Category Archives: Road Trip Series

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 prip 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 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.

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.

Woman Taking in View of Mt. Charleston on Way to Vegas

Road Trip to Vegas: Mt. Charleston to Las Vegas

Road Trip Series

Not far from the shining lights of Las Vegas is the serene nature of Mt. Charleston. Elevated 7500 feet in the Spring Mountains is one of Nevada’s beautiful natural spots filled with hiking trails, skiing (in the right season), lower temperatures, and more. Mount Charleston is the highest point in Clark County, and is a great place to start or continue your road trip to Las Vegas if you are traveling from the north. This short and sweet road trip would even be nice in reverse if you have a day to spare while visiting Vegas!

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

The Logistics: Route, Drive Time & Traffic

The drive to Las Vegas from Mount Charleston is short, sweet, and scenic. You will mainly drive on the NV-157 E and US-95 S to get to Sin City from the mountains. The drive is 40 miles and takes approximately 45 minutes, depending on factors like traffic, weather, and which area of the Spring Mountains you start in. This route is fairly direct, giving you plenty of time to stop and take in the beautiful views while relaxing at some pit stops on your road trip to Las Vegas. Because Mt. Charleston is in the mountainous region, pay close attention to your weather forecast before hitting the road, and make sure there are no natural happenings that may cause road blockages or unsafe driving conditions.

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. If possible, leave on a less-popular day like Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to avoid heavy traffic getting in to Las Vegas – no matter where you’re driving from, the traffic is sure to pick up closer to the city.

Mt. Charleston to Las Vegas stops in a gif.

Mt. Charleston to Las Vegas Road Trip Stops

Mary Jane Falls | 40 Miles to Vegas

A little hike from the peak of Mt. Charleston is Mary Jane Falls, where beautiful year-round water from two springs flows down the cliffs. The trail is approximately 2.5 miles there and back, so bring your hiking gear and get some fresh air!

Cathedral Rock | 40 Miles to Vegas

Another trail to consider before continuing your road trip to Vegas is the Cathedral Rock trailhead. Take a 2.7-mile hike through the white fir, ponderosa, and aspen while taking in sights of the waterfall and the beautiful Cathedral Rock.

Mt. Charleston Lodge | 40 Miles to Vegas

One last stop while still atop Mount Charleston is the Mt. Charleston Lodge. Grab a bite to eat from one of their expansive menus, listen to some live music on the weekends, and explore the nearby nature with seasonal activities.

Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial | 35 Miles to Vegas

When heading toward Las Vegas from Mount Charleston, make a stop to the Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial to pay your respects to fallen heroes who fought in secrecy against the backdrop of the Nevada mountains.

Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway | 35 Miles to Vegas

A visitor center might not seem like the most exciting Vegas road trip stop, but the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway is an exception. Have a picnic and visit the Seven Stones Plaza that celebrates the seven indigenous Southern Paiute tribes.

The Slots of Lower Kyle Canyon | 31 Miles to Vegas

Once again, lace up your hiking boots for another trail! The Slots is a trail located off of the 157-E and leads you through unusual rock formations in the Nevada desert. A round trip is approximately 4.5 miles, so remember to stay hydrated.

Big Dog’s Brewing Company | 12 Miles to Vegas

Speaking of staying hydrated, grab a drink at Big Dog’s Brewing Company. This brewery is located just outside of Vegas and is a great place to stop before hitting the Vegas crowds. Don’t drink and drive, and enjoy that brew responsibly!

Lorenzi Park | 5 Miles to Vegas

Opened in 1926, Lorenzi Park is one of the oldest parks in Las Vegas. With only 5 miles left to Golden Gate, take a break and enjoy one of the many park amenities, from tennis courts to picnic areas to children’s water play areas.

Las Vegas Natural History Museum | 1 Mile to Vegas

Before you make history in Vegas, see some natural history at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. The only thing wilder than you in Vegas are the exhibits on prehistoric life, Ancient Egypt, the African Savanna, aquatic life, and more!

The Mob Museum | 0.5 Miles to Vegas

Some history lessons are much more recent than the prehistoric times. Make a stop at the Mob Museum to learn about the not-so-distant past of Las Vegas, and grab yourself a drink at the distillery or speakeasy while you’re at 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.

