When people think of Vegas, they think of gambling, clubbing, and lounging by the pool. What if I told you there was plenty to do in Sin City when the pool is closed and without losing all of your money? I highly recommend visiting Las Vegas in the Winter as a fun way to inject some color into the grayest of seasons.
It’s been a couple of years now, but one afternoon we got a letter from the Wynn Hotel in the mail. Normally my husband would throw something like that away with the rest of the junk, but he opened it and found an offer to stay in December for nearly half-price. We were surprised but definitely took them up on it!
The weekend package also included credit to one of their house restaurants and two tickets to Le Rêve, their aquatic acrobat show which totally blew me out of the water (pun intended).
Apparently December is a low season in Las Vegas, so they run deals to fill their empty rooms. The lesson to be learned from this is not to throw away junk mail without looking at it!
Things to Do
There is plenty to keep you occupied when you’d rather not be outdoors bundled up in sweaters and coats.
Win Big: I’m not into throwing away my money gambling, which is the most common casino pastime. If stretching your travel budget as far as it can go is your goal, then gambling may not be one of your favorite hobbies either. If you do want to spend some time at the tables, get off the strip and head to Fremont Street. There, minimum bets are lower and things are more casual. Don’t forget to set yourself a budget ($20? $50? $100?) and use willpower to stick to it!
Take a Dip: It’s definitely warmer than much of the country, but Las Vegas in the winter is not shorts and sunglasses weather (the desert gets cold at night). However, there are a couple hotels that don’t shut their pools for the winter: Caesar’s and The LINQ have pools heated to 80° open year-round.
Learn Something: One of the highlights of my trip (tied with Le Rêve) was The Neon Museum.I love the idea of preserving old iconic signage from the city’s past. My tour guide was knowledgable and funny and shared history of the city through the decades. I learned tidbits about atomic test watching parties (!) and the mob (Daytime tours $19, Night $26). I haven’t been yet, but The Mob Museum also receives high praise.
Take in a Show: There is literally something for everyone. Acrobats, pop icons, comedians, magicians, and touring Broadway shows are just some of the options for evening entertainment. Spend a few moments perusing LasVegas.com and you will see what I mean. Spoiler alert: Lady Gaga is going to be in residency at MGM in late 2018.
Shop: A bizarre thing about this town is that you could possibly go days without stepping outside. Honestly this is great for chilly months. Seriously, many of the casino-hotels link to one another in a labyrinthine system and getting lost is a real possibility. On the bright side, these twisting hallways are lined with stores and window-shopping at luxury boutiques is a fun way to spend an afternoon.
Like I mentioned, we stayed at Wynn Las Vegas—let me correct myself—we stayed at Encore, the second tower which is a bit newer. Our Encore king suite was definitely the nicest hotel room I have experienced in my life. To be honest, it almost felt too nice for us, a couple in our mid-20s. Walking through the lobby in the evenings I felt a bit underdressed.
I have been hearing great things about The LINQ Hotel & Casino and I know it would be a better scene for someone my age. It is more affordable than Wynn and the interiors have a fresh, youthful style. The LINQ is home to the High Roller, a ferris wheel that offers panoramic views of the strip.
Book your winter getaway at Wynn Las Vegas, The LINQ, or Downtown Grand today!
By booking through my TRVL links, you get the same great prices as booking.com and priceline.com, but I get a commission. Thanks for supporting The Voyageer!
If you prefer old-school Downtown Vegas, which has been experiencing a renaissance over the past decade, stay in one of their most upscale hotels, Downtown Grand. Some of the Fremont Street hotels can be shabby, but this one looks new and I like the rooms’ personalities. I’m eyeing this hotel myself for a getaway in the next couple of months.
Where to Eat
Last but not least, eat your way through the city. Thrillist has done the hard work for me and ranked all the celebrity chef restaurants in town. I would be thrilled to dine at even one of them.
When I visited, I got a french pastry at Bouchon’s Vegas outpost (in The Venetian), very expensive Chinese food at Andrea’s (at Encore). Off-strip, get good breakfast at Downtown Terrace in Container Park, or have a hipster brunch experience complete with craft coffee off-strip at Makers & Finders.
Don’t forget that In-N-Out and Shake Shack are in Las Vegas if you’ve never had the chance to have their dueling iconic burgers! Honestly, the city is a culinary convergence of all the best the world has to offer, and we get to benefit.
Have you ever visited Las Vegas in the winter? Did you enjoy having the city all to yourself or did you miss the crowds?
Photos by Staci and Doug Jackson for The Voyageer.