Las Vegas Off The Beaten Path
Las Vegas, AKA “Sin City” is a dazzling destination full of good times and big wins. Most people associate Vegas with the bright lights of the strip, the sounds of the slot machines, the high-end nightclubs and one too many margaritas, but there’s more to this place than that!
If you are vacationing in Las Vegas, or celebrating a marriage, you aren’t limited to casinos and buffets. A little driving will take you to plenty of other adventures if you’re willing to take a side trip or two.
Day To Overnight Trips
The following destinations can be either day or overnight trips, depending on the distance and your schedule. Most are around three hours away, but some are a bit longer.
Calico Ghost Town
If you’ve always had an interest in the Old West, this is a day trip you’ll want to take. Calico Ghost Town is about a three hour drive from Las Vegas in the town of Yermo. A refurbished silver mining town, there are still remnants of the original city, which was active in the late 1800’s. For the most part, it’s just a tourist attraction, with fun activities such as stagecoach rides, mock shootouts, gift shops and shows. It makes for a fun day trip and the kids will love it.
Keep in mind that you’re in the Mojave Desert, and temperatures can soar. Wear sunscreen and a hat and drink plenty of water.
The Hoover Dam
About 45 minute’s drive from Las Vegas is the Hoover dam. This is an engineering wonder and photographs fail to capture the full scale of this landmark. There’s not a lot to see here beyond the dam, so don’t plan to spend more than a couple hours, but it’s worth the drive.
The Grand Canyon
A destination itself, you can make the Grand Canyon a day tour or an overnight or longer trip. If you just want to say you saw it, you can arrange a day tour through your hotel or tour company. It’s about a three hour drive from Las Vegas. If you wish to stay longer and explore the majestic beauty and natural wonder of the area, there are plenty of motels, lodges and campgrounds in the area.
Zion National Park
About two and a half hours from Las Vegas just inside Utah is Zion National Park. The park offers breathtaking scenery and plenty of hiking trails for those who are craving some outdoor time.
Closer To Town
If you want to hike but don’t want to drive so far, Red Rock Canyon is only about 17 miles out of town. This state park offers its famous “red rocks” with lots to see and trails to hike.
If you want a smaller version of Las Vegas head over to Laughlin, a river town with a handful of casinos and an entirely different feel. There are also other smaller outposts such as Primm and Whiskeytown.
No matter what you are looking for: Nightlife, great food, amusement park rides and abundant natural beauty, you can find it all within a three hour radius.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Las Vegas Travel Guide
- Places to Avoid in Las Vegas and Other Warnings and Dangers
- Planning That Special Trip to Las Vegas
Editor’s Note: The information on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews for things to do in and around Las Vegas.