Is the Strip in Las Vegas? Of course, it is….right? If you’re thinking about heading to Vegas and visiting our famous Strip, you might be surprised to learn that the Strip is not located within the city limits of Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Strip is not physically located in the City of Las Vegas. The famous 4.2-mile Strip lies just outside the city limits in the town of Paradise, Nevada. While confusing, it makes practically no difference to the millions of tourists visiting this renowned section of Las Vegas Boulevard.
Keep reading as I explain the interesting story behind where the Strip is located and why it isn’t actually in Las Vegas at all. I’ll also explore some of the history behind this world-famous travel destination.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Did You Know the Las Vegas Strip is Not in Las Vegas?
- 2 Why Isn’t The Strip In Las Vegas?
- 3 Paradise, Nevada: What Happened Next?
- 4 What Else Is In Paradise, Nevada, Besides The Strip?
- 5 Is The Vegas Strip The Same Thing As Las Vegas Boulevard?
- 6 How Big Is The Strip?
- 7 Vegas Strip FAQ
- 8 What part of the Strip is the best?
- 9 Is it cheaper to stay on or off the Strip?
- 10 Is downtown Las Vegas and the Strip the same thing?
- 11 What time does the Las Vegas Strip close?
- 12 What is the most important item of clothing to wear when visiting the Las Vegas Strip?
- 13 Conclusion
Did You Know the Las Vegas Strip is Not in Las Vegas?
Most people who visit the Las Vegas Strip come expecting themselves to be in Las Vegas (if you want to explore true Las Vegas, you’ll need to head downtown to the area around Fremont Street). However, when you are on the Strip itself, you are actually outside Las Vegas city limits.
A lot of people don’t realize this.
The Vegas Strip is known for its famous hotels and casinos, including:
- Caesars Palace
- New York-New York
- Paris Las Vegas
- MGM Grand Hotel
- Planet Hollywood
- Wynn Las Vegas
- The Bellagio
- The Cosmopolitan
- The Venetian
You’re bound to have heard of some of these casinos on the Strip, but if you think they are located in the City of Las Vegas, you’d be wrong – because technically speaking, they are part of the unincorporated town of Paradise, Nevada.
The Las Vegas Valley is home to 3 different incorporated cities where city law applies: Henderson, North Las Vegas, and Las Vegas. All areas outside of these cities are considered unincorporated, meaning that they follow different laws.
There are 6 towns within these unincorporated areas in the Vegas Valley: Winchester, Sunrise Manor, Spring Valley, Enterprise, Whitney, and Paradise.
All of the cities and unincorporated towns in the greater Las Vegas Valley are commonly referred to together as “Las Vegas.”
So, Where Is The Strip?
To understand where the Las Vegas Strip is actually located, you’ll need to know two things. First, Las Vegas Boulevard is a 51.4-mile long road that starts and ends way out in the Mojave desert. Second, “The Strip” is just a 4.2-mile section of Las Vegas Blvd. that runs through the metropolitan area of Clark County.
So, although the Stip is part of Las Vegas Boulevard., Las Vegas Blvd. is much longer than just the Strip.
While there is no official designation of where the Las Vegas Strip begins and ends, unofficially, the southern end of the Strip begins on the boulevard at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign and continues north to roughly Sahara Avenue and the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino.
It’s in this stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South that most people who visit Las Vegas spend their time. It is here, along the Strip, where you’ll find most of the major attractions in the city.
As you can see from the map above, The Strip (red line) falls outside of the boundaries (thin red line) of the Las Vegas city limits. The Strip is actually in unincorporated Clark County, not Las Vegas. It is physically located in the township of Paradise, NV.
So, Where is the City of Las Vegas?
If you walk along the Strip and are looking north, you’ll see the tall tower known as the Stratosphere (you can get a great view of the Strip looking south from the viewing deck on top of the Strat.) Right at the Strat hotel is roughly where the boundary for the City of Las Vegas begins (you can see it on the map above).
This boundary divides the Strip and downtown areas. The area located around the Fremont Street Experience is in Las Vegas proper.
Why Isn’t The Strip In Las Vegas?
Many visitors are perplexed by the fact that the Strip is in a nearby town rather than the famous city itself. The story behind why the Strip isn’t actually located in Las Vegas is an interesting one.
The first casino on what would eventually be called “The Strip” (Pair-o-Dice Club 1931) was built on a stretch of desert road (Hwy 91) outside the city limits of Las Vegas. Other casinos soon sprang up alongside it, with the area becoming a major gambling center fairly quickly. The Flamingo was opened in 1946, and the Desert Inn in 1950.
There was an attempt in 1950 to make this new gambling center part of Las Vegas by bringing it within the city limits. This push was made by Las Vegas mayor, Ernie Cragin, who was hoping to increase the tax income enjoyed by the city, and if he had been successful, the Strip would be part of Las Vegas today.
However, the casino operators on the future Strip quickly got together and created the unincorporated township of Paradise before the county commissioners could act.
This meant that the City of Las Vegas would have to formally annex the area from the town in order to gain control.
