Trade shows are a year-round extravaganza of hard work, setting up, taking down, networking, and planning. As the fall comes around and we dive into January, it seems that the season ramps up a little bit, especially in the bright strip of the desert: Las Vegas. Vision Expo West and PACK EXPO in September, NBAA – BACE in October, VIVA – Vascular Interventional Advances show in November, and of course, CES (Global Stage for Innovation) in January, to list a few. There are so many trade shows in Las Vegas throughout the year in fact, the robust list online seems never-ending.
That’s why we wanted to take a moment for a virtual deep breath and put together a list of ways to relax in Vegas if you’re staying longer for fun or have a spare moment to take a break. It’s crucial to find an outlet of energy and recharging during trade show work, so here are a few ways you can turn the Strip into a relaxing playground. Consider this our way of saying, “Happy Trade Show Season! Now, enjoy.”
Take a Breezy Drive to the Red Rock Canyon
About 20 minutes outside of the city, sits Red Rock Canyon. This is stock full of 30 different hikes and trails twirling through gorgeous layered limestone and sandstone mountains. It’s a breathtaking standout and a great option for an evening hike when the desert cools down. If you have an early day for set up or take down, this will be a great option to wind down with a fresh breeze and the smell of a desert juniper bush. If you don’t have time to make the drive, the rock-climbing wall inside the Canyon Ranch spa at The Venetian works, too. That’s $29 a person.
Some other options for solid out-of-the-strip Vegas hikes? Valley of Fire State Park and Mount Charleston.
Revel in the Old Vegas that is The Neon Museum
This is a great afternoon (or post happy hour) activity. The Neon Museum is now home to the old and sunburnt signs from memorable casinos and businesses displayed outdoors (also fondly known as the Neon Boneyard). Faded pink light bulbs and bright faces will light up the path of the museum, about the size of a used car lot. Why is this a great option for relaxing? You will feel removed from the buzz of the strip and the casual ease that is walking through history.
Take a Breather in the Fresh (Sometimes People-Free) Grounds of the Tropicana
The grounds at the Tropicana are beautiful and refreshing and calm. Not many people think of them (especially since most of Vegas is full of gamblers, partiers, foodies and shoppers). So, it’s a great place to pick up a snack and enjoy in the peace and quiet during a quick lunch break. The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat is a good alternative if you want to wander those eccentric grounds instead.
Sip Some Afternoon Tea at the Mandarin Oriental
The Mandarin Oriental’s tea lounge in the afternoon hours is the emotional equivalent to a cat napping in the sunshine. It’s a quiet setting and serves tea daily. You can pair your tea with signature scones (served with imported Devonshire clotted cream) or smoked salmon sandwiches and assorted tea pastries. The history (and the rest of the menu) is really quite charming.
Have Your Morning Coffee at the Mystic Falls Atrium
The Mystic Falls Atrium is a great alternative to the Bellagio Conservatory. There are little benches you can sit on throughout and it’s a lot less crowded. Quick note: be sure to test this spot out when the Mystic Falls Laser Light Show isn’t going on (you’ll beat the crowds). So, this is typically a solid spot to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning instead.
Buy a Book at Bauman’s Rare Books
Who doesn’t love a good read in Vegas? If you’re looking for a few hours to simply relax in the hotel room, hit up Bauman’s Rare Books first. Bauman’s is the only bookstore on the Strip (we know, wild) and will remind you of an Ivy League school library rather than an urban book oasis. That way, you’ll have a few good books for the plane ride home!
Take a Foodie Break at Dona Maria’s
If you’re the foodie type, we’ve heard some good things about Dona Maria’s in downtown Las Vegas. If you have a chance to get away from the trade show for a lone-dinner (or with colleagues) take a note from this delightful Mexican cuisine. Their tamales are the signature dish, and not to be missed. Pair them with a frozen margarita and a bowl of fried ice cream to reach full decadency.
Find Peace in The Linq’s “Silent” Rooftop Yoga
There are a lot of spots on the Strip to hit up yoga, but if you want something especially unique – take it to The Linq. Everyone gets soundproof headphones that are synced to the same instructions – which are pretty honest: tune in and drop out.
Seek Out the Peaceful Luxury Pool Moments
If you’re lucky enough to have an entire afternoon, find a chill pool. There are not too many relaxing pool situations on the Strip, but you have options. The Four Seasons is great for some breezy, laid back luxury. The Aria and Caesar’s Palace have private pools (versus their sloppy-fest party pools). The cabanas at The Wynn are a lovely alternative as well.
Now, do you feel relaxed reading this? Then we’re making the right Vegas planning moves! Your trip to the Strip during busy trade show months doesn’t need to be a stress-driver. Take a quick afternoon or evening after all the work is done and deep-breath your way through the week.
If you’d like to connect with one of us at STAR while you’re at the trade show, or anytime, (we’re always down for high noon tea!) please leave us a message here.