Where to stay in Las Vegas: 8 Best Areas

Where to stay in Las Vegas

Planning your visit to Las Vegas? Fortunately, if you’re looking for where to stay in Las Vegas, we can help. Each of these neighborhoods offers something to tourists, but they all have their own unique senses of identity as well.

Best Areas Where to Stay in Las Vegas

1. The Strip, best area where to stay in Las Vegas

If you were asked to close your eyes and picture Las Vegas, chances are that the image in your head would pretty closely resemble the Strip. It’s the neighborhood that features prominently in practically every piece of media about Las Vegas, and it’s home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. 

The Strip is the most perfect distillation of Las Vegas as an adult amusement park, as it’s also home to most of Las Vegas’ most popular and themed resorts. This is the place to stay in Las Vegas if you want the red carpet experience

These include classics like Caesars Palace as well as more dramatically themed hotels like Luxor’s giant pyramid and the indoor carnival of Circus Circus.

Of course, fame comes with a price. The Strip is dense with hotels, but that comes with a premium. If you’re staying on the Strip, you can expect to pay more than anywhere else in town. 

But if you want to be in the heart of it all, this is the place to be. The Strip itself is mostly accessible on foot, and the various resorts are constantly in competition with each other to draw in new customers. 

The number of shows and attractions on any given day or night is staggering, and you could spend an entire vacation on the Strip without running out of things to do.

The Strip makes sense as a destination whether you’re coming for a bachelorette party or a family vacation. The narrow focus of each of the themed hotels means there’s a choice for practically any demographic. 

The Strip is also the heart of Las Vegas’ emerging sports scene. T-Mobile Arena hosts NHL’s Golden Knights, while the newest Raiders stadium is positioned right near popular Strip resort Mandalay Bay. 

The nightlife and the restaurant scene on the Strip are as good as you’ll find anywhere in Las Vegas, though you can again expect to pay a decent amount extra for the privilege of a nice dinner.

If you’re coming with the family and looking to save a little more money, you may want to turn your attention to the buffets that many of the Strip resorts offer.

2. Downtown/Fremont St., best area in Las Vegas for gamble

If the Strip is a little too pricey for your tastes but you still want the true, gaudy Las Vegas experience, Fremont Street and the surrounding downtown district may be the place for you. It’s also the place you’ll probably want to go if you’re in Las Vegas to gamble

The larger resorts that dominate the Strip are increasingly becoming focused on entertainment and family-focused activities, but the casinos downtown represent that feel of classic Las Vegas. 

This neighborhood is home to a dense selection of places to gamble, and the machines and games on offer tend to be more varied and fairer than what you’d find on the Strip.

This is where many of the locals gamble, and while the Strip is all about transporting you to a variety of exotic worlds, downtown can transport you to Golden Age Las Vegas

Many of the hotels from the days of the Rat Pack have fallen to the steady process of time and development, but there are some efforts in place to preserve the neighborhood’s (and the city’s) history. 

18 medallions lining Fremont East mark some of the most historic locations throughout the town’s long and sordid history. Most notable is the presence of Main Street Hotel and Casino. You don’t need to book a room to peruse the rich selection of local and international artifacts on display here.

The nightlife in downtown is significantly more authentic than what you’ll find in the Strip as well. Nightclubs, bars, and restaurants dominate the landscape, and many are hangout spots for locals. That’s not the case in the Strip, where you’re likely only to find fellow tourists and staff. 

If there’s one must-see attraction in downtown, it’s the Viva Vision Light Experience. This enormous screen creates a vibrant and psychedelic light show that syncs up to music from some of the most popular acts in the world, and it’s completely free to experience. 

For the most part, downtown is safe, though you may want to exercise a little more caution when venturing off the beaten trail. As with any city’s downtown, the Fremont district isn’t entirely absent of con artists and criminals.

3. East of the Strip, excellent area to stay in Las Vegas at affordable prices

It can sometimes feel like the city of Las Vegas never sleeps, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to just because you’re visiting. While the Strip itself can stay bright and loud into every hour of the night, that doesn’t mean that it’s the only option where to stay in Las Vegas available to you. 

