Known primarily for its gambling, shopping, award-winning restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife, Las Vegas is one of the world's most visited tourist destinations. But this major resort city can also be a great place to live. It’s surprisingly safe, with outdoor activities and beautiful 360-degree sky and mountain views, and a burgeoning art scene. The recent influx of people has somehow made Sin City more family-friendly, even while cannabis has been legalized. It also has an ultra-reasonable cost of living compared with other major cities.
This funky area between Downtown and the Strip is one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the city. Also known as 18b, the Las Vegas Arts District was created in 1998 as an 18 block zone set aside to encourage art and artists. Performance spaces and indie art galleries in converted warehouses like the Arts Factory and Art Square dot the cool street, alongside eclectic boutiques selling art, furniture, and clothing. A monthly block party takes over the streets on the first Friday of every month.
The up-and-coming district is also home to great food and cocktails, like the restaurant-coffee-bar, Makers & Finders, Casa Don Juan, and Esther's Kitchen, plus bohemian bars serving craft cocktails until the wee hours. Apartments here are a mix of newer southwestern-style and older art deco buildings.
Not to be confused with the Strip, Downtown Las Vegas, aka DTLV is the city’s former epicenter, packed with high-rise apartments. Older buildings have been converted into hipster-friendly coffee shops, artisan furniture shops, and tattoo parlors. Now it is a hub for artists and musicians with a lively nightlife and arts scene.
Online retailer Zappos brought its headquarters to the area and has put millions of dollars into the neighborhood’s revitalization and added one of the coolest parts, the Container Park. The three-story outdoor retail and restaurant plaza is built entirely from shipping containers and serves as a hangout for residents. The family-friendly park features 30 locally-owned shops, salons, restaurants, and bars, with a playground in the center. However, it is best known for the 40 foot tall, 30 foot wide fire-breathing praying mantis that sits at its entrance.
Another DTLV attraction is the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall. Most casinos in the area are located on Fremont Street, except for the world-famous Stratosphere. Freemont is also home to the historic dive bar, Atomic Liquors, serving up craft beer in retro space-age digs. Flock and Fowl and Metro Pizza are just a couple of the great places to eat in Downtown.
Three miles west of Downtown, the family-friendly attraction Springs Preserve offers outdoor trails.
Consistently ranked one of the best cities in the country to live in, this prime suburb is a safe place to raise a family. Its edges border two of the region’s most beautiful National Parks: Sloan Canyon and Lake Mead. Henderson boasts fantastic schools, ample housing options, and solid eating and shopping options. Its probably too quiet for singles and couples without kids, but of course, you’re just a few minutes from the Entertainment Capital of the World.
There’s also plenty of outdoor activities, including bike paths, golf courses, lakes, and other amenities. The River Mountains Loop Trail offers 34-miles or outdoor recreation and great views. The route joins Lake Mead National Recreation Area with the Hoover Dam and other remarkable Las Vegas Valley sites. Henderson’s most popular neighborhood is the upscale master-planned community of Green Valley. Anthem is another great ‘hood in Henderson.
Think of Summerlin as Henderson’s fancy little sister. It isn’t as sprawled out, thanks to Howard Hughes, who designed the community. Far away from the neon lights of the Strip, Summerlin is perfect for outdoor lovers, with plenty of hiking and biking options.
Just to the west, Red Rock Canyon National Park serves as a beautiful backdrop. Downtown Summerlin, or DTS, is the vibrant walkable urban center in the heart of the community, featuring shops, restaurants, indoor and outdoor venues and events, including the Las Vegas Ballpark® where the Las Vegas Aviators, the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics play.
Next to the Summerlin community, Tivoli Village offers a mix of carefully curated retailers, services, and dining options like Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse. Suffice to say, you won’t have to drive 30 minutes to the city for a decent meal.
Sun City and Summerlin North are two of the most popular neighborhoods in the area. Summerlin is also home to the West Career & Technical Academy, which is considered by many to be one of the best schools in America.
If you think Las Vegas is paradise, technically, you’re right. Interestingly, Paradise is adjacent to the city of Las Vegas, but much of the Strip’s restaurants, bars, casinos, entertainment venues, and tourist attractions are actually located in the unincorporated town. In addition to galleries and theaters, Paradise is the area’s sports mecca. It’s home to T-Mobile Arena, where the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights play and is the site of the new Allegiant Stadium, where the Raiders will relocate in 2020.
It’s also where the University of Nevada and McCarran International Airport are located. There’s no shortage of places to dine in the area, but Sparrow + Wolf is one of Paradise’s top spots. Of course, you’re going to drop some serious dough to live in the thick of things—space here is at a premium. Most of the Strip’s fancy-schmancy condos and apartments are new builds.
Live amongst celebs like Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, Carrot Top, and The Sultan of Brunei
in this haughty area. Large boulevards dotted with strip malls connect Spring Valley to the Strip, which sits just two miles to the west. One of the best restaurants around, Other Mama is located in one such strip mall, serving seafood with an Asian spin, plus craft cocktails. Chinatown Plaza boasts more than 150 restaurants, plus 50 reflexology and massages spas, and six large Asian supermarkets.
Spring Valley is full of subdivisions, with larger swaths of land on the northern end. Originally just one square mile, the unincorporated township has seen much development over the past 15 years, and now takes up more than 30 square miles of the southwest quarter of the Las Vegas Valley.
Along with beautiful views of the Spring Mountains, Spring Valley is home to one of the largest parks in the Clark County, Desert Breeze Park in the north-central part of the town. The 240-acre facility next to Roger M. Bryan Elementary School is still under development.
One of the newest additions to the Vegas area is also one of it’s largest neighborhoods. Located in the northwest part of the Las Vegas Valley, this master-planned community is recognized for its wealth of amenities, including good schools, beautiful parks, and great shopping options. At 120 acres, Centennial Hills Park is one of the largest community parks in the Las Vegas Valley, featuring playgrounds, dog runs, picnic areas, and more. The Centennial Center Shopping Plaza offers 900,000 square feet of boutique stores, restaurants, and movie theaters, plus a hospital, library, and YMCA. Residents of Centennial Hills dwell in single-family homes, townhomes, and ranch-style properties.
Located in the western part of the Las Vegas Valley, near the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, The Lakes is adjacent to Summerlin on the west, while Peccole Ranch and Canyon Gate lie to the north. The two-square-mile planned community is named for the large man-made lake it is centered around, Lake Sahara. The suburb has many gated communities with large single-family homes, condos, commercial areas, and offices.