City Guide / Las Vegas

Vegas, Baby (Boomer)! 9 Reasons Why Las Vegas Is Secretly the Best Place to Retire

By Reannon Muth | Jan 6, 2023
Best Places to Retire in Las Vegas

If Las Vegas, NV, hasn’t been on your radar as a primo retirement destination, you’re not alone. Sin City has been known for a lot of things in its relatively short life, but a wholesome, healthy place to retire hasn’t been one of them—until now.

Factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and rising costs of living in California and other coastal locations have meant that Nevada has experienced a flood of new transplants in recent years, many of which are new retirees.

Retirees are drawn to Vegas for a range of reasons, so we’ve compiled nine reasons Las Vegas is the most sinfully perfect place to retire below, including:

  1. Endless blue skies and over 300 days of sunshine per year
  2. Moderate temperatures and humidity
  3. Ample outdoor activities
  4. Championship golf courses
  5. The best restaurants in the world (no, seriously!)
  6. A thriving senior community
  7. Driving distance to many exciting places
  8. Low taxes
  9. Grandkid-friendly things to do

Let’s get started!

1. Endless blue skies and over 300 days of sunshine a year

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA skyline over the strip at dusk.

The Las Vegas Valley only receives five inches of rain per year, so you’ll never catch yourself humming “Rain, rain, go away” in Southern Nevada. In fact, Las Vegas and Phoenix are tied for the sunniest city in the U.S., boasting sun 85% of the year (amounting to 3,800 hours of sunlight annually).

All the blue skies combined with the area’s gorgeous dusty-blue mountains mean that Las Vegas has some of the most picturesque sunrise and sunset views on the planet—ideal for those peak retirement mornings spent cozying up on your deck with the paper and a cup of coffee.

2. Moderate temperatures and humidity

Vegas Cityscape. Las Vegas, Nevada Downtown Skyline. United States.

When people think “desert” they almost automatically think “hot.” And while it’s true that summers in Vegas can be quite sizzling—the average high for July is 104 degrees—the rest of the year sees more “light sweater weather.” For example, the average low temperature in January is 39 degrees, and temperatures in February and March linger in the 60s and low 70s. Plus, as any Las Vegas local will tell you with a shrug: “It’s a dry heat.”

If you’re comparing retiring in Vegas with retiring somewhere like Florida, it’s also worth keeping humidity in mind. Unlike many cities in Florida, Las Vegas doesn’t suffer from suffocating humidity, experiencing an average humidity rate of 30% compared to Florida’s 75%.

Moving to Las Vegas is ideal for retirees who love the warmth and sunshine but hate everything that often comes with it, such as mosquito bites and muggy mornings on the golf course.

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3. Ample outdoor activities

Sunrise at Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

In Las Vegas, the great outdoors is literally in many people’s backyards. Unlike residents in other major cities who might have to journey several hours to reach the wilderness, most Vegas Valley residents only have to drive around 30 minutes to reach a mountain, lake, or stretch of undeveloped land.

In many ways, Las Vegas is an island metropolis, encircled by mountains and surrounded by hundreds of miles of wide-open Mojave Desert.

Some of the outdoor activities you can enjoy when you retire in Nevada include:

  • Boating on Lake Mead: Although Lake Mead has been shrinking in size in recent years, it remains the largest manmade lake in the U.S. It is a big draw for retirees whose idea of a relaxing weekend involves a fishing pole, a cooler of drinks, and motoring around miles of bright-blue water.
  • Rock climbing: Few may know this outside of the climbing world, but Las Vegas is a world-famous rock climbing destination. People from around the world move to Vegas for the climbing, so if you’re a climber (or aspire to be!), you’ll love the challenge of scaling the stunning red and white sandstone cliffs of Red Rock Canyon.
  • Hiking: Las Vegas sits in a valley surrounded by over 50 mountain peaks, which you can climb on your own or by joining one of the city’s dozens of hiking clubs. The trails have a surprising amount of variety to them, too, with flat trails in Red Rock Canyon and the nearby Valley of Fire to more strenuous climbs in the snow-capped Mount Charleston or the hot springs-dotted Colorado River.
  • Skiing: Las Vegas may be surrounded by sandy desert, but less than an hour’s drive away is a forested mountain where you can ski, snowboard, or lodge-sit and sip hot cocoa at Lee Canyon.

4. Championship golf courses

Night view of some beautiful residence house at Lake Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas ranks as the fourth-best city in the U.S. for golfers, with 70 golf courses across Clark County—many of which are USGA-recognized championship courses.

As a local, you’ll be able to take advantage of resident rates, which makes golfing an affordable pastime in Vegas even for those on fixed incomes. The city’s mild winter temperatures also mean you can tee up year round.

A few local favorites include:

5. The best restaurants in the world (no, seriously!)

The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV, USA

If you haven’t visited Las Vegas recently, you may be surprised to learn that Las Vegas has become a major foodie destination, with literally thousands of gourmet restaurants that rival those in the more traditional fine dining meccas of Los Angeles or New York.

Celebrity chef-owned restaurants and award-winning fusion-cuisine eateries have largely replaced the cheap buffets and $1 shrimp cocktails of yesteryear.

