After a year of being cooped up, nobody really needs any extra motivation to get out and stretch their legs.
Most of us pretend we’re enjoying these excruciatingly painful workouts. We no longer have to put 500 puzzles together only to find we are missing a few pieces. And what about the online study class you subscribed to so you could get rounder but forgot to quit and have now been billed for a few hundred dollars?
It’s time to leave those good times behind because an old friend is waiting.
Vegas is back baby
Last year at that time, the Las Vegas Strip was practically a ghost town. Empty. Zilch. No bells, no whistles. Casinos were closed. Pedestrian traffic had been replaced by families with bicycles. Even Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, a Vegas resident, was spotted pedaling on the famous boulevard.
While some resorts remain closed, some have returned to 80 percent capacity. The Cosmopolitan was given permission to open without restrictions.
Shows are returning to the entertainment capital of the world, as are high-priced hotel rooms. But there are still deals out there if you know where to look.
There are many things that most tourists do: play, eat, drink, and more, gamble. There are the fountains in Bellagio and the Mirage volcano. And the Mob Museum and the Neon Museum. And there are plenty of swimming pools.
But if you want to avoid some of your fellow travelers, especially the noisy, obnoxious ones, here are 10 places to visit.
Dino’s near downtown Las Vegas is a popular bar for would-be singers. Local karaoke singers come to the bar on weekends to sing their favorite music.
A neighborhood pub with the best karaoke in town. The bar also showed adult programs from the 1950s and 1960s on television while people sang and swayed to “Sweet Caroline”.
Flipper Hall of Fame
It used to be a well-kept secret from tourists, now it has a new location with hundreds of pinball machines from the late 1950s. No alcohol and no smoking. But nowhere else in Vegas can you do a quarterly roll for that long.
The Las Vegas Ballpark, home of the Triple-A Aviators, opened in 2019, about a 20-minute drive west of the Las Vegas Strip in downtown Summerlin.
Las Vegas Ballpark
It is a real gem. Watch future major league baseball players (the Aviators are the Triple A team for the Oakland A’s) play in one of the most beautiful venues of all sports.
Who knew you could visit Las Vegas and drive water and snow over and over again on the same day? Take a 45-minute drive from the Strip and you can escape the 110-degree weather and hike to an altitude of over 10,000 feet. There is a lodge and a restaurant where you can enjoy nature. If it wasn’t that hot, Valley of Fire, Red Rock Canyon, or even the historic railroad trail overlooking Lake Mead would be on this list in the summer.
The abandoned mining town of Rhyolite, Nevada, is on the border of Death Valley National Park.
From Joshua Trudell / Special on Express News
This ghost town, which has been around for five short years, is well worth the drive if you’re feeling a little adventurous and don’t mind the 200 mile round trip.
Herbs & Rye in Las Vegas.
Herbs & Rye
This local’s bar and restaurant have reverse happy hour (midnight to 3am) with lovely cuts of meat for late night meals. The cocktail menu is broken down by decades, so you can enjoy the classic drinks from the early 1900s like yesterday.
Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Located in the heart of the city, the nature reserve has nature trails and exhibits, a botanical garden, and is an all-round great place to take a break from the tumult of the Strip.
The Peppermill Fireside Lounge is a calming retreat (for the strip).
Peter Dasilva / NOW
It’s on the Strip, but it’s 100 percent old Vegas with fireplace sofas and cocktail nuts. Take care of your scorpion.
Shang Artisan Noodle on the edge of Chinatown west of the Las Vegas Strip
It’s always busy, but that’s because there are hundreds of restaurants and shops. Allow some time as there is always a line at Shang Artisan Noodle to enjoy fresh hand-cut noodles. Try the cucumber salad and pot stickers.
Ethel M chocolates and cactus garden
Located east of the Strip, a nice stroll through the cactus garden can help you forget any losses at the craps table. And the chocolate, well, enough said.
Dennis Rudner is a digital producer for Express News and has been based in Las Vegas for 20 years.