Top Great Destinations Within Driving Distance of Las Vegas

Deciding on a vacation destination is not always the easiest thing to do. Thought must be given to choosing a location that will appeal to everyone in the family or travel group, so that everyone can have an equal chance at having a good time.

One of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States is the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, and for good reason. Las Vegas is most famous for the resort casinos that line the famous Las Vegas Strip, but there is much more to the city than that including museums, amusement type attractions, nightclubs, first class dining options and more. But, those travelers that venture to Las Vegas and then never leave the more urban areas are really missing out on a great many wonderful attractions that are all located not too far from the city itself.

1. Hoover Dam and Lake Mead

One of the most visited areas of Nevada, possibly the most visited non-gambling destination, is Hoover Dam. Completed in 1935, Hoover Dam was at the time the largest electric power producing station and also the largest concrete structure ever built. Both of those marks have been passed, but Hoover Dam remains an impressive destination none the less. There are several viewpoints that offer great perspective on the size and grandeur of Hoover Dam and a stop at the informative visitor center is a must. There are also tours available that take visitors deep within the dam itself. The water held back by Hoover Dam formed Lake Mead, the largest man made lake in the entire United States. The main purpose of the lake is as a reservoir supplying water throughout the region and beyond and also as tthe means for producing the electricity produced by Hoover Dam. Lake Mead though has grown in popularity though and is a very popular recreational location attracting millions of guests each year. Some of the popular pursuits in the Lake Mead area include overnight camping, boating, swimming, jet skiing, fishing and houseboat rentals. Whether someone is using it as a diversion from the intensity of life in Las Vegas or as the main destination itself, Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are great places for anyone in Las Vegas to make a visit to.

2. Valley of Fire State Park

Nevada's oldest state park is also one of Nevada's finest state parks. Valley of Fire State Park is located just fifty miles northeast of the city of Las Vegas, but sits at a much higher elevation. The scenery available within the park is astounding whether the visitor to the area is looking at the sand dunes, the canyon walls or the famous rock formations. A great deal of natural history can learned at the Valley of Fire State Park, but more importantly it can be experienced first hand. There are a number of areas in the park where there is still evidence of the early inhabitants to the area, as well as other historical signs and artifacts like petroglyphs. One of the best ways to get a quick taste of what Valley of Fire State Park has to offer is by traveling the ten mile long Valley of Fire Road which crosses the park from east to west.

3. Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park has some o the most unique history of any national park in the country. Located east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and straddling the Nevada-California border, the park is the hottest and driest of any national park in the United States of America. Travelers come from all over the country to experience Death Valley National Park and all it has to offer including the incredible scenery, desert wildlife, historic locations, and interesting geological features. During the summer, it is not uncommon for temperatures in the area to reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. There are a number of great scenic points that are popular with visitors to the park including Telescope Peak, Burned Wagons Camp, Scotty's Castle, as well as numerous abandoned mining operations. The most popular activities to take part in inside the park are hiking, camping, mountain biking, and off road vehicle driving. There are over three hundred miles of roadway in the park, much of it unpaved and perfect for exploring with a four wheel drive vehicle. For a truly unique experience in the great outdoors, a trip to Death Valley National Park is a must.

4. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Red Rock Canyon National Conservative Area offers a great escape from downtown Las Vegas and it is conveniently located just minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip. The beauty of the almost bright red sanstone outcroppings stands out agains the sandy desert backdrop. Exploring the area is easy thanks to a thirteen mile long loop road that meanders through the entire Red Rock Canyon area. Along the way there is a visitor center, wildlife viewing areas, old sandstone mining sites, and a number of hiking trails. Hiking and rock climbing are both popular activities in Red Rock Canyon and offer a great way to see the uniqueness of this gorgeous area close-up. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is quick and easy way to escape the excitement of the Las Vegas Strip and enjoy some relaxing time outdoors.

5. Grand Canyon National Park

There are few, if any, more famous natural scenic areas in the United States than the Grand Canyon. Though the drive to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas is a little longer than to other attractions in the region it is well worth it, especially if the traveler has never been there before. The canyon is enjoyable from a number of different perspectives, whether seeing it from the rim, the floor of the canyon or from the air above as part of charter helicopter tour. The newly formed skywalk, which is a U-shaped walkway built around the edge of a cliff gives you a magnificent perspective of the canyon as you walk around it. The drive to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas takes more than a few hours and along the way the desert scenery is spectacular in its own way. A trip to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas is best done as an overnight excursion due in part to the travel time, but also because once a traveler reaches the canyon there is so much to see and do.

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon

If you plan to visit las vegas, you may considering renting a car and driving to these popular destinations near driving distance. You can book pakage travel that involves air, hotel and car rental. Travelocity and Expedia are some of the most popular online booking agencies on the web. Travelocity coupon codes or expedia promo codes can be used to lower costs in these sites. Using travel coupon codes will help you become a wise and prudent shopper.

While Las Vegas is definitely a spot where an entire vacation can be spent and everyone involved would be more than satisfied, it would be a shame if the lucky travelers to the city didn't take a break from the neon and the glitz to venture outside the city limits and see some of the truly fascinating attractions located within an easy drive from their very hotel. With a great deal of historical sites and natural resources available, like the ones listed above plus many more, it can easily be seen that some of the best moments of a Las Vegas vacation might be had away from the city. A trip to Las Vegas and the surrounding area is a great way for a group or family to spend their valuable and rare vacation time.  

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Last updated by admin on 5/14/2009
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