4 Unique Destinations & Day Trips Outside of Vegas
What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but that doesn’t mean YOU have to! When locals or visitors want a break from the hustle and bustle, the surrounding areas offer many opportunities for a road trip: Las Vegas is not only an oasis in the desert, it is also at the epicenter of many natural wonders and historical landmarks.
Most people already know about the region’s headlining National Parks, State Parks, and Conservation Areas—Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Red Rocks, and the Valley of Fire included—but if you’re ready for some fresh sights, then buckle up and pack your snacks because here’s our list of the best day trips outside of Vegas.
If you’re ready to beat the desert heat, head to the higher elevations of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, otherwise known as Mount Charleston, where temperatures usually run about 20 degrees cooler than on the Valley floor. This special area about an hour north of downtown Vegas has plenty of opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and camping. You can even challenge yourself to summit Charleston Peak at nearly 12,000 feet. The Spring Mountains ecosystem is also one of the only places in Nevada where you’ll find bristlecone pines, among the oldest life forms on Earth.
Visiting in the fall? We recommend you visit Gilcrease Orchard for pumpkin picking and homemade apple cider. And if it’s the winter, you’re in for a special treat: while snow in Las Vegas is extremely rare, there’s plenty to enjoy at Mount Charleston’s Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort.
Just south of Vegas lies the Eldorado Canyon, where a dozen or so mining camps were established in the mid 1880s. The mining era lasted about 30 years before the camps were abandoned but the area still remains a great place to learn about the history of the Gold Rush and the painstaking process of mining for gold. Check out Techatticup Mine for the full experience, as well as a great viewpoint of the Colorado river, which is one of the nation’s best for canoeing and kayaking. Nearby, you can find abandoned artifacts from several Hollywood movies. For instance, the 2001 movie “3000 Miles to Graceland ” starring Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner features a plane crash, and the plane wreckage remains in the town of Nelson today. Looking for an adrenaline rush after your Gold Rush? Then check out Nelson’s Landing, where thrill-seekers from all over jump off the 50 foot cliffs into Lake Mojave.
MOJAVE NATIONAL PRESERVE
The Mojave Desert is certain to impress you (as well as your social media following) with its stunning landscapes. We suggest first scheduling an ATV tour where you can see wild horses in their natural habitat: With Vegas Off-Road Tours, you’ll start and end at the Pioneer Saloon in Goodspring. This desert watering hole is a throwback to the glamor days of Old Hollywood and Western films—the ghosts of movie stars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard are rumored to haunt the building. The Saloon was built in 1913 by Sears & Roebuck and today offers patrons the chance to “distill” their own barrel of whiskey. Top off your jaunt in the desert with a visit to Nipton, a mining ghost town that has been bought and sold numerous times in the last few years.
If you’re an “X-Files” enthusiast, have an alien abduction story, or are obsessed with Roswell then a drive along Nevada State Route 375 may be your perfect day trip. This road is your gateway to the great unknown, an area of the country that has always been shrouded in mystery and possible E.T. activity. Check out the Little A’Le’Inn in the micro-town of Rachel for the world-famous “alien burger” and a wide collection of out-of-this-world souvenirs. For more space-themed adventures, head down the highway to the Alien Research Center, where you can get the facts on Area 51 and snap a pic with the giant silver alien out front. And while you can’t actually visit Area 51, as it remains a highly classified U.S. government facility and closed military base, you can get pretty close and maybe —if you’re lucky—experience a UFO sighting of your own.
What are some of your favorite places to visit outside of Las Vegas? Let us know!
There is always something to do in and around Sin City, but all of the bright lights and busyness can be exhausting and our famous sunshine can take its toll on your skin. If you’re looking to refresh and rejuvenate your look, we invite you to come see us at Cosmetic Surgery of Las Vegas. Luxurious and state-of-the-art, our accredited surgical suite offers complete safety and privacy. Dr. Samir Pancholi is known for his superb skill with breast and body contouring as well as non-surgical treatments that will leave you feeling and looking your very best. You can reach our office at 702.843.5118 or submit a request for a personal consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!