With its broad array of attractions, five-star shows and up-all-night atmosphere, Las Vegas continues to be a favorite destination among U.S. travelers. And with four nonstop flight options from Austin (Allegiant, Frontier, Southwest and Spirit), it's easier to get there than ever.
If Sin City is in your travel plans this fall, here are five options to consider.
One part synchronized swimming, one part high-flying acrobatics and one part "Romeo and Juliet," Le Reve at the Wynn is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to see a Las Vegas performance. Set in an aquatic theater-in-the-round, the show follows its heroine, the Dreamer, through a sequence of touching and breathtaking events (including an 80-foot high dive!). From its intricate costuming to the athleticism of the cast, it's a treat. And now through the end of the year, a dollar from each ticket sold will benefit Teach for America, Opportunity Village and Discovery Children's Museums. Performances are held at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday through Tuesday; no performances Wednesday or Thursday. wynnlasvegas.com/entertainment/le-reve-the-dream
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Gondola rides at the Venetian
I'll never forget the first time I stepped into the Venetian, where the cloud-covered ceiling instantly transported me to Europe. To fully embrace the (faux) European vibe, take a gondola ride along the hotel's Grand Canal, where you'll sail past tempting cafes, high-end shops and, yes, people holding yardlong margaritas. The singing gondoliers alone are worth it. When you're finished, be sure to stop by Le Macaron, where you can continue your European journey on to France. Outdoor and indoor gondola rides are available. There's even a Gondola University where you can learn the basics of paddling a gondola. venetian.com/resort/attractions/gondola-rides.html
The High Roller
Las Vegas is known for being over the top, so why not take a spin on its observation wheel, which, at 550 feet, is the tallest in the world? Extra points if you book a ride in one of the High Roller Happy Half Hour cabins, where you'll have access to an open bar during your 30-minute ride, which offers panoramic views of the Strip. People have even gotten married in these cabins. caesars.com/linq/high-roller
Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon, located about an hour west of Las Vegas, stole my heart the first time I saw it. With its marbled oranges and bluebird sky, it's an ideal place for a hike (and a few selfies). The canyon also features a 13-mile loop for drivers that includes stopping points where you can get out and enjoy the views or take a stroll. Locals here include red-tailed hawks, bighorn sheep, prairie falcons and Gila monsters. Nearby Lake Mead also affords incredible views. redrockcanyonlv.org
I can't call myself a yoga expert, but I can tell you that when you combine yoga and dolphins, you're in for a magical experience. During a dolphin yoga session, available at the Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage, you'll downward dog and warrior pose right along with the dolphins. This one-hour class includes stretching, breathing and guided poses (and a complimentary smoothie). Reservations are required. mirage.mgmresorts.com