Known as much for its world-renowned entertainment options and vibrant nightlife, Las Vegas serves a population of about 650,000 — ranging from families to the retired. While the city’s famous Strip is one of the world’s most-visited tourist destinations, Las Vegas is also home to outdoor adventures for parents, kids, couples, and residents who prefer a quieter life: golfing at Angel Park, kayaking the Colorado River and skiing Mount Charleston just a few among them. Whether you’re a weekend visitor or thinking about moving to the Entertainment Capital of the World, this guide will let you in on everything you need to know about what it’s like to live in Vegas, including the weather, best things to do, cost of living and more.
1. Living in Las Vegas: An Overview
Founded in May of 1905, Las Vegas was originally a city of railroad workers and ranchers, connecting three major Pacific cities by railway. Gambling was a favorite local past time even in the city’s earliest days, and in the decades leading up to the mid-1950s, Las Vegas became a hotspot for organized crime and celebrity entertainment. During the second half of the 20th century, mega-casinos became a global attraction, transforming Vegas into “America’s playground” and a destination for visitors from around the world.
But behind all the glitz and gambling, Vegas is home to permanent residents whose lives take place off the spectacle of the Strip. In fact, many people who move to Vegas are drawn by the affordability of the city and the variety of cultural attractions virtually guaranteed to satisfy their tastes. Art enthusiasts love the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, home to a constantly rotating series of exhibits. History buffs flock to the Neon Museum, aptly named as a home to the city’s old signage and other massive business displays. Nearby concert venues, professional sports and a Grammy-winning performing arts school round out a classically cultured environment oftentimes overshadowed by casinos and note-worthy Las Vegas Strip retail avenues.
Population of Las Vegas
- Population: 646,790 (2021)
- Diversity: 58.5% white (non-Hispanic), 12.1% Black or African American, 6% Asian, 33.2% Hispanic or Latino
- Primary language: English
Climate and Seasons in Las Vegas
- Highest temperature: 105°F (July)
- Lowest temperature: 38°F (December)
- Warmest months: June to September
- Coolest months: November to February
It’s no secret that Las Vegas’ subtropical desert climate offers enjoyable weather for the vast majority of the year. Though the region is prone to hotter temperatures during peak summer months and rainy thunderstorms as fall approaches, winters are comparatively brief and mostly mild. Moving to Las Vegas means having an excuse to trade any heavy winter coats for a pair of sunglasses and short-sleeved shirts.
2. Cost of Living in Las Vegas
Living in one of Nevada’s top destinations comes with a comparable price tag, though it’s more affordable than major cities in nearby California. We’ve outlined the average costs of housing and rent to help you make a decision based that’s right for your budget.
- Housing: $435,000 median sale price
- Average number of days on the market: 15
- Rent (one-bedroom): $1,471 per month
- Utilities: $151.23 per month
Not sure whether to rent or buy in Las Vegas? Check out our Rent vs. Buy Guide, with a detailed breakdown of the cost of living and special considerations potential homeowners need to keep in mind.
3. The Best Neighborhoods in Las Vegas
When it comes to Las Vegas housing, you’ll find an abundance of worthwhile communities to call home, whether you prefer proximity to the bustle of the Strip or a quieter pace of life in the suburbs. Here are some of our top recommendations for the best Las Vegas neighborhoods to plant roots, all equipped with plenty of private amenities, unbeatable distances to local attractions, and reasonable homeowner association fees.
18b in Las Vegas, also known as the Arts District, is considered by many to serve as a definitive upgrade over the Strip when it comes to living amenities. If you’re at all interested in the ever-growing, ever-changing dynamic of the Las Vegas art scene, 18b is likely right up your alley. Only nine minutes from the Strip, the Las Vegas Arts District is characterized by an overabundance of galleries, museums, exhibits, displays, showcases, theatrical performances and more, all highlighting what art enthusiasts consider the real Las Vegas. Not to mention that the restaurant and dining scene in the Arts District is also well worth a visit. From dueling pianos bars to refined dining, you’ll find a dish to accommodate every palate without ever leaving 18b.
