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One of the best things about Las Vegas is its close proximity to other places. You don’t have to limit yourself to the hectic pace of the Strip with its 24/7 lifestyle. Instead, you can also find quieter venues to enjoy special holidays or even a retreat. You can go camping at one of the most beautiful State Parks in the world, stay at a casino/hotel that looks like a riverboat, be pampered at a luxury resort or stay at a B&B just outside town. Whether with family, pets, that special someone or as a group, there’s bound to be a great escape right around the corner.
Ravella at Lake Las Vegas
1610 Lake Las Vegas Parkway
Henderson, NV 89011
(702) 567-4700

Although Las Vegas feels worlds away, Ravella at Lake Las Vegas is located just 17 miles east of the the Las Vegas Strip. Here you can watch the fireworks on New Year’s Eve, and if you’re a local, you can also ask for the local discount. But most people go to Lake Las Vegas to visit MonteLago Village, with its ‘Old World’ feel and taste of Italy. Visit the shops and restaurants in the Village amidst cobblestone streets, historically inspired buildings, fountains and spectacular views of the lake. There are any number of restaurants to explore, such as Luna Rossa and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (for chocolate lovers). The mix of boutiques will appeal to everyone, especially collectors who enter Cathay Las Vegas. Auld Dubliner is the evening spot if you crave nightlife and a brew. As in any Italian village, you can enjoy an afternoon gelati at Tutti Gelati. So, whether you relax in the comfort of your room or venture out to explore the quaint beauty of MonteLago Village, your escape will refresh you and take you away from the hectic pace of Las Vegas. Between now and April 10, 2013, you can enjoy the stay plus breakfast for two adults and children under 12 at the Medici Restaurants for only $104 to $124.

Milo’s Inn at Boulder
534 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005
(702) 294-4244

Let your romantic getaway for two start at Milo’s Inn. A variety of suites can be found in this comfortable, luxurious, relaxed B&B in Boulder City. All rooms have special amenities including a double whirlpool tub with hand-held shower, private water closet and wine cabinet. The Bordeaux Hideaway has it all: a marble-lined shower and golden silk linens inspired by Bordeaux, France – the wine capital of the world. Other amenities include a private garden patio with pond and cascading waterfall, outdoor fireplace, gas log fireplaces in each room, full gourmet breakfasts, complete cable TV service, WiFi and Milo’s Cellar’s award-winning cafe and wine bar. So refresh, rejuvenate and relax at this little piece of paradise.

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The Resort on Mount Charleston
2275 Kyle Canyon Road
Las Vegas, NV 89124
(702) 872-5500

Mount Charleston is where Las Vegans go for the great escape. It’s only 30 minutes from the Strip but a world away in atmosphere. This is a rustic, relaxing, family- and pet-friendly hotel retreat high in the mountains of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The air is crisp and clean and the temperature is usually 20 degrees cooler than in Las Vegas. Mount Charleson Resort has suites with a view of the Spring Mountains and guests can enjoy dining at A Cut Above, a full-service restaurant. Best yet, there’s so much to do with hiking, skiing and snowboarding just minutes away at The Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort. You can also find romance and family packages here, and you won’t have to worry about finding accommodations for Fido while you’re away from home. Mount Charleston Resort frequently offers a locals-only rate during the week and even group room discounts.

Valley of Fire State Park
29450 Valley of Fire Road
Overton, NV 89040
(702) 397-2088

Winter camping is possible in Nevada because of our relatively mild temperatures, but remember your cold-weather camping gear or travel in style with your camper or RV. While the evenings get cold and the nights may dip below freezing, the days remain in the 50s to 70s, making hiking and other outdoor activities comfortable. The Valley of Fire get its name from “red sandstone formations formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs 150 million years ago.” Natural faults and uplifting formed the sculpted valley, which glows awesome shades of red when the rising and setting sun hits the rocks in just the right way. You can find excellent examples of 3,000-year-old Indian petroglyphs (rock art) and petrified wood here, which makes it a natural spot to explore and photograph. The park offers a full-scale visitor center with extensive interpretive displays, and there are a number of picnic sites, trails, camp sites and restrooms. You may see a roadrunner, coyote or even the rare desert tortoise on your visit. Just please respect the rules, the wildlife and the natural habitat if you choose to camp here. Pets are allowed. Note: there is a 14-day camping limit for each 30-day period.

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Colorado Belle
2100 S. Casino Drive
Laughlin, NV 89029
(877) 460-0777

Colorado Belle is totally unique. It is a resort/casino in the form of a 600-foot-long replica of a 19th-century Mississippi paddlewheel riverboat, situated on the west bank of the Colorado River. The “Belle” is home to Laughlin’s Boiler Room, Laughlin’s only award-winning micro-brewery and restaurant, three fine restaurants, free live entertainment, a fitness room, gift shops and a spa and salon. You will find a relaxing atmosphere, beautiful river views and friendly staff. The New Orleans and Bourbon Tower rooms are newly renovated and more inviting than ever. From standard hotel rooms to spa suites, you will have all the amenities you could possibly need to make your stay memorable. Each guest room features video on-demand, television with remote, high-speed Internet access and hair dryers upon request. The beautiful Spa Suites provide incredible views of the Colorado River or Nevada’s majestic mountain ranges. Keep Colorado Belle in mind the next time you’re looking to get away.

Sharon Damon is a preschool specialist, avid reader, passionate writer and creative baker/ cook. She moved from a small city in Canada to Las Vegas 6 years ago, to marry the love of her life, and has since been swept up in the whirlwind known as Sin City. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.