Stressed? These Las Vegas spots will help you relax to the max
Everybody’s had a hard year. Coronavirus, shutdowns, stay-at-home orders, masks, no masks, job losses, stimulus checks, fractured economy, George Floyd, police brutality, protests, gun violence, Supreme Court, Trump, Biden, close election—if 2020 keeps it up, Billy Joel might have to write a follow-up to “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” And nobody wants that. But more importantly, you’re in Vegas right now because you needed an escape. Yet somehow the noise followed you here, you’re stressed out and you’re now realizing you need a vacation from your vacation. Well, relax. Breathe. Slow it down. Not working? OK, then try this.
Although the morning air is brisk in November, by late morning the weather is mild, perfect for a mellow hike in Red Rock Canyon (redrockcanyonlv.org). The 13-mile scenic loop offers several entry points to short hikes, or you could simply drive through the loop and take in the beautiful landscape and sights. But plan your visit ahead of time—due to coronavirus precautions, the Bureau of Land Management has implemented timed entry reservations. If you’d rather stay on the Strip, however, head to Topgolf Las Vegas (4627 Koval Lane, 702.933.8458). Even if golf isn’t your game, there’s something meditative and calming about hacking away at golf balls. Play fun head-to-head games with friends, or go solo and let the balls fly.
No matter how busy it gets at Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden, it’s always tranquil. In this season’s display, Into the Woods, happy bears, playful foxes, a quaint treehouse and autumnal landscapes set the scene for a peaceful break from reality. Calming as it is, there’s possibly no better way to take it easy than to sit back with a stiff drink. Montecristo Cigar Bar (Caesars Palace, 866.227.5938) specializes in fine whiskies and classic cocktails, like the Manhattan and the Old-Fashioned, and it’s a sleek, elegant spot to contemplate. Sure, you can puff on a premium stogie, too, but if that’s not your style, it’s not required. If you’re looking for something less extravagant, head to Hazel Coffee and Cocktails (Mandalay Bay, 877.632.7700). Can’t decide between coffee or cocktail? Have the best of both worlds with the Espresso Martini.
It may not be good for your overall health, but nothing soothes the soul like comfort food. Indulge in hearty dishes like crispy Kansas City fried chicken or Memphis-style pork spare ribs at Virgil’s Real Barbecue (The Linq Promenade, 702.389.7400); transport yourself to a sandy beach on the Gulf Coast at Margaritaville (Flamingo, 702.733.3302), which is replete with fish tacos, jambalaya and, of course, margaritas; hang out at one of Vegas’ biggest backyard parties at Beer Park (Paris, 702.444.4500), where you can crack open a Budweiser and nosh on upscale bar food like chile verde nachos and the Big Kahuna burger; or, if you’re feeling fancy, Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak (The Mirage, 866.339.4566) serves up refined entrées like Tabasco-peppered American wagyu skirt steak and bone-in ribeye.
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