There are things people may not know about what it’s like to live in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Many residents don’t visit the Strip, as the local arts and food scene is already great.
There are a lot of scenic hikes in the area for people of all experience levels.
Las Vegas, Nevada, may be known for its casinos and glamour, but it’s also the place I grew up.
From hidden gems to the local food scene, here are some surprising things about living in this tourist hub:
Despite the incentives offered to them, locals tend to stay away from the Strip
Spanning South Las Vegas Boulevard, the Strip, which was featured in “The Hangover” (2009), is one of the most recognizable parts of Vegas.
Though for some locals, visiting the Strip is too much. The traffic can be awful and the area isn’t all that integrated into your daily life unless you work in tourism.
Many restaurants, clubs, and shows will offer discounts for residents, but the boom in local culture and entertainment has provided a sanctuary for those of us who want to relax and avoid resort fees and belligerent tourists.
Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart is a local favorite — and I’m surprised more tourists don’t check it out
People who’ve driven through Las Vegas have probably seen the whimsical, mysterious billboards for Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, an interactive art installation set up as a surreal supermarket.
I saw so much advertising that I thought it had to be too good to be true, but you have to experience it to believe it.
Located inside the AREA15 building, Omega Mart is a local favorite that I think more tourists should check out. It’s sort of a hybrid of an art gallery, museum, and escape room. Plus it has giant, indoor slides.
Gambling is also a part of local Vegas culture
In my experience, many locals still like to unwind and enjoy Vegas, even if they stay away from the Strip. The city is sprinkled with resorts that boast fine dining, shows, and other attractions specifically catered to residents.
Plus if you visit a mall, grocery store, or gas station, you’ll likely find a good amount of slot machines. Gambling is still a fun pastime for locals.
Las Vegas has some fabulous hiking trails
Las Vegas’s local hikes are a must-try for fans of the outdoors. They are beautiful, scenic, and friendly to people of all experience levels.
If you’re not looking to work up a sweat, there are plenty of pleasant walks with incredible scenic views. But if you’re in search of a challenge, check out Turtlehead Peak to feel on top of the world or Mount Charleston for an option with more shade.
The city has a good water-treatment and recycling infrastructure
With all of its gaudy gold pillars, fountains, and buffets, Las Vegas would seem like a city that produces a lot of waste. Fortunately, it actively makes an effort not to.
It’s locally known that almost all of the water in the hotels and pools — including the classic Bellagio fountain — gets filtered, cleaned, and reused. Plus some of the food waste from downtown dining gets shipped over to local pig farms.
Las Vegas’ grocery stores are impressively stocked
As far as preparation goes, Las Vegas’ city planning is pretty spectacular.
The grocery stores have an impressive variety of produce considering the city’s in the middle of the desert.
The locals I know didn’t even notice shortages of toilet paper, COVID-19 tests, and other groceries during the most turbulent times of the pandemic. I think Las Vegas worked overtime to be tourist-friendly and keep the city stocked.
It’s a hub for art fans, foodies, and live-music lovers
Even though Sin City has been known for its accommodation to tourists, its recent growth in local amenities has been a real treat to resident Las Vegans.
The city has hidden gems off of the main tourist-trodden path, such as free concerts in the park, food-truck events, and the impressive Arts District.
Established in 1998, the Arts District is one of my favorite spots in all of Vegas. It has art galleries, trendy restaurants, and plenty of gorgeous landscapes and murals for photoshoots or events.
The local food scene is diverse and impressive
The Strip boasts some amazing food from famous chefs — I love Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace and LAVO at the Venetian — but the local foodie scene shouldn’t be slept on.
If you are vegan, carnivorous, all organic, or nothing of the sort, the locally owned food scene in Sin City is universally diverse and exciting.
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