SCENE + HEARD: Today's Read Looking West Toward Las Vegas By Gwendolyn Plummer Friday, September 2, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—If you’re anything like the VMAIL team, you’re probably reading this story while thinking about Vision Expo West. We’re just under two weeks away from this year’s show, and things are kicking into full gear now that we’re down to the wire. Let’s be honest: free time is scarce at any Vision Expo—it’s easy to lose track of time in those big, engaging show halls, to spend hours catching up at dinner with industry friends you haven’t seen in a while. But if you do have some free time, or if you’ve scheduled an extra day or two in Nevada, Las Vegas is a city worth exploring.Of course there are the casinos Vegas is famous for, but there’s also so much more: world class dining, shopping that rivals every other major city, shows that you can’t see anywhere else, all set to the backdrop of a breathtaking natural landscape. If you like being outdoors, the Las Vegas area has so much to offer you. Red Rock Canyon is less than half an hour outside of the city, and offers hikes, camping and even scenic driving routes. It occupies nearly 200,000 acres within the Mojave Desert, and boasts some incredible geologic sites, too. The famous Death Valley is just a two hour drive away, and the Spring Mountains offer hiking just 45 minutes outside the city. But don’t fret if you’re not an outdoorsy kind of person—Vegas truly offers something for everyone. Time Out Las Vegas regularly updates its comprehensive list of best restaurants in the city; right now, Gordon Ramsay’s Gordon Ramsay Steak tops the list, with the sticky toffee pudding called out as a serious culinary highlight. There’s also the iconic Bacchanal Buffet, recommended by both Time Out and Travel + Leisure, famous for its global cuisine. The shows are infinite, too. Vegas.com lists every show you can see in the city. During Expo weekend, Aerosmith, Barry Manilow and Enrique Iglesias are among the famous faces scheduled for concerts in Las Vegas. There are shows that run every night, too, like Cirque du Soleil, The Blue Man Group, America’s Got Talent Las Vegas, Criss Angel and more. Time Out also offers ideas if you’re bringing little ones along, from the Children’s Museum to the aquarium to indoor amusement parks. No matter what you do and where you go, Las Vegas—and Vision Expo West, of course—almost always guarantees a good time. So start carving out some free time where you can and make your hit list now—Expo is closer thank you think, and Las Vegas is waiting.