When most people think of Las Vegas their minds immediately think about the bright lights and grand casino resorts on the Vegas Strip. That’s how I was when first visiting Las Vegas. There’s so much to do on the Vegas Strip that I didn’t even think about leaving the area.
That changed after a bachelor party took me to the Gold Coast. It was affordable, low key and fun. As time went on, my friends and I would try to visit Hard Rock and the Palms. A few hours visiting downtown Las Vegas that became part of almost every trip. Once, we even ventured all the way out (20 minutes) to Red Rock Casino to try Salt Lick BBQ.
The Vegas Strip is still Las Vegas to many visitors. Almost three out of every four visitors to Las Vegas stay at a hotel on the Vegas Strip. According to the Las Vegas Visitors Profile, nearly 50% of visitors to Las Vegas don’t even explore downtown Las Vegas. That number might be surprising because it’s often overrun by tourists.
It’s safe to assume that even fewer visitors explore the different suburbs of Las Vegas. It’s understandable and someone wouldn’t want to spend time traveling around town when you only have 24-72 hours in this great city.
Leaving The Vegas Strip
Visiting casinos that are not on the Vegas Strip can take just a few minutes. There are plenty of nearby options. Palms, Palace Station, Rio, Gold Coast, Ellis Island, Hooters, Tuscany, Silver Sevens, The Orleans, Hard Rock, and Westgate are all within a five-minute car ride (Uber, Lyft, Taxi) from the Vegas Strip.
Depending on where you are, it can be quicker getting to these casinos in a car than going from Mandalay Bay to Wynn. You can even walk to Hooters and Ellis Island in a couple of minutes from nearby casinos on the Vegas Strip.
While Palms, Rio, and Gold Coast are across the street from one another the off-strip casinos are usually scattered and not within walking distance from other casinos. If you’d rather be in a more densely populated casino area you can head to downtown Las Vegas. The casinos are about 10-15 minutes away and all within walking distance of each other.
All of the properties offer a different experience than casino-resorts on the Vegas Strip. Palms and Hard Rock attempt to offer a similar experience that you’d have on the Vegas Strip. The Orleans and Gold Coast are casinos for locals and tourists and offer a different experience than you might be used to. Ever want to go bowling or see a movie in Las Vegas? Here ya go!
I didn’t explore the off-strip casinos very much until moving to Las Vegas. Now, I can’t imagine not having access to the variety of casinos open in Las Vegas. The Vegas Strip offers an experience that can’t be matched. However, there’s so much more when you leave the area.
Variety isn’t for everyone. Why change a good thing? There are people that love the Vegas Strip and don’t want to leave. That’s cool. However, there are less expensive casino-hotel’s that offer something different. That wasn’t important to me when I was 21. That variety is important now that I’m older.
Luxury Away From The Vegas Strip
One of the main reasons to stay on the Vegas Strip is that there’s a feeling of luxury that can’t be matched. True, you won’t find properties like the Cosmopolitan, Wynn, and Bellagio when you leave the Vegas Strip. However, you don’t have to go bare bones when leaving the Vegas Strip.
Green Valley Ranch, M Resort, and Red Rock Casino all offer a high level of service and amenities that come close to the same class. Each of these properties is a legitimate resort with great pools, spas, fine dining, top of the line rooms, and great service.
A couple of years ago we shared “5 Resorts To Help You Transition Away From The Vegas Strip.” Much of this information is still accurate. When Circa opens on Fremont Street in December of 2020 you’ll have another property to visit and stay if you’re looking to get away from the Vegas Strip.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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