Las Vegas
Nevada
Destinations
Reservations

Attractions near Las Vegas

Many southwestern attractions are nearby

Las Vegas is a great place to begin your tour of the southwestern part of the USA. Many airlines offer inexpensive flights to Las Vegas from cities all across the country. Las Vegas is centrally located near several great natural attractions like the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and Death Valley. You can easily fly to Las Vegas and begin your driving tour of the beautiful southwest from this casino capital of the US.

Even if you are planning only a short visit to Las Vegas, you can easily drive to some of the nearby attractions like Red Rock Canyon or Hoover Dam in just a few hours. The Grand Canyon or Zion will require a bit longer. Many tour operators in Las Vegas provide bus tours or airline excursions to the Grand Canyon and some of the other great natural attractions in the area.

Bryce Canyon National Park - 3 hours drive from Las Vegas © Luigi Parmeggiani
With an additional few hours drive, you can also visit Bryce Canyon Park with some strikingly different spectacular scenery.

Short day trips from Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located just 20 miles west of Las Vegas. It contains many strange and beautiful rock formations and provides a good opportunity to view the native vegetation of the low and high desert country. For a $5 per car admission fee, you can drive the 13 mile loop road, hike the many trails or join the many rock climbers scaling the boulders and cliffs. Early morning when the shadows are long and the sun has not yet heated the rocks to intense temperatures is a great time to appreciate this geological scenery.

Hoover Dam is located about 35 miles south of Las Vegas. This impressive 725 feet high concrete structure has created the 110-mile-long Lake Mead. In less than an hour drive from Las Vegas, you can marvel at the size of the dam and view this great blue body of water situated incongruously in the middle of the desert surrounded by stark rugged rock formations. For an $8 admission fee, you can tour the inner bowels of the dam and its massive power generating equipment. At Lake Mead, you can swim, fish, take a boat excursion or even rent a houseboat for an extended stay on this desert sea. Nearby, Boulder City is a nice place to stop for lunch and to shop in the many small craft stores and boutiques.

Laughlin, Nevada is just 60 miles south of Las Vegas along the Colorado River. It is becoming the less-expensive vacation alternative to Las Vegas. It has several large hotel casinos that are a bit less elaborate than Vegas. It has great shows that may be a bit less glitzy than Vegas. It has water sports on the river and nearby lake and quick access to some spectacular desert scenery. Best of all, it has prices that are usually less expensive than Las Vegas.

Get up to 20% off on your Car Rental

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon in neighboring Arizona is one of the greatest natural wonders in the world. Don't miss seeing this spectacular attraction when you visit Las Vegas!

Grand Canyon National Park is about 100 miles east of Las Vegas but it requires a 300 mile, five-hours drive to reach the South Rim Visitor's Center. To see the canyon properly, will require an overnight stay. If you cannot afford that much time, then at least take one of the excursion tours from Las Vegas. Airplane tours depart often and permit you to see the canyon from the air and to visit it on the ground at the South Rim in just a few hours. You can also take bus tours that depart from Las Vegas early in the morning and return late the same evening.

Drive Route 66 to the Grand Canyon!

For a great driving tour, take route 93 south to Lake Mead and across the top of Hoover Dam to Kingman Arizona. The ride through the desert is stark yet beautiful. Be sure to fill your gas tank and to take along a few bottles of drinking water! Interstate 40 parallels old historic route 66 between Kingman and Flagstaff. Be sure to visit the Main Street of rustic Williams, Arizona before heading north on route 64. You can lunch at the Cowboy Cafe. shop in the small stores and walk along a section of historic route 66. The small town of Tusayan and the South Rim Visitor's Center are about an hour drive north of Williams. The best times to see the canyon are in early morning and late evening when the low angle of the sun produces some spectacular colors on the rocks. If you spend the night at the South Rim or in nearby Tusayan, reserve ahead because facilities are limited.

If you have plenty of time, take a side trip to Sedona, Arizona about a one-hour drive south of Flagstaff. This quaint village is located in a spectacularly beautiful canyon lined with green trees amidst towering red sandstone cliffs and buttes. It has a wide selection of hotels, resorts, restaurants and shops. You can easily spend a few days driving through the neighboring canyons, hiking, mountain biking or just relaxing and enjoying the fantastic scenery.

Sedona Arizona is five hours drive from Las Vegas © ArtToday
If you have plenty of time, take a side trip to Sedona, Arizona about a one-hour drive south of Flagstaff.

Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks!

Zion National Park is about 125 miles northeast of Las Vegas along Route 15. You can reach it in about 3 hours drive and you can see the highlights as a day trip if you leave early. The scenery is spectacular. With an additional few hours drive, you can also visit Bryce Canyon Park with some strikingly different spectacular scenery. If you spend the night at either park or in Cedar City, this makes a wonderful two-day, overnight jaunt from Vegas.

Death Valley is a unique sight!

Death Valley lies about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas in neighboring California and it contains some of the most severe desert landscape in the USA. You can reach it with a few hours drive. Be sure to have a full tank of gasoline and several bottles of drinking water in your vehicle. It is called Death Valley for good reason. Temperatures can exceed 120 deg. F (50 deg C) If you plan on spending a night in Death Valley, you must have advance reservations as accommodations are very limited.

Written by: Mike Leco
Top Photo Credit: © Mike Leco / USATourist.com
Photo Description: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located just 20 miles west of Las Vegas.