Seven miles from the Las Vegas Strip, Seven Hills is a Henderson-centered community seemingly characterized by as many palm trees as satisfied residents. Friendly to pedestrians and families of all sizes, Seven Hills offers the laid-back atmosphere that you’d expect from a desert community, in addition to a level of privacy and security that perfectly complements the bustling Strip atmosphere.
For an extra level of comfort and security in Las Vegas, Queenridge is certainly a residential setting worth considering. Backed by gorgeous desert landscapes and surrounded by members of a friendly, relaxed community, you’ll enjoy homes that are often custom-created specifically to resident tastes. And with only a 15-minute drive between you and everything that the Strip offers, you can pair comfort with quality dining, retail or bright lines whenever you’re up for an adventure.
The Scotch 80s
A community especially recognized today for its high volume of young individuals, the Scotch 80s environment is home to world-famous entertainers, international businessmen and quiet families alike. You’ll find yourself only minutes from the always-bustling Downtown district while maintaining a level of separation and peace you’ll come to love after a busy day enjoying the entertainment. Since the 1950s, the larger-than-life architecture that defines the Scotch 80s environment has served residents well and is perfect for individuals and families looking for a home that’s less “cookie-cutter” and more unique.
In only two square miles, The Lakes neighborhood and community in Las Vegas delivers a cultured environment, perfectly etched desert backdrops and conserved nature. Rated as one of the safest locations in the city, The Lakes is one of the residential jewels of western Vegas, where you’ll live only a short drive from the Strip. Better yet, you’ll find yourself close to both the Spring Mountains and to Red Rock Canyon, preserved public land offered specifically for local recreation and enjoyment.
4. Las Vegas Job Market
As you would expect, job opportunities in Las Vegas are perhaps as diverse as the city’s population and attractions. Popular industries hiring in Las Vegas include construction and casino work, as well as part-time and full-time positions serving at any one of Las Vegas’ eateries, parks, hotels, museums or other entertainment-minded attractions. You’ll also find a steep concentration of medically-minded job positions in Las Vegas, given the fact that more than 630,000 residents depend on healthcare professionals in a limited radius.
Vegas is also characterized by a 4.0% unemployment rate citywide in 2019. The biggest employment sectors in Las Vegas include:
- C Level Executive ($138,010)
- Dentist ($123,250)
- Waiter ($24,652)
- Chef ($37,434)
- Nurse ($53,782)
5. The Best Things to Do in Las Vegas
There’s no shortage of ways to spend your time in Las Vegas. With respect to the renowned Las Vegas Strip, you’ll also want to make sure you take the time to familiarize yourself with many of the other diversified attractions that Vegas offers both residents and visitors alike. Here are only a few of the must-see locations worth frequenting, if you’re considering calling Las Vegas home.
- Red Rock Canyon. Covering 195,819 acres within the Mojave Desert, Red Rock Canyon is a must-visit destination for wildlife and plant lovers. It features scenic drives, camping sites, hiking trails and more, all located just a few miles from the city. Bring sturdy shoes, plenty of water and food for a picnic.
- Cathedral Rock Trail. Escape the city bustle with this clean, beginner-friendly trail located in the Mt. Charleston region. With stunning panoramic views and 2.7 miles of well-marked footpaths, Cathedral Rock Trail is the perfect spring and summer hike for friends, family and even your pet. Note that the trail is closed during the winter months.
- Calico Hills Trail. This moderately challenging three-mile route in Red Rock Canyon starts at the Sandstone Quarry parking lot and takes hikers through gorgeous rock formations and petroglyphs. Bring your camera to snap pictures of caves and the sweeping desert views.
Parks & Attractions
- Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This enormous 1,200-acre complex in Las Vegas is home to multiple racing tracks — and a unique venue to explore as a visitor or local. With special access tours that take you along NASCAR-sanctioned speedways at speeds greater than 70 miles per hour, year-round events and trackside camping opportunities, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a budget-friendly but wholly memorable destination for NASCAR enthusiasts and newbies alike.
