In our Go Local Guides, we’ve teamed up with local insiders from popular travel destinations; giving you their money-saving tips on how to get a taste of the places they call home, without breaking the bank.
Love Las Vegas Arts by Trenton Larsen and Based Glass with Phillip Limon and Dana Anderson, 2018
Las Vegas local and professional wordsmith Jess Koslow shares the insider tips to get the most out of your Las Vegas holiday.
Some 2.2 million people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area – and every year over 40 million people from around the world visit, most of them flocking to the Strip to try their luck and take in the spectacle. But there’s more to this surreal city than the ordinary madness.
Aside from gambling, Las Vegas is famous for its buffets. While the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace ($98/£83.41 per person) and the Unlimited Champagne Brunch at the Bellagio ($52/£44.26 per person) offer the fine-dining equivalent of buffets, you can find a mouth-watering array of food at places like Paris or the Rio (dinner only Monday-Thursday) at a fraction of the price.
If buffets aren’t your style, check out the Sunday Jazz Brunch (no cover charge) at Gordon Biersch. Brunch starts at 11am, and a band begins playing jazzy hits at noon. Enjoy your traditional brunch favorites and take advantage of mimosa and bloody mary deals ($8-$10/£6.81-£8.51) while watching the crowd on the dance floor.
Even locals go to the Strip for shows. Check out the listings at The Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan or Brooklyn Bowl for the best in live music in a more intimate venue. If you want to splurge, Absinthe and Opium - the Spiegelworld shows located at Caesars Palace and the Cosmopolitan - are worth every penny. The cast and themes of these variety spectaculars change season to season but are always a quintessential Vegas night out.
The Arts District is an emerging neighbourhood with plenty of galleries showcasing local artists as well as independent shops and restaurants. It’s great to spend an afternoon browsing through antique and vintage shops here. On the first Friday of every month, the community of artists hosts an arts festival complete with local art for sale and an army of food trucks serving everything from elote (Mexican street corn on the cob, around $5/£4.26) to sushi burritos (around $12/£10.21). As the evening draws in, stop in at the Velveteen Rabbit, for a truly unique cocktail experience. The team of master mixologists creates a new menu of cocktails for every season ($11-$15/£9.36-£12.77) combining unexpected flavours to surprise and delight. If you’re more of a beer aficionado, check out Hop Nuts Brewing, and try a flight of locally brewed beers while playing shuffleboard or lounging on the patio. Happy hour is a great deal here too (pints $4/£3.40, 4-7pm).
Mural by D*Face, 2013
Some of the best cocktail bars - and deals - in town are located off the Strip. Visit Herbs & Rye between 5pm and 8pm or midnight and 3am and take advantage of happy hour deals on cocktails as well as 50% off steaks. If you’re on Fremont Street in Old Vegas, you should stop into Downtown Cocktail Room, for their daily “halfy hour” from 4-7 pm. Everything on the menu is 50% off in a sophisticated lounge environment.
Yes, you read that right. Las Vegas is nestled in a sprawling Nevada Valley surrounded by mountains, canyons, and locations of outstanding natural beauty. Visit Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Red Rock is only a 20-minute car journey from the Strip. There are 26 hikes of varying degrees of difficulty to satisfy all hikers as well as multiple overlook points and Instagrammable moments along the 13-mile scenic drive through the park.
Try the easy 3-mile out and back Keystone Thrust trail to see an old fault line. If you’re up for a challenge, climb the strenuous Turtle Head Peak trail (5 miles out and back) for outstanding views of the Las Vegas valley. Make sure to take plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat. Entry fee is $15 (£12.77) per car. A wholesome round-off to a blistering Vegas experience.
Enjoy the view with a cocktail
Cocktails: $18-$20 (£15.32-£17.02)
The Verbena (not on the menu - ask for it) - ginger and verbena-infused Margherita
The Chandelier Bar
Splurge: $47-$76 (£40-£64.69) + sides
Steal: $20 (£17.02)
Uber or Lyft
Price varies by distance
Tip your cocktail server a dollar for every free drink they bring while you gamble. If you win at a table game, tip your dealer at least $20 (£17.02), or more if it’s a big win
Our insider city guides - packed with tips from locals in the know.