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Viva Las Vegas – The 11 Spots You Have to Visit (That Aren’t Casinos!)

Casinos may be your first thought when someone says Las Vegas, but Sin City has much more to offer. Find out all you need to know.

Las Vegas, Nevada, is famous for its casinos and nightlife. Luxurious hotels and casinos are the most exciting tourist spots in Las Vegas for many visitors. But you probably know that there’s more to see here than just neon lights and poker tables.

To begin with, there are natural resorts and cultural sites that you shouldn’t miss if you’re heading that way. Take a look at 11 of them that come highly recommended.

1. Death Valley

Death Valley

You can describe this national park with many superlatives. After all, it’s one of the largest national parks in the US and with temperatures that span the highest and the lowest.

For instance, the Badwater Basin salt flat lies 86 meters below sea level. To enjoy the spectacular views to the fullest, take a ride through the desert hills and climb to Dante’s View terrace above the Badwater Basin.

2. Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon

Photographers will fall in love with the Red Rock Canyon. It’s a half-hour drive from the city center, and there are plenty of panoramic views and hiking trails to take your breath away.

Make sure to stop by the visitor center and see the endangered desert tortoise. There are only dozens of them in this conservation area.

3. Fountains of Bellagio

Fountains of Bellagio

The Bellagio hotel and casino is one of the top tourist locations in Las Vegas. But it’s actually several attractions in one. For a start, it’s home to the art gallery and the famous fountains of Bellagio out front.

Since the fountains are right off the Las Vegas Strip, you don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy this treat for the eyes and ears. The dancing water is visible from the sidewalk and people line up alongside it at every showtime.

4. Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens Bellagio

Speaking of the Bellagio, there’s something else you should visit there. The Botanical Gardens are right across the hotel reception desk. It’s perfect for a dash of fresh air among all those city lights.

The gorgeous floral arrangements and ponds are looked after by a large team of specialists and visitors will surely be left in awe.

5. Caesar’s Palace

Caesar’s Palace

Another Las Vegas hotel and casino, Caesar’s Place is one of the top places to visit in Las Vegas. And it’s not just for the casino. It’s enormous and full of impressive architecture and design you’ll want to see for yourself.

It’s one of the city’s go-to places if you’re looking for entertainment. In fact, many of the world’s most famous artists, including Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Tom Jones, and Cher, have performed here.

6. Stratosphere Tower

Stratosphere Tower

Would you like to experience the feeling of being on top of the world? Visit the Stratosphere Tower. It’s the tallest building in Las Vegas and offers a spectacular panoramic view of the city beyond the strip.

Check out the observation deck and enjoy the scenery. Beyond that, this 1,149ft tower also caters to adrenaline junkies with the SkyJump and Insanity rides.

7. Discovery Children’s Museum

Discovery Children’s Museum

Las Vegas businesses and leaders have worked hard to make it a family-friendly destination. And it’s clear to see for all who visited the city in this century. So if you’re traveling with children, the Discovery Children’s Museum might be of interest to them.

The Museum covers three floors featuring plenty of fun and educational stuff to do. For instance, your children can learn about physics and ecology at the Eco-City and Water World. There’s also a practical aspect to this museum in the form of invention-making and experiments.

8. Springs Preserve

The Springs Preserve

There’s a beautiful natural resort for the whole family to relax and have fun and it’s only three miles out of downtown. The Springs Preserve sits on the city’s original water source, which you’ll learn about later.

Ecology is the focus here and the preserve can teach you many interesting things about sustainability. Animal lovers are also in for a treat, as they will enjoy watching the snakes, rabbits, tortoises, and other inhabitants of the resort.

9. Flamingo Wildlife Resort

Flamingo Wildlife Resort

Sin City is also home to the world’s favorite pink bird. The pleasant oasis in the middle of town is one of the best tourist attractions in Las Vegas, and you simply must see it.

