Gondola ride at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada

A vacation to Las Vegas can be a crazy, fun, and exhausting trip all rolled into one. With so much to see and do, insane crowds, seemingly endless walking, noisy ads distracting your every move, it’s not surprising that a Vegas vacation can really wear you down. Sometimes, you just need a quiet escape from all the clutter and commotion for a bit to recharge your batteries before enjoying all the craziness again.

Fortunately, there are a number of really relaxing activities that exist for those seeking a tranquil refuge, if only just for an hour or 2. Listed below are 10 of my favorite places to escape the noisy crowds and congestion of The Strip. Feel free to share some of your personal favorites.

1. Waldorf Astoria Tea House

The amazing Mandarin Oriental Tea Room in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Waldorf Astoria Tea House, located on the 23rd floor of the gorgeous Waldorf Hotel (formerly the Mandarin Oriental), is my absolute favorite place in Vegas to escape all The Strip action. When you seek a quiet break, yet still want to feel like you are in Vegas, only without actually being in all the commotion, a relaxing tea break at The Waldorf is your best bet.

The Waldorf offers a wonderful afternoon tea service in a truly spectacular setting. The tea room is elegant, zen-like, and cozy with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking The Strip. Thus, you still get to take in the dazzling Vegas scenery, only without the stress. It’s really nice to see another side to Vegas. This crazy place sure does look more amazing and beautiful from the 23rd floor of Vegas’s most elegant resort.

Afternoon tea includes an assortment of scones, mini sandwiches, specialty chef created desserts, and a pot of steaming hot tea. I recommend the Imperial Spring Dragonwell, a delicious smooth green tea with hints of chestnut. Or you can simply skip the pricey afternoon tea service in favor of a simple pot of tea. The Waldorf offers an assortment of wellness loose leaf tea blends, which are just perfect for helping to restore your body and rebalance your energy after a long day out exploring all the wonderful Strip attractions. Check out the tea menu.

With incredible views of The Strip, a diverse selection of quality loose leaf teas, extraordinary tea presentation and service, and a refined & quiet setting, a trip to the Waldorf Astoria tea room is the ultimate in Vegas relaxation.

More info and pics from the Waldorf Astoria Tea House

2. The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat in Las Vegas, Nevada

Unfortunately, many tourists are unaware of the many freebies lurking all around The Strip. Almost every casino resort is home to a handful of wonderful of freebies. The Flamingo is home to the serene Wildlife Habitat. This attraction is not only free to the public, but also a great place to escape all the action for a bit. Although most travelers are unaware this place even exists, The Flamingo’s Wildlife Habitat is one of the best nature experiences in this busy city.

The resort’s 15 acres have been transformed into a tropical oasis with lush landscaping, relaxing fountains, soothing waterfalls, and exotic wildlife. A colorful flock of Chilean flamingos call this quiet oasis home. Beautiful unique looking birds, turtles, and Koi fish can also be found along the grounds.

Whenever you need a breather from all the casino action, take a little trip over to the Flamingo for a relaxing stress-free stroll around the beautiful grounds of the Wildlife Habitat. Take a picture with a parrot, watch a live feeding, take pretty nature pictures, or simply stroll around and enjoy a drastically different setting that you will not find elsewhere on The Strip. A visit to the Wildlife Habitat is free, relaxing, and fun. So really, there is no reason not to check it out!

More info and pics from the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

3. Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Seahorse display at The Bellagio Gardens in Las Vegas

Although the Bellagio fountain show is spectacular and absolutely worth making the time for, it really is not the most relaxing place in Vegas due to the immense crowds. Remember almost everyone is attempting to catch a glimpse of Vegas’s most standout show. A walk around the gorgeous Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is a quieter alternative.

The display consists of thousands and thousands of flowers and plants, 90% of which are recycled. Several times throughout the year, the 14,000 square foot garden is transformed into a unique scene to represent the beauty of each season. The fall harvest and Christmas display are the most stunning. Whenever you feel the need for a break from The Strip, a quick stroll around the serene Bellagio Gardens will do. No matter what time of the year your visit falls, you are in for a visual treat.

4. The Wynn Gardens

A gorgeous carousel made of flowers at the Wynn in Las Vegas, Nevada

The atrium at The Wynn is absolutely spectacular, and like the Bellagio Gardens, a quiet, relaxing place to stroll around. Everything is made of flowers, including a gorgeous carousel and hot air balloon. From afar, you would never be able to tell that these 2 gorgeous designs are made entirely of flowers. Really they are artistic masterpieces!

As you walk through a canopy of trees, you will be amazed at the floral balls hanging above you. It took designer Preston Bailey more than 3500 hours to create this stunning display of more than 110,000 flowers. The dedication and attention to detail is simply amazing.

As The Wynn tends to be less congested than other casinos, it is a nice quiet resort to stroll around. Many relaxing activities to check out here. At The Wynn, you will find a small luxury shopping area, a low-key restaurant where you can dine next to a waterfall (Lakeside), and a fantastic water fountain show that is more low-key than the popular Bellagio show.

5. Bouchon at The Venetian

French Toast at Bouchon at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada

Bouchon is a great little French restaurant located in the Italian inspired Venetian resort. It is my favorite place for a relaxing brunch/coffee break on The Vegas Strip. Bouchon is home to the most relaxing poolside outdoor dining terrace. Bouchon Chef Thomas Keller has won numerous awards including that of “America’s Best Chef” by Time magazine. Classic French cuisine, extraordinary service, and a relaxed & refined setting make it the best place in Vegas for a low-key brunch date.

