Being in the city is great, but there are a number of things to do in the surrounding area to make your trip to Vegas a truly unique one. If you have the transportation, there are a number of day trips from Las Vegas by car that are worth dedicating a day or two to the next time you visit. See where to go with these 12 destinations that are less than an hour away from the city, along with a couple of spots worth the extra drive time to see!
The ultimate in outdoor Las Vegas excursions, Red Rock Canyon is a gorgeous, coppery conservation area filled with natural wonder. Over 26 hiking trails span the canyon and range from casual strolls to strenuous uphill climbs, but all of them will lead you to beautiful destinations.
One of the most historic locations in the area, Boulder City is a charming small town that was the booming epicenter of the region during the 1930s. You can visit the Nevada State Railroad Museum, explore the many antique stores, check out Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum, or stop by the Boulder Dam Brewing Co.
Would you expect to see a lawn in the middle of the Mojave Desert? At the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, you can enjoy the lush grass under your feet all thanks to the six babbling springs on the property. Check out the amazing hiking loops throughout the park, and be sure to visit the historic Main Ranch House too.
If you’re looking for an Old West day trip, there’s no better place than Goodsprings. The Nevada ghost town at Goodsprings goes back to 1904, where visitors can visit the famous Pioneer Saloon, take off-road tours, learn Hollywood history, and see the remains of one of the most bountiful mining districts in southern Nevada.
If you’re looking for some waterfront fun, Lake Mead has you covered. Take the boat out for some adventures, bike around the trails, or cool off in one of the swimming areas. You can opt for one of the many guided tours on the lake, or you can try kayaking, camping, hiking trails, fishing, horseback riding, scuba diving, and much more.
The Hoover Dam is one of mankind’s most ambitious projects as it stands at a whopping 726-feet tall and crosses the Colorado River, giving a beautiful view. It’s free to walk along the top and take in the scenery, but you can also book a 30-minute or 1-hour tour to take you further into the dam to learn more about its history and function.
Located just outside of city limits is a place for all nature lovers visiting Las Vegas. Mount Charleston is a favorite spot for locals to visit, especially in the winter when snow covers the ground and the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort opens. In the warmer months, it’s the perfect spot for hikes, picnics, horseback riding, and apple picking.
A unique landscape made of striking Aztec sandstone seems to glow like a fire in the aptly-named Valley of Fire. This sport is perfect for adventurers and explorers who want to keep their eye out for 2,500-year-old petroglyphs, geological marvels, and even some dinosaur bones. It’s easy to see why this spot is one of the most photogenic.
While this is about day trips to Vegas, how about a night trip? On top of some awesome things to catch during the day, like seeing Tatooine from Star Wars in real life, Death Valley is certified as the third International Dark Sky Park. This means it has some of the darkest skies in the world and is perfect for stargazing.
The Grand Canyon is one of the largest wonders of the world, and luckily, it isn’t too far from Las Vegas. Part of it, that is! The West Rim is a short drive from Las Vegas and offers some great amenities such as the glass-bottomed Skywalk, a zip line, a Hualapai cultural center, restaurants, and of course some gorgeous views.
Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the country and is well worth the extra drive for one of the best day trips from Vegas. For a quick adventure, hike the one-mile Canyon Overlook Trail. If you don’t want to miss any of the highlights during your visit, the park offers a shuttle bus to see the landmarks you’d like to visit.
Though this day trip from Vegas might be more of a drive than all the other stops, it’s definitely a trip you should make. Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado desert, come together in Joshua Tree National Park to show off some surreal geological features. Fun fact: The Joshua tree may have inspired Dr. Seuss’s Truffula tree.
If you have an extra day or two in your travel itinerary, these day trips from Las Vegas by car are some of the best ways to have a unique experience and explore the surrounding area. Whether driving half an hour to Boulder City for some antique shopping or making the trek out to Zion National Park to hike in all its beauty, you’ll find experiences that can’t be found in Las Vegas. Make memories both in and out of the city by booking a room at the D Hotel. It’s the perfect spot to unwind between your day trips and to have fun in the city!