By Charissa Gruebel 

In a whirlwind of city lights and people and dreams soaring left and right in Vegas, you can do and be anything you want to be. Today was going to be a day of seeing what the Vegas area had to offer. Knowing we only had 24 hours there, what all could we possibly get in, in one day in this city? Busy schedules allowed for a flight into Las Vegas Airport (LAS) on Sunday, a day to explore on Monday and a flight home from LAS Tuesday. But when I tell you the ecstasy of an experience you can have in just one day there, you’ll be mind blown!

Let’s start with accommodations. Pick an Airbnb or a hotel with some height (at least four stories high) The view you will get from your staircase outside your door is unbelievable in and of itself. Have you been needing a new headshot for your Linkedin Profile (haha)? Step outside your hotel door, put that phone on portrait mode and BAH-BOOM! Epic shot with a skyline that will blow your mind. Ok, but don’t stay at your hotel too long, we have one day to explore Vegas! What all can we do?

First Stop,Valley of Fire State Park about 45 minutes northeast. Can we talk about Heaven? Literally 40,000 acres of bright Aztec sandstone nestled in a vast open space with many intriguing trails. Literally only a $10 entry fee, and you could spend a whole day in this oasis. But we are only going to spend two hours here because there is more to explore. Although while in the park you can’t help but stop at the cosmic colossal arch about four minutes in. Formed over many centuries by strong winds and rains slowly washing out their materials, these Aztec Sandstones are absolutely massive. The beauty before your eyes will completely mesmerize you! Take a moment while you’re in there to just take five deep breaths and think of what you’re thankful for and what you love. You’ll feel at peace knowing if the “Big Man” upstairs can take dirt and rocks and make something like this so immaculate, he can most definitely take care of you and make your story immaculate too. A great place to contemplate the infinite and enjoy inconceivable beauty.

Second Stop,Lake Mead about 30 minutes southeast from our previous stop. This is a BIZARRE story. So Lake Mead has an entire town 60 feet beneath it that was a Mormon township that got completely flooded out one day. They were literally sleeping and noticed the water filling up to their bed, etc. (I’m not going to go into that, that’s a little morbid.) So, now that there are water shortages in the state of Nevada and the water has obviously since gone back down from that downpour, you can now walk this mile and a half tranquil trail to this historic ghost town. There are literally the remnants of their old general store, their schoolhouse, their homes and kitchens that you can walk through, see and touch …it’s curiously extraordinary.

Third Stop, back into the City! The main Metropolitan area and the Vegas Strip are incredible, but you can’t go to Las Vegas and miss the Van Gogh portrait of a landscape so nearby first. Ok, we’re hungry! After tons of research, Tik-Tok videos, and friend referrals of trying to narrow down one fabulous eatery experience, we chose to go to Nacho Daddy on the Strip. OH. MY. WORD. Wow. The coolest vibe and aesthetics, fast service, and mouth watering, divine cuisine! After you eat, you have to hit up the MGM Grand slot machines—you can’t go to Vegas and not bring like $20 to play with at MGM, haha! The City never sleeps, and you can sleep on the plane ride home. Soak up the Mile Strip, see millions of colors and shows and people of all kinds. Sit on your balcony and soak up the skyline and the colors and the gentle sounds of the music and ambiance of the city.

If you haven’t been to Nevada, and you don’t have a whole lot of time, but you want to take some self care time with a best friend or two or with your spouse, Vegas is it. Half serenity and half serenades.

Happy Travels!

Handy Travel Notes:

– Make sure you bring a mask to the airport before going through security. They won’t let you past security without a mask.

– They require masks inside the casinos, but not while walking around outside. (They are literally so nice about it, it’s hilarious. They just smile and kindly hand you a wrapped new mask and keep walking if you’re indoors.

– The restaurants ask for you to wear them in the lobby, but you don’t have to wear one once sitting down at a table/booth.