From bachelorette parties to business conferences, Las Vegas is one of the top travel destinations in the United States.
With around 40 million visitors per year, there’s no questioning its popularity.
What is the appeal of the city in the middle of the Nevada desert?
We’ll cover ten reasons tourists flock to the so-called “Sin City.”
Why Is Las Vegas So Popular? (Top 10 Reasons)
Arguably Vegas’s best-known feature is its sheer number of casinos.
On the Strip, Las Vegas’s main drag, there are 31 casinos, and 20 more within the city limits.
Currently, Nevada and Louisiana are the only states in the country where casino-style gambling is legal, outside of Indian reservations.
There are several draws to this type of gambling.
The first is psychological.
Humans get a thrill from taking risks.
Gambling creates a feeling of anticipation and excitement.
The rush of adrenaline can be an addicting sensation, so people frequent casinos to feel the exhilaration of taking a chance.
While gambling addiction is a real and serious problem, responsible, infrequent gambling with friends or family can be fun.
Another reason casinos are so popular among visitors to Las Vegas is that they provide free alcohol.
As long as you are playing at a table or machine, the drinks will continue to flow.
It’s unlikely that you’ll save more money on drinks than you lose betting, but if you were planning on losing some money anyway, getting a few free drinks isn’t a bad deal.
Some of Vegas’s biggest and most popular casinos are the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, and the Bellagio.
These, and many others, are connected to hotels, so many tourists end up gambling in the same place they’re staying.
This is not only convenient, but it’s also practical.
If you’re taking advantage of the free drinks, it’s nice to have a bed within walking distance.
Aside from casinos, there is a lot to do in Las Vegas after the sun goes down.
The city is home to many bars, clubs, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
Many of these businesses are located on just a couple of streets, making it easy to get from one to the other.
There are too many bars to count in Las Vegas—so many, in fact, that one review site could only narrow its list of best Vegas bars to 50.
While there are plenty of places to imbibe in just about every city, Las Vegas does have one advantage that many don’t.
Nevada doesn’t have restrictions on what hours alcohol can be served.
This means that bars could technically stay open 24 hours—and some do.
Bars in casinos are often open 24/7.
Those not attached to gambling sites usually close for at least a few hours, but many are still open until three or four in the morning.
From fast food to fine dining, buffets to brasseries, there is plenty of food to be found in Las Vegas.
Just like the bars, many of these restaurants are open late.
Eating late doesn’t require making concessions on quality either.
Las Vegas is full of award-winning restaurants and chefs ready to serve up excellent food at any hour.
In addition to food and drinks, there’s plenty to do in the nighttime as well.
Omega Mart, an interactive art installation by Meow Wolf, is open until midnight every day.
3. Performing Arts
Hundreds of comedians, bands, magicians, and other performers come to Las Vegas every year.
For many in Nevada and surrounding states, Vegas is the nearest major city.
This makes it the most convenient place to see entertainers for a large number of people.
In 2022, Las Vegas is expected to welcome artists including Garth Brooks, Katy Perry, Billie Eilish, and Carrie Underwood.
Many of these performers hold residencies in Las Vegas.
A residency is different from a tour.
In a residency, instead of performing all over the country or world, an artist performs repeatedly at the same venue.
Vegas is full of excellent venues for live music, including Park MGM, the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace, and The Theater at Resorts World Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is also home to several comedy clubs.
In early 2022, the city will host comedians Ray Romano, George Lopez, Tim Allen, and more.
Long-time residents Penn and Teller are a comedy-magic duo who perform five nights a week at Rio Las Vegas.
The Blue Man Group, a wildly popular performance art company, holds shows nearly every night at the Luxor.
For those not interested in pop culture performances, other shows can also be found.
At the Smith Center, music lovers can purchase tickets to see jazz performers, piano concerts, ballet programs, and symphony orchestras.
The concert hall also hosts Broadway Las Vegas—the musical for the 2022–2023 season will be Hamilton.
With performances of all types held nightly, there truly is something for everyone in Fabulous Las Vegas.
