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The best times to visit Las Vegas

July 05, 2022
9 min read
Las Vegas Bellagio
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When isn't it a good time to visit Las Vegas? It's a tough question, as Las Vegas is vibrant and lively 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Still, there are some times that are better than others to visit, especially since the city sits in the middle of the Nevada desert and temperatures can range from one extreme to another.

We’ll walk you through the best times to plan your trip to Sin City, whether you’re looking for the best weather, the splashiest events or the fewest crowds.

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When to find the best weather

Temperatures in Las Vegas can swing wildly, depending on the time of year you visit.

The average high in summer soars above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that walking down The Strip becomes a sweaty chore and heat stroke can be a real possibility. In the winter, temperatures can plummet below freezing, which makes the outdoor walk equally unappealing.

Luckily, some of the hotels are connected by indoor walkways to protect you from the elements. However, you’ll still need to venture outside every once in a while.

Related: 10 things no one tells you about Las Vegas

For the best weather, head to Las Vegas in March, April, October or November, when temperatures range around a pleasant 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid January, February and December when the coldest weather is most likely. Likewise, steer clear of July and August to avoid the hottest days.

Las Vegas. (Photo by Dennis Hohl/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Best times to visit to avoid the crowds

Contrary to what you might expect, you'll probably find the lightest crowds during the months with the best weather.

In the fall, when school is back in session, there are fewer tourists. (Yes, people do bring kids to Sin City and there are plenty of activities in Las Vegas for families.)

Similarly, after all the holiday parties end (and excluding spring break), you’ll find late winter and spring to be the emptiest. Though you’d think scalding temperatures would scare most folks away, exciting large-scale events like Fourth of July fireworks combined with an abundance of air conditioning mean the city remains busy even at the height of summer.

When to visit for festivals and events

In the city that seems to go full-throttle day and night, you’ll never run out of things to do. From extravagant rooftop clubs to entire theme parks built indoors, Las Vegas is a Pandora’s box of gambling, eating, concerts, shows, drinking and more.

Shows and concerts rotate on various schedules, so there's always something new to check out. Despite this, some times are better than others for annual events.

Spring

For music lovers, the Billboard Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music's Country Music Awards (CMA)* both take place in spring, and these events draw crowds.

If you love food, Bon Appetit’s Uncork’d is Las Vegas’ busiest festival. Celebrity chefs turn up (often in their own restaurants) for unique master classes, galas, wine tastings and more. It’s a gut-buster in the best way. NASCAR also hosts its first of two Las Vegas events each year on the first weekend of March.

*Note that the CMAs were held in Nashville in 2022 but are returning to Las Vegas in 2023.

Summer

As befits the home of hundreds of casinos, the World Series of Poker takes place in Las Vegas every year, stretching across nearly three months. Give the tournament a shot or just stick around to watch as the big names come in to compete for a multimillion-dollar prize.

Even bigger than the WSOP are the Independence Day celebrations, and you’ll find huge parties everywhere you look. Nearly a dozen different casinos put on fireworks shows, and you can basically stroll into any restaurant, bar or casino to find a celebration. If you’re looking for a real party, though, plan ahead. Reservations will be required for most, and they book up early.

Fall

Festivals come back to life as temperatures cool. The iHeart Radio Music Festival happens in September, drawings thousands of attendees from around the country to see big-name artists.

September also brings football, as the Raiders (the city's NFL team) kick off the season, which runs through early January. Every October, the Rise Festival takes place outside the city in the Mojave Desert. It features entertainment, food and artistic spaces, then closes out festivities with the world's largest sky lantern release.

NASCAR's second Las Vegas event of the year is held every October, which is also the month when the Golden Knights (Vegas's NHL hockey team) start their season, which runs through early June.

Finally, if all this isn’t enough, you can attend the Las Vegas Greek Festival to sample delicious food as well as music and dancing over a weekend in September (the 23-25 this year).

Winter

Though the desert can get very cold in the winter, December is one of the best months to visit Las Vegas.

For college football fans, the Las Vegas Bowl usually takes place just before Christmas. Also, New Year’s Eve is even bigger than the Fourth of July, with sold-out hotels and casinos putting on massive shows to celebrate the new year. The streets will be packed and the rooms pricey, so arrange your stay far in advance if you plan to visit during this time.

The first floor of the Bellagio also showcases massive holiday displays during the winter. In late winter, check out the Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon, which, because it’s Vegas, is run at night during February and has a party atmosphere.

Related: Elvis weddings may have to leave Las Vegas, so we rushed to Sin City to renew our vows

The best time to see the Bellagio fountain show

(Photo by Ryan Smith/The Points Guy)

The water show in front of the Bellagio runs daily unless it's canceled due to severe circumstances like bad weather. While there's a timetable for when the shows occur, not all viewings are created equal.

At present, you can view the fountain show on weekdays at intervals of every 30 minutes between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and at intervals of every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight. On weekends, the show occurs every 30 minutes from noon to 8 p.m. and every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The best time to see the Bellagio fountain is after sunset because the lights add so much to the show. During the daytime, you won't see these as clearly. It also may be much hotter when watching the show in the daytime, as there are not many places to stand in the shade while getting a good view.

If you're looking for a great vantage point and are willing to pay for premium space where you don't have to fight the crowds, consider booking a reservation at one of the restaurants with views over the fountain or a room at the Bellagio with views of the display.

For those looking to see the Bellagio fountain show for free, you can stand on one of three sides of the water. Along the Strip, there's ample space on the sidewalk to view the show with the Bellagio in the background (seen above).

If you're coming from inside the Bellagio, exit the lobby and head down the steps or walkway on your left side. From here, you can watch the water show looking out toward the Strip and the Paris Las Vegas beyond (seen below).

(Photo by Ryan Smith/The Points Guy)

The best time for affordable airfare

Fortunately for visitors, the city of Las Vegas exists almost solely to bring in tourists.

This means that cheap airfare can typically be found year-round, with McCarran International Airport (LAS) hosting airlines from around the world, including several small regional carriers based around the U.S. Heck, we’ve even seen $15 one-way fares to Las Vegas on Frontier from many U.S. gateways.

For the best prices, avoid the traditional high seasons for flying and focus on the months of September-November and January-April (excluding spring break).

Related: Everything you need to know about McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas

The best time for affordable hotels

Hotels run the gamut in Las Vegas, from ultra-cheap $10-per-night specials to expansive penthouses that’ll happily ring you up for thousands of dollars.

Vegas is rife with chain hotels and opportunities to redeem points, but be aware of which hotels offer things like waived resort fees on award stays versus those that don't, as the city is one of the worst offenders when it comes to stacking on amenity or resort fees.

Though some hotels are beginning to offer free parking, you can still be on the hook for major money if you’re not careful about where you stay. For the cheapest times, visit during the shoulder season of September–November and January–April.

You can even find low rates during the summer when the city is at its hottest. However, avoid major holidays and aim for stays starting on Sundays, when the weekend crowds dissipate.

Read on for information about Las Vegas hotels:

Additional reporting by Ryan Smith.

Featured image by View from the Bellagio (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases