The Silver State may just be the (nearby, affordably priced, balmy) spring vacation spot you've been searching for.
"Seven Magic Mountains," an installation on the Free-Range Art Highway. Photograph courtesy of Gianfranco Gorgoni.
Las Vegas’ average March highs (high 60s to low 70s) might hover only a few degrees above Denver’s, but Nevada’s temperate weather isn’t punctuated by the occasional blizzard. All the more reason to jump on a cheap flight to the Silver State for a snow-free spring escape.
For Lovers Of (Eccentric) Art
If your Vegas art tastes run more Neon Museum than Cirque du Soleil, opt for the liberating drive up the Free-Range Art Highway, a 473-mile stretch of U.S. 95 dotted with a dozen quirky sculptures. If you’ve only got time for one stop, make it the Goldwell Open Air Museum and its seven outdoor art pieces. Our favorite is sculptor Albert Szukalski’s rendition of “The Last Supper,” which plays off the identity of Rhyolite, a nearby ghost town, through its depiction of Jesus and the apostles as ghosts.
For Hard-Core Climbers
From March 24 to 27, adventurers gather at Red Rock Canyon 20 miles beyond Vegas for a different kind of thrill: the Red Rock Rendezvous ($59 to $1,599), a smorgasbord of climbing workshops, trail running, and outdoor yoga classes. Or explore the conservation area on your own time—the American Alpine Institute’s private, guided first-ascent program lets intermediate and advanced climbers conquer and name new routes ($425 per day).
-Courtesy of Eric Odenthal
For Cultured Adventurers
Near the tiny town of Austin in central Nevada, visitors can view ancient artwork and spend the day outside. A self-guided half-mile tour around Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area will earn you a look at primitive engravings dating back to 10,000 B.C. And on the second and fourth Saturday of each month, the Bureau of Land Management runs free tours of western Nevada’s Hidden Cave, an excavation site featuring 3,500-year-old artifacts.
—Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Managment