The Flamingo Wildlife habitat is a stretch of beautiful and refreshing scenery with waterfalls and tropical foliage. You can see different species of birds and fishes at this resort. Best of all, entrance is free.

10. High Roller

High Roller Ferris Wheel

Are you afraid of heights? If not, you’ll enjoy a ride on the High Roller Ferris Wheel. Located on the Linq Promenade, the Roller is 550 feet tall and takes half an hour to travel a full rotation. Each of the cabins can hold up to 40 visitors at once.

Day or night, the view from the Ferris wheel is spectacular, so don’t forget to take a few photos from your capsule.

11. Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

Within a reasonable range of the city is an extraordinary example of 20th-century engineering. If you don’t mind taking a drive, head to the Hoover Dam to find out how it managed to tame the wild Colorado River. There are also organized tours that visitors to the dam for those who don’t have a vehicle.

This art-deco-styled construction created the entirely manmade Lake Mead. It’s the largest water reservoir in the country by water capacity. If you were wondering about Springs Preserve (attraction #8) and Las Vegas’s original water source, here’s your answer. Lake Mead supplies close to 90% of the city’s needs today.

Las Vegas Rocks!

If you do your research correctly, you’ll discover how many magical places this city hides.

Do you prefer the sparkly side and constant city buzz? Or do you want to visit the jaw-dropping natural attractions and nearby tourist spots? In Las Vegas, you can do everything you set your mind to.

It’s a city where everything’s possible, and you don’t need to enter a casino to know that it’s the truth.

Hawaii

Most Stunning Beaches in Hawaii

Hawaii

The Most Stunning Beaches in Hawaii You Need to Visit

Hawaii, a tropical paradise known for its breathtaking beaches, offers an idyllic escape for travelers seeking sun, sand, and surf. Each island boasts its own unique coastline, with beaches that range from serene and secluded to lively and bustling. Whether you’re looking to relax under swaying palm trees, explore vibrant marine life, or catch some waves, Hawaii’s beaches have something for everyone. Here’s a guide to some of the most stunning beaches you need to visit in Hawaii.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu

Waikiki Beach is perhaps the most famous beach in Hawaii, and for good reason. Located in Honolulu, this bustling beach offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and urban excitement. With its golden sands, gentle waves, and iconic Diamond Head crater backdrop, Waikiki is ideal for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The area is also lined with luxury resorts, restaurants, and shops, making it a perfect destination for those who enjoy a vibrant beach scene.

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Lanikai Beach, Oahu

For a more tranquil experience, head to Lanikai Beach on the windward coast of Oahu. This hidden gem is often hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With its powdery white sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and scenic views of the Mokulua Islands, Lanikai is perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. The calm, shallow waters make it an ideal spot for families and those looking to unwind in paradise.

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Hanauma Bay, Oahu

Hanauma Bay is a must-visit for snorkeling enthusiasts. This protected marine life conservation area is home to vibrant coral reefs and a diverse array of marine species. The bay, formed within a volcanic cone, offers calm waters and excellent visibility, making it easy to spot colorful fish and sea turtles. Hanauma Bay is a popular spot, so be sure to arrive early to secure a parking spot and enjoy the pristine underwater world.

Ka’anapali Beach, Maui

Ka’anapali Beach, located on Maui’s western shore, is a stunning stretch of golden sand that has something for everyone. This beach is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. The nearby Black Rock is a favorite spot for cliff diving and offers excellent snorkeling opportunities. Ka’anapali Beach is also home to several world-class resorts, golf courses, and shopping centers, providing plenty of activities and amenities for visitors.

Wailea Beach, Maui

Wailea Beach is another gem on Maui, known for its luxurious ambiance and pristine beauty. This crescent-shaped beach boasts soft, white sand and calm, azure waters. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. The area is surrounded by upscale resorts and lush gardens, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing, high-end beach getaway.

