If you’re planning a trip to Vegas from Nashville and are down for an adventure, make your next vacation to the city into a road trip. Of course, flying is quicker, but then you miss out on all the sights, good bites, and great memories made along. While this trip is a long one fit for true lovers of the road, it allows you to extend your trip and explore more states. Though not quite a cross-country road trip, it sure is close to one. Buckle up and enjoy the ride, because you’ll be driving through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally end right in Nevada, welcomed by the shining lights of Las Vegas.
Pack your bags, rally the troops, and fill the tank, because we have all the road trip recommendations to have the best drive from Nashville to Las Vegas.
The Nashville to Las Vegas drive is a long one, most likely three or four overnight stops depending on how many places you visit and how comfortable you are driving long distances. You will mainly drive on the I-40 W and US-93 N to get to Vegas from Tennessee. This road trip to Vegas will take you 1,793 miles through the south and southwest, and takes approximately 26 hours to complete if factors like traffic and weather are ideal. Keep in mind that stops, traffic, and overnight stays easily turn this into a 5-day road trip. Be prepared for long stretches of grass and desert scenery on this drive – it is a long and direct shot through the fields, mountains, canyons, and sand.
If possible, leave on less-popular driving days like Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to avoid heavy traffic getting into Las Vegas. Because weekends are the most popular for road trips, factor in extra drive time for situations such as traffic jams. Allow for longer drive times if you plan on traveling during the holidays or when there are big Las Vegas events. No matter where you’re driving from or which day of the week, the traffic is sure to pick up closer to the city.
With a number of natural, archeological, and historic areas, Harpeth River State Park is a beautiful place to start your Nashville to Las Vegas drive. Stretch your legs and get some fresh air before hitting the road.
Put on your blue suede shoes and… get in your car to head to Graceland. This Memphis staple and historic landmark is the home of Elvis Presley. You can explore the mansion, grab a bite to eat, and live like The King.
Another pop culture icon can be seen when driving through Little Rock, Arkansas. If you’ve seen “Gone With the Wind”, you’ll recognize the Old Mill from the opening scene. This historic park is beautiful, so take some pictures!
This museum in Oklahoma City has an extensive collection of skeletons and bones on display – over 800 specimens and more than 40 exhibits worth. From giant whales to small critters, the skeleton museum is one to check out.
While there isn’t much to do at this Nashville to Las Vegas pit stop, considering it’s just one room, that only adds to the roadside charm. This jail in Texola, OK is found in a mostly abandoned ghost town right before you enter Texas.
Located off of Route 66, you’ll find some bizarre-but-awesome art in the desert. In 1974, ten Cadillacs were planted into the ground. Since then, the cars have been covered in graffiti and become an iconic roadside attraction.
After so much driving, it’s advised to stop and rest. Albuquerque is an exciting city, but the surrounding area is also great to explore. From the Petroglyph National Monument to the Sandia Peak Tramway, there’s a lot to see and do.
You will find a few stores similar on your drive, but Chee’s Indian Store is a favorite among road trippers. This store offers authentic Navajo and other Native American items such as handcrafted jewelry, rugs, pottery, and more.
Flagstaff, AZ has a lot to offer, including a stellar view of the stars. Whether visiting during the day or night, the observatory offers a range of tours, activities, and exhibits to help you understand and appreciate the vast cosmos.
In the home stretch of your Nashville to Las Vegas drive is the beautiful Hoover Dam right as you enter the Nevada state lines. Traffic often gets congested here, but with that beautiful view of the Colorado River, it’s worth it!
Some say life isn’t only about the destination, it’s about the journey. If you’re planning your next trip to Las Vegas, consider hitting the road and making an adventure out of it.