Why Vegas Should Be Your Summer Hot Spot
Award-winning takes on every conceivable cuisine. Moon-lit movie screenings in rooftop pools. The longest virtual reality-equipped coaster on Earth. And that’s just for starters.
When someone asks what you did on your summer vacation, you’ll legitimately be able to say, “Everything.” But only if your plans include Las Vegas. Here, seven of the best cases in point.
1. You can stay in the most decadent digs — for a song.
Throughout Las Vegas, awesomely appointed rooms are at their most affordable in summer. In fact, your great timing translates to a built-in discount of up to 20 percent—with even bigger price drops if you can get away midweek. And hey, isn’t every day a weekend in Las Vegas?
So how does all of the above translate into dollars? Though figures of course vary, we’ve seen seriously swanky suites for as low as $92 a night over the summer.
2. You can pool-hop the entire time and never get bored.
Pool season here has to be seen (and basked in) to be believed. There are endless opportunities to party in your swimsuit, and some get truly decadent. Take MGM Grand’s Wet Republic, the famous dayclub known for top DJs, a massive video wall, and champagne showers. Yes, you can make it rain bubbly, and people often do.
For similarly renowned pool parties, Wynn’s Encore Beach Club, TAO Beach at The Venetian and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Marquee Dayclub all deliver, so check the schedule for the DJs and performers who appeal most to you. And the pool party that started it all—Hard Rock Hotel’s Rehab—is celebrating 15 years of revelry with swim-up blackjack and water cannons.
For something more family-friendly, take the kids to the waterslide-happy Beach Club Pool at Flamingo Las Vegas or the famed lazy river at Mandalay Bay Beach. Or if your idea of a pool party is a relaxing afternoon with a good book, try the resort pools at Bellagio. They’re equal parts beautiful and serene.
P.S: We bet your local multiplex doesn’t let you take a swim while you’re taking in a movie. But The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas dive-in movie series does. On summer Mondays, the marquee above Boulevard Pool becomes a massive movie screen, showing modern classics under the stars while the audience floats in pool loungers, sips themed cocktails and snacks on buttered popcorn, mini burgers or fish tacos.
3. The whole city is rocking.
Live music is everywhere you look (and listen), whether you’re Downtown, on the Strip or off the beaten path.
At the Downtown Rocks Fremont Street concert series, you can catch everyone from Billy Ray Cyrus to Jefferson Starship this summer—for free—under the dazzling LED canopy.
There’s just as much variety on the Strip this summer: You’ll find hip-hop’s Method Man & Redman at Brooklyn Bowl at The LINQ Promenade, the hottest K-Pop acts at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, pop legends Queen + Adam Lambert and Bruno Mars at Park MGM and alternative rockers Smashing Pumpkins at T-Mobile Arena, for starters.
4. You can take a side trip to the tropics.
The words “tropical getaway” are often synonymous with “super spendy,” but Vegas’s amazing tiki scene transforms the Nevada desert into an island paradise. Start at Frankie’s Tiki Room, a bamboo-heavy Pop Polynesian hideaway serving up favourites as The Lava Letch — rum, brandy, raspberry liqueur and ginger beer — in souvenir mugs. Next, try the iconic Scorpion Bowl at Peppermill Las Vegas’ Fireside Lounge, whose crackling fire pit you might recognize from the movies Casino and Showgirls.
Back on the Strip at the Mirage’s Rhumbar, you can find classic Mai Tais and Zombies along with the Tatonga, a mix of spiced rum, mango rum, lime, agave nectar and bitters.
5. Virtual Vegas now rivals the real thing.
Vegas is now home to the longest VR-equipped coaster on earth: the Big Apple Roller Coaster Virtual Reality Experience, which sends you on a high-speed chase after an escaped extraterrestrial, complete with immersive computer graphics, G-forces, and terrifying drops. For a different kind of space adventure, there’s The Venetian’s Star Wars: Secrets of The Empire The Void, where you can go undercover as a Stormtrooper attempting to take down the Empire for the Rebel Alliance. Or head to MGM Grand VR arena at Level Up to battle zombies, robots or evil drones in zero gravity.
If you’d rather engage the pacifist portion of your brain, head to the Engineerium, the all-ages puzzle game welcoming you into a trippy world of flying whales, giant parrots, and colourful beings. Or hit VR Adventures at the LINQ Promenade to skydive without ever leaving the ground.
6. The already-legendary food scene just keeps getting better.
Nearly every world chef of note has an outpost in Las Vegas, and local talent has also stepped up to the…plate. At Once in The Venetian, Los Angeles chef Ricardo Zarate marries Japanese and Peruvian cuisine in a thoroughly modern way (think tuna sashimi ceviche with black truffle and kizami tigers milk). If you’re open to sharing, try Cleo at SLS Las Vegas, where chef Danny Elmaleh serves up elevated twists on Mediterranean classics, from lamb sliders to waygu kebab. For an All-American take on tapas, head downtown to 7th & Carson, where Chef Gregg Fortunato is slinging small plates of B.L.T.A toast (dried parma ham, micro greens, tomato, and avocado), sliders with Thousand Island dressing and charred octopus.
Fans of TV cooking shows shouldn’t miss Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace, an homage to the hit reality program. Finally, your opportunity to taste the beef Wellington that Gordon Ramsay’s been barking about onscreen since 2005. The red and blue kitchens serve up familiar dishes (not least, the Hell’s Kitchen burger) without a side order of stress.
7. You can cheer on your new favorite sports teams in person.
Las Vegas is becoming a new sports mecca—and in a nod to Canadians (or so we like to think), the city made the Vegas Golden Knights its first pro team. Their historic run to the Stanley Cup finals is one for the ages (and a great reason to book your trip for next season, come to think of it.)
Off the ice, Vegas’s first women’s pro basketball team is on fire. While you watch WNBA's Aces tear up their home court, be sure to check out potential special promotions (think comped access to Mandalay Bay Beach on certain game days). And soccer fans finally have a local team to cheer for — the Las Vegas Lights FC, who debuted in the United Soccer League in 2018 and play home games at Cashman Field throughout the season. You can also catch the rising stars of baseball there: the Las Vegas 51s, i.e., the Mets AAA affiliates who play all summer long, with tickets at family-friendly prices.