What Are The Best Side Trips To Take While Visiting Las Vegas?

A fence with a sign that reads: "Entering Area 51."

Las Vegas and the surrounding areas are so much more than just what you see on the Strip. Although you can have a lot of fun staying in the city, you may want to consider venturing off the beaten path and taking a side trip during your next visit. If you’re looking for fun and unique things to do near Las Vegas, here are the best Las Vegas side trips to add to your itinerary.

Looking for an adventure? Book your Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas today!

What are unique and exciting Las Vegas day trips?

There are so many good day trips from Las Vegas to get away from the city for a few hours and explore somewhere new. Check out these awesome options:

1. Red Rock Canyon

The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is the perfect getaway for Las Vegas visitors. The stunning landscape features beautiful red sandstone ribbons that cut through the mountains and desert rock formations. There are also several hiking trails, a scenic drive, and photo opportunities throughout the area. Best part? It’s only about 35 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip!

2. Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is one of the most extraordinary engineering feats you can see in the southwest region of the United States. In addition to being a working dam and hydroelectric power plant, the site has guided tours, several exhibits, and spectacular views of the Colorado River and adjacent terrain. You can also book Hoover Dam tours from Las Vegas for a comfortable and convenient day trip! The drive from Las Vegas takes between 30 to 40 minutes.

3. Lake Mead

Lake Mead is the man-made lake that formed as a result of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. While it is the main water supply for Las Vegas, Lake Mead National Recreation Area also offers a sparkling oasis for swimming, fishing, boating, and water sports! It’s also a great location to enjoy a day outside and picnic with the family. Be sure to check out Lake Mead tours offered by Gray Line!

4. Area 51

For those looking for a truly unique side trip, the two-hour drive to Area 51 in Rachel, Nevada, is full of alien-themed attractions you won’t find anywhere else. Although you can’t actually visit Area 51 because it’s a classified military base, you can get pretty close and check out these stops along the way:

  • The Little A’Le’Inn Bar & Motel
  • Alien Research Center
  • The famous Extraterrestrial Highway sign
  • E.T. Fresh Jerky

5. Valley of Fire

The Valley of Fire State Park is another excellent day trip destination for outdoor enthusiasts and anybody who appreciates the exotic and ancient geology of the region. What once used to be underwater in prehistoric times, this area is packed with interesting sites, like red Aztec sandstone, carved petroglyphs, petrified trees, and limestone mountains. The drive from Las Vegas takes less than an hour.

6. Seven Magic Mountains

If you don’t have too much time and need to stay closer to Las Vegas, the Seven Magic Mountains attraction is just south of the Las Vegas Strip. This art installation features seven towers of colorfully painted boulders made by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. It’s a great place to take pictures and see something a little different. Depending on where you are in Las Vegas, it only takes about 20 minutes to get there.

7. Tonopah

Tonopah is the place to be for those who want to see a proper night sky without any city lights to take away from its beauty. Known as the top star-gazing destination in America, you won’t need a telescope to view the Milky Way from this area! Just keep in mind that it is a three-hour drive north of Las Vegas.

8. Mount Charleston

Another Las Vegas side trip that isn’t far from the city is Mt. Charleston. Only about 45 minutes away, Mt. Charleston will make you feel like you’ve been transported to somewhere else entirely! The area is covered with green trees, campgrounds, picnic areas, and multiple hiking trails. You can also ski, snowboard, and enjoy the snow in the winter!

9. Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is definitely a side trip you should take when visiting Las Vegas. You’re about two hours from the Grand Canyon West Rim and four hours from the Grand Canyon South Rim — both of which offer breathtaking views and unique attractions you don’t want to miss. You can book Grand Canyon tours near Las Vegas that provide transportation and a professional guide.

What is the best way to see the Grand Canyon from Vegas?

If you want to see the Grand Canyon while in Las Vegas, you can always drive there with your own vehicle or rent a car. However, there are also daily Las Vegas tours by bus that will pick you up directly from your hotel, making it easy and convenient to get there. All-inclusive Grand Canyon tours typically provide lunch, photo opportunities along the way, and a dedicated guide to take you through the best Grand Canyon sites.

For those on a tight schedule, you can also consider a Grand Canyon helicopter tour from Las Vegas. You’ll be there in no time at all and get stunning aerial views of the canyon and Colorado River below.

Book your Grand Canyon tour with Gray Line Las Vegas!

The Grand Canyon at dusk.

It’s time to switch up your next Las Vegas vacation with an epic side trip to the Grand Canyon. See the sites, enjoy the ride, and be back in your hotel that night. Check out our Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas and book your seat with Gray Line today!