Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

(Mini) Annual Adventure


Matt and I have already been fortunate to take two big trips this year. First, we took a road trip to Big Bend and Marfa for spring break. Then we planned a two-week road trip from L.A. to Canada.

In August, we're both attending an educational conference in Las Vegas. It doesn't start until Monday, so we're going to get there late Friday night and have a few days of fun.

Here's the thing: We are not really Las Vegas people. Gambling? Not so interested. Neon lights? Could do without. Oppressive heat? We get enough of that in Houston. Night life? We usually go to bed around 11 and wake up early. I know; we're pretty boring.

So our plan is to rent a car and get out of Las Vegas for the weekend (since we'll have a week there anyway), but where should we go?

Please, kindred spirits in all of your infinite wisdom, give us advice about where we should go!



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24 comments:

Julia said...

Hi Sara! My mom has always raved about the Valley of Fire northeast of Las Vegas. I've never been but she loves it! Definitely worth visiting, I think. You can check it out here: http://parks.nv.gov/vf.htm

Kacey said...

Hoover Dam is not too far, and somewhat impressive.

Elsa said...

I've heard that the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon are worth the drive for a day trip.

Jessica said...

my parents went to Vegas and drove to a place called Red Rocks which they said was beautiful.

SMK said...

You can definitely make it over to Utah and visit one either Zion or Bryce Natl Park pretty easy! Years ago during a Vegas trip, we stole away and had a mini camping trip in Bryce smack in the middle! (Zion is closer but you can drive through Zion to Bryce, etc) They're both gorgeous parks!

DinaBear said...

The Valley of Fire is really incredible, I highly recommend it!

Have a great trip!

AKMilo43 said...

Hoover Dam is definitely closer than the Grand Canyon, but worth it for the drive if you're willing to spend the night there (for me, there is way too much to do at the Grand Canyon for a day trip, I've done a three day rafting trip that was really fun). You could always drive north to Area 51 and look for little green aliens!

Kristen said...

My dad lives in Las Vegas and I am not a Las Vegas person either. On one of my visits I decided to check out the thrift stores there, and OMG! The people in Las Vegas are as much thrift store shoppers as I am a high roller! It was a thrift store heaven for me, because there were so many great finds and they were so reasonably priced! So, even though it is not a trip outside of Las Vegas, I highly recommend Googling to see if there are any thrift stores near where you are staying and checking them out (if you are into that sort of thing). Have a great trip!

-Kristen

Laurel said...

The suggestions above are wonderful, but you want to consider that you are visiting in August, possibly the hottest time of year. I would like to suggest Mt. Charleston, which has the perks of being only an hour away, and is usually 20 degrees cooler than the desert. I have never been camping there, but I have been hiking there on several occasions. It's breathtaking!

stephanie said...

i've never been to vegas, but i've heard there's a graveyard of sorts for old neon signs which sounds kind of fun!

Kristin said...

Drive 20 minutes from the strip to Red Rocks Canyon! There's a beautiful loop drive with numerous hikes, and if you all are climbers there are both sport and trad climbs that are super fun and accessible. Bring tank tops and sunscreen though, it'll be super hot!

WilderMiss said...

I've done a canoe trip through Black Canyon (The canyon right below the Hoover Dam) a couple of times and it's to die for. It's only about 1.5 hours or so from Vegas and it's soooo "Not Vegas."

Ohhh..except it'll probably be way too hot for that in August in the dessert...well, at least for me. Because I'm Canadian. I've always done the trip in November.

caroline said...

Zion NP is one of my favorite hiking parks (and I have been to about 30). The Narrows is one of the top 3 hikes I have ever been on in my life, and Angel's Landing is a classic. And there is a great burger place in Springfield, and cute art shops!

Amanda said...

We went there for our honeymoon and I think spent maybe $10 gambling in the whole week :-p

You HAVE to go to Red Rocks. It's about 30 min or so outside of Vegas (at the most) and you can hike around on all of these mountains and trails, and there is a scenic driving trail too... That was our favorite place.