Poipu Beach, Kauai

Poipu Beach on the south shore of Kauai is a family-friendly destination with a diverse range of activities. The beach is divided into several sections, each offering something unique. The shallow, protected waters of Poipu’s “baby beach” are perfect for young children, while the main beach area is great for swimming and snorkeling. Poipu Beach is also a fantastic spot for whale watching in the winter months and has a nearby park with picnic areas and playgrounds.

Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Hanalei Bay, located on the north shore of Kauai, is a breathtaking bay surrounded by lush mountains and waterfalls. This two-mile stretch of sandy beach is ideal for a variety of activities, including swimming, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. The tranquil atmosphere and stunning scenery make Hanalei Bay a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The charming town of Hanalei, with its quaint shops and eateries, adds to the bay’s allure.

Hapuna Beach, Big Island

Hapuna Beach, situated on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, is one of the island’s largest white sand beaches. Known for its consistently good weather and clear waters, Hapuna Beach is perfect for swimming, boogie boarding, and snorkeling. The beach’s gentle slope into the ocean creates ideal conditions for both novice and experienced swimmers. With ample facilities and picnic areas, Hapuna Beach is a great spot for a fun-filled day by the sea.

Read More: Where to Stay in Oceanside, California

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Big Island

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach offers a unique and unforgettable experience. This striking beach, located on the southeastern coast of the Big Island, features jet-black sand created by volcanic activity. The contrast between the dark sand, turquoise waters, and green coconut palms creates a stunning visual spectacle. Punalu’u is also a haven for green sea turtles, which can often be seen basking on the shore. While swimming can be challenging due to rocky conditions, the beach is perfect for picnicking and exploring.

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Conclusion

Hawaii’s beaches are more than just beautiful stretches of sand; they are gateways to adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re exploring the bustling shores of Waikiki, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, or marveling at the unique black sand of Punalu’u, each beach offers its own slice of paradise. Pack your sunscreen, grab your beach gear, and get ready to discover the most stunning beaches that Hawaii has to offer. Aloha!

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Trip Ideas

Best Parks and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, isn’t just a historic gem with its cobblestone streets and antebellum houses; it’s also a city brimming with lush parks and vibrant gardens. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these green spaces offer a perfect escape to nature. Here’s a roundup of the must-visit parks and gardens in this charming city!

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Established in 1676, Magnolia Plantation is one of the oldest public gardens in America. Stroll through the romantic gardens, take a guided tour of the planatation house, or hop on a boat tour to explore the Audubon Swamp Garden. The camellias, azaleas, and wisteria are especially breathtaking in the spring.

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Middleton Place Known for its meticulously maintained 65-acre garden, Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark. The terraced lawns, reflecting pools, and centuries-old camellias create a stunning backdrop for a leisurely walk. Don’t miss the stable yards and the House Museum to complete your visit.

Battery and White Point Garden Located at the southern tip of the Charleston Peninsula, this park offers stunning views of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor. Wander among the oak trees, historical monuments, and cannons. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic with a picturesque setting.

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Hampton Park With its grand oak trees and colorful flower beds, Hampton Park is one of Charleston’s largest and most beautiful parks. Enjoy a jog or a leisurely bike ride on the paths, or simply relax in the shade with a good book. The park’s pond and fountains add to its serene atmosphere.

Cypress Gardens Located just outside Charleston in Moncks Corner, Cypress Gardens is a hidden gem. Explore the blackwater bald cypress/tupelo swamp on a flat-bottom boat or walk the trails around the garden. The Butterfly House and Swamparium are also highlights for nature enthusiasts.

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Charleston Waterfront Park Stretching along the Charleston Harbor, this park offers scenic views and a refreshing sea breeze. The famous Pineapple Fountain and the long pier are perfect for a relaxing stroll. It’s also a great spot to catch a sunrise or sunset over the water.

Theodora Park This small but charming park is located in the historic Ansonborough neighborhood. It features a beautiful reflecting pool, artistic benches, and plenty of shade. It’s a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city, ideal for a quiet afternoon.

