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Moving to Las Vegas

For expats looking to live in a city where there is always something new to see, eat, or do, Las Vegas is the place to be. Sin City is the party capital of America, but its suburbs are also home to plenty of families living normal lives away from the glare of the city's famous Strip.

Living in Las Vegas as an expat

While living close to the Las Vegas Boulevard allows easy access to entertainment and eating establishments, there's a big difference between just visiting and actually having to live next door to all that activity. Suburban living can be found in many areas outside of the big city, whether in the form of free-standing family houses or exclusive communities with luxury homes.

Although Las Vegas is traditionally known for its gaming, hospitality, service and tourism industries, there has been a push to encourage the creation of jobs and to attract companies in other fields such as the clean and renewable industries. Las Vegas also offers many opportunities for professionals in IT, healthcare and local government.

Cost of living in Las Vegas

The cost of living in Vegas is slightly above the national average, but it's all dependent on one's lifestyle, location and preferences. New residents who want to live centrally and who like to eat out frequently and paint the town red will need a healthy income to sustain that sort of lifestyle in Vegas. On the other hand, those residents who choose to live on the outskirts of Sin City and limit their spending on the Strip can live comfortably on a modest budget.

Expat families and children

Las Vegas is located in the Clark County School District which is one of the largest in the US. In addition, there are many excellent private schools and colleges available.

In spite of its desert location, Las Vegas has a number of great parks such as Sunset Park, Desert Breeze Park and Wetlands Park. Families should also take advantage of the Desert Breeze Aquatic Facility which has indoor and outdoor pools as well as waterslides. For awe-inspiring views, residents can't pass up the chance to spend time at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the Valley of Fire State Park. Go hiking, camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, or just for a picnic with the family.  

Climate in Las Vegas

Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas has hot, dry summers and mild winters, with plenty of sunshine all year round. In the height of summer, the mercury often soars above 100°F (38°C). Winters are cooler and bring winds and cold nights, with daytime highs of around 60°F (16°C) and chilly nights averaging 40°F (4°C).

Las Vegas is more than just about parties, casinos and winning big. It offers so much diversity and, more often than not, unexpected experiences for visitors and locals alike.

Weather in Las Vegas

Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas has hot, dry summers and mild winters, with plenty of sunshine all year round. In the height of summer, during July and August, the mercury often soars above 100°F (38°C). Winters (December to February) are cooler and bring winds and cold nights, with daytime highs of around 60°F (16°C) and chilly nights averaging 40°F (4°C). What little rain there is usually falls in winter, between January and March. In summer there are sometimes late afternoon thunderstorms that move in from Mexico.

 

Lifestyle in Las Vegas

Glitz, glamour, parties, gambling, theatre and showbiz are some of the things that come to mind when thinking of Las Vegas. And, as newcomers to the city will find out, it is indeed all of those things, and then some. Vegas is not necessarily top of mind when thinking of family-friendly environments, but the city is about more than just its famous Strip, and its suburbs are as family-friendly as any other major city's.


Shopping in Las Vegas

Shoppers will be in seventh heaven in Vegas. Though quite pricey in general, the variety is endless and there are bargains to be had if shoppers know where to look. Fashion Show mall is a good starting point and houses all of the world's top brands. It hosts fashion shows every weekend on a retractable runway in the middle of the mall.

The Forum Shops in Caesars Palace are not to be missed, even if just for a spot of window shopping. Self styled as 'The Shopping Wonder of the World', the Forum Shops include top-end designer stores, but also lower end outlets. Shoppers can even take in a free show while shopping as there are regular performances inside the Forum Shops.

The Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood are quite the experience. Shoppers can take in live entertainment, drinks and food while they get in their retail therapy at more than 150 shops. 

And lastly, the Grand Canal Shoppes will have shoppers feeling like they've set foot in Venice. Over 500,000 square feet, the mall even has a man-made river running through it on which shoppers can take a gondola ride. The mall also hosts live entertainment daily. Shoppers shouldn't miss out on the famous Black Tap Las Vegas burgers to refuel between sessions.


