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What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:59 pm
by aerolulu
Hey BHs!

Looking for some advice from you all... We will be heading to Vegas between Christmas and NYE 2016 to meet up some family.

I have a few questions:
1. Is there any hotels better than others to stay at during winter times? I doubt outdoor pools will be very useful.

2. What would be some good parks to see around Vegas? I'm thinking to go to Grand Canyon. We've been during summer, would like to check during winter, especially if there's some snow :D Open to other parks within driving range.

3. Are there any cool hotels in that region, cabin looking like to spend christmas? I've checked El Tovar at grand canyon. Anything else?

Looking forward to read your responses!

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:21 pm
by TravelGeek
If you are not interested in casinos, I would personally stay away from the strip casinos. Much easier to get in and out when you are not in a mega resort where the parking is half a mile from your room.

Valley of Fire is not very far and very scenic.

Bryce Canyon is gorgeous with some snow on the red/orange rock formations.

Been to Death Valley yet? Same scenery as in the summer, just more manageable temperatures. Though I personally didn't mind the 127F on a Memorial Day weekend trip... adds to the overall experience IMO.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:01 pm
by aerolulu
Thanks TravelGeek! Had never heard of Valley of Fire. Looks great. Done Death Valley but Bryce is also very appealing. Right now, I'm between Bryce and Zion but I haven't seen much Zion action during winter...

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:16 pm
by Miriam2
aerolulu wrote:Had never heard of Valley of Fire. Looks great. Done Death Valley but Bryce is also very appealing. Right now, I'm between Bryce and Zion but I haven't seen much Zion action during winter...
That's a fair amount of car travel sightseeing, Aerolulu - taking a child with you? :shock: :D

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:19 am
by Doom&Gloom
A few years ago we hit LV, Grand Canyon, and Zion NP during the week between Christmas and NYE.

GC: It was very cold when we were there. We spent one night in one of the lodges in a room with a "partial canyon view." The view was actually better than what I would consider a partial view. Being able to sit in the comfort of our warm room and watch the sun rise over the canyon is one of the best memories of my life. We did have dinner at the El Tovar's dining room and enjoyed it very much.

Zion: Even colder than the GC when we visited. There had been a recent snow and Zion was absolutely beautiful. There were not very many people at all there. We stayed in one of the rustic rooms and the heater struggled to keep up. We didn't hike so I can't speak to any of the outdoor activities. It was well worth it to us to stay the one night there as we had never been.

LV: It was much more comfortable and easier to walk the strip than it is during the summer. Other than that, the differences were minimal.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:17 am
by William4u
Enjoy the sunshine! :happy

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:33 am
by traveltoomuch
I don't tend to think of the Grand Canyon as being "around Vegas" - it's a solid four hours drive each way. But if you're off in the direction of the Grand Canyon - maybe consider Antelope Canyon or some other slot canyon? Monument Valley is pretty spectacular, too.

I can't think of any seasonal hotel preferences within Vegas. The big decision is whether to be in a non-gaming hotel or a casino.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:49 am
by briguy
We just returned from Vegas and drove spent a few days at Zion and Bryce. It was a long drive, but worth it the trip if you have time. We rented cabins inside both parks. Utah was really the highlight of our trip!

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:15 pm
by aerolulu
Yes Miriam2, taking the little one with me. :D To be clear, I don't intend to visit all the parks. My plan right now would be spend the first night in Vegas, then head out mid-day to a park and stay there for 3 nights, then come back to Vegas.

Doom&Gloom this is on point.

I guess I'm between Antelope canyon, Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon (might be the most touristy of all even during winter?). One of these 3 would be great, I'm just wondering if some of them may close during winter? I've seen many lodges marked close during winter. If we're gonna spend 3 nights there, I'd like to find a place where we are comfortable. Reading the comments and having yet to see Zion, it might be where we head out :)

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:23 pm
by sixman
I haven't been, but remembered seeing this travel article and thinking it would be a lot more fun than spending time in a casino:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-las-vegas ... 1453404281

Here's another link to get you started - I'm sure Google can help with more.

http://www.birdandhike.com/Areas/MtChar ... C_Area.htm

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:22 pm
by Doom&Gloom
aerolulu wrote:Yes Miriam2, taking the little one with me. :D To be clear, I don't intend to visit all the parks. My plan right now would be spend the first night in Vegas, then head out mid-day to a park and stay there for 3 nights, then come back to Vegas.

