For years, I traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada, on business at least twice a year. Then, about the time that was winding down, our daughter and her husband moved out there, so we visited them once or twice every year until they moved on to Denver. But even with no real reason to go, we still got there occasionally just because it is so different and so alive.
Now we are waiting to get to the end of this pandemic so we can travel to Vegas once again. But it's not all noise and lights. If you know where to look, you can find quiet places in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It may seem like a contradiction in a city so full of noise and chaos, but there are several places in or near Las Vegas where you can find a little peace and quiet. For many people, a little bit of Vegas goes a long way. If we spent all our time on the strip or down on Fremont Street, we couldn't handle more than a couple of days. But you don't have to spend your entire time there in noisy casinos or walking among the chaos on Las Vegas Boulevard. We break up our casino and showtime with visits to these calm locations to rejuvenate our senses.
Knowing this need, many of the large hotels and casinos in Vegas offer quiet sanctuaries off the beaten path. And while some of them may not be as quiet as your local library, for Vegas, they are virtually silent. Some of these are out front and center, but others, you need to know about and seek out.
The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
This is located just off the main hotel lobby. It tends to be a bit crowded, but it is a charming oasis compared to the fountain show outside. The display is changed seasonally and is always full of unusual plants and colors. Even though it is just off the main lobby of one of the largest hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, it takes on an almost church-like atmosphere. Visitors tend to speak quietly and almost with reverence while inside. There are also a few small greenhouses containing a collection of orchids that is even quieter. If you are at or near the Bellagio and need a peaceful respite, just walk inside the conservatory.
The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
This 15-acre oasis is not only beautiful and serene but free as well. The beautifully landscaped tropical paradise is filled with lush plants and waterfalls and contains several species of birds, including a flock of, what else, flamingos. It is a bit noisier than the Bellagio conservatory, but it is much more serene than the din of the casino. But it's the visual peace that makes it unique. This calm, green oasis is a special treat after the sensory overload of flashing lights and slot machine screens.
The Waldorf Tea House
In the former Mandarin Oriental hotel, the Waldorf Astoria has created a quiet place up on the 23rd floor. Even though it has spectacular views of the strip, the tea house is dark, relaxing, and peaceful. It offers a traditional afternoon tea service every day and is an excellent place for a quick and quiet break. We made afternoon tea here a regular occurrence on most visits to Las Vegas, Nevada. It gave us new energy and a nice transition between day and night on the strip.
Museums and Exhibitions
There is much to do in and around Las Vegas that many visitors don't know about. Plenty of permanent museums are scattered around the city, some of which are right off the strip. And many of the hotels have revolving or semi-permanent exhibitions that will offer a variety from the same old sights and sounds.
The Jim Rogers Classic Car Museum on Dean Martin Drive has a massive number of classic and antique cars. The Bodies exhibit at the Luxor offers a great perspective of the inner workings of the human body. The Titanic exhibition is fascinating. You get to walk through the passageways and cabins of the doomed ocean liner. And at the end, you can check your 'ticket' and determine if you lived or died on the ship. Finally, the Shark Reef Aquarium offers you the almost tomb-like silence of most aquariums, where you can rest your eyes and mind watching the sharks and other fish.
Many of the hotels offer spas, and any one of them would be an excellent pampering retreat from the hubbub of Las Vegas. The Venetian has a Canyon Ranch Spa, which is very expensive and exclusive, so quiet and solitude are all but guaranteed. We have used Canyon Ranch Spas in other cities and can attest to the quality of the service. The Palms has the Drift Spa. Being a bit off the beaten path, this one may be even quieter. Beware, though, that the steam room is a co-ed experience.
Outside the City
If you have a car or want to rent one for the day, just get out of town for some peace and quiet. After all, Bugsy Siegel built the place in the middle of the desert. Forty miles to the east is Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, with a vast national park area. To the south, past Henderson, you can find the Sloan Canyon National Forest.
The closest place to go is just 14 miles west of the strip and just off the Beltway. The Red Rock Canyon National Forest is a beautiful park full of mountains, rock formations, and wildlife. It also offers endless hiking and climbing opportunities. We almost always pay a visit to the park.
Pro Tip: On the way to Red Rock Canyon, look for another park sign off to the right. This road will take you back to a very scenic and quiet location and doesn't cost anything.
A bit further north, you can find the massive Valley of Fire; sort of a Red Rock Canyon on steroids. Try to get there early in the morning for cooler temperatures and better photography.
Just south of the city, in Henderson, visit the Ethel M chocolate factory and cactus garden. This one-two punch of quiet is definitely worth the trip. First, tour the chocolate factory and try a few samples, then wander around the cactus garden and walk off the calories.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but you don't have to. If you need to get away from the lights and noise of the strip, find a quiet place for a few minutes or a few hours. There are a few calm and serene places in Las Vegas. Nevada