Las Vegas, Nevada is a paradox. On one side, you have Sin City as it is known, the essence of excess, extravagance, and entertainment, and just outside the city limits, you have a world of natural beauty and wonder. A worthwhile trip to Las Vegas should try to include both sides and balance the craziness of the city and strip with an adventure in the great outdoors.
Here are our top 5 road trips from Las Vegas.
1. Grand Canyon
This is one of the most popular trips from Vegas, given that it is one of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. While it is possible to do it in a day, it would make more sense to do an overnight, as the distance from Vegas to the Gran Canyon is 270 miles (to both North Rim and South Rim). This works out as a 4.5 hour in each direction.
You drive over the board from Nevada into Arizona and arrive at the North or South Rim of the 277-mile canyon. The visit itself is a big bucket list item for many, and as a bonus, you get tick two states off your visit list: Nevada and Arizona!
You can take various hikes, depending on your skill and fitness levels, and the amount of time you wish to spend there. It is useful to check in beforehand with the Grand Canyon National Park Service and get informed.
2. Hoover Dam
The Hoover Dam is one of the most celebrated architectural designs in American. It is the largest reservoir by volume in the United States when it is full and lies at the southeast of Nevada and the northwest of Arizona.
There is lots to do at the Dam, including walk across the relatively new Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, touring the Hoover Dam or the Powerplant and spending time in the visitor centre.
Getting to the Hoover Dam from Las Vegas is straight forward. It is a 40-mile drive through Boulder City until you reach the Dam on the Nevada/ Arizona state line.
3. Valley of Fire
The Valley of Fire is a geographical wonder of grey and tan sandstone with about 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec stone outcrops. Home to petroglyphs dating back two to three thousand years.
Year round, the park is open with campsites, grills, and many tempting trails for hikers, at all levels of ability. No matter what your level, just remember that it is the Valley of Fire and gets incredibly hot. Stay hydrated and protected.
It is located about 50 miles, or a one-hour driver from Vegas, bringing you to the car park and visitor centre through a desert landscape.
4. Area 51
Did you grow up with ET? Or the X-Files or are you simply curious about Area 51? It is not your typical tourist destination, in that tourists are not allowed inside or particularly encouraged to go there! However, if you are a curious traveller, and want to get near the world’s most secretive military facility, then here is your chance.
You can Start out at the Extraterrestrial Sign at Crystal Springs, its on Route 375, on the right-hand side of the road. Then on to the Alien Research Center. Area 51 itself is further west on 375 heading toward the hills. There is not much to do there, and don´t overstay your welcome. After all the adventure and conspiracy, you can pop into the Lil’Ale’Inn for one of their famous Alien Burgers.
Area 51 is about 150 mils from Vegas, and the drive takes about 1.5 hours, and the best ways to get to Area 51 is to drive or rent a car. There are also tours available from Vegas.
5. Los Angeles & Hollywood
Los Angeles is only a four-hour drive from Vegas. It could be done as a day trip if you were short on time, but it could be better enjoyed with one or two nights in LA. Many people plan this part of their trip to be either at the start or the end, that way they can fly into Vegas and out of LA, or vice versa. There are many car rental companies that allow one-way car rental to Vegas, or one way to LA, so you can drive and leave the car, rather than making a return trip.
In LA, you can drive down Hollywood Boulevard, stroll on the Hollywood walk of Fame, go to the beach, photograph the Hollywood, see where the stars live and enjoy a glamorous city trip.
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