7 Best Day Trips From Las Vegas By Car

7 Best Day Trips From Las Vegas by Car

Are you someone who isn’t fond of crowds, avoids the rush of public transport, and looking for day trips from las vegas by car

Do you like making your expeditions hella private and prefer taking a car for your upcoming Las Vegas tour but don’t know about the car-friendly and must-visit places in Las Vegas which you should add to your bucket list

In that case, you’ve just reached the right article, as we’re here to help you explore your lavish Las Vegas itinerary with our top picks that’ll not only elevate the excitement of your excursion but will also be worth your every penny. 

Best Day Trips From Las Vegas by Car

So yeah, keep reading our free travel guide right till the end to unveil the best of Vegas!

1. Hoover Dam

Known as one of the world’s seven engineering wonders, this is the whopping 726-foot tall dam from 1936. It is always packed with incredible activities throughout the year, making it an ideal choice for some fantastic day trips from Las Vegas by car

It is only a 45-minute drive from Vegas and is at the black canyon of the Colorado River, so some serene vistas await you there! Not only Colorado, but it also facilitates a full view of the beautiful Lake Mead (like a BOGO offer indeed!). 

Head to the top floor of the Visitor Center, at the Observation Deck, to get even better postcard-worthy vistas. Just near the center is the wonderful bronze sculpture called the Winged Figures of the Republic, and I’m sure this will elevate your day trip experience way higher! 

I enjoyed walking about the dam (absolutely free) since the surrounding areas were truly serene. Though children under eight aren’t allowed for the Dam tour

But you can always visit the powerplant ( charges $15-30) and let your children unleash how the power generates in an exciting way

This place isn’t only about the dizzy tall dam; it also offers hiking trails, stunning nearby cafes, watersports, swimming spots, bungee jumping, sky diving, and many more (though some activities are subject to availability). 

And the real flex about the place is you’ll be standing at the two top-notch states, Arizona and Nevada, at the same time while you’re at the dam. Lastly, if you still have some time left on your day trip, give a go to the bubbly Boulder City to end your day trip on an artistic note.

2. Red Rock Canyon

Located at a driving distance of 25 minutes from Las Vegas, this nature attraction dolled up in shades of brick red will surely give you a day trip picturesque as a Picasso art on a canvas

Not to be confused with the Red Rock Canyon State Park in California, this Mars-like, unworldly red beauty offers a stunning array of outdoor activities and 26 hiking trails (from casual walks to real challenging ones).

It is popular for preserving 800 years old petroglyphs and over 180 million years old sandstone cliffs

As trekking has always been my passion, I opted for two of the best trails, the White Rock Hills and Icebox Canyon, and trust me, the views were unforgettable, and since it was around the golden hour, it actually looked like the 196000 acres landmark at Mojave desert was blazing and glowing with pride

Not into trekking? 

No worries, there’s horseback riding for you ensuring you get the perfect click for your social media posts

If you happen to visit during Spring, you can spot the seasonal waterfall and eye-catching wildflowers

The 13 miles one-way drive to Calico Hills was hella amazing, and when I say this, it means it’s an absolute must-try

Be it the rock climbing, the off-road driving (only in selected areas), admiring the rugged beauty of the several surrounding mountains, traversing the park, bird watching, or dramatic views while you kayak through the Emerald Cove, each activity here at this unique landscape is an absolute magical treat and possibly the top things to do within 50 miles of Las Vegas

There’s also a Visitor Center where you can not only get help from the information desk but also get yourself some goodies from the indoor souvenir shop

You can end this happening day trip on a lovely note by relishing some fine steaks and seafood delicacies on the patio called T-bones.

3. Seven Magic Mountains

Are you looking for a place that could just be the perfect one to help you ace those Instagram trends

Then undoubtedly, this magical day trip from Las Vegas is what you need! 

This artistically beautiful landmark amidst the desert, with the surrounding mountains serving as the backdrop, is basically the seven stacked mighty neon boulders built by the famous Swedish artist Ugo Rondinano

Well, I admit this day trip doesn’t have many of those happening options of activities; however, it still made it to my top picks for its ease of accessibility, as it’s only a 20 mins drive from Las Vegas, offers super Instagrammable selfies and snaps, and guess what? 

This stunning installation worth 3 million dollars doesn’t require any entry fee too! 

As for the food, I opted for the ever-iconic Starbucks, which was only 3.5 miles away from it, so yeah, it’s one of the best places to visit near Las Vegas by car and something you definitely need to see in person!

4. Laughlin

If you’re looking for relaxing day trips from Las Vegas by car to enjoy with your family and friends, Laughlin is your stop! 

While this small town proudly holds its warm and close-knit aura, it is also popular for its fantastic range of diners, pubs, luxurious casinos, and the not-to-be-missed vibrant neon light-filled nightlife

Located at a distance of 1.5 hr drive from Vegas, this day trip is often remarked as riverside mini-Vegas, since there’s the spectacular Lake Mohave, where you can enjoy scuba diving while taking in the beautiful Nevada views

So if you’ve kids along with you, that’s a must-visit since watersports are always on the top list of kids! 

And what makes it even more family-friendly is it is relatively less crowded; even the beaches and casinos are way more relaxed than the bustling Vegas

All in all, be it a soothing boat tour, a cozy picnic at the River beach area, admiring the stunning lake views from one of the Laughlin casinos, or simply relishing your brunch at any of the beachside cafes, Laughlin will surely give you the perfect escape from the busy roads of the Sin City aka Las Vegas!

