!
It takes me 10 minutes to drive into Red Rock Canyon National Park from my home. I go with my pass and my pup, enjoy a hot coffee, and watch the clouds come in before a storm… extremely peaceful way to start my day. On weekends I like to grab my hiking gear and spend the afternoon in one of the 15+ trails- varying in difficulty depending on my mood.
Drive 30 MORE minutes past Red Rock, and I am in Mt. Charleston- snow 5 months a year, a ski lodge, and beautiful hiking and picnic trails.
Drive 45 minutes in the other direction, and I am at the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead- hop in a speedboat and enjoy time cliff jumping and drinking with friends.
Drive 2 hours North, and I’m at Zion National Park. Have an overnight camping adventure and be back to work the next day with no fuss! (totally done it!)
Drive 4 hours… and I’m at The Grand Canyon… or Laguna Beach. (okay I do wish we had a real beach… but Mr. Wynn is “working on that. If anyone could do it, he could…”)
Or, if none of those suit you, hop on a plane out of McCarren International Airport, and travel literally anywhere in the entire world.
Can’t really check off more terrains than that, can you?
For us foodies, we have some of the best restaurants in the world!
After traveling all over the world, I became obsessed with trying new food! Now I don’t even need to leave my city- any cooking style, any cuisine- Las Vegas HAS IT! With some research and local expertise, you don’t even have to break the bank! Sure, it’s super fun to splurge on a world-famous chef’s 5 course meal, or a $300 dollar dinner at Joe’s Crab at Caesars, or overlook the Bellagio Foundations while eating brunch and sipping on mimosas, but there is so much more! Chinatown, 5 minutes from the strip, has some of the best pho and sushi I’ve ever had. Local hotspots like D.W Bistro (brunch), Echo and Rig (steak), and Honey Salt (farm to table) offer top-of-the-line plates for 1/3 the price of downtown. And, most importantly, our local Happy Hours are incredible. There is always someone offering amazing deals on food, drinks, and ambiance… no matter what time of day! My recent favorites are Hussongs, Hearthstone and Herbs & Rye.
I’m just scratching the surface of food here in town… you can try somewhere new every day and never run out of fun places!
Entertainment Capital of the World, Anyone?
Where else in the world can you see Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Journey, Britney Spears, Cirque, Broadway and Vegas-style Production Shows, reality tv show winners, topless revues, secret jazz clubs, local original artists, magicians, comedians, gameshows, water and amusement parks, world-famous DJs, nightclubs, and party pools all in the same week? Yeah… nowhere. ::micdrop::
You can never run out of things to do!
Be it checking out the local music scene, going to (one of your 40) neighborhood bars, enjoying a weekend farmer’s market or a luxury movie theater, shopping at one of our amazing indoor or outdoor malls, cosmic bowling, waterparks, Gameworks, hiking, production shows, local festivals, charity shows, new places to eat, community activities, and everything you can think of staying open late, there is no excuse to be bored in Las Vegas. (Notice I haven’t even mentioned gambling or slot machines?) And when you DO get the itch to leave, you have unlimited terrains and experiences at your fingertips. After living here 20 years (as a child and as an adult), I can proudly say that life as a local in Viva Las Vegas is exciting, inspiring, and an amazing place to call home.
Now… please just come for a visit. Only.