Weekend trips to the Vegas area are my favorite - getting away from the hectic LA buzz to the middle of nowhere (I rarely actually do the "VeGaS~!!!" stuff) for some relaxation has proven to be good for this small town soul. Sure, Runyon and all the other hikes are nice in LA, but just knowing that you're away from it all - far, far away - is calming all on its own. I think this is something that I've learned from traveling so much last year - visiting an area shouldn't be about the glitzy attractions, but how you feel when you're off the beaten path exploring the area on your own.
During one of those weekend visits, we took a day to explore Lake Mead National Recreation area. It's beautiful - and its so friggin' close to the Hoover Dam that we had to check that out too. I didn't quite dress for a hike as it was a completely spontaneous decision (I also would have packed a picnic too, because let's be honest, I love food as much as fashion) but I'm glad I'm into tennies right now - there's something so innocent and feminine about a pair of plimsolls.
What are some favorite hidden gems that you've found while traveling?