Las Vegas is a popular tourist destination (one of the most popular on Earth). There is always something happening in Sin City besides the typical gambling. Tourists stream in from the ends of the globe to sample a little bit of what Vegas has to offer, from some of the world’s largest hotels to wild parties, incredible restaurants to nightclubs, shopping, entertainment and much, much more.
While there is no bad time to visit the entertainment capital of the world, there are some times that are better than others. Below are pointers on the best time to visit Las Vegas, depending on your reasons for visiting.
Additional Resources For Las Vegas Travelers
- Our Picks for the Best Nightclubs in Las Vegas
- What Is The Best Time To Visit Las Vegas?
- The Biggest Hotel in Vegas: Our Top 10 Largest Hotels Listed
- The 14 Best Restaurants in Las Vegas: Our Favorite Picks
- Finding The Best Bars in Las Vegas: Drinking At 16 Locations
- Looking For the Best Shopping in Las Vegas
The Best Time to Visit Las Vegas for Good Weather
The hot desert climate of Las Vegas means that the weather can be very extreme. There is plenty of heat and sunshine for most of the year. Summer temperatures can soar to above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and during winter temperatures can drop to below freezing. Outdoor activities during these extremes are unappealing. January and December have the coldest weather, while the hottest days are in July and August.
The vast majority of Las Vegas visitors spend their time indoors in hotels connected by indoor walkways, so the weather is of little consequence. If you want to venture outside to enjoy everything that the City has to offer, you should head to Vegas in October, November, March, or April when the temperatures are at a pleasant 50 degrees.
The Best Time to Visit Las Vegas to Avoid Crowds
Vegas in the Off-Season
There is no off-season in Las Vegas. You’d think that the scalding temperatures of summer would put off tourists, but this is when the most massive crowds gather in Vegas. The hottest months of March through August attract huge events like the Fourth of July. Pool events are the rage during this season, with families gathering at water parks and college crowds at poolside parties.
Ironically, if you want to avoid huge crowds, you should visit during the best weather of the year. Las Vegas is emptiest when school is back in session after summer and after all holiday parties end in late winter and spring.
Vegas in the Peak Season
Tourists flock to Las Vegas all year round, but some seasons see the most tourist influx. November through January can be considered the peak season. During this period, festivities abound, especially between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, making Sin City a party hub.
Hotel bookings and flight reservations are hard to get during the peak season, so you have to do it at least one month. Hiking fans use this time to climb the hills surrounding the Valley since the Vegas winter is warmer than the rest of the country.
Vegas in the Shoulder Season
February to April and September to November are considered to be the shoulder season. This is when crowds of people from nearby Cities visit Las Vegas to take part in the weekend frolic. Since the crowds only come in during the weekend, you should plan your visit for the weekday.
During the weekday, the pools are quieter and more accessible, and the accommodation is inexpensive and readily available. The weather is also amiable, with temperatures averaging between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Best Time to Visit Las Vegas for Events and Festivals
The City that never sleeps does not run out of events and festivals all year long. From lavish rooftop parties to over-0the-top festivals in indoor theme parks, there is always something to attend in Sin City. Some are, however, better than others. The best activities, events, and festivals to participate in each season include:
Spring (March to May)
During the spring season, the weather is friendly, and the crowds smaller. This season attracts film festivals, rodeo festivals, music festivals, and several gastronomical adventures. Weekend reservations are expensive owing to the weekend getaway crowd, but weekdays are relatively inexpensive. Resorts all over the City offer happy hours and spring break specials.
The highlight events include the Country Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards, which draw a significant number of music lovers. Foodies enjoy unique masterclasses, wine tastings, galas, and more hosted by celebrity chefs in their restaurants during Bon Appetit’s Uncork’d, which is Las Vega’s busiest festival.
NASCAR Cup Series comes to Vegas in early March as does the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.
Summer (June to August)
Given the severity of the heat, pools and water parks are the main attraction. The best spots for family fun include Wet ‘n’ Wild, Rolling Wave Pool, Lazy River, and the Mandalay Beach sandy shoreline.
Being the world’s gambling capital, Vegas host the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) stretching across several weeks. You can watch from the sidelines or throw your hat in the ring to compete for a multimillion-dollar prize. The world’s most massive fashion marketplace MAGIC also happens in August as does the world’s largest hacker conference, Def Con. The biggest celebrations, however, are on Independence Day. There are massive fireworks displays everywhere you look, and nearly every bar, restaurant, and casino hosts a party.
Fall (September to November)
September is the last month of the year tourists can enjoy poolside relaxation. As the temperatures drop, festivals come back to life. Thousands of music fans throng the City from all over the country to see big-name artists at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in September. There is also a pre-race party featuring Ke$ha that kicks off the Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon. The Greek Food Festival also happens in the fall. During Halloween season, Mandalay’s Beach shark reef turns into a haunted reef, and the Las Vegas Bikefest takes place.
Winter (December to February)
This is the most festive season in Las Vegas with a lineup that includes Christmas, New Year, and the Las Vegas Bowl. If you are looking to have the time of your life, this is the best time to visit Las Vegas, especially December. New Year’s Eve festivities surpass Independence Day celebrations with casinos and hotels putting on massive shows to welcome the New Year. The streets are packed, and you are advised to make your hotel and dinner reservations well in advance.
