Vegas is synonymous with excess, but not in the same was as Dubai. Holidays to Las Vegas are generally saved for bachelorette/hen dos, elopements and a fair number of those seeking to unhinge from their morals and have a limitless escape from their regular life.

This isn’t said to dissuade you from holidaying or even eloping with a ceremony led by Elvis. It’s true that strippers and escorts make their millions here while casino gambling steals as much as it gives. The draw to Vegas is undeniable but the lights, gaudy over-the-top and sometimes brilliant (Cirque du Soleil!) entertainment and overindulgence are all part and parcel of this glitzy city’s charm.

However, far too many visitors remain sadly unaware of Las Vegas’ proximity to some of the most spectacular natural desert treasures, rock formations, and landmarks in America.

So if you’re coming to Las Vegas, enjoy all the city has to offer but don’t miss these other amazing feast-your-eyes treats while you’re here:

Red Rocks Canyon: Red Rocks is home to an incredible music venue the Red Rocks amphitheatre where many fantastic live concerts have been recorded and world class musical events have taken place. Imagine sitting at a concert surrounded by red desert rocks with the sky as your ceiling.

Incredible stars hang over your head as you listen to the amazing acoustics. The canyon and park itself often host some of the world’s best rock climbing and spectacular day hikes around the canyon region. Great sightseeing is just the beginning at this area just 15 miles from Las Vegas city.

Natural Wonders Just Outside Vegas - Red Rocks Canyon

Red Rocks Canyon – Image by Slideshow Bruce

Grand Canyon: One of the seven wonders of the world, if you’re making the trip to Vegas, you might as well clear your head afterward by visiting this spectacle of land. Walking and riding tours are available as are helicopter tours (my favourite) so you can witness the true scope and wonder of this incredible world wonder.

Natural Wonders Just Outside Vegas - The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon – Image by LambofErath

The Great Basin:  In the winter you can ski here, and the rest of the year it makes for stunning scenery, great rock sunbathing and incredible hiking. Here you can also take part in cave tours and climb inside the ancient Lehman caves to get up close to impressive rock formations. Incredibly picturesque and not at all far from Vegas, this protected National Park.

Natural Wonders Just Outside Vegas - The Great Basin

Great Basin – Image by Alaskan Dude

So what are you waiting for? Las Vegas is a very exciting city in which many millions come to escape, unwind, break out and have fun. However, near to this city of excess is some of America’s beloved and beautiful landscapes perfect for exploring and recovering after a weekend in Vegas.

Key Newey the author of “3 natural wonders just outside Vegas” is a copywriter writing in the south of England. She recommends Vegas holidays for those seeking excitement, entertainment and a chance to see some gorgeous desert scenery.