Best Places to Visit in Las Vegas
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|Best Las Vegas Daytrips|
|Lake Mead Hoover Dam Red Rock Canyon Valley of Fire Grand Canyon Tours Atomic Testing Museum|
Sometime during your Vegas vacation, you may want to step out and see the "neighborhood". We provide information on the attractions that are the best daytrips in the Las Vegas area.
During the last decade, the Southwest of the US has experienced a significant drought. In addition, the outflow of water from the lakes to downstream states has continued to exceed the inflow. As a consequence, the water level has dropped significantly since 2000. Stop in the Lake Mead Visitor Center, also called the Alan Bible Visitor Center, located off of U.S. 93, four miles southeast of Boulder City, to check on current conditions and the status of the Lake’s marinas.
Although hiking is popular, the Recreational Area is best known for its water sports. Remember that this is desert area and it can be torrid in summer. Visit Lake Mead in spring or early autumn for pleasant temperatures. See the National Park Service pages on Lake Mead for specifics on visiting. http://www.nps.gov/lame/ .
attraction is quite popular (open between 9 and 5) especially in summer and
tour times between 9AM and 10AM are the least crowded.
(By the way the Mike O"Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, a bypass of
Hoover Dam, is now complete. The bridge is becoming something of an icon
itself, as it is comprised of the largest concrete arch in the Western
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area lies just at the western edge of Las Vegas and is a great place for afternoon out of the casinos and off the Strip. Red Rock Canyon is perfectly named as it is a large, beautiful canyon area with cliffs covered with an amazing variety of reddish hues. The Conservation area hosts over a million visitors a year who are attracted to this natural wonderland of petrified sand dunes. Be sure to bring water and good hiking shoes if you want to hike around the park. Just driving through can be great fun, but to really explore the area, you need to do some walking. The Visitor Center is informative and it's where you should start your exploration of the park. See the Red Rock Canyon official web site for more information http://www.nv.blm.gov/redrockcanyon/.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area is open from sunrise to sunset (6 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter and later in spring summer and fall) Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area is approximately 17 miles west of the strip. You can get there by following on Charleston Boulevard to the edge of town. Stay on Highway 159 (Blue Diamond Road) until you come to the park entrance. (There is a modest entrance fee.)
There is a modest admission fee. The best place to start your tour is at the Park's Information Center. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear good hiking shoes, as the trails are the best ways to see the real beauty of the park. There are a number of areas that display authentic petroglyphs (rock art from the Anasazi and other early visitors to the area). Details on visiting can be found at the parks official web site http://parks.nv.gov/vf.htm .
The Grand Canyon is a little out the way for a land tour from Las Vegas. Although you can reach the North Rim after a long, difficult drive, the best panoramic views of the Grand Canyon can be seen only from its South Rim, which is a significantly longer drive from Las Vegas (allow two days at a minimum).
Helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon are available from Las Vegas. Be sure to investigate the safety record of any company you consider for such a tour and assess whether the risks of helicopter travel are you for you.
If you plan to spend some time in the southwest of the United States, you may want to take a look at our guide to the Best National Parks in the America Southwest.
Although not quite a daytrip, those of you with an interest in history may find a trip to the Atomic Testing Museum to be an interesting adventure. As many of you know, in the 1950s and 1960s visitors to Las Vegas could often see (and feel) the atomic bomb tests held at the Nevada Test Site and the Atomic Testing Museum provides an exhaustive history of the Nevada testing, as well as the "Cold War" that marked the beginning of the nuclear age.
We recommend this compact, but informative museum as one of the leading attractions in Las Vegas. See the museum's official website for more details on its displays and programs. If the Area 51 exhibit is available (extra fee) you should see it for an enjoyable overview of the questions and potential evidence involved in the possible visits of alien life forms to our planet (or maybe just to gamble in Las Vegas).
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Lake Mead photographs courtesy of U.S. Department of the Interior
Hoover Dam Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior