Last November, I went to Las Vegas with my best friend, her mom and aunt, and a few of her friends. It was nothing like I expected. I loved it.
My preconceptions about sin city was that it was gristly, shady, probably dirty, and dark. I’m sure that you don’t have to go too far to uncover areas like this within the city-limits, but the impression I got from being there for five days was that it was more of a vibrant, adult theme park. And I am very, very pro theme park.
Another aspect to this trip that I think proved it to be favorable in my opinion was that I don’t think we really did the conventional “Vegas” trip. We stayed in the Venetian, which absolutely aced the exaggerated faux-mise-en-scène-esque ambiance that theme parks are so good at emulating, but we didn’t gamble, we were light on the shows, and we didn’t treat ourselves to exorbitant meals or drinks. What I really loved, is that we mixed our own vodka-tonics from our room, browsed the strip, exploring all the striking architecture and exhibits the city had to offer, and then we hopped in a car and drove an hour outside of the city and into the desert.
I know leaving the strip isn’t what most people have in mind when they consider a Vegas vacation, and if I did it all over again I’d probably go see a few more shows, but I honestly highly recommend it.
I had never hiked in the desert before I visited Nevada, but in my personal experience you feel like you’re on a different planet. I’m typically used to lush greens over dry reds, but the landscape wasn’t deficient of rich, outstanding colors and the sheer scale of the rocks that we were climbing up and around were pretty staggering too.
We went to Red Rock Canyon, which was about forty-five minutes west outside of the city, and then the next day we went to the Valley of Fire, which is about an hour north-east of the city, and then drove along a strip back that brought us along-side Lake Mead. We were pretty close to the Hoover Dam and if I did it again, I’d definitely drive a few miles out of the way to fit that in as well.
I would definitely recommend Vegas to anyone interested in going, but I’d also advise anyone to get out of the city a little bit and see what the real world has to offer. Vegas is great, but it’s entirely fabricated. I feel like you don’t ever get the real experience unless you’re willing to get outside of the bubble the tourism industry creates for revenue and go exploring.
I always recommend exploring.