Updated: March 21, 2023
In This City Guide:
- Las Vegas at-a-glance
- What it’s like to live in Las Vegas
- Economy and job outlook in Las Vegas
- Real estate, cost of living in Las Vegas
- The top neighborhoods in Las Vegas
- How to get around in Las Vegas
- School and education snapshot
- Weather and climate in Las Vegas
- 10 Can’t miss things to do in Las Vegas
Las Vegas At-A-Glance
Moving to Las Vegas—a city known for its flood of tourists looking for the bright lights and wild nightlife—can feel like a gamble. (See what we did there?) But there are plenty of folks who call Sin City and its cozy suburban areas home. With great shopping, plenty of entertainment, and no state income tax, Vegas is a great place for young professionals and retirees alike.
Although it gained the nickname Sin or Vice City due to gambling, alcohol during the Prohibition, and certain types of entertainment, there’s much more to enjoy and explore here than Blackjack tables and bars.
Vegas is a leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada and is its most populous city. Living in Las Vegas means access to world-class restaurants, amazing shows, and—with the founding of the Vegas Golden Knights just a few years ago—a championship-winning NHL team.
Las Vegas is Looking to Change its Reputation
Catch any Las Vegas episode from a ‘90s sitcom and you’ll imagine that Vegas is all about all-you-can-eat buffets, bachelor parties, 24-hour wedding chapels, and the Fountains of Bellagio.
But near those fountains you can also explore the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art featuring influential artists from around the world. Just a short walk away from that is the ARIA Fine Art Collection where you can experience the works of acclaimed painters, sculptors, and installation artists. Hop in an Uber for a quick drive to The Arts Factory, a warehouse of artist studios and shops, dedicated to revitalizing the Vegas arts scene.
The all-you-can-eat-buffets have been overshadowed by the influx of world-class cuisine brought by celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Giada de Laurentiis, and Gordon Ramsay, who alone has six restaurants in the city. Although don’t worry—you can also still grab a great burger on a budget!
Suffice it to say, Vegas is growing out of its “What stays in Vegas” reputation to bring more culture and art to its visitors and residents.
Tourists Mean Job Growth and Demand for Young Professionals
Given the size and reputation of the Vegas Strip, it should come as no surprise that a quarter of the professionals in Las Vegas work in the tourism, gaming, and entertainment industries, with most of those jobs coming from the casino hotels. Young professionals looking for a way in will find no shortage of opportunities here.
Other top employers include Allegiant and Zappos, and for those looking for work outside the leisure and hospitality industry, both the health and business information technology industries are seeing growth in Vegas.
As of December 2022, the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, showing a positive trend from the prior year. With the city regaining its pre-pandemic tourist numbers, the job opportunities are expected to keep growing.
A More Affordable Expensive City
In 2021, the median household income in the Las Vegas area was recorded at $61,356, about $9,000 lower than the U.S. national average during the same year. And while the cost of living is slightly more than the national average, Nevada is a breath of relief when compared to neighboring California or Oregon. It’s also one of the few states with no income tax, meaning those moving to Las Vegas will keep more of their income!
Like the rest of the country, the biggest culprit in the cost of living is housing, but markets are trending downward and there are affordable homes and apartments to be found for families and young professionals.
Starting midway through 2022, Las Vegas started to see a subtle downward trend in housing costs. As of January 2023, the median home sale price was $385,000, down 0.26 percent compared to the prior year. Although the market is still considered competitive, homes are staying listed for longer indicating a shift.
Over the past year rents have been declining in Las Vegas, with February median rents 4.6 percent lower than the year prior. The median rent is $1,066 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,362 for a two-bedroom.
Neighborhoods for All Paces of Life
The world knows Las Vegas as a city of lights and pizazz, but there are neighborhoods for every lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a quiet, safe suburban life or the fast-paced, upscale experience, you’ll find it in Vegas. Check out these highly recommended neighborhoods for those moving to Las Vegas:
If you’re looking for great restaurants, shopping, and parks, Summerlin is it. Even locals will tell you that it’s among the best neighborhoods, making it a great place for young professionals seeking an upscale area far from the Strip.
