I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of Las Vegas. I don’t gamble, I hate the smell of smoke, and having to walk through a busy, loud casino to get anywhere is a bit overwhelming to me.

On the flip side, I do like the warm weather, the restaurants, the shows, and I enjoy an afternoon of strolling around the strip to check out the hotels and people-watch. So let’s just say I’m conflicted.

Well, I’m here in Vegas this week for a conference, and I discovered a whole new world that is much more appealing to me — Lake Las Vegas. It’s about 25-30 miutes away from the hustle and bustle of the strip, but it feels much more removed than that. You can stay at a luxury resort (Loews, Ritz-Carlton) on a lovely man-made lake, and enjoy swimming, golf, and even fishing (in the desert!) There’s a nice little village with shops, restaurants and a small casino, and you can even take a gondola ride on the lake.

The General Manager at the Loews Lake Las Vegas was telling me that they get a lot of families, who enjoy the beach, the water slide, and the kids camp — and that the parents will often leave the children with the camp for an evening to go and have a date night on the strip. Dinner, a show, etc. and then back to a beautiful lakefront resort…sounds just about perfect to me!