West Las Vegas • Area guide
Get to know Las Vegas district by district—the best local restaurants and bars, arts and entertainment and things to do in West Las Vegas
Like the ever-expanding waistline of a chowhound at a buffet, the area surrounding Las Vegas grows as much in girth as it does in density. Nowhere is this truer than of south-west Las Vegas, which over the last two decades has burst its metaphorical seams.
Fifteen years ago the southern edge was largely held in check by the I-215. Since then, Vegas has jumped its former boundaries to include areas like Enterprise and Southern Highlands, west of the I-15 and south of the I-215. The interior section of this town (to the north-east) includes the upscale residential developments of Spanish Trail and Spanish Hills, home to many of Las Vegas' notable figures. Take the I-215 Beltway out past Durango Drive, where it makes a sharp curve from an east-west axis and heads due north. Here the Beltway practically butts up against the mountains to the west.
Heading west from the Strip, Sahara Avenue yields little of interest. Chains make up most of the tenants, and continuing on, you'll pass countless car dealerships and fast food joints before reaching Rainbow Boulevard, surrounded by residential properties and heavy commercial development.
Farther west is Durango Drive, the beginning of the Lakes neighbourhood, where the waterside homes afford residents the chance to go boating and fishing. Lake East Drive features a walking trail through the surrounding parks, eventually dumping you out at Twain Avenue. At the far-western end of Sahara Avenue, nestled at the base of the mountains, lies the Red Rock Country Club (2466 Grassy Spring Place, 360 3100), a desert golf community that gives new meaning to the word "exclusive."
Things to do West Las Vegas
The Nevada State Museum has permanent exhibits on the natural and anthropological history of the region, from ancient Paiute Indians to 19th-century pioneers, and the men and women of the Nellis Gunnery School in World War II. The standout exhibit tells the story of Bugsy Siegel's Flamingo, complete with interactive recordings of Bugsy (played by an actor) threatening business partners. There are plans to move the museum to the Las Vegas Springs Preserve in 2008; call ahead to check.
- 309 South Valley View Blvd
Restaurants and bars in West Las Vegas
- Rated as: 4/5
- Critics choice
Mixologists reign at the bar of this Italian/tapas restaurant, which aspires to a 1920s speakeasy feel. The bartenders focus on quality, tradition and innovation – the cocktail menu is arranged according to the history of spirits. Ask for a Bee’s Knees – a ’20s-era nectar of gin, honey and lemon.
- 3713 W Sahara Avenue, at S Valley View Boulevard
- Rated as: 4/5
This comfortable outpost of the Lebanese Hedary family’s Texas original offers fabulous, fresh renditions of falafel, hummus, tabouleh, kibbeh and more, along with good kebabs from the grill. For vegetarians, the tasting meze offers a never-ending supply of incredibly good small plates.
- 7365 W Sahara Avenue, at S Buffalo Drive, West Las Vegas
- Main courses $9–$25
- Rated as: 3/5
Comfort food doesn’t get much heartier than the soul food dished up here. It’s a pretty basic room; indeed, it feels a tad dreary after dark. But the food is fabulous: chicken, short ribs and other goodies dished up a variety of ways with an array of moreish sides (try the yams and the macaroni cheese). Get there in good time, mind: it closes early.
- 3923 W Charleston Boulevard, at S Valley View Boulevard, West Las Vegas
- Main courses $6–$20
Hotels and resorts in West Las Vegas
A large pool located on the 8th floor offers sweeping Las Vegas views at this hotel and casino. A flat-screen cable TV is available in all modern rooms. Fashion Show Mall is 2 miles away.A seating area and work desk are available in each room at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino. Pay-per-view channels and free toiletries are also included.A 24-hour fitness centre, a Roni Josef spa offering a balance of ancient and scientific approaches to pamper and revitalize guests, and the 1,149 foot tall tower are all featured. The Hotel and Casino Stratosphere features death-defying rides at the top of the tower, as well as unparalleled views of the area.Top Of The World restaurant, 800 feet high and rotating 360 degrees, is on site at the Stratosphere. A classic Las Vegas buffet, offering a Sunday champagne brunch, and the 50s style Roxy’s Diner are also available at the hotel. Level 107 Lounge offers upscale cocktails and appetizers.The Fremont Experience is less than 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel and casino. The Las Vegas Country Club is less than 2 miles away.
- 2000 South Las Vegas Boulevard, 31
- $29.99 to $249.99 per night
This castle-themed resort and casino is located in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. The unique resort features a full-service spa, 6 restaurants, 100,000-square-foot casino and live nightly entertainment.Rooms at Excalibur are spacious and equipped with cable TV. Every room has a large bathroom with a hair dryer.The Las Vegas Excalibur provides a large business center and a tour desk. Guests can browse the numerous on-site shops and enjoy a variety of musical and theater entertainment acts, including "Tournament of Kings."The Royal Treatment Spa offers a variety of treatments, saunas and a hair salon. There are 2 outdoor pools featuring a water slide and poolside cabanas. A large gym with modern equipment is also available.Interstate 15 is 1 mile from the resort offering easy access to area attractions. McCarran International Airport is 2.8 miles away and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is 2.5 miles from the hotel.
- 3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South, 09
- $27.00 to $267.14 per night
This Las Vegas Strip resort is an imitation of New York City known for its 150-foot Statue of Liberty model. A state-of-the-art casino, rollercoaster and luxurious shops await guests.The New York-New York offers spacious, modern rooms with cable TV. Room service is available at all times.Guests of the New York-New York can enjoy an outdoor swimming pool with hot tubs and private cabanas. A full-service spa and fitness center are also provided.A variety of New York and international cuisine is served at the NY NY’s 11 restaurants. Live entertainment, including Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity” show can be found at the hotel. Nine Fine Irishman bar and restaurant are located onsite.New York-New York is 10 minutes from McCarran International Airport and less than 9 miles from Desert Pines Golf Club.
- 3790 Las Vegas Boulevard South, 09
- $60.00 to $265.00 per night
Music and nightlife in West Las Vegas
Rande Gerber's first full-on Vegas club (he also created ultralounge Whiskey) is a polished spot, smaller than those on the Strip. The red-toned, wood-and-steel interior creates a warm, intimate environment, and opens out to a gorgeous pool. Even the restrooms are a delight, with holographic projections, voyeuristic mirrors and, mouth-shaped urinals. Expect a slightly older, well-heeled locals' crowd.
- Red Rock Resort, at I-215, 11011 W Charleston Boulevard
Shopping in West Las Vegas
This modern retreat is frequented by local socialites as much for its proximity to their homes as for its sleek aesthetic. Situated next to the lush pool, the treatment suites appear to float on water. After a hike, order a Champagne Pedicure and Caviar Creams: this champagne cocktail for you and your feet includes 80 minutes of deep exfoliation, soothing masques, moisturising caviar lotion and menthol foot balm massage, plus, of course, a glass of champagne. Cheers!
- Red Rock, I-215 West Las Vegas, 11011 W Charleston Boulevard