Las Vegas is a fun place to visit, but if you're wondering if you want to live there, the answer is probably yes. Las Vegas isn't just for casinos and gambling. Zappos (the online shoe store) has headquarters here, as well as Allegiant Air and the public utility NV Energy. There are also a lot of Las Vegas secrets you didn't know.
Los Angeles residents often come here for the weekend, and some end up staying in Vegas all year round, choosing instead to commute back to L.A. for work. (Houses, for example, are perhaps as much as three times cheaper in Las Vegas). You can also find many great apartments for rent in Las Vegas, so why not bite the bullet and get a permanent home in this fun and growing city?
32 Las Vegas secrets from beyond the Strip
Some Las Vegas facts aren't suitable for print. However, here are some Las Vegas secrets to help you learn more about this amazing city in the desert.
1. It goes without saying that Las Vegas is more than “The Strip." If you're a local, you're probably avoiding it like the plague. Unless, of course, you work there or have people visiting.
2. Locals who gamble might be more inclined to visit off-strip casinos or those on the outskirts of Vegas, such as Station Casinos.
3. Las Vegas legalized gambling way back in 1931, the same year construction began on the Hoover Dam.
4. One of the benefits of living in a tourist trap like Las Vegas is that it's open 24 hours. Locals love the ability to eat whenever they want or find something to do if insomnia strikes.
5. For many locals, it's the outdoors that make Vegas a great place to live, from the stunning sunsets to the beautiful mountains that surround the city.
6. The wildlife you might find around Las Vegas includes bobcats, mountain lions, feral horses, the pig-like collared peccary (javelina), antelope-like pronghorns, desert bighorn sheep, the long-tailed pocket mouse, valley pocket gopher and all sorts of critters big and small.
7. The state of Nevada does have several poisonous snakes, all of them rattlesnakes: the sidewinder, speckled rattlesnake, Western diamondback rattlesnake, Great Basin rattlesnake and Mojave green rattlesnake.
8. Hiking, bouldering, rock climbing and rappelling are popular outdoor sports in Las Vegas. Try Red Rock Canyon, the Black Corridor and Kraft Boulders.
9. Nearby Mount Charleston and the surrounding Spring Mountains are incredibly diverse in terms of ecology, which include desert shrubland, a low conifer zone, a high conifer zone and an alpine zone.
10. The bristlecone pine trees found on Mount Charleston are some of the oldest trees on Earth. They have a lifespan of more than 1,000 years old.
11. You can hike all year round in Las Vegas due to the mild winters. It can get cold in Nevada, so make sure you dress appropriately in winter months.
12. The highest temperature officially recorded in Las Vegas is 117 degrees, recorded multiple times (most recently on July 10, 2021).
13. An even higher “unofficial" temperature of 118 degrees hit Sin City back in July of 1931, the same year that gambling was legalized. Coincidence? You decide!
14. The temperature in Las Vegas is so uniformly hot in the summer that local news outlets actually report on the “lowest high temperature ever recorded." Yes, that means it's news when the high temperature for the day is lower than it is typically. And on July 26, 2021, about two weeks after Vegas hit 117 degrees, the temperature had dropped so much that the high temperature was “only" 90 degrees.
15. The “lowest high temperature" on July 26, 2021, broke a 71-year record, beating out 1950 for a low high temperature of 91 degrees for July 26.
16. It goes without saying, when looking for an apartment in Las Vegas, you want to make sure you get one with air conditioning. Actually, the chances of you finding a non-air-conditioned home in Vegas are slim to none. (Check out these great apartments in Las Vegas.)
17. With such high temperatures, make sure you stay hydrated. Las Vegas is in a desert after all. It's a good idea to keep a water bottle handy (and some extra in your car, although the car is likely to get hot if parked outside).
18. The problem with Las Vegas weather is that during the summer it's super hot outside and super cold on the inside due to all the air conditioning blasting 24/7. Smart locals bring sweaters and light jackets to wear inside even when the outside is blazing hot.
19. Remember, alcohol actually dehydrates you even though it's a liquid. If you're going out for a night on the town in Vegas, drink some water along with your booze. There's much debate over whether drinking water can prevent a hangover (now some scientists are saying it doesn't do much at all). But we know for sure that water can prevent dehydration in general. So, it's not going to hurt you to drink water along with your beer or wine.
20. Residents prefer bottled water in Las Vegas. Some locals report that the tap water literally smells. Of course, bottled water is going to be cheaper if you get it at a local grocery store instead of waiting to buy it at a casino.
21. Las Vegas is not a pedestrian-friendly town, so it's advised to get a car (remember, with cloth seats, not leather seats). If you're walking in Las Vegas, make sure you pay attention and look both ways before crossing a street because tourists tend to be distracted by all the Vegas sights and sounds.
22. Las Vegas goes through phases. There was the Rat Pack era in the 1960s and, of course, the mobster era, which perhaps hit its peak in the 1950s and didn't end until the 1980s. The 1970s and the 1980s were not big decades for Las Vegas. And it wasn't seen as a major destination like it is today. In fact, Vegas was seen as a bit “seedy."
23. In the 1990s, starting with the development of the Excalibur hotel and casino, themed after King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Las Vegas underwent a transformation and was rebranded as more “family-friendly."
24. Other 1990s era themed casinos include the Egyptian-themed Luxor, Treasure Island, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Monte Carlo, New York-New York (with a mini skyline, roller coaster and Statue of Liberty), Mandalay Bay, the Venetian, Paris (with an iconic hot-air balloon) and the new Aladdin.
25. Starting in the 2000s, kitschy themes and ethnic/cultural attractions were on their way out and “upscale" was in,. Previously themed hotels, such as the Imperial Palace were rebranded. The Japanese-themed Imperial Palace was first rebranded as the Quad Resort & Casino and is now the Linq.
26. Aladdin was rethemed away from Disney and an Arabian flavor to reopen in 2007 to the more generic but “modern" Planet Hollywood theme. Sahara first closed in 2011 but was reopened as SLS Las Vegas without its iconic Moroccan theme in 2013. It was finally renamed Sahara (remaining themeless otherwise) in 2019. And in 2018, the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas replaced the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
27. If you want to enjoy some classic Las Vegas kitsch that's been around since 1972, check out the Peppermill Las Vegas and Fireside Lounge on the Strip. They've been featured in many movies and TV shows. It looks like a Denny's on the outside. One of the popular items (not on the menu) is the massive Scorpion Bowl. It's made with grenadine and vanilla ice cream that is best shared.
28. The first resort casino to open in Las Vegas was the Flamingo in 1946, financed in large part by mobster Benjamin “Bugsy" Siegel. He was killed about six months later in a case that remains unsolved to this day.
29. Legend has it that the Flamingo was named after Bugsy's girlfriend, who had really long legs. Except, the casino had already gotten its name from its originator, Billy Wilkerson, who also founded the Hollywood Reporter.
Experience Las Vegas for yourself with a Las Vegas apartment
One of the biggest Las Vegas secrets is that it's actually a great place to live all year round! With lots of fabulous outdoor activities, mild winter and many great restaurants (outside the Strip, as well), Las Vegas locals have many things to do and see that don't involve gambling or mingling with tourists.
If you're looking for Las Vegas facts about housing, check out Rent.com's apartments for rent in Las Vegas. You'll find many great places to live in this growing city that has much to offer beyond the Strip!