Off the strip: The 5 most romantic outdoor adventures in Las Vegas
Las Vegas offers several ways for travelers to escape the crowd and enjoy a memorable romantic getaway in the beautiful desert oasis surrounding the Strip. Here are five charming ideas for couples willing to roam away from Las Vegas Boulevard for a unique romantic experience.
1. Have a Sunrise Breakfast in a Park
Hit the road in the pre-dawn light to Valley of Fire State Park, located less than an hour from Vegas. With its striking red landscapes, 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs and seemingly untouched terrain, Nevada’s oldest and largest state park is the perfect place to see the sun rise. Whether you choose to watch the Mojave magic unfold at Rainbow Vista, Crazy Hill, Fire Wave or Elephant Rock, breakfasts don’t get much more romantic than this.
2. Float Above the Strip
Take your date to new heights with Vegas Balloon Rides, which soar up to 2,500 feet above the Strip and beyond to the striking Red Rock Mountains. Throughout the hour-long trip, you’ll feel like you’re flying over the moon, drifting along ashen ridges, and experiencing a perhaps unexpected sense of peace and quiet. After traveling approximately seven miles, you’ll touch down and enjoy a champagne toast.
3. Hike to a Secret Waterfall
Less than a 30-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a verdant sanctuary few tourists know about. Inside, past russet-colored buttes and wild burros grazing in the Nevada bluegrass, you’ll follow the easy three-mile First Creek Waterfall trail to a hidden glen. There you’ll find a shaded pool in the middle of the desert – a perfect place to have a picnic, go for a refreshing dip and revel in an unusual retreat that’s all your own for the moment.
4. Bike Through a Canyon
Escape Adventures offers half-day bike trips at $129 per person along the Mustang Trail in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The outing includes shuttle service from the Strip to the singletrack (only 30 minutes away), where you will be given water, full suspension mountain bikes, a helmet and orientation by an expert guide before you and your date begin pedaling onto the beginner-friendly trails. Along the adrenaline-pumping, seven-to-12-mile route there are no cars or crowds – just cacti, wild rhubarb, dune primrose and panoramic views of spectacular rock gardens.
5. Go Star Gazing
Perhaps more dazzling than a casino winning streak is the view of the night sky at the Cottonwood Valley or Late Night trailheads in Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, where the constellations are particularly eye-popping. Just 20 minutes from the bright lights of the Strip, you can follow the 13-mile Red Rock Canyon Scenic Drive for a mesmerizing star-lit joy ride (consider downloading the helpful Sky Map app, and bringing a blanket and cannolis from Carlo’s Bakery for added coziness), or join the Las Vegas Astronomical Society, which offers an Astronomy in the Park series that includes a presentation, laser-guided tour and telescope viewing. Also, about 40 minutes from Las Vegas, Mt. Charleston hosts free, Friday night hikes with a trained naturalist, who will share fascinating insights about nocturnal animals and celestial navigation.
After all that outdoor activity, you’ll be ready to slow down and relax. Whether you’ll want to book an in-suite couples massage or recline with a poolside cocktail, there are endless ways to unwind and indulge at one of several IHG® hotels or all-suite resorts in Las Vegas.