Also, we LOVED the breakfast buffet at the Paris hotel... So delicious!

Anonymous said...

Some great outdoorsy places, as many have mentioned are Red Rock Canyon (just west of Summerlin), Mt. Charleston (definitely to beat the heat - pretty short drive), and Zion and Bryce. Zion is closer and has some great hikes (Angels Landing is long and hard but worth it), but Bryce is absolutely breathtaking. Grand Canyon is a bit far for just the weekend, but Hoover Dam is pretty cool. The little town before you get there has some great brunch spots!

JenG said...

The Valley of Fire is incredible! That was my number one favorite part about my last trip to Vegas. And Hoover Dam is pretty interesting too. There are a lot of great shows to see in Vegas! My husband and I aren't gambling/nightlife/party people either. But we loved the Cirque du Soliel show Love. There are a lot to choose from!

SingColleen said...

Short Drive (about 45 min from The Strip): Valley of Fire (cool sandstone formations, in really vivid colors!) or Mount Charleston (beautiful high-desert, and usually in the 80s when the valley is in the 100s)

Long Drive (2-4 hours): Zion Natl Park (more sandstone and pretty vistas) or Grand Canyon (duh)

Elizabeth said...

If you have a lot of time, Zion or Bryce.

If you have just a day, the hot springs just south of the Hoover dam. Head to the dam from Vegas and just before the dam is a parking lot to the left. Pull in. Hike through the slot canyon to the Colorado. Turn left. Turn left again at the warm stream and follow it to the ladder up the water fall and the hot pools! Best escape from Vegas, ever.

Breezy said...

I don't consider myself much of a Las Vegas person, being that I don't really drink or gamble at all, but I've found myself there plenty of times as my fiance really does like the lights and craziness of the city and I've been able to entertain myself just fine. I can't say much about what is within driving distance, but I've spent a lot of time exploring the city looking for things to do, and these are some of my favorites:

Mystery Adventures - http://www.mysteryadventureslasvegas.com/ - Solve a murder mystery with strangers. (THe last time we went, we spent the evening with a couple from England, a couple from Australia, a few people from Canada, and some kids from Southern California.) $35/person w/ coupon from website.

Atomic Testing Museum - http://www.atomictestingmuseum.org/ - Really neat! We spent about three hours there, lots of good stuff to see. $12/person

LV Natural History Museum - http://www.lvnhm.org/ - $10, coupon for B1G1 free on website.

What Stephanie up there was talking about is the Neon Graveyard which is awesome, but sadly is closed for construction until 9/1. http://www.neonmuseum.org/ In the evening Fremont Street has a cool light and music show which I recommend to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Zion National park is just a hop skip and a jump away in Utah! It is gorgeous and my parents just went there on my recommendations and loved it also! It is close to Bryce national park and to Arches as well if you want to drive a bit more. I am not much of a vegas person and I LOVED Zion and Bryce!

miss dot melissa dot anderson at gmail dot com

Mia said...

I loved Zion and Bryce Park.
I don't know the others.
I prefer going not so far and enjoying a walk instead of riding a day long and juste "taking a look".

In Vegas, you can enjoy the nice swimming pools and read outside.
6 years ago the hotel in Vegas was one of the best we had for a very low price !

Sorry for the mistakes.

Nora said...

LAKE MEAD! Its so beautiful and the turquoise water against the dry gray landscape is incredible. Go kayaking! Or if you have time, make it over to ZION and hike the Virgin River Narrows, but please please please make sure you stick it out and make it to the top. Make sure you bring water proof shoes and a walking stick as the current can get strong. Have fun!

Tamar said...

we went to vegas last year and don't drink, smoke, gamble, or club. what we enjoyed was staying in a nice hotel (which we got for a deal on priceline) and also trying some great restaurants. some of the best chefs have places there and it's not hard to get reservations, which is fabulous.

bklyn76 said...

since you're going to save all that mone *not gambling*, *not clubbing*, etc...spend it on a helicopter tour of the grand canyon!

have a great time!

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