This Budget-Friendly Alternative To The Las Vegas Strip Is Honestly Just As Exciting

The bright lights and extravagant vibes of Las Vegas are certainly a sight to see. Sometimes you might even party a bit too hard and forget what you saw the night before. But for one reason or another, the typical night in Sin City may not be your scene. While it's possible to skip the Strip and still find cool stuff to do in the area, maybe you just see yourself venturing out into a different part of the Silver State during your next visit. And though Lake Tahoe or Reno will probably come to mind as alternatives with their own multitudes of adventures, Laughlin is another location in Nevada that you may want to take into consideration.

Located around 95 miles south of Vegas at the tip of the state, the city founded by businessman Don Laughlin sits right on the Colorado River, across from Arizona's Bullhead City, and very near Historic Route 66. After seeing all the potential in this area, the casino tycoon purchased the land in the mid-1960s and began to develop a resort destination similar to his neighbor to the north.

However, despite sharing many similarities with Las Vegas today, such as casinos, restaurants, and unique attractions, the biggest difference between the two cities is the considerably lower price tag attached to a vacation in Laughlin.

Just like Vegas

While Laughlin may be a budget-friendly alternative to Las Vegas, you shouldn't mistake it for the discount or version of the popular city. After starting with one casino and hotel called Riverside Resort, there are now eight resorts occupying space along the Riverwalk Trail, including their own versions of Harrah's, The Golden Nugget, and Tropicana (the last of which on the Vegas Strip will soon be extinct, Associated Press reports).

Along with the gambling, eclectic cuisine, and lodging that comes with Laughlin's hotels, they also bring in headlining acts to anchor their nightlife and entertainment. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy, the iconic Willie Nelson, and the legendary Righteous Brothers are just a few of the marquee acts that come through town.

But if you're looking to schedule some precious rest and relaxation during your time in Laughlin, there's plenty of that to go around as well. There are a number of options for spa treatments and golf courses to choose from across the city. Plus, there is also the added bonus of the Colorado River and Lake Mohave being so close to the city, so spending a day on the water with a fishing pole, kayak, or a more luxurious vessel — perhaps one that touts a full-service bar and dinner service — can be easily arranged.

Only in Laughlin

With so many Vegas-esque things to do in Laughlin, you would think that it would come with a Vegas-level price tag — but that's not the case. When you look at weekend rates on, Laughlin rooms are considerably less than similar hotels in Vegas. And whether you're taking a family vacation or aiming for more of a wild friends' trip, all of those savings will come in handy, especially when you want to splurge on more food, drinks, or experiences.

When choosing what to do in Laughlin, it is highly recommended that travelers check out the stuff you'll only find there. For example, you can visit the world-famous London Bridge. And no, this doesn't involve getting on a plane and taking a quick jaunt across the pond. The British structure from the famous nursery rhyme was in fact falling down, so when the City of London made plans to tear down and rebuild the bridge in 1968, entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch purchased it and relocated it to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Now, guests of Laughlin can book a boat tour on the Colorado River to travel 58 miles down to the site where the bridge now resides. And along the way, you can get beautiful views of Topock Gorge, which is only accessible from the river.

Aside from all the unique things found in Laughlin, it's basically the perfect spot for those seeking a Las Vegas experience in a more laid-back, affordable environment.