5. Lake Havasu City

Well, I believe nature’s beautiful sceneries and wonders truly possess the power to heal our souls and broken hearts, even if one isn’t a hardcore nature enthusiast! 

This tiny town, Lake Havasu City, is one such wonder which has got everything in it to make your day trip as alluring as ever. 

Start by taking a stroll on the London Bridge, admire the beauty of the waterfront and the cute replicas of the famous lighthouses, or just relax for a moment at the lakeside London Bridge Beach or the soothing State Park

Many exciting events take place here throughout the year; one such is the fishing competition since Lake Havasu is famous for holding a vast vault of Bass fish

My recent trip to this quirky island was in January, and I was lucky enough to spot the picture-perfect Hot air balloon festival

From stunning pyrotechnic shows, cruises, jet skiing, boat tours, off-roading, rock jumping at the Copper Canyon, golfing to having a comfy stay at any of the beachfront resorts, Lake Havasu, Arizona ensures you get that perfect one-of-a-kind day trip

Also, if you’re into bird watching, you can visit the Wildlife Refuge Center to spot some rare collections of birds

A nice add-on to your day trip is the nearby Rotary Community Park & Playgrounds, where you’ll see some uber-cool volleyball courses. 

Oh, how can I forget about the food? So if you fancy American cuisine, do visit the stunning Black Bear Diner Lake Havasu; I indeed got a homely feel in this diner after my long tiring day trip. 

And yeah, you can get all of it just by taking a 2.5 hr drive, and that makes it one of the top places to visit within 3 hours of Las Vegas!

6. Area 51

Lakes, mountains, beaches, and hikes don’t excite you anymore? Want something out of the world? Do you love unleashing mystery and are fond of aliens

Then you, my amigo, need to check out this mysterious itinerary to get some X-files-like vibe for real. 

So this isn’t like the ordinary road trips from Las Vegas where you can easily see trespassers! In fact, it is a military base where tests are carried out for experimental aircraft, and you need to abide by specific rules of the area if you wish to enjoy the itinerary. 

State Route 375 is popularly known for certain alien-like signs, and for this, its name became Extraterrestrial Highway, aka the UFO road

The fun part is only 54 residents reside here, and those who work at Area 51 literally hire planes to move in and out of their office daily. 

This 2.5-hour drive itinerary isn’t going to disappoint you because the entire ambiance it creates is way too spooky

From the kitschy cafes, shops, the ridiculously beautiful Joshua tree forest, the eerie black mailbox, and the weird highway drive to the Alien-like rock carvings, everything out there will give you the vibe as if you’re in a science fiction movie

Don’t forget to visit the Alien Research Center for quirky goodies and do pose for a selfie with the enormous Alien figure at the entrance. But yes, do contact them before coming since it might not be open 24/7.

Just along the Extraterrestrial Highway, there’s the E. T. Fresh Jerky Shop, where you’ll find some spaceship kinda snacks and alien murals

My last stop for the day trip was yet another ghostly town, Rachel, where I dropped by the famous Little A’Le’Inn (pronounce it as Alien Lol) Bar and Motel and devoured their most demanding Alien Burger!

7. Valley of Fire State Park

So if you’re super pumped up to explore some historical day trips from Las Vegas by car, this is the place you need! And do you know what awaits here for you? 

It’s the dinosaur bones!! 

Yes, you history freaks will indeed find this interesting because this fiery red beauty boasts the ruins of 3000 years old geological marvels, dinosaur bones, petroglyphs, striking landscapes, camping sites, and, of course, the ever-iconic 150 million-year-old sandstone swirls themselves! 

You’ll find a Visitor Center where you’ll get an even more enriched idea about the park’s history

And this 40,000-acre landscape isn’t only about the history and colorful mountains; it is also home to stunning wildlife, such as bighorn sheep and rattlesnakes

It was also used as a backdrop in many famous Hollywood movies, and what makes it one of the best day trips from Las Vegas is its East and West entrance roads

It’s also a Nevada Scenic Byway road, and trust me, the entire drive along the route is beyond beautiful! Oh, wait, how can I miss telling you about the park’s happening trails

Well, just to let you know, this place features multiple treks of different difficulty levels, so hikers from every age group can make their way for some adventure in these iconic Aztec red sandstones

My favorite was the Fire Wave trail, where the sandy landscapes looked like some scooped ice cream swirls for real! 

All you need is a 1.5hr drive from Sin City and an entrance fee of $10 only

But yes, if you’re heading off during Summer, don’t forget to bring lots of water since we don’t want you to lose all your energy in the scorching heat!

Conclusion: Day Trips From Las Vegas by Car

Yay, and that was it from us today on the unique yet fun day trips from Las Vegas by car. And why should it always have to be public transport, right? 

Also, if you’re in a car, you can go out anytime and explore anywhere without worrying about the tight schedules of the bus or train. 

You can absolutely enjoy your Las Vegas itinerary via car or rideshares, or even car rentals since they are not only reasonable but will also help you to get complete freedom and accessibility for your day trip. 

The best time for the Las Vegas itinerary is Spring, as you don’t want the Summer heat to b-e-a-t it all. 

Ensure your car’s gas tank is full since gas station options aren’t extensive here. And when you’re on a car venture, it’ll be even better to have printed copies of the routes and maps since you might not get a full network in some areas. 

Finally, check if you’ve all your essentials in your backpack, from light snacks and water bottles to power banks and bug repellants, to ensure you enjoy the fullest on your day trip.

Al Amin Sagor

Hi, I'm Al Amin Sagor. Join me as I share travel tips, personal insights, and amazing experiences that have shaped my adventures. Let's explore together and make lasting memories.

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