Nightlife and entertainment in Las Vegas

Las Vegas hasn't been awarded monikers such as the 'Neon capital of the world' and the 'Entertainment capital of the world' for nothing. People from all over the US come to Vegas for the epic nightlife, and stag parties are a dime a dozen as many bachelors and bachelorettes make a point of it to spend their last days of 'freedom' in Sin City before tying the knot. Speaking of, Vegas is also sometimes referred to as the 'Marriage capital of the world' owing to the sheer amount of (often intoxicated) couples that get married here due to the ease of acquiring a marriage licence and the minimal costs involved.

For the best nightlife in Vegas, there's no point in looking beyond The Strip. The Las Vegas Strip's lavish lounges and extravagant clubs and casinos are world famous for good reason, and revellers often continue partying throughout the night and into the next day. Dress codes of smart casual are enforced in clubs and lounges on The Strip, especially for men, which means no baseball caps, sneakers or open-toed shoes. New residents of Vegas may be shocked at the drinks and food prices at many of these venues, and may decide to limit their partying to a couple of times a month. Famous clubs include Hyde Bellagio which affords views of the famous fountains of the Bellagio; Jewel which is inside the ARIA hotel; Hakkasan, the MGM Grand's own superclub; and XS, which resides at the Encore hotel and whose walls are lined with actual gold.

The best restaurants are also located on The Strip, many of which convert into nightclubs after dinner service.


Sports and outdoor activities in Las Vegas

Vegas is not all about the party though. There is plenty to get up to for outdoors enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies. Adventurous new arrivals could write a whole bucket list with items such as bungee jumping off the famous Stratosphere Tower; hiking in the Valley of Fire, kayaking the Colorado River, riding a helicopter over the Grand Canyon; golfing at the famously beautiful Angel Park; cycling around Red Rock Canyon; zip-lining in Bootleg Canyon; taking a boat cruise on Lake Mead; racing a dune buggy in the desert; and even skiing and snowboarding near Mount Charleston – yep, it snows in the desert. In fact, 'nevada' is the Spanish word for 'snow-capped', and the mountains around Vegas get plenty of it.

Sports fans will be happy to know that Vegas is home to plenty of professional sports teams, including the Vegas Golden Knights who play in the National Hockey League, and the famous Raiders NFL team that relocated to Vegas from Oakland in 2020.

See and do in Las Vegas

Las Vegas has its fair share of nicknames. Harking back to its days of illicit speakeasies and casinos, it was dubbed 'Sin City', but it's also known as the 'Neon capital of the world' and the 'Entertainment capital of the world'. So it goes without saying that Vegas has plenty to see and do, and visitors and locals alike rarely have cause to be bored.


Attractions in Las Vegas

The fountains of Bellagio

Immortalised in several Hollywood blockbusters, these 'dancing' waters are one of the most popular attractions on The Strip. The lake in front of the Bellagio resort houses as many as 1,200 geysers, all of which erupt into spectacular fountains every 15 minutes that 'dance' to various popular songs. Best of all? Unlike many attractions in Vegas, it's free.

Caesars Palace

One can't talk about Las Vegas attractions without mentioning the iconic Caesars Palace. Also a backdrop in many Hollywood films, and memorably the lodgings of the hapless crew of The Hangover, Caesars might be 54 years old but is still one of the first stops for many visiting The Strip. New residents of Vegas can see a concert in the Colosseum, browse the Forum Shops, dabble in a little poker or roulette, or take a dip in the famous Garden of the Gods pool.

Park Theater

The last few years have seen a trend emerge where big-name musicians, bands, comedians and other entertainers set up shop in one of Las Vegas' venues for extended periods instead of performing just one night. Park Theater is one such venue where the likes of Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Cher and others have entertained for a while. New residents of Vegas will therefore have plenty of time to check out their favourite acts. Park Theater seats 5,200 and VIP seating includes dedicated cocktail service. 

FlowRider at Planet Hollywood

One for the whole family, the FlowRider at the Scene Pool Deck on Planet Hollywood's rooftop is a wave simulator that attracts both novices looking for some fun as well as seasoned surfers and boarders. If Mom and Dad don't feel like taking part in the action, they can kick back in the resort pool and drink in the stunning views.