If you just know Las Vegas from movies and TV, you might assume there’s nothing normal about the city. And while the lifeblood of the city may be the tourism industry, there’s also an entire, functional community. 

If you want a city that’s rich with local color and a more normal way of life, you’ll find it east of the Strip. 

The University of Nevada is situated squarely to the east of the Strip, and that means that the local population tends to skew younger.

The recreation here tends to skew fairly younger as well, and that makes this potentially the best neighborhood in town if you’re traveling with children. Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory is situated in this neighborhood, as is the Pinball Hall of Fame. 

And since it’s off the beaten path – and targeted more towards travelers who aren’t in town to party – the east tends to be a significantly cheaper alternative to the big luxury and themed hotels that dominate the Strip. 

While the Bellagio is located to the east, you’ll also find a lot more affordable and generic lodgings. And while you might not associate Las Vegas with world-class golfing, there are plenty of great courses to the east.

The Pinball Hall of Fame isn’t the only place of culture around here either. East of the Strip has potentially the largest number of museums in the area. 

A highlight is the National Atomic Testing Museum, which offers a fascinating but sobering look at the experiments which took place in the nearby desert. 

And just because it’s not as wild as the Strip doesn’t mean that the eastern neighborhood isn’t a great place to party. 

The college bars are about what you could expect in most university towns, and the LGBQT nightlife is arguably the best in the whole city.

See also: Where to stay in Los Angeles, where to stay in San Francisco, where to stay in Chicago

4. West of the Strip, good for families

Moving a few blocks west of the Strip is an as disorienting experience as moving a few blocks east. 

The bright lights and neon don’t go away completely as you venture into the western neighborhoods. After all, both the Palms and the Rio are there. 

But even the themed hotels have a hipper and ritzier reputation than many of the lodgings here. More modestly priced hotels are available in abundance, but you’ll find plenty of higher class places to stay as well. 

Regardless of where you stay, you can expect to get plenty more for your dollar than you would on the Strip without having to sacrifice much in the way of accessibility.

The western half of town may not have a university, but it’s a stretch of land with a higher density of quiet and residential neighborhoods. That environment makes it one of the top neighborhoods in town if you’ve got kids in tow, but adults will find plenty to love as well. 

The aforementioned Rio and Palms are home to the trendy VooDoo Lounge and ghostbar, and most hotels that have a casino on-site will offer places to drink and catch a show as well.

The east may take the crown in terms of museum density, but you should take the time to visit the Nevada State Museum regardless of where you decide to stay in Las Vegas. 

Their standing Viva Las Vegas exhibit is a showstopper that really digs into the culture heritage of Sin City. The massive Springs Reserve is also worth a visit. Totaling an entire 180 square acres, it’s a great place to get a break from the chaos of the Strip. 

Whether you’re looking to pick up a souvenir, pick up a shaving kit, or get dressed up for a night out on the town, you’ll find what you need at the Masquerade Village shopping mall.

5. North Las Vegas, good for outdoor activities

North Las Vegas may be the best-kept secret in Nevada. In fact, many people don’t even realize that it’s a city entirely distinct from Las Vegas proper. 

In fact, it’s distinct enough from Southern Las Vegas that you could spend weeks enjoying everything the city has to offer without even setting foot in a casino. 

If the allure of Las Vegas is all about the wonder of artificial worlds, North Las Vegas offers the opportunity to find the wonder of the real world. Comfortably ensconced in the Las Vegas Valley, it’s a wonderland of outdoor activities. In fact, the wealth of natural beauty on display here is both staggering and varied. 

Spring Mountain is an easy half-hour drive from the city, and it just happens to be the home of the Bristlecone Pine – the oldest living organism in the world. Lake Mead is even closer. 

The national park can be reached in a matter of minutes, and it constitutes over 500 miles of shoreline. The surrounding beauty of the Las Vegas Valley is front and center even within the city proper. 

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum is a celebration not just of the American Southwest’s natural beauty but of the diverse ecosystems from around the world.

Just keep in mind that getting to the Strip is harder than if you decided to stay in Las Vegas proper, and the city itself is more spread out than the Strip and surrounding areas. That means that you may want to rent a car if you want to explore the casinos of Las Vegas and the valley nearby. 

