Seven Magic Mountains

I have been waxing poetically about things to see and do in Las Vegas for over four years now, yet there is never a lack of adventures and sites in my city! My latest must-see is a large-scale public art exhibition called Seven Magic Mountains that debuted this summer about 10 minutes south of the Strip. Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s massive, brightly painted boulders are free to visit and will be displayed for two years.

We visited on a Saturday morning in July. A rather warm day, I’d recommend a trip in the fall when the desert temperatures are cooler. I was lucky enough to hit the seven towers at the perfect moment to capture an image sans humans, and a patient photographer can most likely get the same shot. For more details about this vibrant art installation and driving directions, click here.

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Travel Photo of the Month: April 2015

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On a recent morning visit to Red Rock National Park, I captured several photos of my view. When I uploaded this iPhone shot to my computer, I was blown away by how gorgeous it turned out! This incredible view is only about 10 minutes away from where I live, so methinks I should head out to Red Rock and hike more!

Stunning Spring Day at Red Rock National Park

Stunning Spring Day at Red Rock National Park

Christmas on the Las Vegas Strip

Baby, it’s cold outside…especially in Las Vegas! Some people don’t think it gets cold in Sin City, but the desert weather gets pretty chilly in the winter. Right now, it’s 46º degrees…brrr! When the wintry weather arrives, there is no place like Las Vegas Blvd. to get into the Christmas spirit!

Our perennial favorite is the Bellagio, home of the Bellagio Conservatory and our favorite bar–the Petrossian. My fiance’ actually chose this spot to propose, as we come here at least five times a year to see the ever-changing seasons spotlighted at the Conservatory. I’ve even blogged about it before, and the best time of the year to stroll through the gorgeous atrium is holiday time! This year didn’t disappoint–imagine penguins, polar bears constructed of flowers, and a giant Christmas tree!

Another favorite thing to do in Vegas in the winter is ice skating! Several of the casinos, including the stylish Cosmopolitan and the Venetian, have outdoor ice rinks. We’ve enjoyed the one at the Cosmopolitan the last couple of years, as the rooftop pool converted to a rink makes this girl feel as though she is skating down the Strip! And even if you hate to skate, there are glorious fire pits and cold weather cocktails available.

Need some other December ideas for the Strip? There is the world record-breaking Great Santa Run each year in Downtown Las Vegas, lovely holiday shopping at Fashion Show Mall, and the Magical Forest at nearby Opportunity Village.

Las Vegas Like a Local

This past year, I have found myself spending quite a bit of time in the City of Sin. Usually during my once-a-year visits, I am about ready to leave Las Vegas two days after I arrive, yet lately, I’ve had the opportunity to see the city from a different vantage point. Here are a few of the more local places I’ve enjoyed visiting:

Polar Bear Celebrating Winter at Bellagio Conservatory

Polar Bear Celebrating Winter at Bellagio Conservatory

  • Bellagio Conservatory. I like to visit this breathtaking garden each season, and for a year now, I have celebrated summer, autumn, winter holidays, and the Chinese New Year among the exquisite blossoms. No trip here is complete without drinks and truffle popcorn at the Petrossian Bar.
  • Neon Museum. Casino and hotel signs of the past litter this “neon graveyard,” which advises an advanced reservation to tour. If you desire some flexibility during your time in Vegas, I’d also suggest:
  • The Mob Museum. This former U.S. Post Office is now converted into an absolutely fascinating collection, also known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. Learning about the city’s unique history with a twinge of scandal was riveting!
  • The Smith Center. An incredible art deco building houses Las Vegas’ premiere destination for the performing arts. I’ve been lucky enough to see three Broadway musicals here, the best of which being Billy Elliott. The next season looks promising, too, with performances of Les Miserables and The Book of Mormon.

    Red Rock Canyon

    Red Rock Canyon

  • Red Rock National Park. I love hiking at Red Rock Canyon, which boasts many trails with varying levels of difficulty. After the breathtaking views, I like to relax with a movie at Red Rock Casino or luxuriate by the pool at Red Rock Country Club.
  • Food!: Away from the Strip, both the Vintner Grill or Table 34 are packed with local diners, as well as the incredible Due Forni (soon to open in Austin, Texas!) and Lola’s – A Louisiana Kitchen.

So, next time you hit the moment of Vegas-style sensory overload, why not step away from the Strip and experience some of the other world-class entertainment and dining options that I’ve had the incredible opportunity to explore like a local? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and I just might, too, someday!