There’s a lot more to Las Vegas than what most people normally see. Earlier this week discussed exploring Las Vegas beyond the Vegas Strip and Downtown Vegas. There’s Red Rock Canyon, Boulder City, Henderson, the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, horseback riding, golf and so much more. Just hop in a car and you’ll find a lot more in Las Vegas than you would ever think about. That’s part of what makes Las Vegas great. Venturing off the beaten path isn’t only a great way to find new things but it’s also a great way to save money. In this manner Las Vegas is no different than any other city you might visit.

Tourist areas in every city are always more expensive than where the locals hang out. If you’re in New York City you’ll pay more money for a slice of pizza in Times Square then you will when you head downtown for a slice. Las Vegas isn’t very different. You’ll save up to $1 on a cup of coffee just by visiting a Starbucks away from the tourists spots. In fact, most places you eat and drink away from the Vegas Strip will be cost less. Not only will you save 50% on a steak at Herbs & Rye during happy hour but you’ll find that dining at many restaurants away from the Vegas Strip or Downtown Vegas will cost less for similar or better quality dishes.

Some of the most famous chefs you see on TV head off the strip for its great Asian dining. They aren’t going to these restaurants because a meal is under $10. They’re going because the food is gooooooood.

There are a variety of activities that will fill your day with fun and excitement off the strip. You can pay as little as $0 to go hiking through Red Rock Canyon or you can cough up a few bucks and play a round of golf, go for a hot air balloon ride, drive dune buggies or shoot things at a gun range. Each of this activities will cost you less than you’d probably spend in a single session at the casino. There’s a great variety of inexpensive entertainment at your fingertips when you leave the casinos in Las Vegas.

There are even alternative (for Las Vegas) forms of inexpensive entertainment that you’ll find as you explore Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team and Las Vegas 51′s both have tickets for under $10. Each will offer hours of nighttime entertainment that you won’t find in any casino.

One of the biggest ways to save money in Las Vegas is to stay in a hotel off the Vegas Strip. Many of the hotels in Downtown Vegas or just off the strip have been renovated in the past few years. You can find newer mid-level hotel rooms around half the price per night just by staying a block away from the action.

We are always looking for different ways to save money but one thing that many people overlook is just enjoying Las Vegas for being the small city it is when you leave the tourist areas. Don’t be afraid to stray from the road most traveled because you can save some serious coin.


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