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Friends Starting San Francisco to Las Vegas Drive

Road Trip to Vegas: San Francisco to Las Vegas

Road Trip Series

Making your travel to Las Vegas part of the experience makes your trip just that much better! If you are doing a San Francisco to Las Vegas drive, you are in for a special treat depending on the route you take. The fastest route takes you on a U-shaped journey through Southern California, where farmland is abundant. Or, if you’re the adventurer, make the San Francisco to Las Vegas road trip better by traveling through Northern California’s stunning national parks and forests.

Pack your bags, rally the troops, and fill the tank, because we have all the road trip recommendations to have the best San Francisco to Las Vegas drive.

The Logistics: Route, Drive Time & Traffic

The San Francisco to Las Vegas drive is the perfect length for a day of road tripping. The I-5 S and the I-15 N are the two main roads you’ll be traveling on to get to Sin City, taking you 569 miles mostly through California, and takes approximately 9 hours to drive as long as traffic and weather conditions are ideal. However, to avoid the long stretch of farmland, you can opt to take a longer route on the US-395 S and US-95 S through national forests that spans 638 miles and takes nearly 11 hours to complete. Trust us – the scenery is worth the longer trip!

If possible, avoid starting your road trip to Vegas on the popular weekend days, and instead leave on less-popular driving days like Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to avoid heavy traffic. Allow for longer drive times if you plan on traveling to the city for Las Vegas events or during the holidays. No matter where you’re driving from or which day of the week, the traffic is sure to pick up closer to the city.

San Francisco to Las Vegas Drive Pit Stops

San Francisco to Las Vegas Road Trip Stops

Golden Gate Bridge | 638 Miles to Vegas

Of course, your first stop on the way to Golden Gate Hotel & Casino for your Las Vegas road trip… has to start at the Golden Gate Bridge! This orange suspension bridge is San Francisco’s iconic landmark, so make sure to snap a pic.

Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park | 619 Miles to Vegas

This National Historic Park is a beautiful park dedicated to the WWII Home Front workers. Stop by the welcome center for educational and interactive exhibits to learn of the historical impact of this program and the women behind it.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom | 597 Miles to Vegas

Like roller coasters? Like animals? Then Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is the place for you! If you want a little adrenaline to keep you going on your San Francisco to Las Vegas drive, be sure to get your thrills at this awesome theme park.

California Automobile Museum | 545 Miles to Vegas

On your San Francisco to Las Vegas road trip, pay tribute to the car that’s making it all happen by visiting the California Automobile Museum. See classic cars, learn automotive history, and check out cool exhibits – like the road trip exhibit!

Apple Hill | 498 Miles to Vegas

Founded in 1964, Apple Hill began with 16 apple ranches. In 2018, the community is now home to produce farms, flower gardens B&Bs, wineries, and more. Stop by and try some delicious produce while taking in the serene surroundings.

Sierra at Tahoe Resort | 458 Miles to Vegas

When driving through Northern California, stopping to see Lake Tahoe is a must. Make a visit to Sierra at Tahoe Resort to enjoy the beauty of the area while exploring the outdoor activities or grabbing a bite to eat with a view of the slopes.

Thomas F. Regan Memorial City Beach | 441 Miles to Vegas

Want an even better view of Lake Tahoe? Pack a lunch and have a picnic at Thomas F. Regan Memorial City Beach. Weather permitting, you can also swim, use the observation deck, play sand volleyball, and eat at their restaurant.

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve | 332 Miles to Vegas

Some describe this reserve as looking like you’ve landed on Mars. Mono Lake, which was formed by an ancient inland sea, is surrounded by tufa towers made of limestone. Walk around the shores and take in the unique landscape.

Mammoth Brewing Company | 309 Miles to Vegas

Take a little detour off the main route to make a stop in Mammoth. Mammoth Brewing Company offers some unique and delicious brews, tasty food, and a killer view if you need a break from the drive. Just be sure to drive responsibly!

Goldwell Open Air Museum | 120 Miles to Vegas

Located slightly off the beaten path is the Goldwell Open Air Museum, a sculpture park filled with unique sculptures from artists-in-residence and other artists. Started in 1984, this spot has grown into a popular spot for art enthusiasts.

