Tourist First

Travel notes and advice from around the world. Above, the daily flight from Managua at the San Carlos, Nicaragua, airstrip.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nevada: Nights in Vegas, Days in the Mountains and Desert

You've probably heard that Nevada has been hit harder than most states in the current economic downturn. It's not just the housing market -- it's everything.

And just as bad news for a foreclosed homeowner can be good news for a home buyer, the slowing of Las Vegas tourism is good news for anyone who goes there now.

Everything that anyone goes to Vegas for is still there -- the casinos, the shows, the spectacle and the amazing desert wilderness outside town.

It's not hard to find hotels deals. In addition to the usual suspects like, take a look at, which offers all sorts of tips for holiday and other trips to Vegas. For example, there are some holidays that don't attract many visitors at all --Thanksgiving, for one -- and that's when you can get the best deals.

If you go to Vegas, don't spend all your time in a windowless casino. Did you know there's skiing nearby? Check out And there are a number of companies that offer ATV excursions and other activities in the desert. If you're interested in hiking, you probably can't do better than Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but get out of town a little and have an experience worth talking about.