The size of the city means that you can find accommodations for practically any price range, and it’s not entirely without the flash and swagger of the Strip. 

North Las Vegas is home to extravagant and full-service hotels like the Cannery Hotel and Casino and the Mirage Hotel.

6. Henderson, quiet and natural attractions

Like Northern Las Vegas, Henderson is a city in its own right, and that makes it a great place to stay in Las Vegas if you want to enjoy the city itself on your own terms. And just like Northern Las Vegas, Henderson is right in the midst of the region’s natural splendor

This can be a great place for setting up camp to explore the Strip, but it can be a sensible place to settle in if you’re trying to explore the American Southwest thoroughly. 

All of the attractions of both Northern Las Vegas and Las Vegas proper are readily accessible, but you’ll be uniquely positioned for access to natural attractions like the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve and River Mountain Loop Trail

You can even book a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon from Henderson.

It may go without saying, but Henderson is significantly more sedate than much of the rest of Vegas. The neighborhoods here are mostly residential.

You can generally expect to pay significantly less for a room than you would closer to the Strip – and you’ll also find a decent variety of hotels, motels, and Airbnb rentals within Henderson’s city limits.

Henderson may not represent the typical Las Vegas of your imagination, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of a visit. 

If you’ve been to Vegas before but are wondering if there’s more to do than just gamble and go to shows, the hundreds of miles of biking trails in make a pretty persuasive argument for the neighboring town of Henderson.

7. Summerlin, great option where to stay in Las Vegas

Journey a little bit northwest of the Strip and you’ll find yourself situated in Summerlin – a neighborhood a little closer to the Strip but with the same sort of natural attractions you’d find in North Las Vegas or Henderson. 

Red Rock Canyon Trail is probably the best known of these nature sites, and it offers enough miles of trail to keep you occupied for days. 

There are 16 different trails dotting the nature preserve, and there are even camping sites if you decide you want to forego the hotel altogether in favor of roughing it out in the wilds.

But just because it’s a bit away from the Strip doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty to offer the aspiring gambler. The Red Rock Casino is just a short drive from the Strip proper, but once you set up shop there, you could conceivably stay through the rest of your trip. In addition to all of the casino games you could expect, it also features a full service spa. 

The more luxurious hotels tend to bear less extravagant themes and focus their attention more on spa facilities and golf courses, but there are plenty of smaller and chain hotels as well.

Once you’ve made your money at the tables, you’ll have plenty of places to spend it too. Tivoli Village is like nothing else in or around Vegas: a shopping district with a distinctly European theme. 

Local and boutique brands are a focus here. But if you decide you want something more High Street, you should take a cruise over to Fashion Show Mall.

8. Chinatown, very close to The Strip

The phrase “Chinatown” may evoke images of New York City and San Francisco, and it would be easy to mistake the phrase “Las Vegas Chinatown” for a kitschy themed hotel, but that couldn’t be anything further from the truth. 

Located a mere two miles from the Strip, Chinatown is an enclave for the local Chinese community and a distinct stretch of both architecture and cuisine that stretches for about two miles.

The heart of Vegas’ Chinatown is, fittingly enough, known as Chinatown Plaza. Situated in the heart of Chinatown, the Plaza is a beautiful and authentic gate with a mesmerizing statue evoking mythical character the Monkey King. 

And while it may bear the sobriquet of “Chinatown”, the neighborhood is actually a bastion for a variety of different Southeast Asian cultures. Some of the best Vietnamese and Japanese food in the city can also be found in Chinatown.

The downside is that while Chinatown is one of the most authentic and genuine neighborhoods in the city, it’s also one of the smallest. That makes it a great place to visit but a little more difficult for a longer stay. 

There aren’t as many hotels in this area and few as extravagant as the vast resort hotels that line the more popular Las Vegas neighborhoods. But it’s a great place to stay in Las Vegas if you want a one-of-a-kind experience, and Chinatown is only a couple of miles away from the Vegas Strip.

Images: Shutterstock

Categories USA

Leave a comment