4. Professional Sports Teams
Within the last decade, Las Vegas has become home to two major sports teams.
This has made the city a popular destination for sports fans from many nearby states.
When the Raiders moved from Oakland to Las Vegas, they became the nearest NFL team to many residents of Nevada, California, Utah, Arizona, and even Idaho.
This made them the “home team” for many NFL fans.
Allegiant Stadium, home to both the Raiders and UNLV Football, has a capacity of 65,000.
In 2022, the stadium will also host the Pro Bowl (the NFL’s All-Star Game) as well as several major concerts.
For this reason, football fans from a large portion of the US make the trip to Vegas several times a year.
The other professional sports team in the city is the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
The NHL team was created in 2016 and has quickly developed a devoted fan base.
Just like the Raiders, the Golden Knights are the only NHL team for hundreds of miles.
This means that thousands of fans travel across state lines to watch their team play at T-Mobile Arena.
The arena hosts 100 to 150 events each year and can hold between 12,000 and 20,000, people depending on the event.
5. Luxury Hotels
As mentioned previously, hotels in Las Vegas are not just hotels.
They are casinos, bars, and event venues as well.
However, their primary function cannot be overlooked.
Many of the big-name hotels in Las Vegas are known for their luxurious amenities.
Some of the nicest hotels in Las Vegas offer spas and fitness centers, outdoor pools, a variety of restaurants, and elegant rooms.
The Wynn Las Vegas resort, voted number one on Travel and Leisure’s list of best Vegas hotels, has ten different fine-dining restaurants.
Its Golf Experience package includes a two-night stay, one round of golf at the Wynn Golf Club, and a $100 spa or dining credit.
The spacious rooms range from 650 to 1,817 square feet.
At the Encore, the Wynn’s sister resort, guests can stay in a 5,800-square-foot suite that includes billiards and exercise rooms.
The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, another highly rated resort on the Strip, is equally as elegant.
The Pool District contains two outdoor pools surrounded by cabanas, which can be reserved by guests.
The cabanas come with an HD television, stocked beverage refrigerators, and a complimentary fruit platter.
The Marquee Dayclub/Nightclub is even more comfortable.
Guests can relax on poolside daybeds while enjoying signature cocktails and listening to the resident DJ.
The nicest rooms at the Cosmopolitan include outdoor patios, around-the-clock butler service, and a fountain view.
Of course, these comforts don’t come cheap.
However, it’s not unusual to find a nice hotel room for a reasonable price in Las Vegas.
Because weekends are so popular, booking stays on weekdays is likely to land you a nice discount.
You can also become a member of hotel-casinos and earn free stays when you gamble.
6. Unique Attractions
Aside from casinos, there are plenty of things to see and do that are distinctive to Vegas.
From outdoor adventures to unique museums, Las Vegas is home to the wild, the weird, and the wonderful.
Look around a little and you’re certain to find something you won’t see anywhere else.
In the 20th century, perhaps the most iconic Las Vegas sight were the neon signs lining the streets.
However, as more and more businesses switch to electronic signage, that sight has become far less common.
The Neon Boneyard is where the neon signs of vintage Vegas go to rest.
There are more than 150 signs in the YESCO storage yard.
Tours are available daily and can be reserved through the Neon Museum.
While Vegas is known for glitz and glamour, one less-glamorous aspect of its history receives much less attention.
The Nevada Test Site was home to nuclear testing from 1951 to 1992.
The site was just 65 miles north of Las Vegas, and the cancer-causing effects of the testing were felt for hundreds of miles in all directions.
However, at the time, the Test Site and its mushroom clouds brought extra tourism to Vegas.
The National Atomic Testing Museum stands on Flamingo Road as a monument to the impact of the site on Vegas and surrounding communities.
The museum holds 12,000 artifacts related to the site and is open Thursday through Tuesday for self-guided tours.
If you’re more interested in sun and sand than sin, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is just 15 miles from Las Vegas.
The rock formations can be seen from the Strip, as some tower at 8,000 feet in elevation.