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.

People Holding 2019 New Year’s Eve Balloons

How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas

There’s no doubt that Las Vegas is the center of it all on New Year’s Eve. There are parties, grand fireworks shows, and resorts that serve you hand and foot. Let’s look at some of the amazing places to ring in 2019 in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

New Year’s Eve Parties on the Strip

You can’t go wrong heading to the Las Vegas Strip on New Year’s Eve. This party mecca draws over 330,000 visitors from all over the world (as of 2017) and it’s only getting more and more popular. Here are some hot spots to toast to the new year:

*On the Record Opening Party – On New Year’s Eve, MGM is opening their newest venue, On the Record. This record shop is going to be so much more than just a place to buy music. It’s a speakeasy, club, and “love letter to long-lost music hubs.” Come celebrate the evening with good music and even better drinks.

*Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville New Year’s Eve Party – Margaritaville is centered right on the Strip and has multiple floors to enjoy the fun. You’ll be able to look down on the crowds from the top two floors and for only $99 a person, you can enjoy a three hour premium open bar, a live band, dancing, party favors, a champagne toast, and more.

*New Year’s Eve 2019 at Chateau Nightclub & Beer Park – Chateau is a French-inspired nightclub that’s sultry, sexy, and fun. It’s location, beneath the Eiffel Tower and across from the Bellagio, gives guests some of the best views on the Strip and the rooftop garden is glamorous and elegant. For New Year’s Eve, Chateau is teaming up with Beer Park, a fun, new open air hangout area and bar, to bring guests the ultimate VIP experience. Tickets range from $125-$3,000, depending on how you want to celebrate the New Year.

Couple Kissing at Fremont Street New Year’s Eve CelebrationAttribute: VegasExperience.com

New Year’s Eve Parties Downtown

Being in Downtown Las Vegas under the dazzling lights of the Fremont Street Experience will make you feel like you’re in the center of Time Square in New York City, but with better food. You can party all night to the sounds of several popular live bands and watch fireworks on a gigantic Viva Vision LED screen. Here are some of the best parties happening right near Golden Gate Hotel & Casino:

*America’s Party Downtown at the Fremont Street Experience – The Fremont Street Experience is planning the ultimate NYE bash and they can’t wait to see you. There will be 12 bands performing across three stages, including a dazzling EDM stage with alluring dancers and aerialists. There will be the famous Viva Vision Light Shows, which will be performing a captivating “Year in Review” show. And there will be lots and lots of food and drink! Even the mayor of Las Vegas will be there.

*A DIY Bar Crawl – Downtown Las Vegas is home to some pretty awesome bars, and they’re sure to show their stuff on New Year’s Eve. Make your way to Atomic Liquors, D Bar, Velveteen Rabbit, and Commonwealth, just to name a few. Downtown is easy to walk around, or catch a quick cab or rideshare to hop around to some new spots.

*Escape Masquerade – Gold Spike and Inspire, two Downtown Las Vegas hotspots, are combining forces to bring us an incredible NYE experience. Guests can bounce between both locations and enjoy live music, multiple DJs, and a live feed of the ball drop in New York City. Plus, all guests will also receive a complimentary champagne toast!

Las Vegas Fireworks for New Year’s EveAttribute: Casino.org

Tips & Tricks When Traveling to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve

With hundreds of thousands of extra guests in the city for NYE, planning ahead will save you time and hassle. Here are some tips to make the weekend easier:

1. The Las Vegas Police will shut down the Strip to cross traffic at around 4pm. To get up and down the Strip without a car, you can use the Las Vegas Monorail or the MGM Hotel monorail which takes you between MGM’s many properties, from Treasure Island all the way to Excalibur.

2. Downtown Las Vegas is sure to be a little less crazy than the Strip, but still make sure to book a hotel close to all the action so you don’t have to stress about driving. And remember, rideshare services like Lyft and Uber are your best friends! Lyft is even offering a promo code for a few bucks off your ride. Just enter LASNYE10 when booking your car.

3. Another great transportation option is RTC, the local bus system. They’ll be providing free rides for everyone who plans on drinking till after the ball drops. This includes 39 fixed routes from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m., so there’s no reason to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.

