Las Vegas is a city that never sleeps, with its dazzling lights, high-energy nightlife, and endless entertainment options. However, if you’re looking for a change of pace and a chance to explore the natural beauty of the surrounding area, there are plenty of options for road trips and day trips. From stunning national parks to quirky towns, these places are all within driving distance from Las Vegas and offer a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Places to visit near las vegas by car
1. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Located just 17 miles west of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon is a beautiful and accessible destination for a day trip. The park is known for its towering red sandstone cliffs, which make for stunning hiking, rock climbing, and scenic drives. The 13-mile scenic drive takes visitors through some of the park’s most iconic vistas, and there are plenty of hiking trails and picnic areas to explore.
2. Valley of Fire State Park
Another nearby natural wonder is Valley of Fire State Park, which is located about an hour’s drive northeast of Las Vegas. The park is known for its striking red sandstone formations and ancient petroglyphs. Visitors can hike, camp, and even go on a hot air balloon ride over the park. Be sure to check out popular sites like Fire Wave, Elephant Rock, and the White Domes.
3. Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering and a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the Las Vegas area. Located just 30 miles southeast of the city, the dam spans the Colorado River and provides hydroelectric power to Nevada, Arizona, and California. Visitors can take a tour of the dam, walk across the top, or take a scenic helicopter ride for a bird’s eye view.
4. Mount Charleston
If you’re looking for a cooler escape from the desert heat, head up to Mount Charleston, which is located about 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The mountain peak rises to over 11,000 feet and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area. In the winter, visitors can even ski or snowboard at the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort.
5. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States and a popular destination for boating, fishing, and swimming. The recreation area is located about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas and is home to two marinas, campgrounds, and hiking trails. Visitors can rent boats, jet skis, and other watercraft to explore the lake, or simply relax on the sandy beaches.
6. Boulder City
Boulder City is a charming small town located about 20 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The town was originally built to house workers for the Hoover Dam, and today it retains much of its historic charm. Visitors can explore the historic district, visit the Hoover Dam Museum, or take a stroll through the charming parks and gardens.
7. Grand Canyon National Park
Although it’s a bit further away (about a four-hour drive), the Grand Canyon is a once-in-a-lifetime destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The park is home to some of the most stunning natural scenery in the world, with towering cliffs, deep canyons, and the winding Colorado River. Visitors can hike, raft, or simply take in the breathtaking views from the many overlooks and viewpoints.
What is the best time to visit these places near Las Vegas?
The best time to visit these places near Las Vegas is during the spring and fall months, when the temperatures are mild and the weather is comfortable. Summers in the desert can be scorching, so it’s best to plan outdoor activities early in the day or later in the evening.
Can I take my rental car to these places?
Yes, most rental car companies allow their cars to be driven to these places. However, it’s always best to check with your rental company before embarking on a road trip.
Are there any fees to visit these places?
Some of these places, such as Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park, have entrance fees. The fees vary depending on the location and the activities you plan to do, so be sure to check the official websites for up-to-date information.
How long does it take to drive to these places from Las Vegas?
The driving time to these places varies depending on the distance and the traffic. Red Rock Canyon is just a short 30-minute drive from the Strip, while the Grand Canyon is about a four-hour drive. It’s always best to plan your route ahead of time and allow for extra time in case of traffic or unexpected delays.
What should I bring on a day trip or road trip to these places?
It’s always a good idea to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, and a hat. If you plan to go hiking, bring a map or GPS device, a first-aid kit, and snacks. Check the weather forecast ahead of time and dress appropriately for the conditions.
From stunning natural wonders to historic small towns, the area around Las Vegas offers plenty of options for day trips and road trips. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or just a chance to get away from the city, these destinations are all within driving distance and offer a chance to explore the unique beauty of the American Southwest.
So why not plan your next road trip and discover some of these must-visit places near Las Vegas by car? You’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience and make memories that will last a lifetime.