The Mob Museum

Fans of The Godfather, Good Fellas and Casino will relish a visit to the Mob Museum. The museum chronicles the history of organised crime in Las Vegas and the wider US and its various battles with law enforcement. It houses some fascinating exhibits sure to blow the minds of even the most avid mafia aficionados. Visitors can also experience the Crime Lab, a Firearm Training Simulator and a tour of the museum's own distillery.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

New arrivals in Vegas who enjoy the outdoors also have plenty to look forward to. Hikers, climbers and mountainbikers all flock to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which boasts several mountains, canyons and gullies, as well as many hiking and biking trails. Climbers love scaling the red cliffs of the area, and many of the country's best boulderers test their mettle here.

What's on in Las Vegas

Las Vegas truly is America's entertainment capital and there's never a shortage of things to see and do. But besides the permanent sights and attractions, there are a slew of fun annual events for residents to attend. These are also a great way for newcomers in Vegas to mingle with locals and meet travellers from all over the world.


Annual events in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Sevens (March)

One of the highlights on the international Sevens Rugby calendar, the Las Vegas leg attracts tens of thousands of people each year who all come dressed in wacky costumes and party the weekend away. Even non-rugby fans enjoy the spectacle held at the Sam Boyd stadium, as the week leading up to the main event includes pep rallies, a beer festival, a Parade of Nations and more.

Vegas Uncork'd (April)

One for the gourmands, this long weekend is one of the best on the culinary calendar. Vegas residents and visitors from all over are treated to tastings, banquets, workshops and other foodie delights. The festival is a veritable who's who of celebrity chefs: catch Gordon Ramsay in action at a Master Series dinner, Guy Savoy at the Grand Tasting, and Guy Fieri wowing crowds on The Strip.

Electric Daisy Carnival (May)

Usually held on the third weekend in May at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, this EDM spectacle attracts more than 400,000 people to Sin City. Held over several days, the festival includes a series of concerts and sets by some of the world's best DJs.

World Series of Poker (June)

One can't live in Vegas and not attend at least one World Series of Poker events. Held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on famous Flamingo Road, the competition attracts high-stakes gamblers and celebrities competing for jaw-dropping purses. Besides the World Championship Event, there are daily games with entry stakes ranging from USD 125 to USD 5,000. But for those who would just like to look on as others win (and lose) big, it's free to spectate.  

Life is Beautiful Festival (September)

At the Life is Beautiful Festival there's something for everyone to enjoy. Famous bands grace stages in downtown Las Vega, there are demonstrations by celebrity chefs, a speaker series, art displays, performances by the likes of Cirque du Solei, and much besides. It's a fantastic way to get acquainted with Vegas and its residents, and new arrivals in the city will be made to feel right at home with the festival's friendly neighbourhood atmosphere.

Halloween (October)

Sin City turns into Scary City over Halloween when everyone dresses up and parties the night away. Famous attractions embrace the holiday's spooky vibe, and places such as the famous Adventuredome Theme Park becomes 'Fright Dome' with scary rides, exhibits and other Halloween-themed quirks.

New Year’s Eve (December)

Other than New York City's Times Square, The Strip in downtown Las Vegas attracts the most revellers on New Year's Eve (as many as 400,000). Fireworks, pyrotechnics, music shows and all manner of parties bring in the new year. The whole strip is cordoned off, meaning the city's traffic is a nightmare on NYE, but this shouldn't hold back those who plan to go big.

Getting Around in Las Vegas

Like many other large cities, getting from A to B in Las Vegas can be stressful and time consuming. That said, Las Vegas is mostly organised in a grid-like pattern and therefore isn't too hard to navigate. The city is also home to a fairly comprehensive network of bus routes, though other forms of public transport are limited. 


Public transport in Las Vegas

Buses

Run by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), the bus system in Las Vegas is affordable and highly developed. Service is provided along residential and downtown routes, including the Strip. There are also express services as well as special services during sporting and concert events. 

Monorail

The Las Vegas Monorail is primarily intended for tourists. It serves the Strip, running between the MGM Grand and SLS Las Vegas with several stops in between. 


Taxis in Las Vegas

Cab fares in Las Vegas can get expensive, depending on the distance to the destination and the traffic conditions. They can be useful for short distances when walking isn't a viable option. 

Ride-hailing applications such as Uber and Lyft are also available and can be used to summon a cab to one's location within minutes.


Driving in Las Vegas

Expats with a valid licence from another country may legally drive in Nevada until their licence expires or until they are officially resident in the state. Once they become residents, expats will need to acquire a local licence. This involves taking theory, practical and visual tests.