Help me Viva Las Vegas!
April 24, 2016 6:25 AM   Subscribe

I will be on a months-long work assignment in Las Vegas this fall. I've only ever lived in big, east coast cities. What do I need to know about living out there?

I'm looking for advice about things my east coast brain might not think of--for example, someone recently told me car batteries have a much shorter life out there because the a/c taxes them so much. I know I will be driving everywhere, which is a big change for me also.

Thoughts about how to live as a Vegas "local" and make the most of my temporary time there are welcome also. I have been there twice, for weekend trips to the Strip only.

posted by trixie119 to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The big thing for me compared to the east coast is how DRY everything is both because you're in the desert and because there is a lot of AC in operation everywhere. So make sure you travel with moisturizer and have a humidifier going if you have the option in the place you are staying.
posted by jessamyn at 7:04 AM on April 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

posted by sexyrobot at 8:19 AM on April 24, 2016

My very good friend and his partner lived there for several years. Most of the folks that live there live like any suburban dwellers near tourist draws: they rarely went to the Strip unless with out of town guests and otherwise stuck to the suburban outskirts for eating out, shopping, and entertainment. It is incredibly hot, but you get used to it. If you take walks, you go early or late to avoid the heat of the day. You learn lots of ways to avoid getting trapped in Strip traffic. Always have a windshield shade for your car or your steering wheel will be untouchable.
posted by cecic at 8:50 AM on April 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

The battery thing is new to me, I lived in Phoenix. It certainly will not impact you for a month in a rental car. Driving in oven mitts. Seriously use a towel to cover the steering wheel if you don't have covered parking. Don't get a rental with leather seats. Seat belt buckles get hot too.

What part of town will you be staying in?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:06 AM on April 24, 2016

Thanks for the advice so far!

@Ruthless Bunny: Summerlin
posted by trixie119 at 10:06 AM on April 24, 2016

If you have a choice, get a white or other light-coloured car rather than a dark colour. Makes a real difference to how much it heats up while parked outside.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 11:42 AM on April 24, 2016

I second never having heard of or noticed the car battery issue, and I've lived in some hot places. One lesson I seem to never learn is that if I leave my primarily metal sunglasses in the car all day, they will burn my face when I put them on...

Las Vegas is close to Southern California. If you will have weekends free, it's worth considering doing short trips to LA, San Diego, etc. There's a ton of stuff to see and do between Santa Barbara and San Diego. It's too long of a drive for a day trip, but it's reasonable for a weekend (just take traffic into account).

They're mostly in the touristy areas, but Vegas has some great restaurants. I think it would be a missed opportunity to live there and not try some of them. I just recommend spacing it out; you don't want to be eating 3 nights a week on the Strip.
posted by primethyme at 12:08 PM on April 24, 2016

If you're into hiking, Vegas is a great place to be, especially when it cools down in the fall. There's Red Rock Canyon, multiple hot springs, and you're within driving distance to the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Death Valley.
posted by mollywas at 5:12 PM on April 24, 2016

Yes, definitely drive around outside the city, the landscapes are gorgeous (esp red rock canyon).
Also: hot car trick: before you get in, roll down the front passenger window, then open and close the driver's door 4-5 times (not all the way so you have to keep unlocking it, just most of the way). This will force all the hot air out and the car will be like 20 degrees cooler. (It really works!)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:15 AM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

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