Laughlin – Vegas…but not Vegas | Sin City’s Little Sister

imageYou’ve heard of Las Vegas right? Yeah, of course! Everyone has! Well, have you heard of Laughlin?

No, didn’t think so, and neither had we; that was until we were trying to find somewhere to stay on our long drive, from the Grand Canyon to Sacramento.

Laughlin sits on the Nevada side of the Nevada/Arizona border, next to Bullhead City. The two cities and the two states are separated by the fast flowing, clear watered, Colorado river.

When someone mentions Las Vegas, this drums up pictures of Casinos; lights; shows; buffet restaurants. Well, as Nevada is one of only two states where gambling is legal statewide, you can and will find all of these in Laughlin too, just on a slightly smaller, more dated, and less lavish scale.


Laughlin River

One thing that Laughlin boasts that Vegas doesn’t, is the beautifully clear Colorado river. Therefore you will see quite a lot of families who come to enjoy the watersports, which you may not have expected, given Laughlin’s adult focused main attractions.


There are around seven or eight hotels on the main “strip” (and a few more in the surrounding area), some of which have quirky, Vegas-esque designs from the steamboat of The Colorado Belle to the saloon styled Pioneer. All of the hotels have their own casinos, restaurants and most have separate event centres that host shows and performances.  It may not attract the big names like Vegas, but a show’s a show right?!


Whilst we were in Laughlin, we stayed at the Edgewater Hotel & Casino. Our room, which had two queen size beds, air conditioning (well obviously), cable TV  and an ensuite was only $25 per night. That’s less than the resort fee for an MGM hotel in Vegas alone (the cost of a room is additional)! The hotel itself was a little dated and old school, but for us, that just added to its charm and the overall experience.image

The hotel had everything you expect from a Vegas hotel, just without the attached miniature shopping mall. The only downside was that there was no free WiFi which cost $10 per day. One of the other hotels, the Aquarius Casino Resort, did provide free WiFi and so we spent quite a bit of time here, either playing in their casino, or eating at the Panada Express located inside.  We love Panada Express!


Laughlin lights.png

From 20ft cowboys to giant steamboat wheels, when the sun goes down and the lights come on, Laughlin is a sight to be seen!  It may not be as big or flashy as its more famous cousin, but you can’t help but be awed as you stroll along.  The Tropicana, one of the hotels,  is lit up all green! (Sorry, we forgot to take a photo).



Whether your pleasure is slot machines, roulette or playing cards at the tables, Laughlin has it all. You can also enjoy a cocktail whilst you play, which one of the (admittedly aging) waitresses will get for you.

One final thing to add; there is a small shopping mall next to the Tropicana hotel.  It was eerily quiet whilst we were there. But we think that is more to do with being slightly out of season.  There are shops selling everything from clothes to furniture, and chocolate to flowers.  In addition, there is a small grocery store, so if you’re planning on rocking up in your RV, there is somewhere you can stock up on supplies.


So if you want Vegas, but you can’t afford the high prices, you’re into water-sports or you just can’t make it to Vegas, then you should definitely check out Laughlin.


We have linked up with Kana of LifeInWanderlust and Chloe from TimeTravelBlonde for #FlyAwayFriday.  Click on the image above to check out the blogs and join in!

Have you been to Laughlin before?  Where did you stay?  How do you think it compares to Las Vegas?  We would love to hear from you so get in touch.

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6 thoughts on “Laughlin – Vegas…but not Vegas | Sin City’s Little Sister

  1. petenewzealand says:

    Laughlin sounds a bit like I remember Las Vegas 30 years ago when I paid 17 pounds for a room. I wonder what Laughlin will be like 30 years in the future? Maybe you could make a movie trilogy about going back 30 years and then forward 30 years?

  2. Kana says:

    $25?!?! Oh my gosh that’s insane! We always drive to Vegas (we’re in LA) but I feel like I vaguely remember seeing Laughlin. Very interesting and good to know! I’m pinning your image onto our Fly Away Friday Pinterest board if that’s ok! Thanks for sharing and joining Fly Away Friday! xo

  3. ttbchloe says:

    I love this!! I’ve been to Vegas like a 100 times but have never made it to Laughlin but I have a ton of friends who go every year and love it. They have a lot of crazy partying on the river and makes for a great time. Hopefully I’ll go one time or another. Thank you for sharing on #FlyAwayFriday!

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