If you want a destination that never lets you get bored, you can’t go wrong with New York or Las Vegas. But a seemingly endless list of things to do is where their similarity ends.
New York offers a rounded, distinct cultural experience 24/7. While Las Vegas offers glitz, glamor, and what many people don’t know, a ton of family-friendly attractions.
Having trouble deciding between the two? Check out their unique draws below to see which one suits you best!
Flashy shows, world-class art institutions, iconic sites, and a food scene like no other. These are only some of the allure of New York, a city that has long captivated people from across the world. And as a true 24/7 city, there’s no shortage of fun things to do here from sun up to sun down.
What Makes New York Unique?
One of the World’s Vibrant Art Capitals
New York is a creative capital, one of the most important art cities in the world. It houses countless creative minds, fueling its world-famous art scene. They fuel over a hundred museums and institutions, thousands of galleries, and plenty of art fairs in the ever-vibrant city.
The borough of Manhattan alone has enough to indulge the art lover in you. It’s home to the big three of New York’s art scene.
The big three include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which houses over 2 million artworks from thousands of years of world culture. There’s the Museum of Modern Art, which is home to some of the most recognizable paintings in the world. Lastly, there’s the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which in itself, is a work of art.
But with thousands of galleries to explore in the city, there’s still so much to see in New York’s art scene. You can check out the up-and-coming artists’ works anytime, or the latest works by the greatest ones. And there’s a gallery that covers every medium you could think of, from painting to sculptures, and more!
So while Chelsea in Manhattan may be the top gallery hotspot, there’s more to explore in other neighborhoods. Check out Bushwick in Brooklyn, a haven for urban art and trendy contemporary galleries. You’ll also find a diverse array of galleries in Soho, Dumbo, Bushwick, and much more!
New York’s creative scene isn’t all about art museums and galleries though. One of the allures most people know about the city is that it’s home to a world-class theater scene, especially in the Broadway District.
Experience theater’s magic with Broadway as you watch blockbusters such as The Phantom of the Opera. Or you can go Off-Broadway instead to experience the world of New York’s experimental theater.
It’s the City That Never Sleeps
It’s an exciting experience to visit big urban cities like New York as there’s so much to explore and do! And while other big cities become quieter at night, New York is still buzzing even after midnight. In the city, when New Yorkers want to have a night full of fun, they want to do so until the wee hours of the night.
Sure, you can put on your best outfit and get a taste of the city’s electrifying nightlife in its many nightclubs and can dance the night away. Or you can unwind and sip some cocktails on a rooftop bar with views of the city’s sparkling skyline.
But experiencing this vibrant city’s night scene doesn’t have to involve drinking. There are loads of other ways to explore New York at night, some are even free!
A lesser-known allure of the city’s nightlife is stargazing. You don’t even have to venture off into the outskirts, as you can do so right at the famous High Line! Thanks to the Amateur Astronomers Association, you’ll find high-powered telescopes here to look at the stars.
The city’s skyline is beautiful during the day, but at night, it becomes even more enticing. Soak in the city lights from an observation deck, such as the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building. But take in the view from a different perspective, right on the water with a ferry boat ride!
Perhaps you’d rather fill your night with laughter, as New York has tons of comedy shows! Attracting top-notch talent, you’ll never know what to expect on the stage. But one thing is a guarantee, you’ll have a fun, lighthearted evening in a comedy club!
Go on a ghost tour, eat at a night market, have fun ice skating in the winter, and more! There’s a seemingly endless list of nightlife attractions in this 24/7 city!
Lush, Green Oases Are Never Hard to Find
It’s easy to think of New York as a concrete jungle, a land of shiny skyscrapers and endless rows of buildings. But the city also has hundreds of square miles dedicated to lush, green spaces too. With over 1700 parks across the boroughs, hidden away in the tall buildings, there are plenty of quiet oases here to call your own.
And in the quest to escape the hustle and bustle of New York, the world-famous Central Park is one of the top options. Conveniently located at the heart of Manhattan, it has everything you need for some tranquility. It’s a sprawling land of gentle slopes, grassy meadows, lakes, and even a zoo and castle.
