There is a lot to do in and around Las Vegas besides the typical partying and gambling. One of the best ways to escape the Strip is to take a 2 day trip from Las Vegas. Another idea is to check out some non touristy things to do in Vegas.
If you have your own vehicle you can reach some of these places to visit near Las Vegas by car within a few hours. Click here to compare prices on a rental car if you need one. Don’t drive? No worries, there are also several activities including transportation listed below.
There are several attractions outside of Las Vegas for an overnight, weekend getaway or road trip. Let’s go!
Overnight Trips from Las Vegas
When you’ve had enough of the lights and action of the Vegas Strip it’s time for an overnight or weekend trip. Here are some of the best 2 day trips from Las Vegas. Combine some of the sights for a longer road trip.
• Lake Mead is only about 25 miles from the Vegas Strip, and offers plenty of outdoor activities including boating, hiking, camping and fishing. It’s great for a day trip or an overnight adventure. Go for a dinner cruise on a historic paddleboat and watch the sunset. You can camp at Lake Mead or if you prefer hotels take a look at the Boulder Dam Hotel. Lake Mead is a favorite Las Vegas locals getaway.
• Mount Charleston is a terrific quick trip just 30 minutes drive from the city, making it one of the perfect places to visit near Las Vegas by car. In the winter you can go skiing, and in the summer take a hike. It makes a great day trip from Las Vegas but you can also stay in the resort overnight. Click here for prices and availability.
• Zion National Park is one of my favorite places on earth. The scenery is breathtaking with colorful cliffs, canyons and rock formations around every bend. Be sure to do the Narrows hike up the canyon. There are two campgrounds in the park and several options for camping and glamping nearby, check Campendium and Hipcamp for options (sign up for Hipcamp here and get $20 off your first stay). For a special treat book your stay at the Zion Lodge in the park or check here to compare prices for lodging options nearby in Springdale.
• Grand Canyon is a sight everyone should see at least once in a lifetime. It is one of the most popular weekend getaways outside Las Vegas. The south rim is more easily accessed from Vegas and has plenty of options for lodging and dining. It’s a little more than four hours to drive. You could stay in Grand Canyon Village or use charming Flagstaff as a base. See more about Flagstaff below.
The Grand Canyon north rim is a longer journey but the road trip could be combined with visits to other places on this list. If you’d prefer an organized tour from Las Vegas or another city, check these offerings below from Get Your Guide.
• Bryce Canyon National Park is an otherworldly landscape that is perfect for a weekend trip or longer. It’s about 4 hours from Las Vegas by car and one of the best driving trips from Las Vegas. Don’t feel like driving? You can also visit Bryce Canyon and Zion on a guided tour from Las Vegas. You can camp at the campground inside the national park or stay in a hotel or motel just outside the entrance in the little village of Bryce. Be sure to catch the sunset views from the overlooks in the park. They are stunning!
• Flagstaff, Arizona is a small city in the high desert with a special charm. It is one of the best cities to visit near Las Vegas. You can even do a guided tour of the Grand Canyon from your lodgings in Flagstaff. Flagstaff could make a great destination when the weather is hot in Vegas as it is the high desert and thus enjoys cooler temperatures. This charming town also makes a great home base for exploring nearby National and State Parks. Explore Coconino National Forest or Walnut Canyon National Monument. Several tours and adventures leave from here including a tour of Monument Valley and this Colorado River rafting trip.
Because Flagstaff has cooler temperatures and lots of fun activities, lodgings can get pricey and book up fast. Check here to compare lodging prices and availability for your trip.
• Antelope Canyon is a stunning sight that should not be missed. The drive takes about five hours from the city and would make a terrific overnight trip from Las Vegas. You must be accompanied by a native Navajo guide to access the canyons. If you are staying the weekend in Sedona or Flagstaff you can also book a guided tour that will pick you up at your lodgings for a full day tour.
You can also do Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend as a day trip from Las Vegas if you don’t have a vehicle or are short on time.
• Joshua Tree National Park has become one of the most popular in recent years due to its awesome rock formations, unusual plant life and proximity to the Los Angeles area. However, it is also a convenient drive from Las Vegas for a few days getaway, and could be the perfect stopover if you are headed west anyway. The park is amazing with lots of great hikes and rock climbing too. There are many campgrounds within the park, but do be aware they fill up early. Click here for our favorite quirky and cool places to stay near Joshua Tree and tips for things to do in the area.
If you plan to visit Joshua Tree, I recommend stopping in Palm Springs as well. The historic part of town is fabulous for midcentury architecture and kitsch. And the aerial tramway is a wonderful way to escape the heat. Palm Springs one of my favorite places for a getaway from Los Angeles, or in this case, Vegas. Here are my favorite places to stay there.
• Death Valley is another National Park that should be on your must-see list. You might want to skip this one in the summertime as temperatures can soar over 115 F (47 C) degrees. But aside from the hottest days you’ll find an amazing place. It has the lowest elevation point in the US and is the hottest and driest National Park. You can explore the park on dirt roads and even camp in the backcountry off these roads. It could be fun to rent a camper van or RV and explore the park.
MONEY-SAVING TIP: If you will visit more than one National Park in a year I highly recommend purchasing the America the Beautiful pass which gives you free access to the parks. You can purchase the pass here.
I hope you enjoyed this list of weekend getaways outside Las Vegas!
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