Please bare with me for a few minutes. I’ll be honest, I used to absolutely dread visiting Las Vegas. I used to come to sin city every year with my husband for his annual work convention and each year it’s the same old thing. Pool. Drink. Eat. Club. Repeat. This type of behavior was really starting to wear on me. I’m a yogi, I like to get my beauty sleep(at least 7 hours) and drink green juices. I crave exploration, nature, and culture.
I felt like an outsider. I was tired of laying by the pool. I don’t gamble because the last time I did I lost 100$ in under 5 minutes in a game of Roulette.
I vowed to myself that would never EVER happen again.
I can’t stand the smoke. I don’t party, at least not the way they expect you to party at the clubs in Vegas. Are you starting to see the disconnect? It was an easy decision for me to bypass the annual trips to Vegas. I had better things to do with my time.
This year my husband asked me to go to Vegas on a “partial” work trip. He told me he would only need a few hours for work and the rest of the weekend was in my hands. I liked the idea so I accepted the invitation. I was coming to sin city with a whole new perspective and an itinerary that included things that we actually both loved to do.
I was determined to get off the strip and explore Vegas beyond the glitz and glam and twinkling lights. To my surprise I found some really fun things to do in Vegas for couples that don’t revolve around drinking, gambling and partying. The extra planning and research resulted in a very exciting weekend getaway which I will happily recommend.
FUN THINGS TO DO IN VEGAS FOR COUPLES
First things first you’ll need to rent a car to get around the city.
The city is a breeze to navigate so you shouldn’t have any problems at all. Las Vegas does offer public transportation but it can only take you so far.
Visit Seven Magic Mountains
Visiting Seven Magic Mountains was easily one the the coolest Las Vegas attractions we visited. Approximately a 30 minute drive from the strip right along Interstate 18 are seven massive towers made up of stacked multi-colored neon boulders. The art installation is nestled in the desert and surrounded by a breathtaking mountain scene.
The exhibition totally exceeded my expectations and more, be sure to add this to the top of your Las Vegas itinerary. I’d suggest you visit early morning or just before sunset to beat the crowds.
The art installation was scheduled to be on display for two years ending in May of 2018 HOWEVER due to its popularity it will remain open until the end of 2018 so you’re in luck my friend.
Burgers & Shakes
Calling all milkshake lovers to Holstein’s! Las Vegas has quite a few extravagant dessert places to check out and milkshakes were at the top of my list. Holstein’s is known for some of the best burgers and shakes in the city!
We didn’t have the chance to indulge in a burger but they looked and smelled incredible!
We ordered the chocolate chip milkshake topped with oreo pieces. I recommend you split one of these bad boys because they are extremely large BUT extremely delicious.
As you can imagine it was heavenly. If you’re feeling a little adventurous try out their bam boozled milkshakes. I sort of regret not ordering the campfire smores one-it looked sooo good!
The restaurant is located inside the lovely Cosmopolitan Hotel with loads of great restaurants. We heard fabulous reviews about Eggslut (prepare for long lines), Beauty and Essex and STK. These are on my list for the next trip.
18b Arts District
The Las Vegas art district otherwise known as 18b consists of 18 walkable blocks full of art galleries, museums, funky shops and some of the coolest graffiti art I’ve ever seen. An area on the rise dominated with newly built luxury condos, ultra cool coffee shops and restaurants.
We had so much fun as we took a stroll back in time bouncing from shop to shop discovering some really interesting quirky vintage home decor and clothing stores! I can guarantee you’ll find a one of a kind gift or souvenir in this area.
Tip-The city also hosts a monthly art festival called First friday, which showcases local artists creativity. If you can plan your trip to be around the first friday of the month this would be neat activity to do.
Visit the iconic little white chapel
No trip to Vegas wouldn’t be complete without visiting the world famous little white wedding chapel with your sweetie! Famous stars such as Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Britney Spears and Michael Jordan were married here.
Be sure and look up at the beautiful ceiling when you walk through the tunnel of love and snap a pic of the hot pink Elvis Cadillac! Sure it’s a bit touristy but it won’t take up much of your time and bonus it’s really close to the art district!
