I moved to Las Vegas back in 2008 and absolutely LOVE IT!
I created this web page to share some of the “perks” of living in Las Vegas that many folks tend to miss.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area – 29 minutes from downtown (20 miles)
Make the short drive out of Vegas and you’ll feel like you are in the middle of nowhere! A beautiful collection of towering red cliffs, abundant wildlife and natural desert beauty.
Lake Mead National Recreational – 39 minutes from downtown (31.8 miles)
With crystal clear water, 759 miles of shoreline, countless exclusive coves, and average water temperatures OVER 70 degrees (5 months out of the year), I’ll put this lake up against any lake MN has to offer. Did I mention it’s open YEAR ROUND? 😉
Hoover Dam – 44 minutes from downtown (33.6 miles)
Completed in 1935, this power house generates 4.5 MILLION MEGAWATT HOURS per year serving up power to ~ 8 MILLION people. To put that number in to perspective, the HUGE solar farm located just outside of town generates ~400,000 MegaWatt Hours per year, not to mention, it takes up 4,000 acres of LAND. The solar plant is in the middle of the desert yet only generates 40% of what engineers projected it would. Tax payers are on the hook for over 70% of the cost too. You can’t make this stuff up folks.
Nellis Air Force Base – 18 minutes from downtown (9.4 miles)
Home of the world famous Thunderbirds and one of the most advanced fighter pilot training programs in the World (similar to Top Gun), Nellis also plays host to “Red Flag” bringing ally pilots from all over the world to Vegas for multiple (two week long) aerial training exercises designed to simulate a world war.
Mount Charleston and the Spring Mountains – 45 minutes from downtown (39.2 miles)
At nearly 12,000 feet, Mt Charleston reaches a nice cool 80 degrees in the heat of the summer. With 52 miles of hiking trails, 200 camp sites, and over 150 picnic areas, this area is a nice little escape.
Lee Canyon Ski / Snowboard Resort – 51 minutes from downtown (48.9 miles)
Who would have thought you can SKI in the DESERT?! Less than an hour away, this area gets an average of 240″ of snowfall per year! The resort features 20 groomed trails covering 250 acres, an additional 30 acres dedicated to the Snowboarders complete with a half-pipe and terrain park.
Valley of Fire State Park – 51 minutes from downtown (49 miles)Nevada’s oldest AND largest State Park covering approximately 35,000 acres, Valley of Fire offers up camping, hiking, wildlife, and some incredible scenery that is estimated to be over 150 million years old.
Grand Canyon Skywalk – West End – 2 hours 13 minutes from downtown (124 miles)
Just GLASS separates you between a 4,000 feet drop to sudden death! It’s quite a thrill even though the glass beneath your feet is 4′ THICK!
Death Valley National Park – 1 hour 46 minutes from downtown (93.2 miles)
The lowest, driest, AND hottest area in North America, I’m not sure why you’d even want to visit this enormous 5,200 square mile park. It actually makes for a nice weekend riding (a motorcyle) through the area so I guess there’s that.
Major Cities To Visit Over A Weekend
Los Angeles is just a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas. Hit up the countless beaches, Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, Getty Center, The Grove, Farmers Market, etc.
San Diego is a little bit further at 4.5 hours but offers a whole other BIG CITY with tons of stuff to do! Here you’ll find the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Sea World, USS Midway Museum, etc.
I LOVE riding motorcycles so Las Vegas became an obvious choice for me. It’s sunny here ~311 days per year and with only 4.17″ of annual rainfall, I don’t worry about getting caught in the rain EVER (compare that to the 30″+ that MN gets). Now the “bad” news: It gets HOT in Las Vegas in the “Summer” time BUT it’s only 2 months per year (July & August) where the average temps are just over 100 degrees. And guess what, that’s a good time to travel back to MN OR vacation in Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Japan, etc. It is a DRY HEAT out here too which means virtually NO BUGS, no sweating, no water dripping off your big gulps on to your desk, no “muggy” feeling laying in bed, etc. Having dry air also means that NOTHING rusts!
Mountains and Palm Trees – Whether you’re running an errand or coming home from work, the scenery around you is breath taking. You’ve got mountains and palm trees everywhere you look. In the winter time, some of those mountains are covered in snow too making for an amazing backdrop. Very cool!