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Charleston’s parks and gardens are not just places to see – they’re experiences to savor. Whether you’re looking for a quiet retreat, a place to exercise, or a spot to enjoy some history and nature, Charleston has something to offer. So pack a picnic, grab your camera, and explore the green spaces that make this city so special!

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Trip Ideas

Affordable Summer Vacations: Explore Gatlinburg!

Downtown Gatlinburg

Are you looking for a budget-friendly summer escape that combines the charm of small-town America with the stunning beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains?

Well, look no further than Gatlinburg, Tennessee! This quaint little town is bursting with fun activities, breathtaking scenery, and cozy spots perfect for a romantic getaway. So, grab your sweetheart, pack your bags, and let’s dive into the magic of Gatlinburg!

Stroll Through Downtown Gatlinburg

First things first, take a leisurely stroll through downtown Gatlinburg. The main strip is packed with quirky shops, delightful eateries, and unique attractions that’ll keep you entertained for hours. Pop into the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen to watch candy being made the old-fashioned way—trust me, it’s a sweet experience (pun totally intended). Don’t forget to grab a couple of taffy pieces for the road!

Feeling peckish? You and your special someone can indulge in a hearty Southern meal at one of the many charming restaurants. Try out the Pancake Pantry for breakfast; their pancakes are legendary. If you’re in the mood for something savory, Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que serves up mouthwatering ribs that will leave you licking your fingers.

Read More: 10 Very Best Things To Do In Gatlinburg

Experience the Great Smoky Mountains

You can’t visit Gatlinburg without exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s right at your doorstep, offering a myriad of trails for all skill levels. Lace up your hiking boots and venture to Laurel Falls for an easy yet stunning hike. The waterfall at the end is the perfect spot for a romantic photo op.

For a bit more adventure, drive up to Clingmans Dome. The highest point in Tennessee, it offers panoramic views that are simply out of this world. On a clear day, you can see for miles and miles, making it a breathtaking backdrop for some quiet moments together.

Read More: Six Family Activities in Gatlinburg

Ride the Gatlinburg Skylift

If hiking isn’t quite your thing, or if you’re just looking to relax, hop on the Gatlinburg Skylift. This scenic ride takes you up Crockett Mountain, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the town and the lush mountains surrounding it.

At the top, you’ll find the SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Walking hand-in-hand across this bridge with the mountains as your backdrop is nothing short of magical.

Explore Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Who says aquariums are just for kids? Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is an underwater wonderland that will captivate visitors of all ages. Walk through the underwater tunnel as sharks and rays glide gracefully overhead.

It’s a truly immersive experience that’ll make you feel like you’re diving in the deep blue sea without getting wet.

Enjoy a Taste of the Local Spirits

For those who enjoy a little tipple, Gatlinburg has got you covered. The town is famous for its moonshine, and there are plenty of distilleries where you can sample this traditional Appalachian spirit.

Ole Smoky Moonshine and Sugarlands Distilling Company offer tastings and tours. Sip on a variety of flavors, from classic corn whiskey to fun options like apple pie and blackberry. Cheers to a memorable vacation!

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Cozy Cabins and Breathtaking Views

End your day in one of Gatlinburg’s cozy cabins, which are surprisingly affordable, especially when compared to big-city hotels. Imagine snuggling up by the fireplace with your loved one or soaking in a hot tub under a starry sky.

Many cabins come with stunning mountain views, providing the perfect backdrop for some relaxation and romance.

Read More: 3 Days in Nashville: The Ultimate Nashville Itinerary

Pack Your Bags and Fall in Love with Gatlinburg!

So, there you have it—a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and romance, all without breaking the bank. Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a hidden gem that offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Whether you’re wandering through charming downtown streets, exploring the natural beauty of the Smokies, or simply enjoying each other’s company in a cozy cabin, you’re sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

So what are you waiting for? Gatlinburg is calling, and you won’t want to miss out on this enchanting summer adventure! 

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