10 Alternatives to the Las Vegas Vacation

Reno, Nev.
Reno features Vegas-like attractions, but on a smaller scale. © Richard Cummins/Corbis

There's something to be said for the comfort of sticking with what you know; but if what you know is Vegas, you can stay pretty close to "home" and still try something a little different. It's called Reno.

It ain't fancy, but the little Nevada town has all the gambling you could want, an anything-goes atmosphere, and an overall cheaper vacation than you'll usually find in Vegas, if that's what's you seek [source: Yahoo!]. (If not, "expensive" is aplenty, too.) Wedding chapels dot the landscape, with no waiting period or pesky blood test, and if it doesn't work out, no worries -- say hello to the Reno invention that is the "divorce resort" [source: Visit Reno]. Here, you can wait out the six-week residency requirement and walk away from your trip single [source: Obringer]. (Nothing like vacationing with a purpose.)

Reno is pretty well-located for a side trip, too. Close to Lake Tahoe and right on the California border, it's easy to work some Reno gaming into a whole other kind of getaway.