If you’d rather have a view of the Hudson River’s glistening water, Riverside Park is the best choice for you. A land filled with majestic trees, historic sites, and sprinkled with playgrounds, it’s a perfect retreat for families. Most of all, this park has significant landmarks such as Grant’s Tomb.
One of the most unique parks in New York was never meant to be one. But this is what makes the stunning elevated park of The High Line so appealing.
This park was originally a railroad line, but it’s now a greenery-fringed park that overlooks Manhattan’s West Side. Despite its linear design, the park fits art installations, food stalls, and more. The High Line also hosts several events, such as meditation activities and stargazing.
A Powerhouse in the Culinary World
Whether it’s the sheer amount of restaurants or the diverse array of cuisines, New York is one of the top foodie cities in the world. You’ll find decades-old eateries here serving up some classics. But there’s always a new restaurant right around the corner, serving their creative remix of the city’s best-loved dishes.
New York’s renowned food scene is ever-evolving. Influenced by trends and fueled by passionate chefs, it’s constantly elevating. And because of this, New York is home to over 70 Michelin-starred restaurants!
Several of them already have three stars, such as Masa, a Japanese restaurant. Tons more have two stars, such as the Scandinavian restaurant of Aska. And there’s a seemingly endless list of one-star restaurants here for you to try.
More than that, the city is so full of people from across the world. And with them, they’ve brought their best cultural dishes.
So no matter where you are in New York, you’re always a few blocks away from tasting authentic foreign flavors. Indian, Thai, Polish, Sichuan, and loads more, New York can indulge anyone’s palate and cravings.
Come to Harlem for the best soul food and African and Caribbean eats. Head to Koreatown for some eat-all-you-can Korean BBQ. Flock to Chinatown for some old-school specialty dishes, such as fried wontons and lo mein!
There are tons of ways to experience the best of New York’s food scene. But no matter what you do, don’t leave the city without munching on some quintessential NYC food!
You can get a massive slice of New York–style pizza just about anywhere, and it doesn’t even have to be pricey to be tasty. Bagels with lox and cream cheese are the breakfast, or brunch, of choice for the locals. And who can resist a slice of the dense, silky, and tangy New York Cheesecake?
Some of the World’s Most Recognizable Sites Are Here
Some of the most recognizable landmarks in the world call New York their home. Jam-packed with iconic sites, you’ll always find a familiar sight at every turn. And although they’re spread apart in the city, the quest to see them up close and personal is part of New York’s thrilling draws!
Kickstart your tour of New York’s famous landmarks by taking a trip to Ellis Island. Here’s where you’ll find the symbol of New York, the Statue of Liberty. Take pictures with Lady Liberty, and climb up the stairs that lead to her crown to get stunning views of the city!
New York’s skyline itself is famous all around the world. But towering 1400 ft (427 m) over Manhattan is the city’s best-loved skyscraper, the Empire State Building. Featured in King Kong and many other movies, it served as the tallest building in the world for nearly four decades.
Another distinct part of the New York skyline is the Brooklyn Bridge. Built in the 1800s, it was the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge and remained to be the longest one for quite a time. Now one of the most photographed bridges in the world, you can take a lovely stroll here that’ll take you from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
Another heavily photographed site, the Flatiron has always been a favorite subject of shutterbugs. It’s one of the classic symbols of the city due to its distinct and dramatic triangular-shaped design. With this, it’s no surprise that it’s been a regular sight in TV shows and movies until today.
Las Vegas is a city famous for its electrifying nightlife, top-notch casinos, and a whole lot of worldly allures. For many reasons, it’s the ultimate playground for adults, earning the city the nickname “Sin City”. But there’s more to Las Vegas than this, as it’s quite multifaceted.
People of all ages can come to Las Vegas and appreciate its colorful urban vibrancy. The city can be as family-friendly as you want, or as R 18+ as you want. It can be as adrenaline-seeking as you want, like jumping from a helicopter, or as relaxing as getting pampered in a world-class spa.
Las Vegas can be whatever you want it to be. But if you need a bit more convincing, here are the many ways to enjoy the city’s allures.
What Makes Las Vegas Unique?