Have breakfast at Craft Kitchen
We ventured out to Henderson for breakfast one morning at Craft Kitchen where the food is local, fresh and organic whenever possible. This establishment came highly recommended to me by a Las Vegas food blogger so we had to go.
Let me just say one thing, get the monkey bread!
If you’ve never had monkey bread before shame on you. Monkey bread is a delicate, often warm and sweet pull apart bread. But seriously this was hands down one of the greatest cinnamon pull apart bread I’ve ever eaten. Just look at that cinnamon glaze!
These guys totally know what they are doing in the bakery and they won two awards to prove it in 2017 for best brunch and best bakery from bestoflasvegas.com
Have dinner at Cleo, SLS Hotel
Like I said what keeps me coming back to Vegas is the food. I live in Chicago where the competition for the spotlight is fierce, if your restaurant can’t consistently produce good food you won’t last. I may be a bit biased but Chicago and fabulous food go hand in hand, after numerous visits to Vegas I have to admit it’s nearly on par with Chicago.
I am always amazed by the quality and creativity of the culinary industry of sin city and it was no different when we dined at Cleo restaurant. Once you step inside you’ve instantly confirmed your decision to eat here was a good one.
Moroccan tiles, velvet emerald green curtains, exquisite chandeliers and mouth watering aromas escaping from the central brick oven. My stomach was beginning to speak to me. Cleo specializes in contemporary Mediterranean cuisine, unique cocktails and a nice wine list. The food was beyond amazing, I’ll just go ahead and let the photos speak for themselves now.
What I love about the SLS restaurants is they offer a nice variety of dining options with a varied price range too! Sure there are pricy restaurants but there are some really affordable ones too. At Cleo we checked out around 100$ for a really kickass meal including a hand crafted cocktail for each of us, pretty reasonable. You don’t have to break the bank when you eat at the SLS hotel. Vegas is expensive but you can 100 percent have a few lovely meals here without fear of draining all your accounts.
See O by Cirque Du Soleil at the Bellagio
Another one of those obligatory Las Vegas attractions for couples that you absolutely must do while in Vegas is see an acrobatic show! I can’t say enough good things about O which entails aquatic acrobatics, synchronized swimming, clowns, comedy, and drama all in one.
It’s a sensory explosion that everyone should experience!
Explore the Valley of Fire
Do you ever get to a destination and think to yourself, why has it taken me so long to get there? That is exactly how I felt as soon as we entered the Valley of Fire State Park.
We spent most of the day weaving through the winding roads in absolute awe of the red Aztec sandstone formations. I immediately regretted not getting there sooner, we arrived at noon and the park closed at 5. :-/
We definitely weren’t going to make it out by sundown as I wanted to stop every 100 feet to capture a shot. I’m afraid my husband was getting a bit irritated with me as I wanted to stop so frequently. I was feeling so inspired with the landscape.
What’s really neat about the park is there are so many paths and points of interest which nicely breaks up the crowd-it felt as if we had the entire park to ourselves which was a nice breath of fresh air coming from the strip.
Weather in the valley of fire can be dangerously hot during the summer months. If you plan to visit during that time make sure you bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Cooler temps in the fall and winter months and warmer in the spring. Getting to the Valley of Fire from Las Vegas was super easy, hop on highway 15 and head North!
As I’m walking through the rocky paths I felt an incredibly deep connection to the Earth and made sure to give myself a few moments to honor the sensation I was feeling. I pondered about our planet, the million years old rocks, the petroglyphs and what life would have been like for those who inhabited this magnificent place.
We finished our journey with a sundown hike on the white domes trail closing out the day with an infinite feeling of joy and gratitude for this amazing planet we get to call home.
I still can’t believe I’m actually saying this but I’m pretty excited for our next trip back to sin city.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of fun things to do in Las Vegas for couples. Have you been to Vegas before? What are your thoughts on sin city?
Check out what to do over the weekend in San Francisco by The Social Tourist