Visiting Las Vegas should be on everyone’s bucket list, even if gambling is something they never do. There is so much to see and do that one can spend a week in Vegas and never enter the gaming section of a casino.
Of course, if you enjoy gaming, there is more than enough to go around.
Vegas is unlike any other place in the United States. In “the city that never sleeps,” you’ll find tons to do, plus the energy, excitement, and sense that something really fun is right around the corner.
If you plan it correctly, you can maximize your time outdoors while hitting all the hotspots “in season,” which is pretty much year-round, although some months are definitely better than others.
The following is all you need to know about when to visit Vegas and how to make the most out of your trip. Keep reading and find out!
Why You Should Visit Vegas
All around the world, Las Vegas is an enormously popular resort city, mainly known for its gambling, culture, fine dining, amazing entertainment, great shopping, and nightlife.
So, if you’re looking for any of these things, this city will definitely have something for you to enjoy. Even the slogan “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” exudes decadent fun.
On that note, most people do visit the casinos. There are over 30 gaming establishments on the Las Vegas Strip and another two dozen or so located throughout the city.
One of the most popular places to visit is Fremont Street, which hosts several older casinos and still captures a sense of Las Vegas of the past.
Every casino boasts several top-end restaurants, and off the Strip are dozens of eating establishments, cultural and nature centers, and much more.
Overall Best Time to Visit Las Vegas
The best time to visit Vegas is during the spring and fall. Those months are typically regarded as the end of February through early May and mid-September through early November.
Both periods are known for moderate weather. One downside to visiting when Vegas is ideal is that room rates soar. It isn’t uncommon to pay several hundred per night during the peak season.
If you stay on the Strip, one good thing about the rates is that most casinos run lots of different promos that can help you save money on meals, activities, and even gaming. The largest challenge in Vegas is the heat.
The thermometer can soar to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months. The temperatures climb into the high eighties and low nineties even by late April. It does occasionally rain in Vegas, although not much.
The surrounding mountains get some spectacular thunderstorms. Another slightly annoying year-round challenge is the wind; Vegas is almost always breezy and frequently has days where gusts exceed 30 MPH.
Cheapest Time to Visit Las Vegas
The cheapest time to visit Las Vegas is during the off-seasons. Those are mid-November through the end of February and mid-May through mid-September.
Most casinos run specials on rooms during this time and several promotional programs to get people to visit. You can save hundreds over several nights if you book in summer or winter with a bit of planning.
You can also save if you book more than just a night or two. One not-so-secret is that rates are always less expensive if you stay mid-week. In terms of getting there, airlines run promotional packages pretty much year-round.
The airport also has several “bargain” airlines that daily fly in and out of Vegas. To find less expensive flights, the best strategy is to search on the internet as early as possible for fare discounts.
It isn’t unusual to find less costly flights even in-season if you book early enough. If you fly on a discount airline, remember that you’re trading frills for an affordable ticket.
Some airlines charge extra for everything, so make sure you know the rules about what you will be charged for before you ask for service. If you do some planning, you can get to Vegas “on the cheap” fairly easily.
Least Busy Time to Visit Las Vegas
The least busy time to visit Vegas is from November through February. Still, you will want to avoid being in town during the New Year celebration.
Also, it is important to remember that Las Vegas is busy year-round, so if you think it will be a ghost town right before the holidays, think again.
Another way to look at “least busy” is to figure out when Vegas will be bursting at the seams with tourists and activities. Fortunately, that is easy to do.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is in early January. Pre-pandemic, this event drew over 200K visitors, making everything more hectic and expensive. March Madness in mid-March also packs Vegas to the gills.
The NCAA basketball tournament usually hosts games in this city. In 2023, Vegas will host both Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games. In addition, the city is known as a sports gaming Mecca, which brings its crowd.
Super Bowl Sunday in early to mid-February is one of the busiest times in Vegas all year. In 2025, Paradise, Nevada, next to Vegas, will host the event.
In 2022, Vegas hosted the NFL draft, which brought tens of thousands to the city. Early to mid-February typically attracts over 250,000 people to Vegas for the game and gambling on the game.
Vegas also sees an influx of visitors on Halloween, Memorial, Labor Day weekends, and the Electric Daisy Carnival in Mid-May, making rooms in this city very difficult to find.
Worst Time to Visit Las Vegas
It depends on what you want in a Vegas trip. The weather isn’t very good in winter. The events listed above bring hundreds of thousands of people in and drive up prices.
The casinos are crowded whenever there is a big sporting event going on. Hotels and other expenses are sky-high in season. Probably, though, the thing that most people would list as the least enjoyable about Vegas is the heat in the summer.
