Venture to the Las Vegas Strip on a weekday, and you’re bound to see plenty of people wearing business suits and conference lanyards. Even if Sin City doesn’t seem like your kind of place, you might be surprised. Travelers will find a wide variety of activities here, many of which have nothing to do with drinking or gambling.
On the Strip
The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is currently showing the exhibit Warhol Out West, a look at selected works by the iconic pop artist. An audio tour takes guests through their journey and provides fascinating insights on the artworks, which range from screen prints to paintings to colorful Warhol-designed wallpaper. After you’ve explored the gallery, visit the Bellagio’s conservatory, a huge atrium near the lobby that holds a plethora of flowers and seasonal displays.
For shopping and dining on the Strip, visit the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. From Judith Lieber’s jeweled purses to designer shoes at Christian Louboutin, luxury shopping options abound in this indoor retail corridor. Dining isn’t hard to find here either: seek out Spago, Max Brenner Chocolate, Sushi Roku, or one of the other culinary options. After you’ve experienced the shops, walk outside to see reproductions of the Nike of Samothrace and the Trevi Fountain.
If you’re in the mood to try one of Vegas’ buffets, consider The Buffet at Aria or Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan. For a post-conference drink, check out Parasol Down, which overlooks the “Lake of Dreams” at the Wynn. Another option is to sit at the bar and enjoy a glass of wine and dessert at Tom Colicchio’s CraftSteak, located inside the MGM Grand.
Off the Strip
If you’re ready to venture off the Strip, downtown Las Vegas has plenty to offer. Take in a performance at the beautiful Smith Center, which features Broadway shows and concerts in an elegant atmosphere.
If fresh air is what you’re seeking, you’re in luck. You don’t have to drive far from Las Vegas to find outdoor adventures. Red Rock Canyon offers opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and rock climbing, along with a 13-mile scenic drive.
If you opt for an outdoor adventure, remember to consider your safety. Bring plenty of drinking water and snacks, wear sunscreen and a hat, and make sure you have a map. Also, it doesn’t hurt to tell someone where you’ll be going and what time they should expect you to come back.
Whether you’re in the mood for luxury shopping or an afternoon hike, you’ll find that Las Vegas is home to more than just the stereotypical Sin City activities.
Sarah Vernetti is a freelance writer who is in love with the American Southwest. When she isn’t writing, Sarah can be found researching her next trip or spending time outdoors. Visit her in cyberspace at @SarahVernetti or http://sarahvernetti.wordpress.com.