Las Vegas is definitely a must for my 2013 travels. I was sorely disappointed that I couldn’t visit this glitzy and outrageous city (bit like me really) in October 2012 so I make a promise. I WILL be visiting Las Vegas.

Speaking to one of my acquaintances, I was handed this article to tell me why I should go to Las Vegas and discover the alternative trips around the gambling capital of the world.


5 road trips around the gambling capital of the world

Everyone wants to go to Las Vegas at least once in their lifetime. It’s that trip you have on your bucket list whether you’re a fan of the slot machines or not. Once in Las Vegas though, a day of canned air and ding-ding-ding sounds will drive you crazy. That’s the moment to hit the road with a rental car, and get the alternative holiday in the Mojave Desert.


1.     Death Valley National Park

Las Vegas

Photo Credit: Daniel J. Mueller


You hire a car; it’s suuuper easy and you might even get a discount. They have those all year round. After that it’s sorted; Death Valley is just a two-hour drive east.

Highway 95 is quick and easy and the chances of getting lost are slim. What’s more it goes directly to Beatty. From there you can go to Furnace Creek to see a movie about Death Valley or do some touristy stuff – like buying/sending postcards and books. Drive a bit further south and you can visit the Devil’s Golf Course.

On your way back, if you fancy an easy hike Golden Canyon should definitely be on your map. It goes to Zabriskie Point and Dante’s View – two of the most astonishing scenic spots in the park.

Quirky fact: As you enter the park you will be at 6,500 ft. Go 5 miles into the park and you’ll be  below sea level.  


2.     Hoover Dam

 Las Vegas

Photo Credit: ecstaticist via Compfight


One of the best road trips you can do is the one to Hoover Dam, just about 30 miles south-east of Las Vegas. If you think it’s all about the size of the Dam and its huge hydroelectric generators, then you’re missing an important part of the trip. The four towers, spillways and the power plant have an elegant Art Deco design that attracts thousands of tourists all year round. Notonly that, there are two Modernist-style bronze sculptures called the Winged Figures of the Republic and a polished terrazzo floor on the Nevada side plaza.

There you can also see a plaque commemorating the 96 workers who died during the dam’s construction.

Myth Buster: A popular myth says the workers were buried in the dam’s concrete but this isn’t true.


3.     Mount Charleston

The third road trip not to be missed on your alternative holiday lies just 35 miles NW of the Las Vegas Strip. Mount Charleston is open all year round and is a part of the Spring Mountain Range and Toiyabe National Forest. So don’t imagine you’ll be spending your whole holiday in the car. Mount Charleston is the perfect spot to do some hiking, camping and get a breath of fresh air along with some stunning views of waterfalls and peaks. And if you want more adventure – try zooming down a zipline in Bootleg Canyon.


4.     Valley of Fire State Park

 Las Vegas

Photo Credit: mika2k1 via Compfight


Once you embark on a road trip renting a car or  tour bus, go and see the Valley of Fire State Park. You wouldn’t want to miss Nevada’s oldest and largest park, would you? Once there you can meet the Beehives and Duck Rock – the funny looking red rock formations. And yes, those are their actual names. Fear not, both places are perfect for your road trip video and picture album to give to your friends.

It’s easy to get there as well. If you go on the Interstate 15 and follow the signs, approximately 50 miles North of Las Vegas you’ll find yourself right next to the Beehives.

Small tip: If you decide to take this alternative holiday around Las Vegas, I would suggest driving early or late in the day, due to the dangerously hot summer temperatures. .



5.     Lake Mead

Picture yourself spending a day on the beach contemplating the turquoise waters of Las Vegas. Impossible, you may say. I say Lake Mead.  Last but not least on your list should be Lake Mead; if not for the landscape, at least for its recreational area.

Heading south on the US 93 through Boulder City, after about a 30 minutes’ drive from the Las Vegas Strip, you’ll find Lake Mead, which is twice the size of Rhode Island by the way. It costs $10 to get in, but it gives you access to the lake for a week. Not bad value for money. It also gives you that long lusted escape from the hustle of the ka-ching machines.


Now you know what’s on offer, all you need for this alternative Las Vegas trip is a plan and the desire to explore the Mojave Desert. A simple first step is renting a car. There are many options but Holiday Autos has offers for car hire all year round. So it may be better to check it out and make the most of these offers  so you can pick up your car the minute you want to start your trip.





Alternative US road trip idea:

Road trip essentials:

Road trip playlists:

Dos and donts on a road trip:

Car hire offers: or

Dos and donts on a road trip:


Got anymore ideas? Let me know in the comments”


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