The Getaway
Getaway Guide
Millions of people visit Las Vegas each year, ready to experience the excitement and fun the city is famous for. This dynamic destination fits just about any getaway budget, whether you plan to live like a high roller for a few days or stretch out those vacation dollars as far as you can. Nature lovers won't be disappointed either. Intriguing, picturesque landscapes and fun-filled recreation areas are just a short drive away from the city.

01 Arriving there

Because there's no passenger train service to Las Vegas, most travelers fly in and land at Harry Reid International, formerly known as McCarran Airport. The airport is only about two miles from the Las Vegas Strip, and most hotels are just a 15-minute drive away. Henderson Executive, North Las Vegas, and Boulder City airports are also near the city but mostly handle private jet flights. Driving to Vegas is a fantastic option, and the good news is, you'll find plenty of free parking all over the city. Plus, you'll have the freedom to explore the town and surrounding areas on your schedule with your own wheels.


With more than 162,000 hotel rooms in Vegas and more under construction, finding accommodations that fit your budget or your vision of a dream getaway won't be a challenge. There are no rules that say you have to book a room at one of the big casinos. Sure, it's exhilarating to be smack-dab in the middle of the city. But, if you're seeking a deeper exploration of this fascinating oasis, make your way to one of the neighborhoods off the Strip. The Arts and Fremont East Entertainment Districts in the heart of the city's downtown area may have all the elements you're looking for — affordable rooms and boutique hotels in pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. Nearby, a hodgepodge of shops sells fun, collectible, kitschy items like bowling shirts, handcrafted jewelry, and trinkets.

The Fremont East Entertainment District

decorFun Fact

The famous Las Vegas Strip isn't actually in Las Vegas but sits south of the city limits in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester. The legendary stretch of road is only 4.2 miles long. It begins at Sahara Avenue and ends at Russell Road. Around 42 million people hit the Strip each year.

decorRelated Read

Check Out the 21 Top-Rated Attractions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Check Out the 21 Top-Rated Attractions in Las Vegas

02 How to make the most of your time

The ultimate Vegas experience calls for a bit of planning, but try not to be super-rigid with your itinerary. With so much going on 24/7 in this vibrant city, you can miss its hidden gems, many of which you'll run across while exploring other venues or attractions. Shopping is an adventure here, and you'll find some great bargains at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets. Take a nature break and explore the impressive conservatory gardens at the north end of the Strip. You'll find photo-worthy collections of seasonal flowers and trees. Or, catch close-up views of amazing animals at the Shark Reef Aquarium or the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat. Thrillseekers will find no shortage of adventures in Vegas either, from massive roller coaster rides to exotic car racing experiences, escape rooms, one-of-a-kind ziplining adventures, and indoor skydiving.

woman looking at fishes in oceanarium tunnet

03 What to avoid

Experienced Vegas visitors know that if you're not careful, the fees you encounter across the city can take a serious bite out of your vacation funds. The clubs and casinos on the Strip inflate cocktail prices. If adult beverages are on your to-do list, you're better off in the downtown area. Know that those ATMs so conveniently located throughout the casinos charge much higher transaction fees, so draw out your cash elsewhere. When exploring the city, don't venture any further east than the Container Park, or wander north of the interstate, especially after dark due to higher rates of street crime.

LAS VEGAS - AUG 06 : View of the strip on August 06 , 2013 in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately 4.2-mile (6.8 km) stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada.

04 Live like a local

Many locals live in the neighborhoods east of the Strip, and it's the best place to get a sense of the day-to-day life for those who keep Las Vegas running. While the "what happens in Vegas" mantra may work along the bright lights of the Strip, don't expect to find that mentality in this neighborhood. You can peruse the Pinball Hall of Fame, along with the National Atomic Testing Museum, and find some affordable yet tasty fare in the neighborhood restaurants. Summerlin is a community to the west that sits partially within the Las Vegas City Limits. Here you'll find comfortable-yet-stylish accommodations and affordable food, a place that gets you away from the amped-up vibe along the Strip and closer to what "real life" Vegas is all about. It's also 10 minutes away from the scenic splendor of Red Rock Canyon.