It isn’t unusual to see temperatures that soar to over 100 degrees. Temperatures that high can go on for days. A breeze usually brings some relief at night, but cooling down from 100 degrees to a balmy 80 isn’t cooling down to most people.
When you visit during that time of year, unless you’re hiking outside of the city, playing golf, or visiting Lake Mead, it is best to stay indoors as much as possible.
Everything in Vegas is airconditioned. You will be thankful for that when it seems like walking outside means starting the melting process. The heat, though, doesn’t keep people away.
Summer in Las Vegas is one of the most popular times for tourists to visit. Vegas also does all it can as a city to welcome anyone that wants to visit year-round.
Things to Consider
Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting Las Vegas:
- It is a big city and thus, has big-city issues. Some people are only there to prey on tourists, so always be alert and careful wherever you travel, and safeguard purses and wallets.
- If you buy one of the “yard drinks” to slake your thirst, remember that you can take that first big drink to other bars and get the refill price.
- To avoid paying $15 for munchies, make sure your party understands that partaking in the mini-bar is an automatic banishment.
- Avoid gambling at the airport unless you’re prepared to lose the money. There is a reason those machines are usually empty.
- Join the “members club” at as many casinos as you can. These get you meal deals, free slot play, and discounted rooms. It is surprisingly easy to rack up points to get that stuff, and the points are transferrable to other casino properties if you visit Atlantic City, etc.
- No casino will ever admit this, but winnings seem to increase right before and after check-out and after check-in.
- You can find several great local bars and restaurants by getting off the Strip. Ask a local where it is good to visit. They usually will be happy to direct you to a place you will like.
- Uber and Lyft drivers and cabbies can usually tell you what casinos are “running hot” based on what they glean from other riders.
- Everything in Vegas has a price, but everything you do in Vegas has a price. It is easy to dent your bank account with gambling and non-gambling activities.
- The Police in Vegas are a little more tolerant than other places, but they still have a job to do, which means if you cross a line, they will deal with you.
- The Strip has several reasonably priced stores to buy munchies and souvenirs. Shop around and even visit the drug stores. You will be surprised what you find.
- Those “helpful” folks that give you brochures and club tickets on the sidewalk expect to be tipped. Also, you can get exactly what they are hawking at any casino concierge.
- Set yourself a gaming budget and limit the cash you carry to force yourself to go to an ATM if you run out of money.
- If you win a hand payout, unless you are ok with spending it all, set whatever you want to save aside in the room safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are commonly asked questions about visiting Las Vegas.
What casinos are worth visiting in Las Vegas?
Really, any of them. Go on Strip or off, you can find some casino or gaming environment you like. The big casinos have hundreds of slot games and table games; some of the smaller, off-Strip places are just slots. Pay attention to the clientele, and you can find the casinos that locals frequent, which is always interesting.
What are the best places to visit in Las Vegas?
You can also hit the Strip for high-end shopping or visit a casino, even if gambling isn’t your thing: the casinos are entertainment in and of themselves in most cases.
Another must-see is the Fountains of Bellagio, a dancing water fountain at the Bellagio Resort.
What is the best way to visit Las Vegas?
Fly in, and take an Uber to your hotel. After that, buy a map of the city or just the Strip and figure out what is in walking distance that interests you.
Remember that the Strip is about two and a half miles long, which can be a long way to walk. Uber when walking isn’t an option. It is pricy, but you will be glad you decided to ride versus walk.
What are the best resorts in Vegas?
It depends on what you like and are looking to enjoy. All of them on the Strip are luxury-oriented, and the staff is helpful and friendly for the most part.
Each casino emphasizes something special about itself. The best way to figure out what works for you is to visit the websites of each casino and see what it has to offer.
What are the drinking and gaming laws in Las Vegas?
To drink, you must be 21 or over. Many establishments will check if you look like you’re within 20 years of 21. Do not get mad if you’re older, be flattered as it means you “still go it.”
For gaming, you must also be 21 or over. If you get caught gambling underage, you will be kicked out of the casino and can be banned. You can walk through a casino if you’re under 21, but you cannot stand around, even if accompanied by an adult.
Does Vegas have cabs?
Yes, it does, and fares are becoming more and more standardized because of the competition from Uber and Lyft. The latter two, however, still offer better fares for the most part, except maybe during peak times.
What’s the deal with tipping?
Tipping is up to you, but most times, if an employee goes out of their way to help you, they at least expect a tip. How much depends on you.
Check into the appropriate rates online, and, if you aren’t sure, ask an employee at a hotel. They can tell you how much you should tip for specific services almost to the penny.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Las Vegas?
Visiting Las Vegas is a fantastic adventure that almost everyone can enjoy. Whether you want to see the sites or take in the Strip, eat amazing food or see if you have a hot streak, Vegas has something to offer you. The trick, as always, is to fit it all into just one trip.