The Unforgettable Vegas Nightlife
You can summarize Las Vegas’ exuberant and vibrant nightlife in one saying: whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. If you’re looking for the best city to party in the city, chances are, you’re eyeing this city.
Las Vegas’ exciting night scene comes down to three things. Nightclubs and bars, casinos, and a whole bevy of entertainment venues.
Dance the night away with the stars or the locals, there are countless nightclubs peppered around the city. But if you can’t take your pick, head down to the famous Las Vegas Strip! You’ll find endless rows of bars here with dazzling neon lights and blasting loud dance music.
These nightclubs are constantly graced by the world’s biggest DJs and celebrities. And the faces of the city’s nightclubs are the Hakkasan at MGM Grand and Drai’s After Hours at The Cromwell. These two are arguably the epitome of the world-famous Las Vegas night scene!
But a big part of Las Vegas’ appeal is that it’s home to some world-class casinos. Take your pick between the MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, and Bellagio! Apart from their casinos, all these also feature stunning architecture, bars, and pools for a rounded night out.
Las Vegas also has no shortage of smaller, lesser-known casinos for you to test your gaming skills! The city is home to hundreds of casinos, many of them inside hotels and resorts. Play some poker or blackjack, or test your luck at the slot machines!
Most casinos also serve free cocktails when you enter, but they’re rather strong, so don’t get carried away! If you’re more of a beer or wine person, they’ve got you covered too.
Las Vegas is also home to an incredible late-night live entertainment scene. Catch a big celebrity show or listen to some live music, you’re never too far from a show in the city!
Cirque du Soleil, Terry Fator, and Penn and Teller had always been the focal point of this scene. But the city also has drag shows, comedy shows, tribute shows, adult-only shows, and tons more!
An Exciting Cultural Hub
Get ready for a long vacation of high culture in Las Vegas! The city has a long history with a little bit of everything, and its cultural rebirth doesn’t seem to be slowing down. And unlike most cultural hubs, Las Vegas has quite a unique way for you to immerse yourself in its culture.
One of the best ways to explore a place’s history and culture is by taking a tour of its museums. And unlike traditional museums, Las Vegas’ collection of museums is unique, fun, and a burst of color!
Take the Neon Museum, for example. It preserves the history of a city that’s constantly evolving but through neon-lit signages. This museum houses the signs of the city’s former casinos and businesses.
This includes a sign from The Steiner’s laundry service, one of the oldest businesses in the city. You’ll also find the pirate skulls of the former Treasure Island here, The Ugly Duckling Car Sales, and more! This museum is a fun way to learn about all the businesses that made Las Vegas the city you know today.
You can even get a peek at Las Vegas’ gangster era at the Mob Museum. You’ll find an incredible array of audio-visual exhibits here of the organized crime that ran Las Vegas casinos in the past. It also gives you a glimpse of the events, the fashion, and the FBI officers that helped to curb crime in the country.
Pinballs are a Vegas classic, and you’ll see how it’s so celebrated in Vegas at the Pinball Hall of Fame, one of the top museums in the city. Quirky, fun, and unique, it houses an extensive collection of pinball machines, some very rare. More than that, it’s also home to some arcade games from the 1950s!
The World-Class Shopping and Dining Scene
Filling your stomach is a crucial part of any vacation, as you’ll need fuel to discover what the city has to offer. And if you need a break from exploring the city, a little retail therapy won’t hurt. These two are among Las Vegas’ biggest draws, and the city has a world-class shopping and dining scene.
Las Vegas is a paradise for every shopaholic, as the city has every store all in one place. With loads of impressive anchor stores, specialty boutiques, luxury shops, and more, the city has loads to keep you busy.
Start your fashion-focused trip at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, a haven for luxury shopping. Here, you’ll find big-name luxury brands, like Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Armani. You’ll also come across some shops that are unique to the city, such as Tourneau and Fendi Shoe Salon.
Shopping in Las Vegas doesn’t have to come at a high price tag though. There are tons of outlet stores here, such as the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets. Here, you’ll find famous international brands, such as Kate Spade and Tory Burch, that offer discounts of 65%.
Once you’ve enjoyed your shopping spree, help yourself to a plate of tasty dishes.
Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s top chefs, so you’ll find a wealth of Michelin-starred restaurants here. So take a culinary tour of some killer cuisine and experience the city’s upscale dining scene!
Try some snow crab sushi and lobster tempura that melts in your mouth at Nobu at Caesar’s Palace. Or dine at a garden terrace at the three-star Michelin restaurant of Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand.
Las Vegas is also home to some of the country’s best Asian restaurants. Right at the Strip, you’ll find the renowned Mizumi at Wynn, and the Kumi at Mandalay Bay.
A Never-Ending List of Fun Activities
Having fun in Las Vegas isn’t wholly tied to partying and trying your luck in a casino. Las Vegas has a diverse mix of fun things to do, catering to everyone’s likes and even age!
If you want to escape the city’s neon- and glitter-filled land, there’s always a natural retreat nearby. The Springs Preserve is one of the top family attractions in the city. It’s a sprawling land that features a gorgeous botanical garden, filled with all sorts of exotic animal species.
But what makes Las Vegas a tempting destination for those who love the great outdoors are the natural wonders near the city. Red Rock Canyon is around 20 minutes away, while Lake Mead is an hour away. The Grand Canyon is only a few hours away for a scenic day trip too!
Other than these, you can also go on a tour to get a good view of the city from above. Go on a helicopter tour and hover over the city, or you can tour the surrounding desert too. And if you want, you can even go as far as flying around the Grand Canyon.
Make your aerial experience more challenging and jump from a plane at 15000 ft (4572 m) with Sky Dive Las Vegas!
Would you rather have a thrilling time on land? Why not feel the rush of driving a speedy sports car at SpeedVegas? Or you can also get a feel for the NASCAR experience at Las Vegas Motorway.
You can also channel your inner action star and try shooting with a wide array of automatic weapons at Battlefield Vegas. If you’re a beginner, a qualified expert will show you the ropes.
You can even go surfing right in the middle of the desert at Planet Hollywood’s FlowRider. Or swim with the dolphins at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The possibilities in Las Vegas are endless!
A Premier Destination for Relaxation
With so many things to do in Las Vegas, it’s tempting to always be on the go and tick off every activity the city has to offer off your bucket list. But Las Vegas is also a premiere destination for a rejuvenating trip. Hang out at a spa, laze by the pool, and get well taken care of.
The city is famous for its world-class hotels come equipped with all the amenities you’d ever need for a vacation. They come with pools, spas, and plenty of other attractions that suit anyone!
The Bellagio, a luxury resort, has a stunning conservatory and botanical garden to allure the nature lover in you. The Cosmopolitan of Vegas is famous for its Chelsea Pool, where you can even get a poolside chair massage. The Venetian, a classic of the city’s skyline, is famous for following the aesthetic of Venice, but it adds a more electric vibe.
It’s also easy to go on a fitness holiday in Las Vegas. Head to the outskirts for a bit and go on an adventure in Black Canyon. Or paddle your way through the Colorado river, passing by the Emerald Cave and Lone Palm Canyon. After which, you can soak up the inviting waters in a natural hot spring.
Which Is Better – New York or Las Vegas?
The better destination between the two will depend on what you want out of your trip. If hard partying is more your speed, then Las Vegas is a much better choice. But if you want a more touristy experience, go for New York instead.
New York isn’t just a vacation city, as it’s where people work and live. It’s not a tourism-first city, but it does the job quite well. This also means that you’ll get a more authentic experience touring the city.
What sets New York apart from Las Vegas is that it’s a world-renowned art and fashion capital. So if you’re one of these, the choice would be easier for you.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas is the opposite, as it’s built as an ultimate tourist destination. It’s the best party city in the country, with vibrant nightlife being the focal point. This includes renowned casinos, fun shows, and more!
Las Vegas is also a better destination if you’re traveling on a budget. The city, despite having a glamorous flair, can actually be quite affordable if you need it to be. There are tons of ways to cut costs in Las Vegas, from accommodation to food to even attraction costs.
Is Las Vegas in New York?
Las Vegas is not in New York, as they are two different cities. Las Vegas is a part of the state of Nevada, which is part of the southwest of the United States. Meanwhile, New York City is in New York State, which is on the east coast.