Red rocks are a hallmark of the American Southwest, and with an entrance fee of just $7, they’re likely the cheapest attraction you’ll find for miles.
7. The Strip
Nearly every attraction listed here so far is either on Las Vegas Boulevard or very near it.
The Boulevard, better known as the Strip, is home to Vegas’s most famous hotels, venues, and tourist traps.
Many visitors to Vegas spend just about their entire vacation on this one street.
M&M’S World is a very well-known candy store on the Strip.
Here, customers can buy just about anything you can put an M&M’S logo on.
On one level of the four-story building stands a giant wall of candy.
It is made up of large tubes of M&Ms of all different flavors and colors.
You can fill a bag of candy with a mix of all your favorite variations of the treat.
Customers can even design their own M&Ms with their own mix of colors and messages printed on each piece.
In a similar vein, the Coca-Cola Store of Las Vegas is located right next door to M&M’S World.
Visitors can purchase a variety of Coke-themed merchandise.
On the second floor, customers can experience the Coca-Cola Fountain, full of 16 varieties of the soda from around the world.
Of course, plenty of bottles and cans of Coke are available for purchase.
The Strip is also home to a myriad of street performers.
Take a stroll down this street, and you’re sure to run into people dressed as Disney characters, superheroes, the Statue of Liberty, and more.
Many of these performers charge for pictures, but they are an essential part of the Las Vegas experience.
8. Shopping Centers
As with most major cities, Vegas has plenty of shopping malls and outlet stores for those looking for new duds.
On the Strip, you’re most likely to find high-end designer stores, but the larger malls around the city have something for everyone.
Las Vegas North Premium Outlets is a massive outlet mall visible from the interstate.
This mall is filled with name-brand stores.
Often, people from small towns in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona will travel to Vegas to shop here.
Shoppers can find athletic wear at Adidas, Under Armor, and lululemon as well as more fashionable digs at Calvin Klein, DKNY, and True Religion.
The outlets are often home to great deals—sometimes up to 80% off.
On Fremont Street, another heavily frequented road in Vegas, shoppers will find the Downtown Container Park.
This open-air shopping center is made from repurposed shipping containers.
Here, visitors can shop for clothes, electronics, and candy at 23 different stores.
The area also features a tattoo parlor, a nail salon, and several restaurants and bars.
This center is more focused on local retailers than big-name brands.
The District is a shopping center favored by locals.
The outdoor mall gives off neighborhood vibes, making it a pleasant place to spend an afternoon or evening.
Familiar stores such as Anthropologie, Bath and Body Works, and REI line the pedestrian walkways at The District.
There are also plenty of restaurants and coffee shops to choose from.
9. Warm Weather
Las Vegas is the largest city for miles for good reason.
It’s in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
What this means is that the city gets very little precipitation.
For those looking for sunny skies, Vegas is an ideal destination.
While winter does cool the city down considerably, the warm season is long in Las Vegas.
From March to October, the average temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
In the summer, even nighttime can be hot: the average low temperature in July is 80 degrees.
In the daytime, July temperatures often exceed 100 degrees.
The good news about the sweltering heat is that Las Vegas is home to plenty of swimming pools and air-conditioned buildings.
Beating the heat is not a problem in the city.
However, if triple-digit temperatures aren’t your thing, the comparatively mild weather makes Vegas a lovely getaway in the spring and fall.
10. “Anything Goes” Attitude
We’ve all heard the slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
While the adage has certainly become less accurate thanks to social media, people of all kinds are indeed welcomed with open arms.
Regardless of what you wear, do, or say, you likely won’t get many stares.
You can drink at any time of day, sing karaoke in bars, and walk around in sparkly bachelorette party costumes.
The streets are filled with vendors selling souvenirs, tourists holding truly massive alcoholic beverages, and performers dressed as long-dead pop stars.
In Vegas, the answer is almost always “yes.”
Less so than the venues or entertainment, but this is the energy that makes Las Vegas a truly fabulous place to visit.