4. Even though Vegas is known for its scorching temperatures, it can get quite chilly at night, especially if you’re walking outside. Make sure to layer so you can party all night without freezing.

Person Researching Sports Betting Predictions on Phone

Las Vegas Sports Betting Tips & 2019 Sports Predictions

Among the rows and rows of chairs, you’ll notice avid sports lovers studying the spread and analyzing brackets. We’re smack-dab in the middle of football, NBA, and hockey season – so while you’re watching each game closely, it’s the perfect time to start making your sports predictions for how the seasons will end.  

Making your sports betting predictions takes time, research, and a thorough know-how on the sports betting scene works. Your first instinct might be to bet with your heart or put all your money on your favorite team, but that’s a risky move and could end up costing you a hefty sum come the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, or the NBA Finals. The best way to go is to bet with your brain, no matter how loyal you are to your favorite team.

To review, here are some basic things to remember when placing your bets and making your predictions:

Las Vegas Sports Betting Tips: The Basics

Point Spread: The point spread represents the margin of points in which the favored team must win by to cover the spread. You’re wagering on a team winning or losing by a certain number of points set by the sports book.

Money Line: The money line is a bet on the odds of a team winning the game as opposed to a point spread that is based on the scoring outcome. A money line is a simple wager on which team will win.

Parlay: A parlay is a single bet that links two or more wagers. To win the bet, the player must win all the wagers in the parlay. Parlays are very popular because you can take a wager as small as $2 or $5 and turn it into hundreds and thousands of dollars.

Sports Betting Slip with Game Predictions and Results

Futures: As the name implies, a futures bet is a wager placed on an event further into the future. For a futures bet, you may be wagering on who will go to the Super Bowl next year.

Propositions (Prop Bet): Prop bets are fun to wager on, especially if you’re not as experienced with sports betting. These are bets like “who will be the first to start a brawl on the ice” or “which team will score the first touchdown”. Prop bets are just added wagers to keep the games entertaining.

Total (Over/Under): You’re betting on whether the total points, runs, or goals scored by both teams is over or under the total provided by the sports book.

It’s helpful to pick up the daily sheets at any sportsbook to find out their wagering options. On each sheet, you’ll find numbers associated with the different teams or players that correlate with what is shown on the digital display board. Using the sheets are a great way to understand what is available for sports betting that day along with favorites and underdogs.

Friends Watching Football Together

Sports Betting Predictions for 2019

With an NFL season full of injuries and surprise losses, it’s still up in the air on who will make it all the way to the 53rd Super Bowl. For now, it’s safe to say the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles have a fighting chance this season. The Chargers are also a possibility with having a lot of easy home games coming their way and being the second-best scoring defense in the league right now. However, the golden child of the NFL, the New England Patriots, are yet again the top choice for betters, predicting they will be the team holding the Lombardi Trophy in February.

As far as the NHL goes, there are no predictions for last season’s winners, the Washington Capitals, to win the Stanley Cup this year, nor Sin City’s heroes, the Vegas Golden Knights. This season, the Nashville Predators are sucking up the majority of the predictions with their strong line of defense and well-balanced roster. The Winnipeg Jets and the Pittsburgh Penguins are possible contenders, as well.

The “New England Patriots” of the NBA, the Golden Gate Warriors, are predicted to rule the hardwoods yet again this season. The Warriors are an unstoppable force with a highly talented team and dire competitiveness, and wagering against their championship not recommended. The only team who might actually give them a run for their money this season is the Boston Celtics, being the best team in the Eastern Conference at the moment.

Every year, thousands of sports enthusiasts flock to Las Vegas to place their sports bets and closely watch their teams with dollar signs in their eyes. Will this be the year your predictions pay off or will you be spending your offseason studying the spread lines?

