There is a question that comes up now and then when I’m blogging about singles issues: What kinds of events or places work well for single people, especially single people who are not looking for something they can do to help them become unsingle. I just realized that I discovered one of those places during an unlikely vacation.

I actually haven’t done much vacationing since moving to California in 2000; the rent is high out here and does not leave me with much by way of travel funds. My favorite vacations have always been outdoorsy ones. When I was on the East Coast but not near the water, I always tried to save up for a week at the beach. (Now the beach is a few blocks away.) The Grand Canyon was a good vacation for someone like me.

A few years ago, a friend was going to Vegas with family and friends and invited me to join her. My vision of Vegas is that no matter what time of day or night it is, it is dark and noisy with all the casinos. With hundreds of people crammed around blackjack and roulette tables, or lined up at the slot machines, I thought that if I ever wanted to gamble I would just play online blackjack. But I had never been to Las Vegas before, I always like spending time with my friend who does not even live on the same coast, and I liked the other people who would be there. So I said yes.

It was such a pleasant surprise. Sure, there were the dark noisy parts such as the strip with all major casinos on it, but if you like that sort of thing, you can actually buy yourself some amusement for not so much money. What surprised me even more – and I know this will not be a news flash for those of you who have spent time there – is that there is a whole array of great restaurants (not all of them expensive) and amazing shows such as Cirque du Soleil. Once again, I only went to that show because all of the others wanted to, and I figured, for once, why not? But it was (most of the time) mesmerizing. I’ve always liked women’s gymnastics – and to some extent, men’s too. Olympic-style gymnastics routines, though, are very short and very constrained. In Cirque du Soleil, the performers are exuberant in their lack of constraints. Wandering around outside at night, with everything lit up, had its appeal, too.

Here’s the main thing: Vegas is not a very couple-y place. Sure, there are couples, but there are also groups of people and individuals wandering around the casinos and on the streets and everywhere else. I’m not very susceptible to feeling self-conscious as a single person but I think that even single people who do feel that way might find Vegas an easy place to be.

My brief Vegas vacation did not change me. I still love outdoorsy vacations better than any other kind. Still, it was a nice surprise to have my preconceptions busted.