THE ARTS DISTRICT
Located downtown, the Arts District will have you housed within walking distance of trendy bars and restaurants. Filled with a mix of creatives, from performers to visual artists and more, it’s also a favorite of young professionals and students.
Located in the shadows of Mount Charleston, Skye Canyon is a great choice for those looking for a quiet, safe community away from the Strip. Families especially will love this neighborhood filled with great parks, basketball courts, soccer fields, and dog parks.
Few think of waterfront property when moving to Las Vegas, but this planned community still has homes and condos that are budget friendly. You’ll need a car to get around, but at home you’ll be able to go fishing, boating, or have a picnic by the water.
DOWNTOWN LAS VEGAS
Don’t worry, this isn’t the Vegas Strip! Downtown is more relaxed but still has plenty of bars, casinos, and world-class restaurants. The area is undergoing a revitalization, giving it a hip vibe that singles and young professionals love.
Other neighborhoods to include in your Las Vegas home search:
- The Strip
- Peccole Ranch
- Centennial Hills
- Tule Springs
Use Your Car to Get Around and Stay Alert
While the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has bus routes serving the Vegas Strip and the downtown area 24/7, there’s not much more to the public transportation system here. Instead, we recommend traveling by car. It may surprise you to know that despite the lack of public transportation options, the commute times are on par with the U.S. national average, and residents still spend less time in the car than those in other large metro areas like New York or nearby Los Angeles.
Drivers, though, leave something to be desired. Sin City lives up to its name in driver rankings alone, being marked in recent years as one of the worst cities for road rage, DUIs, and other bad driving offenses. If you’re behind the wheel, keep an eye out for distracted drivers, especially if you find yourself at the interchange between I-15, I-515, US Route 93 and US Route 95 (also known as the “Spaghetti Bowl” due to its confusing structure. And avoid this area at rush hour!
The good news is that the Harry Reid International Airport is just a short two miles from Las Vegas Boulevard, so visiting friends and family will have an easy time joining in the fun.
The Education Opportunities Could Be Better
If you’re moving to Las Vegas with your young family, know that Nevada is one of the lowest ranked states in terms of education. There is a lot to be desired here, but Las Vegas schools are part of the Clark County School District and rank in the top 50 percent of public schools in the state. There are also over 70 private schools to choose from.
Colleges in the area include University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Nevada State College.
Mild Winters with Desert-Hot Summers
Las Vegas is perfect for those who hate the cold and snow. Located within the Mojave Desert, it should be no surprise that Sin City is classified as a subtropical hot desert, resulting in long, hot summers. But while the temperatures are high here, sometimes reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, folks will tell you that it’s a dry heat that many find bearable.
There’s good news, too: If you’re moving to Las Vegas to escape the cold, this city has short, mild winters that see zero snow on average.
10 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Las Vegas
At this point, when someone says Las Vegas, we tend to hear “casinos.” But this city has much more to offer than a day at the slots. Here’s a list of 10 Las Vegas must-dos that have nothing to do with gambling:
- Take in a show. Las Vegas is renowned for its entertainment industry, from Cirque du Soleil, the Tournament of Kings, David Copperfield, Blue Man Group, and several big music headliners.
- Trek out to the Valley of Fire State Park, where among its many sights, you’ll see massive red sandstone formations caved with 2,000-year-old petroglyphs.
- Travel back to the Prohibition Era with a visit to The Underground speakeasy, an exhibit in the Mob Museum.
- Stay in one of the Original 10 rooms at the Golden Gate Las Vegas, once known as the Hotel Nevada, the first hotel in Vegas.
- Shop at boutique shops and dine at unique restaurants at Downtown Container Park, an open-air shopping center.
- Take a stroll down pedestrian-only Fremont Street, also known as Glitter Gulch for the amount of neon lights that brighten the strip. (Want a bit of history, too? Check out the Neon Boneyard, a museum full of Vegas’ old signage.)
- Check out the views from the Stratosphere Observation Deck, the tallest observation tower in the country.
- See the canyons! Take a longer drive to the Grand Canyon or visit nearby Red Rock Canyon.
- Enjoy a Golden Knights hockey game at the T-Mobile Arena or see the Raiders play at Allegiant Stadium.
- Visit the “Central Park of Las Vegas,” better known as the Springs Preserve botanical garden.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.