Is Las Vegas Bigger Than New York?
New York City is bigger than Las Vegas. Its land area is around 303 square miles (784 square km). Meanwhile, Las Vegas’ land area is around 136 square miles (352 square km).
New York to Las Vegas Distance by Flight
When taking a plane from New York to Las Vegas, you’ll be covering a distance of around 2248 miles (3618 km). It takes around 4 to 5 hours of travel time to complete this trip.
New York to Las Vegas by Train
There are several direct trains running from New York to Las Vegas daily. The train distance between the two cities is around 2228 miles (3586 km). This takes around 62 to 65 hours of travel time.
The average train ticket price on this route is around 330 USD, but it can be as low as 316 USD. You can get much cheaper ticket prices if you book them in advance. But if you buy one on the same day as your trip, you can spend around 200 USD more for it.
March is the cheapest month to travel from New York to Las Vegas. During this month, the average train ticket price is around 295 USD, the year’s lowest. The most expensive month to travel is July, when average train ticket prices are around 423 USD.
The busiest day to travel from New York to Las Vegas falls on a Saturday. Due to the competition, ticket prices are also pricier on this day. So if you want more room, travel on a Sunday. Ticket prices are cheaper on this day too.
The first train leaves New York for Las Vegas at 6 AM, while the last leaves at 3 PM.
New York to Las Vegas Drive
You have two route options when traveling from New York to Las Vegas.
One option, the Northern Route, mainly uses Interstate 80. You’ll pass through the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. And before you reach Las Vegas, you’ll pass by Colorado and Utah.
This route is the shortest, with a distance of 2600 miles (4184 km). And it takes around 39 hours of driving time to complete this.
The second option takes you a little more down south. Thus, you’ll be traveling to desert landscapes and incredible music cities.
You’ll cross Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Before you reach Las Vegas, you’ll go through New Mexico first.
This Southern Route is longer, and you’ll be covering a distance of 2900 miles (4667 km) on this trip. With this, the driving time is ten hours more, at 49 hours.
No matter which route you choose this is a long trip that takes you through tons of incredible attractions and towns.
Best Driving Route From New York to Las Vegas
The best driving route from New York to Las Vegas will depend on your preferences and what attractions you want to see along the way.
If you want to get to Las Vegas right away, then choose the Northern Route. This route covers a distance of 2600 miles (4184 km) and takes around 39 hours of travel time.
But this route doesn’t have much of a difference from the Southern Route. The Southern route has a distance of 2900 miles (4667 km) with 49 hours of travel time.
With this, you can also choose a route based on what you want to see on your trip. The main difference between the two routes is the states you’ll cross on the latter half of your trip.
On the Northern Route, you’ll visit the states of Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, and Utah. And on the Southern Route, you’ll cross Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.
What most people consider here are the last two states you’ll visit.
With the Northern Route, you’ll pass by stunning forest sceneries from Colorado to Utah. You’ll also get breathtaking mountain views on the drive. On the Southern Route, you’ll pass by desert landscapes and charming music towns.
Las Vegas to New York Road Trip
You have two route options when going on a road trip from Las Vegas to New York.
There’s the Northern Route, which has a distance of 2600 miles (4184 km) and takes around 39 hours of driving time. The other option is the Southern Route. You’ll be covering around 2685 miles (4321 km) on this route, with an estimated driving time of 40 hours.
There isn’t much difference between the two when it comes to distance or speed. So it’s best to choose a route depending on what views and cities you want to see along the way.
The Northern Route will offer you more varied views throughout your journey. You’ll get desert views in Nevada, see majestic mountains in Denver, and go through forests, lakes, and more.
To add, you’ll also cross around 10 states on the Southern Route, so there are tons of cities to explore.
If you choose the Southern Route, you’ll drive through a total of 13 states. You’ll get stunning mountain views toward New Mexico, explore the famous music city of Memphis, visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and more.
No matter which route you choose, you’ll go through the historically rich state of Philadelphia.
New York to Las Vegas Road Trip Time
The road trip time from New York to Las Vegas depends on your chosen route. If you follow the Northern Route, you’ll have a driving time of around 39 hours. But if you choose the Southern Route, you’ll be driving for around 49 hours.