“Las Vegas is a great city for retirees because there is so much to do,” said Stefany Lee Sigier, a Las Vegas commercial real estate consultant. “Las Vegas has excellent shopping, dining, and world-class entertainment.”

Las Vegas has nearly every cuisine imaginable, too, and not just in casinos or on The Strip. In fact, many of the best restaurants in the Valley are in nondescript, residential neighborhoods.

Eateries popular within the Las Vegas retirement community include:

  • The Italian-American Club: Billed as an “old-timey supper club,” the Italian-American Club is popular among residents looking for authentic eats and lively entertainment.
  • Omelet House: With big portions, small prices, and a small-town diner flair, this kitschy mom-and-pop restaurant has been a local breakfast hotspot for over 40 years.
  • The Bagel Cafe: Don’t let the name of this diner fool you—it’s more than just a cafe and sells more than just bagels. The Bagel Cafe has been a mainstay of the Summerlin community since the ’90s when it was founded by transplanted New Yorkers. This family-owned and -operated restaurant serves fresh and authentic New York deli food, with smoked fish flown in every week from Brooklyn, New York.

6. A thriving senior community

Stylish senior lady painting in art class with friends from her care home for the aged copying a painting with water colors on a canvas outdoors at a table in the garden.

Southern Nevada has become flush with new residents in recent years, with the city of North Las Vegas ranking fifth on the list of fastest-growing cities in the U.S. However, it’s becoming an especially popular relocation destination among the silver-haired crowd, with just under 37% of people moving to Nevada doing so to retire.

As a result, Las Vegas has no shortage of clubs, classes, and activities geared toward the 55+ community, such as the popular Meetup groups Las Vegas Senior New in Town or Senior Brunch Club.

Sigier lists the wide variety of retirement communities and extensive opportunities for entertainment as two of the biggest benefits of retirement in Las Vegas.

“There is always something to do, and there are many different groups you can join with people that have the same interests as you,” she said. “They host meet-ups, and you can always find an adventure.”

7. Driving distance to many exciting places

Sunrise at Toroweap in Grand Canyon National Park.

Those wishing they could afford to retire in Southern California find Las Vegas to be a great compromise. Retirement communities in Las Vegas are far more affordable and are only a half-day’s drive away from many top attractions, making it possible to spend a weekend on the beach in SoCal while exploring the desert in SoNev during the week.

In fact, the number of Californians who have relocated to Las Vegas in recent years has caused some to dub Las Vegas “Los Angeles East.”

“Las Vegas is just a few hours’ drive from a number of beautiful places, like the beaches in California and the national parks in Utah, California, and Arizona,” said Jerry Ylinen, a retiree living in Henderson. “Also, since Vegas is so popular as a destination, we have lots of options for air travel when we want to visit other cities and countries.”

To put it in numbers, Las Vegas is:

  • A 3.5-hour drive from Southern California beaches or Lake Havasu, AZ
  • A four-hour drive to Los Angeles or the Grand Canyon
  • A five-hour drive to Phoenix, AZ

8. Low taxes

 The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign in Las Vegas, Nevada USA

Las Vegas is a tax-friendly city—an amenity all residents love—but those nearing retirement age have a special appreciation for this perk. Nevada is one of only nine states without an income tax. And, if you decide to purchase property in the Silver State, Nevada has the lowest property tax in the western U.S., ranking sixth in the country overall at 0.57%.

The cost of living in Las Vegas is lower than its glitzy exterior may make you think, so affording your retirement community won’t require you to hit up a casino (unless you want to!).

9. Grandkid-friendly things to do

Kids play in aqua park. Children at water playground of tropical amusement park. Little girl at swimming pool. Swim wear for young kid.

Las Vegas has earned itself a reputation for being “Disneyland for Adults, and for good reason (yard-long cocktails, anyone?). But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of kid-friendly activities to do as well.

With many of the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area’s 2 million residents including young families, the area has all of the family-friendly amenities you’d expect from a large city, including playgrounds, arcades, and kid-friendly events. This NV town also has two water parks, several indoor trampoline parks, and over 100 outdoor parks.

Start your retirement in Las Vegas

If you’re considering retiring in Las Vegas, you may want to “test drive” the city first before you take the gamble and make Las Vegas your permanent home.

Landing provides “flexible living” options in the form of furnished apartments in Las Vegas that include 24/7 concierge services and flexible leases. Landing is also available in 375 cities throughout the U.S., making it ideal for retirees looking to explore a bit before settling down. Whether you decide to make Henderson your home or study Summerlin before making a move, you’ll be able to explore Vegas on your terms before putting down roots.

Think living in Las Vegas may be the right fit for your retirement dreams? Browse our apartments and learn more about what a Landing membership can do for you today!

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Reannon Muth

Reannon Muth is a Las Vegas-based travel writer and the author of the memoir "Unattached: A Year of Heartache, Hiking, and Learning How to Love." Her work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including the Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Best of Vegas, and Showtickets.com. She enjoys writing about adventure travel and off-the-beaten-path vacation destinations—the quirkier, the better. Reannon lived in five countries and 20 U.S. cities before finally settling down in Southern Nevada, where she lives with her fiance, two-year-old daughter, and Irish Wolfhoud-mix.