I highly recommend Quiche du Jour, Pain Perdu (Brioche French Toast served with blueberry compote and Crown Maple Syrup) and the Assortiment de Pâtisserie (a tasty selection of 4 of Bouchon’s best mini pastries). And of course, Bouchon serves up some of the best coffee in Vegas. This is a great place to enjoy a local coffee date in a relaxing setting. Also be sure to stop by the Bouchon Bakery for some tasty macaroons, available in just about every flavor imaginable.

A full review of Bouchon

6. The Mirage Atrium

The Mirage atrium in Las Vegas, Nevada

Right near the lobby of the gorgeous tropical themed Mirage Casino resort is a relaxing little indoor rain forest. Waterfalls, exotic plant life, and palm trees come together to create a unique setting that will make you feel as if you escaped the desert for a mini tropical vacation. It is just a short stroll, yet so relaxing. While you are here, you can also check out the iconic 20,000 gallon fish tank with over 450 colorful fish. It’s located just behind the check in desk – you may remember seeing it in various films like Vegas Vacation.

In terms of lodging, The Mirage is one of my favorite laid-back Strip options. The restaurants, casino floor, and shops are not nearly as crowded as other Strip hotels. The tropical theme is truly refreshing and relaxing. The pool is absolutely magnificent, with lush landscaping, waterfalls, and plenty of space – by far the best in Vegas. And fortunately, there is not a mega shopping area to trek through like other casinos. A stay at the Mirage is a must for anyone seeking a laid-back, tropical style vacation in the desert!

More info on The Mirage Resort

7. Gondola rides at The Venetian

Gondola rides at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Venetian offers a truly relaxing escape for those seeking a temporary break from the crowds. A singing gondolier will take you down the Grand Canal in an authentic gondola as you make your way through the streets of Venice. It is a really romantic experience: the perfect date night activity in Vegas.

For a truly romantic & unforgettable experience, you can pay a bit extra for a private gondola ride for 2. Both indoor and outdoor rides are available. I recommend the indoor ride as the architecture and design inside The Venetian is simply magical, creating a more intimate setting for a date.

More info on Venetian gondola rides

8. Drift Spa at Palms Place

Drift Spa at Palms Place in Las Vegas, Nevada

There are too many fabulous spas to choose amongst on The Strip: it can be quite an overwhelming experience. Some of these spas are really fancy and have won numerous awards, such as the uber exclusive Canyon Ranch SpaClub at The Venetian, which offers many amenities not found at other spas including a salt room and a wave room. Others like the Mandara Spa at the Paris Hotel offer more affordable packages, although the setting is just not as memorable. If you are looking for an amazing spa experience without a crazy price tag, then put Drift Spa at Palms Place on your to-do list.

Because this resort is located off The Strip, the entire experience is more relaxing and the spa is never overcrowded. In fact, I had all the amenities completely to myself on my last visit. Drift offers lots of fantastic amenities (Drift is home to the first Hammam (co-ed steam room) in Las Vegas). Also, prices are not outrageous. Enticing seasonal specials include a Caramel Apple Massage for just $95. The facilities at Drift are beautiful, the massage therapists are wonderful, and the package deals affordable, making it the best value spa in Vegas. It’s my top spot in Vegas for a day of pampering, rest, and relaxation. After all that wear and tear on your feet walking around The Strip for hours on end, treating yourself to a few blissful hours at a great spa like Drift, is the ultimate in R&R.

More info on the Palms Place Hotel

9. Brunch at The Eiffel Tower Restaurant

Gorgeous views of The Strip from the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Eiffel Tower Restaurant in the Paris hotel is one of the most romantic restaurants in Vegas. Located on the 11th floor of the charming Paris Hotel, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking The Strip, the views are quite breathtaking. If you are lucky enough to score a window seat, you will have a prime view of the Bellagio fountain show. What a treat to enjoy this fabulous show minus all the crowds below.

Dinner is often very busy and reservations required. However, brunch is a peaceful time to take in the stunning scenery minus a noisy background of diners. The Eiffel Tower Restaurant is the perfect place in Vegas to celebrate any type of special occasion. And unlike some touristy restaurants, the service and food are just as wonderful as the views. I highly recommend the Baked Herb Crepes, along with a delicious chocolate soufflé for dessert!

After brunch, take a relaxing walk along the cobblestone streets of Paris. The hotel’s magnificent replica area includes cute little cafes, shops, and more. Later in the evening, be sure to get tickets to the Eiffel Tower Experience. Following a glass elevator ride up to the observation deck, you will then be treated to the most dazzling city views!

More info and pics from the Eiffel Tower Restaurant

10. Pinball Museum Hall of Fame

Classic pinball machines at the Pinball Museum Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Pinball Museum Hall of Fame is a 10,000 square foot facility dedicated solely to classic old-fashioned pinball machines from 1950’s through the 1990’s. Some of the unique finds here include a Jurassic Park, Simpsons, Terminator 2, and Super Mario Brothers machine. They even have a Super Mario arcade game. Another unique find was one of those cool old claw machines that we used to find in the restaurants as a kid. There are no frills or bells and whistles here, just classic old style gaming fun.

The Pinball Museum is located off The Strip, however, it is so worth the drive or taxi ride for some nostalgic, stress free, not to mention totally affordable (just a quarter or 2 per game) fun. I highly recommend anyone looking for a budget, unique, low-key, and/or fun activity in Vegas, to venture off The Strip for a few hours to visit one of the best hidden gems in the city. More recommended off-the-Strip attractions.

Update: The Pinball Museum has moved to a bigger 25,000 sq foot space on The Strip (across from the Mandalay Bay).

More info and pics from the Pinball Museum Hall of Fame