Friends Starting Road Trip to Las Vegas from Dallas

Road Trip to Vegas: Dallas to Las Vegas

Road Trip Series

Sure, you could fly to Las Vegas from Dallas in 3 hours, but what’s the fun in that? No pit stops, no opportunities to go outside and see the natural beauty of the desert, and no delicious snacks from local restaurants. If you’re planning a trip to Vegas from Dallas, make your next vacation out a road trip. While this trip is a long one, it allows you to explore two additional states while on the journey. If you’ve ever road tripped through Texas before, you know it can be an endless horizon of sand, but we promise that the sights you’ll see in New Mexico, Arizona, and finally in Las Vegas are worth it!

Pack your bags, rally the troops, and fill the tank, because we have all the road trip recommendations to have the best Dallas to Las Vegas drive.

The Logistics: Route, Drive Time & Traffic

The drive to Las Vegas from Dallas is a long one, most likely requiring you to take an overnight stay or two about halfway in New Mexico and potentially in Arizona. You will mainly drive on the US-287 N and I-40 W to get to Vegas from the Lone Star State. This road trip to Vegas will take you 1225 miles through the Southwest, and takes approximately 18 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 3-day road trip. Be prepared for long stretches of desert scenery on this drive – it is a long and direct shot through the 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.

Dallas to Las Vegas Drive Pit Stops

Dallas to Las Vegas Road Trip Stops

San Angelo | 1076 Miles to Vegas

Located on the Concho River, San Angelo is one of the largest cities in West Texas. This city is a great way to break up your drive through Texas and has some fun places to visit like the Fort Concho Museum and the Concho River Walk.

Route 66 | 902 Miles to Vegas

The part of Route 66 that passes through Texas is filled with unique design and interesting sights. Keep an eye out for the U-Drop Inn, the Leaning Water Tower of Groom, Bug Ranch, Downtown Amarillo, and the famous Cadillac Ranch!

Roswell | 774 Miles to Vegas

While it’s a bit of a drive off of the direct route to Vegas, Roswell is a must-see for those fascinated by sci-fi. Home of the Roswell UFO incident, stop by the International UFO Museum and Research Center for an out of this world pit stop.

Jemez Springs | 633 Miles to Vegas

Another Dallas to Las Vegas road trip pit stop that slightly strays from the straight path is Jemez Springs. This serene spot features hot springs to relax in. Or, if you’d like to see some history, make a visit to the pueblo at the Jemez Historic Site.

Albuquerque | 577 Miles to Vegas

After so much driving, it’s advised to stop for the night. Rest in Albuquerque, where you can wake up to explore the area. From the Petroglyph National Monument to hot air balloons to the Sandia Peak Tramway, there’s a lot to see and do.

Bluewater Lake State Park | 480 Miles to Vegas

If you need a breath of fresh air on your drive, make a stop at Bluewater Lake State Park. You probably won’t want to take advantage of its fishing spots, you can stretch your legs for a walk by the water while taking in the great views.

Petrified Forest National Park | 362 Miles to Vegas

This national park is situated in Arizona in an area with large deposits of petrified wood. When exploring, keep your eye out for fossils from the Triassic era. Part of the Painted Desert can be seen in the Petrified Forest park, as well.

Winslow | 311 Miles to Vegas

If you’re feeling like you need a break, make like the Eagles and take it easy on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. Aside from the Eagles nostalgia, make sure to visit the awe-inspiring, nearly mile-long Meteor Crater just outside of the town!

Flagstaff | 254 Miles to Vegas

One of Arizona’s most beautiful cities is a true pleasure to visit on your drive. Whether shopping in the quaint town, hitting the slopes in the winter or visiting the Wupatki National Monument, there’s something for everyone in Flagstaff!

Hoover Dam | 38 Miles to Vegas

In the home stretch of your Dallas 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.

Neon Las Vegas Christmas Sign

A Las Vegas Christmas with Christmas Lights & Neon Lights

Las Vegas isn’t a vacation only saved for the summertime – Christmas in Vegas can be an amazing winter retreat that’ll have you talking about the memories you make every holiday season! Whether you come with your partner, a group of friends, or your whole family, you’ll find a sleighful of activities to keep you as busy as Santa’s elves during your entire Las Vegas Christmas 2018 trip.

Sin City may not be the first place you think to bring the kids to for Christmas, but there are plenty of festive and fun things to do in Las Vegas in December to keep things merry and bright!