Summerlin, Nevada

decorFun Fact

Don't forget to account for tipping in your travel budget when visiting Las Vegas. Many of the workers here count on gratuity for the bulk of their income. Tip food and cocktail servers, blackjack dealers, and taxi drivers, along with valets, bellmen, maids, and room service personnel, too. Tipping well will make your stay much more enjoyable.

05 Things you can do without any spending money

One of the best things about Vegas is that there are endless lists of things to do that won't cost you a penny. People-watching is a favorite pastime here among locals and visitors alike. With all the convention goers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, street performers, showgirls, partiers, and tourists milling about, the sights are never boring. If music is your thing, there are always free performances at multiple spots around town, like the Downtown Rocks free concert series in the Fremont neighborhood. You can find exciting freebie shows at the casinos, too, featuring laser shows, fireworks, magnificent fountains, and more. Watch the nightly Vegas volcano eruption outside of the Mirage, visit TV's famous Pawn Stars at their shop, or join up for some no-cost line dancing lessons at Gilley's.

LAS VEGAS - APRIL 17: (L-R) Cheyenne Kimball, Rachel Reinert, Tom Gossin and Mike Gossin of the band Gloriana perform during the Academy of Country Music all-star concert at the Fremont Street Experience April 17, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

06 Where to take instagram pics and where to put the phone away

Las Vegas is a photographer's dream — whether you're a pro or an aspiring one — and there's no shortage of spots to create unique social media photos. Break up the symmetry when possible, look for eye-catching patterns, subjects, and backdrops with vibrant colors, or find unique details in decor and architecture while setting up your shots. The multi-colored stairs at the Fashion Show Mall, the Fiori di Como glass flower sculpture hanging in the Bellagio foyer, and the Museum of Dream Space are intriguing places to start. Be respectful if you're taking photos of people on the street. Ask first and offer a tip to street performers and showgirls you pose with. And, know that taking photos in the casinos is generally a no-no due to guest privacy and security reasons.

LAS VEGAS - OCT 15 : The interior of Bellagio hotel and casino on October 15, 2015 in Las Vegas. Bellagio is a luxury hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip. The Bellagio opened on 1998.

07 Festivals & events

Las Vegas is like one big festival 365 days a year, but there are also exciting events you can enjoy while you're there. The Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a three-day immersion into a world of vibrant, flashing color, thumping sound beats by world-famous DJs, and performances by circus and aerial performers. The Rise Lantern Festival fills the Mojave desert with music, dancing, food trucks, and fun. Once the sun sets, festival-goers launch thousands of biodegradable lanterns into the nighttime sky. Emo and rock enthusiasts alike will love the three-day When We Were Young festival featuring performances by chart-topping bands like Paramore and My Chemical Romance.

Lny Tnz at EDC

decorFun Fact

Weddings are big business for Las Vegas, and it ranks as one of the top destinations for couples to elope. Local officiants perform around 300 ceremonies per day here, and the city hauls in roughly $2 billion each year off of its wedding industry alone.

08 Where to eat & drink

New York isn't the only U.S. city that never sleeps, especially when it comes to eating and imbibing. Throughout Las Vegas, you can get Chinese food delivered 24/7, go grocery shopping round the clock, or indulge in the ultimate burger of your choice, day or night. Got a craving for a unicorn donut covered in white frosting and edible glitter? No problem. You'll also find exceptional authentic international cuisine here, as well as a slew of shops that sell specialty items like spices, liqueurs, spirits, and artisanal chocolates. If you're opting for a meal at one of the popular, trendy eateries or one of the Michelin-ranked restaurants around town, make a reservation.

A huge stacked burger and fries
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