We’ve all been to Vegas before (and if you haven’t, what exactly are you waiting for?). When we come here, we tend to search out a hotel on the Vegas Strip. The action is irresistible. The allure is mesmerizing. We get it. But with all of that comes crowds, parking nightmares, rising costs and expenses, and plenty of other hassles that are sometimes too much to handle on what is supposed to be a vacation.
You might not be aware, though, that minutes from the Vegas Strip are hotels and casinos around the city, and some of them don’t sacrifice any of the quality, service, and amenities that their Strip counterparts do. In fact, many say they are better.
We’ve broken out four of the best off-strip casinos in Las Vegas that you probably should consider for your next trip. Trust us: the Strip is only a short ride away if you really want to visit.
Red Rock Casino: Summerlin’s Award-Winning Icon
“A room with a view.” In Vegas, that usually means a view of the Strip. At Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Summerlin, that means the gorgeous Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Red Rock sits on the northwest side of town in Summerlin where the edge of town meets the beginning of the mountains. It’s roughly ten miles west of the Strip.
If you’re a nature lover, a ten-minute drive takes you to serenity. What better way to wake up than to walk off your one-too-many drinks in the fresh air, surrounded by mountains?
Red Rock’s actual casino embraces their surroundings. You’ll find fountains and rock structures greeting you at the front entrance. The color scheme even reflects the red tints of the mountains, glowing from the reflection of the surrounding 3,000 slot and video poker machines on the casino floor.
Red Rock is also one of Summerlin’s best foodie destinations. The iconic Blue Ribbon Sushi has an indoor-outdoor location that we can’t recommend enough during the cooler spring and fall seasons.
And speaking of patios, T-Bones Chophouse has, in our humble opinion, one of the best patios in the city. Consider arriving early to your reservation and having a cocktail by their fireplace with the Red Rock Pool in the background.
Red Rock’s Iconic Pool Area
Which brings us to potentially the most iconic place at Red Rock: their pool. An Instagrammer’s paradise, the Red Rock pool boasts a four-acre oasis with fountains, cabanas, and poolside blackjack, if you get the itch.
This hotel and casino is no secret, though. It is a recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award consecutively since opening. It’s also been named one of the world’s best new hotels by Condé Nast magazine on its prestigious “Hot List.”
Lastly, the Downtown Summerlin area next to Red Rock is booming. Get your shopping fix in, grab a bite, or hop across the street to Las Vegas Ballpark and watch a Las Vegas Aviators minor league baseball game. The ballpark is a visit in itself as it opened in 2019 and won awards including Minor League Ballpark of the Year.
Red Rock is undoubtedly the best hotel and casino in Summerlin and stacks up to any casinos on the Vegas Strip.
Palace Station: Brand New Everything, Minutes From the Strip
Vegas locals know Palace Station. That’s because, in 1976, it opened as “The Casino” and was positioned as the first casino catering to Las Vegas locals. Located on more than 38 acres just west of the Las Vegas Strip, Palace Station now caters to locals and visitors alike after a full $192 million renovation was undertaken in 2016 and completed in 2019.
You could almost say it’s one of the newest casinos in Vegas. Top to bottom, Palace Station is new. Here are just some of the recent renovations:
- Gaming area
- Cinebarre Movie Theaters
- Bingo room
- Poker room
- Pool area
- Hotel rooms
- Sports book
- Buffet, cafe, and other restaurants
What stayed the same? The quality of gaming offerings. Palace offers than 1,800 slot/video poker machines, 43 table games, a dedicated Asian Table Games Pit, and a 200-seat Race & Sports Book.
Palace Station: A Foodie Paradise
If you work up an appetite winning all that money, Palace Station is a foodie paradise.
New arrival is Boathouse. The casual Asian eatery offers an eclectic mix of Japanese and East Asian cuisine. They undoubtedly have one of the best happy hours in Vegas, too.
Palace Station Buffet offers an elevated buffet dining experience (check the reviews!) and the only overnight buffet in Las Vegas, perfect for those late-night munchies.
Some things were just too good to change, though. The intimate Charcoal Room stacks up to any Strip steakhouse. Little Tony’s offers quality Italian food and pizza at a great value. And locals and tourists alike will tell you that any visit to Vegas is not complete without waiting in line and experiencing Palace Station’s Oyster Bar. For the uninitiated: It’s not just about the oysters. Order the combo pan roast and thank us later.
Green Valley Ranch Casino: A Not-So-Hidden Gem in Henderson
Green Valley Ranch or “GVR” was the first boutique luxury resort built off the Las Vegas Strip. It’s the first to do off-strip luxury and do it well, with a AAA Four Diamond Award to its name. Many might know it as the “star” of the popular Discovery Channel reality program “American Casino” for three years. We just know it’s one impressive hotel and casino.
There’s plenty to see and do inside the casino but the real gem is GVR’s backyard. It’s a favorite spot of guests to grab the perfect photo by the pool or vineyard area. Take a walk outside; you’ll see what we mean.
Most of the 8-acre Backyard is taken up by the pool area, which features a true sand-bottom pool with 16 private outdoor cabanas and infinity-style pool edges. It’s as impressive as it sounds.
For those looking for a more luxurious hotel stay, there are more than 80 luxury suites in 10 styles. We personally like the Villa Suite, with a personal patio with a small pool that walks out into the even larger pool area in GVR’s backyard.
GVR: The Date Night Spot
GVR also features one of the best date night spots in Henderson. Hank’s Fine Steaks and Martinis is a four-diamond AAA rated steakhouse. It features live music in its bar area. And it is the only location in Henderson to serve the decadent Kobe beef.
If brunch is more your thing, Bottiglia Cucina is a bright and cheery spot for mimosas and shared plates. We can’t recommend the patio enough if the Vegas weather isn’t too warm.
With GVR being just minutes away from McCarran International Airport, it’s probably the most accessible hotel in Vegas for those flying in. It’s the perfect bet for those looking for a more relaxed Vegas Valley getaway.
Sunset Station: A Vacation Spot for Families to Do it All
Inspired by the look and feel of a Spanish Mediterranean village, Sunset Station Hotel & Casino is located on more than 98 acres in Henderson.
Families, this might be your spot. The AAA Three-Diamond rated hotel offers gaming, live concerts, special events, movie theaters, a bowling center and supervised childcare.
Of course, the main attraction at Sunset is gaming. More than 2,100 slot and video poker machines are at your disposal, along with 36 table games and a 300-seat Race & Sports Book.
Sonoma Cellar Steakhouse is one of the best steakhouses in Henderson, with live music to play the soundtrack to your evening. We also recommend Pasta Cucina or Oyster Bar.
Families Get it All at Sunset Station
As we mentioned, this might be the best casino in Vegas to take the family. Between an outdoor pool area, a 13-screen multiplex and IMAX theater, a Kids’ Quest in indoor recreation area, and a 72-lane bowling facility, there is plenty to see and do with the little ones staying inside the casino.
When you finally decide to venture outside Sunset Station, we recommend checking out Galleria Mall nearby. Another option the flourishing “Booze District” featuring a few industrial-style breweries and distilleries for your local drinking pleasure.
Where is your next Vegas destination?
We would love to hear from you. Where are you looking to book your next Vegas stay? Let us know on Twitter @stationcasinos. We’re happy to provide recommendations or answer any questions you might have. After all, there’s so much to do in this city. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the action off the strip.