Best Day Trips Outside of Vegas

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Classic panorama view of historic US Route 163 in golden evening light at sunset in summer.
BetMGM Jan 14, 2022, 8:13 AM

Incredible casinos featuring the world’s finest casino table games, comedy shows, music concerts, and dance shows, and a party that never stops are not the only things Nevada has on offer. Venture just out of Las Vegas and you’ll discover some truly spectacular surroundings. 

Photograph Death Valley

Just over a two-hour drive from Las Vegas is the epic Death Valley National Park. Known as one of the hottest and driest places on earth, this natural wonder is bursting with life and beauty. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or driving through to see the most picturesque places around the park, you are guaranteed immense beauty and awe-inspiring sights. 

This trip is an absolute must for Star Wars fans, as parts of Episodes IV and VI were filmed here! Look out for coyotes, foxes, and bighorn sheep, and be sure to visit between October and April when the temperatures are mild enough for a comfortable hike. The best time to visit, especially for photographers, is sunrise and sunset. You may want to enter toward the end of the day and spend the night, though, as the park is certified as the third International Dark Sky Park, making it one of the best places in the world to stargaze. 

Drive through Area 51 and cruise along the Extraterrestrial Highway

If Invaders Megaways is your favorite online slot game, then a drive to Area 51 will be right up your alley. Being a military base, you won’t actually be able to explore Area 51, but you can get close enough to feel the mystery in the air! The town of Rachel is just a two-hour-and-15-minute drive from Las Vegas and is located along the Extraterrestrial Highway. Home to only 53 residents, the local hangout, The Little A Le Inn Bar and Motel, serves the famous “alien burger” and has plenty of spooky souvenirs to take back home. A little farther down the highway is the Alien Research Center, where you can get all the facts about Area 51.

Explore the Grand Canyon National Park

You cannot visit this neck of the woods without making a stop at the Grand Canyon. The astonishing Grand Canyon National Park lies just over a two-hour drive away. With 1,902 square miles of pristine beauty, it offers not only unbelievable views, but many enjoyable activities, making for a fun-filled day out. Walk along the glass-bottomed Skywalk, get your adrenaline pumping with some zip-lining, or ride a mule to the foot of the canyon. There are also several restaurants where you can enjoy great food during the day. The West Rim is located on sacred Native American grounds, so you can also check out the cultural center to learn more about the Hualapai people and their culture.

Take a helicopter ride over Hoover Dam

This 726-foot tall dam crosses the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona and is just a 45-minute drive from the city of lights. You can explore the views from the top of the dam, take a guided tour and learn about the power it generates (bringing electricity to millions of people in Nevada, Arizona, and California) and what that does for the surrounding desert. You can also take a helicopter flight over the dam for more awe-inspiring views of this National Historic Landmark. The more adventurous folk can go kayaking or paddleboarding in Lake Mead, a reservoir formed by the dam.

If you’d like to spend the night, the Boulder Dam Hotel offers elegant accommodation. But beware, it’s known to be haunted. Head into Boulder City to finish off your trip. This charming little town offers plenty of historical sightseeing, from the Nevada State Railroad Museum to many antique stores and plenty of great bars and restaurants.

Day trip through the Wild West

It may be difficult to imagine a time when Las Vegas wasn’t the bright, flashy, bustling metropolis we know and love today. But of course, it once formed part of the Wild West, just like its neighboring towns and states. So put your cowboy boots on and take a tour along the famous Route 66 into Arizona to see what’s left of the authentic Old West, exploring towns like Oatman and Chloride. Get a drink at an old-fashioned saloon and enjoy a gunfight reenactment while you’re at it – you may just pick up some new lingo to bring to your next casino poker game!

Hike at Red Rock Canyon

If you’re in the mood for a change of scenery without venturing too far from your hotel, Red Rock Canyon offers over 26 hiking trails that range from scenic strolls to uphill climbs, all just a 20-minute drive from the city. The desert wildflowers bloom from late March to early May and the stunning rock formations can be appreciated year-round. Be sure to see the petroglyphs, which are said to be over 800 years old. They’re just a short trek from the Willow Springs Picnic Area.

View the Valley of Fire petroglyphs

Just a 45-minute drive from Vegas lies one of Nevada’s most iconic natural wonders. Learn about the fascinating history of the rock carvings at the visitor center before heading out to look at the native Indian petroglyphs dating back over 2,000 years. The park stretches out over 46,000 acres and is named after its red sandstone formations which formed from shifting dunes over 150 million years ago. These appear to be on fire at certain times of the day when the sun reflects on the Aztec sandstone. Temperatures are scorching so, similar to Death Valley, it’s best to avoid during the hottest months of the year.

Play casino games at BetMGM

Of course, if you’ve already attended a few spectacular shows, visited some of the most famous restaurants and casinos, and ventured into the city’s beautiful surroundings, you may be looking forward to a day of relaxing at the pool or in your hotel room. BetMGM makes the best games to play at a casino available to you from your mobile devices! 

Enjoy everything from live dealer games to online casino games like online poker, slots, and roulette casino games from wherever you are with BetMGM. 

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.