There are different reasons you might be looking for travel alternatives that are similar to Las Vegas without actually heading to Sin City. Maybe you want to excitement and entertainment of Las Vegas, but a more family-friendly atmosphere.
Maybe you’ve already traveled to Vegas quite a bit, and you like it, but want something different, or perhaps you want something more affordable.
Regardless of your specific reasons, the following are some Vegas alternatives to consider.
One of the things that Branson offers that’s similar to Las Vegas is live entertainment, but it’s more family-friendly by a longshot. Branson has more theater seats than Broadway in all, and you’ll find comedy and variety shows, dinner theater, live music, and more.
In addition to the live entertainment aspect, Branson has a lot of outdoor activities that you might enjoy, such as water sports on one of the many nearby lakes.
Branson works well for a wide variety of ages if you’re planning a multi-generational family trip, and you can find something for most budgets in terms of hotels and restaurants. Branson is easily reachable by car from many places in the country, too, which isn’t necessarily the case with Vegas.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Located on the Jersey Shore, Atlantic City feels like an old school throwback in many ways because of the iconic Boardwalk, beaches, and casinos.
If you like gambling, and that’s what draws you to Vegas, Atlantic City offers plenty of options. There are large casinos, much like what you’ll find in Vegas. There are also many spas if you want to relax, and a lot of the resorts offer indoor pools.
There’s live entertainment, seafood restaurants, and if it’s warm, you can take advantage of the seaside location.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk was the original inspiration for the Boardwalk property in Monopoly, and the Steel Pier recreation zone features Ferris wheels and other amusement rides.
Biloxi is on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and while it took some time to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, the area is once again thriving. Biloxi and the surrounding areas are home to some major casinos and gaming facilities.
One of the most popular is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi. Keeping in line with the rock-and-roll theme of the Hard Rock brand, the resort is home to music paraphernalia and frequent live shows and nighttime entertainment.
The pool area features poolside drink and food service and cabanas, and there are more than 1,200 slots and 50 table games.
The Beau Rivage Resort & Casino features a 24-hour gaming floor, Italian marble floors, and well-equipped rooms. There are also dining areas within the resort and some bars and lounges.
Harrah’s Gulf Coast has many rooms with views of the Gulf and a 24-hour casino. There are five eateries onsite, as well as a large spa and salon.
Along with the resorts and casinos, you might visit the Biloxi Lighthouse or the Biloxi Bay Bridge.
Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is a good Vegas alternative if you’re most interested in a desert destination. Palm Springs is a sophisticated place to visit, and at the same time, it’s kitschy with its bold colors and patterns and mid-century architecture.
Mid-century design is everywhere in Palm Springs, and you’ll find many homes and buildings designed by legendary architects of the time.
The hotels in the area have vibrant pool scenes, particularly in the incredibly hot summer months.
The culinary scene is as impressive as the homes and the natural beauty of Palm Springs, and one of the attractions of the city is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. This takes you up into the mountains for beautiful views of the surrounding area.
Visit a tiki lounge or a wine bar for a drink, and relax in the Old Hollywood glamor that still comes with a visit to Palm Springs. Go to the Palm Springs Art Museum, or take a hike on one of the area’s trails.
You don’t have to go far to find a viable Vegas alternative. Reno is a place where you can go for casinos and gambling, but often with a lower price tag than a trip to Vegas.
Reno has milder weather than Vegas, less traffic, and the history of Reno actually goes back further than that of Vegas.
Day trips you can take from Reno include Lake Tahoe and Virginia City.
New Orleans, Louisiana
If you’re most interested in Las Vegas alternatives because of buzzy nightlife, why not a trip to the Big Easy?
New Orleans lets you drink on the streets and you can wander along and enjoy the many bars, jazz clubs, and dance clubs, particularly on Bourbon Street.
However, don’t stop at Bourbon Street because there’s a lot more to New Orleans than that.
You can stroll along Crescent Park, which is a riverfront park, or enjoy the local cuisine that the city is known for.
There are amazing history and architecture in New Orleans, where you can learn more about everything from the colonial era that led to the French influence in the area, to New Orleans’ role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Niagara Falls, New York
Finally, if you’re searching for Vegas alternatives, why not head north to Niagara Falls?
Niagara Falls was created thousands of years ago, and now the area is home to plenty of entertainment and recreation.
Niagara Falls is divided by the U.S.-Canada border, and the Falls are just one of the things people like about visiting. You can see the Falls from the Maid of the Mist, which takes you on a boat tour, and when you’re done with that you can cycle, visit wineries, or go shopping.
There are also a few casinos in the area. For example, Casino Niagara features two gaming floors, 45 game tables, a comedy club, and 1500 slot machines. There’s also the Ontario resort Fallsview Casino Resort, with more than 3000 slot machines and over 100 gaming tables.