As January ends and the cold subsides, convention season begins. This is the best time for golfers and hikers. Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl make Vegas a popular destination in February.
The Best Time To Visit Las Vegas On A Budget
With careful planning, you can visit Las Vegas on a bargain. This will give you a bigger budget for having fun in the City. Dips in airfare pricing and cheap hotel rates coincide with, among other things, the most disagreeable weather. It’s all about supply and demand. Visit Vegas when the number of tourists is low, and you will get excellent discounts.
If you want to visit Las Vegas at a bargain you should:
When To Get The Cheapest Flights
Las Vegas is almost exclusively a tourist destination. Most tourists come from all over the world by plane and land at the McCarran International Airport, which is conveniently located close to the City. This means that budget flights can be found all year-round. Popular airlines operating from other American Cities to Las Vegas include Delta, American Airlines, JetBlue, Virgin America, and Southwest.
January, February, April, and September are the cheapest months to fly to Sin City. March July and December are pricier, but travelers can still find bargain deals from El Paso, Los Angeles, Denver, and San Francisco. You can find flights that are 10% or cheaper if you book roughly four weeks before departure.
Las Vegas is a top exhibition and convention destination. Hotels get a lot of reservations, and this demand causes the hotel rates to skyrocket. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority has a website where you can find an online calendar of all conventions. Large conventions with over 30,000 people will cause a citywide spike in hotel prices, but smaller gatherings will only affect hotels near the exhibition spaces.
Events and conventions to avoid include Magic International, Super bowl Weekend, the Rodeo, Surfaces, Consumer Electronics Show, NASCAR races, and Conexpo. Since there is always something happening in Las Vegas, choose to visit when there are small events or when hotels are offering bargain rates.
Visit on Weekdays
The best rates when visiting Las Vegas are found midweek. Weekends attract more tourists creating a high demand for flights and hotel rooms. You will get better prices on weekdays when the weekend crowds dissipate. Summer and winter have the most enticing discounts, especially right before and after New Years’ Eve.
Finding the Most Affordable Hotels
Las Vegas is home to all types of hotels from luxurious penthouses that go for thousands of dollars a night to ultra-cheap $10 a night specials. You will find the best deals on hotel rooms at the peak of summer when it is hottest or during the shoulder season of January to April and September to November. Look out for hotels offering things like waived resort fees or opportunities to redeem points.
Most hotels offer discounted rates not earlier than three months in advance. Book a hotel room that you can cancel without a penalty and try to find another with a reduced price as you approach the date of your scheduled trip.
The Best Time to Visit Las Vegas for Buffet Hunters
You can enjoy an extensive array of dishes at one of the very popular buffets in Las Vegas. If you don’t plan right, you will end up waiting in line for a long time and eat food that has sat on the heat lamps for too long. If you go just before lunch is switched over to dinner, you will pay the lower lunch price and enjoy fresh dinner and the shortest lines.
The Best time to Get Married in Las Vegas
Tourists flock to the “Marriage Capital of the World” to get hitched every day. There are very many marriage venues to choose from, and the marriage certificate is easy to obtain. If you are planning to get married in Vegas, you should prepare for the weather.
The mild predictable weather of October makes it the best month for a Vegas wedding. Although April and May have warm and sunny weather, you have to plan for the unpredictable wind conditions. Getting married on or around Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or New Year is very special, but you have to prepare for an indoor ceremony to avoid the cold weather.
Best Time to Visit Las Vegas to Ride the High Roller
Standing at 550 ft tall, the High Roller at the LINQ is the world’s tallest observation wheel. Groups can walk around inside the cabins for breathtaking 360-degree views of the City that includes jets arriving at the airport, the Bellagio fountains and the lights of the Strip. You can have a bartender serve you drinks onboard as you enjoy the half-hour rotation. The best time to be on the high roller is just before sunset.
The Best Time to Visit Las Vegas to Hit the Casinos
Every day is a good day to place a bet at Vegas. It is not called the “Gambling Capital of the World” for nothing. It is, however, more exciting to place casino bets on some days more than others. Major sports events bring out crowds to place wagers at the casino sportsbook. Sportsbooks have modernized in recent years to create comfortable settings that feature comfortable seating, high-definition walls, and food and drink menus.
The Super Bowl is the single biggest day for betting. The march Madness college basketball tournament, however, generates the most traffic. Other sporting events that encourage plenty of betting action include boxing and UFC fights, and home games by the Raiders or the Vegas Knights.
Our Final Thoughts on the Best Time To Visit Las Vegas
The best time to visit Las Vegas depends on what you want. People visit Vegas to try their luck in the casinos, attend festivals and massive events, get married, or vacation. Whichever reason you have to visit Las Vegas, you should make sure that your visit is at the right time.
The best time to visit Las Vegas, a tourist, is between the last week of April and the second week of May. This is between spring and summer. It is right after the spring break crowds have left and before the summer crowds have taken up residency by the poolside. The weather is perfect for relaxing by the poolside with a cocktail and a book while working on your tan.