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Las Vegas has the reputation of being a party city that never sleeps, filled with wild college students on spring break or young couples celebrating impending nuptials. While this reputation holds true in some respects, though, there are also ways to experience Las Vegas that involve a little less partying and fewer sleepless nights. All it takes is a little preparation ahead of time, and you can have a perfectly calm, relaxing vacation in what can really be one of the most spectacular cities on Earth.
One of our favorite things to do in Vegas is take a ride on the High Roller Observation Wheel. The wheel provides an exceptional view of the city, especially at night. You can purchase different experience packages, with the most basic just being a tame ride in one of the glass pods. If you would like to amp up the experience, however, you can upgrade to an open bar option for a reasonable fee. Naturally, this option will attract more of the young partygoers, but the views and drinks will certainly be worth it!
Naturally a trip to Vegas revolves largely around nightlife, but here too you can enjoy yourself without going wild. Whether you’re traveling with a significant other, a group of adult friends, or even solo, one nice evening activity could be as simple as a fancy dinner at one of the city’s innumerable fine restaurants. You can find pretty much any cuisine you want here, and in any price range, but it will probably be worth it to splurge a bit – at least for one meal. One of our favorite places to eat is the Forte, which serves Eastern European tapas – an unlikely combination that somehow works perfectly. Though there’s also something to be said for dining at an establishment run by a famous chef (and there are many in Vegas).
After dinner the natural move might be to head to a casino floor, but really this is becoming less and less essential as part of the Vegas experience. This is partly because of the city’s need to adjust to younger generations drawn to other activities, but is also a result of increasingly sophisticated online casino options. Though they exist primarily in the UK, these online games have made casino activity more ordinary, and made the Vegas experience less unique. So basically, don’t feel pressured to hit the casino floor! Instead, consider an alternative after-dinner activity like seeing one of Vegas’s famous shows. There are all sorts of options, but you really can’t go wrong with Cirque du Soleil.
Depending on how much time you have in the area, you may also consider taking a day trip from the city to enjoy some of the beautiful natural scenery the Southwest has to offer. Your closest option will be Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which is just a half hour’s drive out of town at most. Here there are over two dozen hikes of a variety of intensities, all of which provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. And if you have a little more time in the area, you may consider driving a little farther (just a couple of hours), to Death Valley National Park. Here you can experience some of the hottest temperatures in the country while staring up at snow-capped mountain ranges, making for a beautiful juxtaposition of scenery.
If you’d like to stay close by, meanwhile, another pleasant daytime activity could be visiting one of the city’s unique museums. If you’d like to have a unique interactive experience, be sure to stop by the Pinball Hall of Fame, home to the world’s largest collection of pinball machines. If you’ve ever seen the classic film Titanic, there’s a museum for that too, where you can learn about some of the terrifying moments experienced by passengers on board the ship. Other popular and quirky spots include the Neon Museum and the Mob Museum; you could honestly devote an entire day just to hopping between all the interesting exhibits in the city.
We hope that given these few recommendations, you won’t dismiss Vegas a place to have a perfectly mature and enjoyable vacation as an adult!