Mixing Business and Pleasure: Quick Escapes in Las Vegas

by  Darren Murph | Jan 22, 2013
Aerial view of the Las Vegas strip
Aerial view of the Las Vegas strip / f11photo/iStock

Las Vegas never sleeps, and one could argue that its convention centers are never closed, either. Sitting at the top of the heap in terms of available hotel rooms for conference goers, Sin City remains a top destination for business (and leisure, for that matter) travel. You already knew that the city offered plenty beyond meeting rooms, but I'm here to give you a few options that the folks around the water cooler may be unaware of. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of southern Nevada, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

While I generally try to recommend local eateries, I can't overlook a quasi-local one here in Las Vegas. For a quick pre-meeting breakfast (or an early lunch, perhaps), do your stomach a favor and stop by Hash House A Go Go. It's a wild name, matched only by the mythical dishes offered here. Some of the offerings present you with enough food for a family of four, and you can count on some of the most eclectic and scrumptious breakfast dishes this side of Pluto. And remember: chicken and waffles are a match made in heaven.

If you're looking for something relatively close to the Las Vegas Convention Center, Peppermill is a solid bet. Regardless of whether you're in need of a stiff cup of coffee at 4:00AM, or you're looking for a pinch of old Vegas during an evening dinner, this place delivers. The style is quirky without being audacious, and what matters most -- the food -- is consistently delicious.

Assuming you've already "done" The Strip, I'm going to recommend two of my favorite locales near Las Vegas. Each requires a rental car, but being that Las Vegas is home to some of the world's cheapest automobile rental rates, you have little little excuse not to pick one up. The first is a quick half-hour drive to Lake Las Vegas, where you'll promptly leave the hotels, casinos, and neon behind. Instead, you'll find seemingly endless mountains and desert landscape ahead of you, and I'd strongly recommend paying the nominal fee to enter Lake Mead National Recreation Area. If you don't have much time, just drive in and take the first hike you see. Even a short climb up onto a mountain provides unrivaled desert views that will soothe the soul.

If you're interested in truly discovering another side of southern Nevada, head northwest for just under an hour until you reach Mount Charleston. It's a beautifully bizarre sight. In the winter months, you're almost guaranteed to see snow, and in the summer, you'll find temperatures that are mercifully around 20 to 30 degrees cooler than what you'll experience in Las Vegas. There's plenty of hiking to be found here as well, but the ample roadways enable visitors to capture plenty of excellent memories by simply rolling down their window every so often.

After you've explored the magic that sits sjust outside of the city's limits, top off the work week with a stop at Grape Street Cafe. It's a delightfully simple place crammed into a city that thrives on pizzazz, with over 80 wines served by the glass.

Whatever you do, don't end up on Las Vegas Boulevard the night before your early morning flight.

This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?

See our Las Vegas destination guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights.

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