- Bellagio Resort & Fountains. You’ve probably seen the iconic Bellagio Resort & Fountains in plenty of movies, shows and photos, but seeing the city’s 8.5-acre man-made lake with your own eyes is something else altogether. With 1,214 water nozzles and 4,792 lights that create water sprays hundreds of feet high, the fountain is a free attraction on the Strip — perfect for relaxing as you walk between destinations.
- Pinball Hall of Fame. With a new and even larger location in Las Vegas as of 2021, the Pinball Hall of Fame joins the ranks of the Neon Museum and Clown Factory as an offbeat attraction that boasts the world’s largest pinball collection, with plenty of rare games from the 1950s to 1990s.
- The ARIA Fine Art Collection. With a diverse range of works (including sculpturs, installations, paintings and more) from acclaimed artists such as Julian Schnabel, Jenny Holzer, Frank Stella and more, the ARIA Fine Art Collection is a dynamic multimedia bastion of styles and sentiments that offers something for every type of viewer.
Places to Eat
- Carson Kitchen. American cuisine gets a creative twist at this Downtown Las Vegas hotspot. From an outdoor rooftop, bar, open kitchen counter and other contemporary details, this restaurant has food and cocktail options for every type of eater. Get the crispy chicken skins served with smoked honey, cocoa-espresso New York strip or mac-and-cheese.
- Esther’s Kitchen. According to this popular Vegas restaurant’s website, “Great-aunt Esther was a tough, smart, no-nonsense type who cared about people and gave good advice.” Named in honor of her support of (founding) Chef James Trees’s culinary passions, Esther’s Kitchen has received rave reviews and accolades — including Best Italian Restaurant by “Desert Companion.” From the housemade sourdough to scaccia and pizza with lamb merguez (all made with farm-fresh ingredients), this Vegas establishment is as beloved as it is influential.
- Sofrito Rico Authentic Puerto Rico Cuisine. Owned by Chef Susanette Sandoval, Sofrito Rico is a haven of mouthwatering Puerto Rico dishes that have taken Vegas by storm: for six years straight, it’s been voted as Best Ethnic/Best Cultural Restaurant in the Best of Las Vegas round-up. From alcappuria (fried taro root with beef) to tostones and sandwich de pernil (filled with juicy roasted pork and ketchup mayo, served with fries), this must-visit restaurant has freshly prepared, filling and affordable options in a casual counter-serve setting.
- Island Malaysian Cuisine. A cornerstone of the Vegas community, Island Malaysian Cuisine adds a creative, modern spin on traditional Malaysian and Asian dishes. Start off with the pandan ayam (chicken wings wrapped in screwpine pandan leaves) before moving on to the mango chicken and pineapple fried rice.
6. Things to Know Before Moving to Las Vegas
Las Vegas is home to amazing attractions and unique reasons worth visiting and staying. If you’re considering moving to Las Vegas, there are a few things you should know first. We’ve collected items worthy of note below, to help provide a more comprehensive understanding of Las Vegas not only as an attractions epicenter but also as a potential residential destination:
- Temperatures can exceed 100° Fahrenheit during peak summer months. Be sure to plan outdoor activities accordingly during that time.
- By contrast, later summer months can bring frequent thunderstorms to the area, increasing the risk of flash floods and lost power.
- Many tourist spots offer local deals, offering you even steeper discounts on some of the hottest entertainment packages citywide.
- Despite Las Vegas’ expensive reputation, many everyday expenses — including grocery items and gasoline — are reasonably priced, especially once you know where to look.
You’ll have a wide variety of opportunities to explore and fall in love with the outdoors.
Because of limited residential space, Las Vegas offers diversified storage options for any family. Climate-controlled storage spaces keep possessions secure, and they’re convenient to find when there’s a storage option near you. Storage facility locations across the city make it easier than ever to keep possessions safe and cool, especially during hot Las Vegas summers.
Storage locations in Las Vegas include: