If you haven’t visited Las Vegas very much then you may only know one “Vegas Experience.” People tend to stick in and around the Vegas Strip during their first visits. I, for one, rarely left the action on the Vegas Strip when I started visiting Las Vegas.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Vegas Strip experience. It’s one of the most amazing places in the world. However, there’s much more to Las Vegas than the Vegas Strip if you’re looking for something new.
I often write about visiting downtown Las Vegas because it’s a similar but different option to the Vegas Strip. The walkable mall of casinos acts almost as a gateway to experiencing Las Vegas beyond the Vegas Strip. There aren’t many other casino cities where you can walk from casino to casino. Actually, when you visit casinos outside of these two areas in Las Vegas you probably won’t be walking from casino to casino.
You may never need to leave your casino if you stay on the Vegas Strip. Sure you can easily visit other casinos but you don’t have to. Many of the casinos are full-service and offer everything you might need for a week or weekend. The same can’t be said for many of the off-strip casinos in the suburbs of Las Vegas.
The majority of casinos located off the Vegas Strip are built for local Las Vegas residents. You’re more likely to find a bingo hall or movie theater than a spa or lavish pool experience. However, there are a few casinos located off the Vegas Strip that offer everything that you would expect from a full-service Las Vegas casino. Each of these properties would fit nicely on the Vegas Strip, but stand out in their locations east, south and west of the action.
Green Valley Ranch
GVR is located about 25 minutes away from the Vegas Strip in Henderson, NV. This sprawling luxury resort, spa and casino fits perfectly in the suburbs but offers amenities you’d expect on the Vegas Strip. The location works best for visitors seeking high-end amenities while being able to relax. The excitement on the Vegas Strip is great, but sometimes we all need a break.
M Resort
Many know M Resort because it’s one of the most beautiful casinos in Las Vegas that doesn’t charge a resort fee. The all glass exterior is stunning and noticeable when you drive about 20 minutes south of Mandalay Bay. M Resort has some of the best restaurants anywhere in Las Vegas, including Anthony’s Steakhouse.
Red Rock Casino
Station Casinos operates both Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Casino. Each casino is considered a luxury resort. The aesthetic difference between the two properties is that Red Rock feels more modern while GVR is traditional. The pool complex at Red Rock features over 10 pools, poolside gambling and an outdoor bar and restaurant. The experience here is different than the Vegas Strip but no less spectacular. If there’s something you can’t find inside the casino-resort, you can walk next door to Downtown Summerlin which has shopping and dining for days. Red Rock Casino is my local casino if I sound partial.


Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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