Las Vegas Christmas Town at Cowabunga Bay

Leave the swimsuits at home because Cowabunga Bay Water Park transforms into a winter wonderland smack-dab in the middle of the desert. With over 2 million twinkling lights, a Polar Express Train ride, and a Mistletoe Ice Rink, Las Vegas Christmas Town feels like the North Pole. You and the family will also enjoy an 100ft snow hill, bounce houses, a 40-foot dancing tree, the opportunity to have a “snowball” fight in Frosty’s Ball Pit, help Rudolph save Christmas by defeating the Abominable Snowman and the Grinch in a paint shootout, and a visit to Santa and his reindeer in his cozy cottage.

Springs Preserve

Another great option to keep you and your family entertained during your Las Vegas Christmas vacation is the iconic Springs Preserve. You can climb aboard the Springs Preserve Holiday Express and be transported to Santa’s very own wintery village. There, you and your family will create crafts together, decorate cookies, listen to storytelling, and have a one-on-one visit with Santa Claus!

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden

For an entire day of holiday cheer, start your morning off by stopping by the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden for a truly festive treat for the eye. Each holiday season, a staff of 120 extremely talented horticulturists design and construct breathtaking scenery sculpted almost entirely from trees, plants, flowers, and seeds. The 14,000-square-foot floral fairyland is especially exceptional during the winter months with added bridges, gazebos, and water features.

 Cookie Factory at Magical Forest by Opportunity VillageAttribute: Blog.Vegas.com

Magical Forest at Opportunity Village

Ask any local what they like to do in Vegas during the holidays, and they’ll tell you that the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village is a must-see. The Magical Forest includes a stroll through an enchanted forest lit up with thousands of lights, a Forest Express Passenger Train, a magical carousel, an inflatable avalanche slide, mini-golf, a mini-coaster, and photos with Santa, of course! You’ll also find food, nightly entertainment, and dozens of photo opportunities to share with friends and family back home.

LINQ Promenade

In the afternoon, take a stroll down The LINQ Promenade and you’ll instantly be transported to a winter wonderland with carolers, festive decorations, and your favorite holiday music ringing through the boulevard. Grab some lunch and shop as you observe singers, dancers, and showgirls along with a spectacular light show consisting of more than 2,000 LED lights which are synchronized to the music.

The famous High Roller even gets in on the action as it changes colors and “dances” along with the light show. For those adventurous at heart, fly like Santa and his reindeer 1,080 feet above the Promenade on the Fly LINQ zipline as all the busy shoppers bustle around beneath you!

Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan

Cap the night off at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool where you can skate on an ice rink with more than 4,200 square feet of real ice to glide over. The cost of the ice rink admission includes all-day skating access and the cost of skate rentals, however entry into the area is completely free! You’ll find toasty fire pits with lots of seating, a menu with comfort food, hot chocolate, and a variety of warm cocktails to choose from. Catch a holiday-themed double feature and enjoy a peaceful snowfall scheduled every 30 minutes.

Nevada Ballet Theater Annual Nutcracker BalletAttribute: Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Nutcracker by the Nevada Ballet Theater

You simply can’t come to Las Vegas without seeing a live show, and the Las Vegas Christmas shows are no exception! The Nevada Ballet Theatre at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center will perform the classic story, The Nutcracker, featuring beautifully choreographed dancing to the familiar musical spectacle. If you’re hoping to catch this Christmas classic, be sure to schedule your vacation accordingly as The Nutcracker is performing from December 8th – 24th.

Wizards of Winter

Mixing classical music with progressive rock, the Wizards of Winter will also be coming to Las Vegas for Christmas! If your vacation lands around December 15th, be sure to book your tickets right away. Featuring former members of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Blue Oyster Cult, Alice Cooper band, and more, the Wizards of Winter is a true Christmas rock ‘n roll opera guaranteed to rock your jingle bells!

A Las Vegas Christmas is a vacation you and your family will never forget! Be sure to plan ahead when booking at the Golden Gate because our warm and cozy rooms will go quickly! Located just Downtown, close to all the things to do in Las Vegas in December, the Golden Gate is the perfect place to either continue the festive fun or rest and relax from all your holiday adventures!