No Freezing Temps! – I don’t think people realize just how HUGE this is! We all know water expands when it freezes but consider what that little natural phenomenon does to all your stuff. It destroys your roads, driveways, roofs, patios, balconies, etc. In Las Vegas, your car, sidewalks, landscaping, shoes, bicycles, etc EVERYTHING stays nice and clean. No crappy roads here. No lacing up your shoes just to grab the mail. A roof in Vegas will last 50+ years however in MN, you’ll be lucky to get 15 out of your roof. All these extra costs add up to large maintenance bills that you are CONSTANTLY having to pay for. No need to store snow shovels, snow blowers in your garage and no big winter clothing, etc tying up valuable closet space. Life is just simpler when you live in Las Vegas!
As I mentioned, I moved to Las Vegas from St. Paul, MN and as most of you know, NV has ZERO state income tax. This means that MN essentially pays you to move to Nevada (or TX, FL, SD, AK, WY, and Washington State, not DC). How much depends on your income tax bracket but if you make say 50K per year, you’ll be pocketing an extra $3,525 (or ~ 3 free pinball machines per year).
Property Tax is about the same however Las Vegas does have a tiny bit higher sales tax rate at 8.15% compared to Minneapolis at 7.775%.
At the time of writing (2017), the Las Vegas housing market is quite a bit better (or cheaper) than many other markets. You can get a lot more house for that same $300K! If you are looking for a house in the Las Vegas area, I can help! Click here to find out more.
World Class Entertainment
This town offers up 8 different Cirque du Soleil shows that run multiple performances every night of the week in addition to the 100’s of other entertaining shows offered through out the Valley, Las Vegas has something for everyone! “O” at Bellagio and “Le Reve” at the Wynn are my two favorites. 😉
Tons of Fast Food Restaurants
As you probably already know, fast food is VERY important to me! Las Vegas has all the usual fast food joints; McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, Arby’s, Jimmy Johns, etc but here’s a few that Las Vegas has over most other cities.
In N Out Burger, Jack in the Box, Del Taco, Port of Subs, and El Pollo Loco.
Also, you can get Bw3, Subway, etc 24hrs/day. Nothing like eating a chicken tender wrap at 3:30 on a Tuesday morning. 😉
Fine Dining that can’t be matched
For those evenings when you feel like dressing up a little bit and heading out on the town for an amazing dinner, there’s not many cities that can compete in terms of shear numbers of 5 star restaurants to choose from. Just one more perk of living in a city dominated by tourism, everything is at a much higher level than most other cities.
Tons of Live Music EVERY NIGHT of the WEEK
Whether it’s a lounge band or top artist, you’ll have countless choices even on a Wednesday night in Las Vegas. Now finding out where where and when all these bands are playing can be quite a task so I set out to develop an APP that makes it EASY. Check it out HERE and download the app today.
Cheap Flights to and from Vegas
Check out Spirit Airlines. You can typically get flights around $200 round trip and if you join their $9 fare club, you can get them for even less. I typically pay around $100 round trip going back n forth to MN. One cool thing about Vegas is that your friends / family tend to visit you a lot more often then if you lived in say Dallas, or Miami. Every one tends to stroll through Vegas at some point or another and many people come every year. Sun Country and Frontier are starting to offer incredible prices on flights too!
Buy beer / booze / wine 24/7
No planning ahead necessary. If you decide to spontaneously invite people over for today’s football game, just shoot up to the local Walmart or grocery store and stock up on beer. When a local government tells me I’m not aloud to buy a case of beer on a Sunday, I get ticked off. It’s kind of like a government telling a private owner of a private establishment that his patrons can’t partake in a LEGAL activity. No silly smoking bans here UNLESS the owner decides to make it so in which case, I fully support. Here’s a big fish that made that exact decision.
TWO Awesome Water Parks
Las Vegas is becoming more and more kid friendly with the grand openings of not one, but TWO huge water parks in the Valley.
Wet’N’Wild – Opened up in 2013 containing 26 different attractions (slides, wave pool, half pipe, etc) covering 41 acres of dessert costing just over 50 MILLION Dollars, this place will give any other water park a run for it’s money.
Cowabunga Bay – This one is a bit smaller at only 23 acres costing just ~25 Million to build. This one takes on a ’60s Beach Theme paying tribute to iconic American surfing locales.