Unfortunately for them, Nevada state law prohibits an incorporated city from taking over an unincorporated town. The casino operators on Hwy 91 had successfully prevented the City of Las Vegas from taxing their casino revenue, and the Las Vegas Strip was born.
RELATED: Should you stay on the Strip when visiting Las Vegas? Find out here.
Paradise, Nevada: What Happened Next?
The town of Paradise grew very quickly. Within a month, it had been expanded from a 1 by 4-mile area to a 54 square-mile area, incorporating all the residential areas of Paradise. However, this broke state law because the town spanned multiple school districts, so in 1951, it was split into Town A and Town B.
These were renamed in 1953 to Winchester (Town A) and Paradise (Town B). The Strip remained in Paradise, and several years passed quietly. However, in 1975, there was another move to join both towns into Las Vegas. This went to the Nevada Supreme Court, which rejected the movement and permitted Paradise to remain an unincorporated town.
There have been further attempts by Las Vegas to annex Paradise and gain control of the taxes paid by the casinos, but none have been successful.
The casinos on the Vegas Strip, therefore, pay lower taxes as a result of being part of an unincorporated township.
It seems unlikely, then, that the Strip is ever going to officially become part of Las Vegas, despite the common misconception about where it is located. The owners of the casinos are also unlikely to support a move, as it would mean higher taxes being charged to their businesses.
What Else Is In Paradise, Nevada, Besides The Strip?
It might not surprise you to learn that Paradise, NV has some other major attractions in addition to the Strip. It is home to the Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), which you might find yourself flying to if you travel to Las Vegas by air.
It is also home to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV).
Many of the top hotels, restaurants, bars and other tourist attractions are also found in Paradise, rather than within the limits of Las Vegas. A lot of tourists find this confusing, but once you start exploring, you will get to grips with it pretty quickly.
Some of the largest hotels in the world are located in Paradise, and since the Strip itself is the most desirable street in just about everyone’s Las Vegas experience, it’s no wonder there is confusion about whether it is actually part of Las Vegas or not.
Certainly, if you are planning a trip to Las Vegas, you are likely to be visiting the Strip.
For most tourists, it doesn’t matter whether the Strip is within the bounds of Las Vegas city or not – it’s still part of the Vegas experience. However, it is worth understanding how this setup works, so you aren’t confused by the signage and location addresses.
Fun Fact: Over 42 million people visit the Las Vegas Strip every year, and a majority of them never actually set foot in the City of Las Vegas (aka downtown Las Vegas or old Vegas).
Is The Vegas Strip The Same Thing As Las Vegas Boulevard?
Las Vegas Boulevard is the official name for the Strip, and it’s a good idea to get to grips with this idea before you visit in order to avoid confusion. While everyone will know what you are talking about if you say the Strip, talking about both Las Vegas Blvd. and the Strip may cause some issues.
It’s also important to remember that Las Vegas Boulevard runs 51.4 miles in overall length while “The Strip” is just a 4.2-mile section of the blvd.
Also see: Las Vegas Strip FREE Walking Tour & Map (19 Must-See Stops!)
How Big Is The Strip?
The Las Vegas Strip is approximately 4.2 miles long. It is generally considered to start a Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the south end (near the Welcome to Las Vegas sign) and run north all the way to The Strat.
The Strip houses a whole range of attractions, including some of the most famous ones found anywhere in the world. For anyone who wants to see all that Las Vegas has to offer, a trip to the Strip in Paradise, NV, is definitely a requirement.
Here are just a few of the Strip’s attractions and destinations that should be on every traveler’s Vegas bucket list:
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Vegas Strip FAQ
What part of the Strip is the best?
Generally speaking, the center part of the Strip is the most visited. It is a popular, pedestrian-friendly area with many attractions (Bellagio Fountains, Miracle Mile Shops, Eiffel Tower, etc.) and resort properties (Paris Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, ARIA, etc.) within walking distance of each other.
Is it cheaper to stay on or off the Strip?
It’s almost always less expensive to stay at a hotel off the Vegas Strip. However, convenient access to the resorts and attractions you want to visit should be a priority. If you plan to spend most of your time on the Strip, you don’t want to waste a lot of vacation time traveling back and forth.
Is downtown Las Vegas and the Strip the same thing?
No. Downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip are two distinctly different areas to visit. Las Vegas Blvd., however, runs all the way to downtown, and the two most visited areas of Las Vegas are located within a few miles of one another.
What time does the Las Vegas Strip close?
The Las Vegas Strip never closes. While individual businesses and attractions located along the Strip may have hours when they are closed, the casino resorts are open to visit 24/7.
What is the most important item of clothing to wear when visiting the Las Vegas Strip?
A comfortable pair of shoes is the most important thing to wear when exploring in and around the Strip. Las Vegas generally requires a lot of walking and comfortable shoes are a must.
Now you know the answer to “Is the Strip in Las Vegas?” The Strip is not technically part of Las Vegas; it was built outside the city limits to avoid taxes and has managed to remain independent of the City of Las Vegas ever since.
However, it is commonly thought of as part of Las Vegas, and it’s a major piece of the Vegas experience, so don’t miss it just because it’s technically in Paradise!
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