Doom&Gloom this is on point.

I guess I'm between Antelope canyon, Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon (might be the most touristy of all even during winter?). One of these 3 would be great, I'm just wondering if some of them may close during winter? I've seen many lodges marked close during winter. If we're gonna spend 3 nights there, I'd like to find a place where we are comfortable. Reading the comments and having yet to see Zion, it might be where we head out :)
The trip I cited earlier is the only time I have been to Grand Canyon or Zion. Never been to Bryce or Antelope. And yes, the GC was packed when we were there (same time you are looking at). It may be worse at other times, but I don't know. I do know I felt it was very crowded.

By contrast, Zion felt almost deserted. Don't know if it matters but we were at GC Dec 27 and Zion Dec 30. LV in between.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:36 pm
by Sunflower
Well, I hate to be one of those people, but I'm going to suggest something you didn't ask. I went at Christmastime once and did a tour of Hoover Dam with a boat cruise on Lake Mead. We went up on deck on the boat and it was freaking cold! And beautiful. Honestly, the dam tour :D was a highlight of the trip, really fascinating and historical.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:57 pm
by aerolulu
Thank you all!! I've been to the Hoover Dam but never did the dam tour or the boat tour. We might add these to the list. I'm really liking the Zion option. Most likely quieter and as enjoyable as GC. Unless there's some really good snow in which case I might cave in and go to GC as I've never been there with snow but heard really good things about it. Thanks all!!

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:06 pm
by Dimitri
I've been to Zion around the same time of year that you are considering albeit nearly 30 years ago. One of my former co-workers and her sister came out to visit. I was taking care of Chinese Julie's Maltese since she was on vacation in Europe. Anyway, the three of us and Beau (the Maltese) drove to Zion by mistake. Trying to go to Grand Canyon but back then there wasn't GPS and none of us were good with maps (obviously). It was nice but we ultimately turned around in the park because the Pontiac Grand Prix couldn't get traction. You may want to give some consideration to your rental car if you are considering driving in the snow.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:48 pm
by ubermax
How about skiing - Mt. Charleston is about 40 minutes from the strip .

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:57 pm
by oldcomputerguy
DW and I have been looking at taking a week in Las Vegas the week before Christmas. Rates at hotels are down significantly (I saw a room at Wynn for about $165 versus several hundred normal for more temperate times of year). I think December must be dead time for tourism in LV, checking the list of shows and headliners playing there during that time there doesn't seem to be much to choose from (other than "resident" shows such as Blue Man Group, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, the various Cirque shows, etc).

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:09 pm
by MandyT
smartinwate wrote:DW and I have been looking at taking a week in Las Vegas the week before Christmas. Rates at hotels are down significantly (I saw a room at Wynn for about $165 versus several hundred normal for more temperate times of year). I think December must be dead time for tourism in LV, checking the list of shows and headliners playing there during that time there doesn't seem to be much to choose from (other than "resident" shows such as Blue Man Group, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, the various Cirque shows, etc).
Yes, between Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas tends to be a quiet time of the year in Las Vegas. The advantage is that (as you noticed) things tend to be less expensive and not as crazy-crowded, and the weather is great.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:03 am
by denismurf
I make it a point to visit Red Rock Canyon every time I travel to or through Vegas, regardless of the season. It's close, free, and a total break from the casino scene, which is the only reason I go to Vegas at all.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:33 pm
by oldcomputerguy
denismurf wrote:I make it a point to visit Red Rock Canyon every time I travel to or through Vegas, regardless of the season. It's close, free, and a total break from the casino scene, which is the only reason I go to Vegas at all.
Second that, my wife and I did that trip last year. Red Rock Canyon is a beautiful area.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:37 pm
by dubsem
If you like shopping, check out the outlet malls nearby the strip.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:38 pm
by LarryAllen
If I were going winter I would stay at Venetian or near there on strip. That way you are easy walk to the huge mall across the street. Plus, Venetian usually has a good show or two. Red Rock is a great place to visit. Rent a convertible if weather is decent. Also, helicopter ride to Grand Canyon is awesome. It takes you to the Indian reservation and you walk on the walk way that overhangs the canyon. It's a little freaky but well worth the visit.

Re: What to do around Vegas during Winter?

Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:31 am
by ModifiedDuration
We enjoyed going on this tour of an old mine, but not everyone would enjoy something like this:

http://www.eldoradocanyonminetours.com/index.html