Couple driving from Zion National Park to Las Vegas

Road Trip to Vegas: Zion National Park to Las Vegas

Road Trip Series

Utah road trippers have the joy of living driving distance to Las Vegas. Zion is one of the beautiful National Parks near Las Vegas, and is a great launching point for your road trip to the city. The stunning landscapes of Utah, Arizona, and Nevada grace your road trip, along with ghost towns, dinosaur discovery sites, and more!

Pack your bags, rally the troops, and fill the tank, because we have all the recommendations to have the best Zion National Park to Vegas road trip.

The Logistics: Route, Drive Time & Traffic

The drive to Las Vegas from Zion National Park is a fairly straight shot, with the I-15 S taking you right to the city. The drive takes anywhere between 2 hours 40 minutes and 3 hours 20 minutes, depending on factors like traffic, weather, and which part of Zion you start in. This route is short and sweet, which means you should have plenty of time to relax and take pit stops along the way.

Considering weekends are the most popular, you should anticipate heavy traffic which can add additional time to your drive. Allow for longer drive times if you plan on traveling during the holidays or when there are big Las Vegas events. If possible, leave on a less-popular day like Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to avoid heavy traffic getting in to Las Vegas.

Zion to Las Vegas stops in a gif.

Zion to Las Vegas Road Trip Stops

Kolob Reservoir | 170 Miles to Vegas

While the Kolob Reservoir is a popular fishing spot, you probably won’t want to go trout fishing at the start of your road trip to Vegas. Instead, enjoy the views of the water and the beautiful scenery on the west side of Zion National Park.

Grafton Ghost Town | 158 Miles to Vegas

Found by pioneers in 1847 and established as a thriving cotton settlement in 1859 due to its flat land and access to the Virgin River. Grafton Ghost Town is now a historic reminder of Utah’s pioneer past.

Zion Zipline | 149 Miles to Vegas

Opening Spring of 2019, the Zion Zipline promises to provide 3500 feet of ziplining fun through Zion Canyon. Before getting your thrills in Vegas, soar at 70MPH from the lava cliff tops for a truly exhilarating experience.

Silver Reef Museum | 136 Miles to Vegas

Pack in another visit to a ghost town on your Zion to Las Vegas Road Trip – this time at a silver mining boom town from the late 1800s. The Silver Reef Museum provides tours of the mines, trails, jail, and more fascinating sites.

Snow Canyon State Park | 128 Miles to Vegas

Filled with beautiful geographical features, intriguing flora and fauna, and a rich history like petroglyphs, Snow Canyon State Park is a majestic stop on the Zion to Vegas drive. Marvel at the red Navajo sandstone and enjoy the view.

St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site | 120 Miles to Vegas

You won’t have to dig very much to find an exciting thing to do on your drive to Las Vegas. The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site features captivating Early Jurassic fossils, history, and research on your favorite dinosaurs.

Virgin River Gorge | 100 Miles to Vegas

Your road trip to Vegas from Zion wouldn’t be complete without the picturesque drive through Virgin River Gorge. After crossing in to Arizona, you’ll find a 24-mile drive along the interstate that is sure to add visual interest to your trip.

Little Jamaica Natural Swimming Hole | 97 Miles to Vegas

Little Jamaica, located in Littlefield, Arizona, is a man-made pool supplied by a natural mountain spring. Stop by to dip your feet in this desert oasis for a relaxing stop on your way to Sin City.

Mesquite, NV | 81 Miles to Vegas

Before hitting up the casinos in Las Vegas, take a pit stop in Mesquite, Nevada. This town offers a range of things to do for everyone, from gamblers to golfers to hikers.

Lost City Museum | 64 Miles to Vegas

The Lost City Museum is located a little off the beaten path, but gives a wonderful look at artifacts found at the local prehistoric archaeological sites. While you’re in the area, check out the Valley of Fire and the beautiful landscape.

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.

Couple Driving from Lake Havasu to Las Vegas

Road Trip to Vegas: Lake Havasu to Las Vegas

Road Trip Series

Arizona residents are lucky enough to live driving distance to Las Vegas. Whether you consider Lake Havasu City home or are simply stopping by on a longer road trip to Vegas, traveling from Lake Havasu to Las Vegas by car is a fun way to enhance your trip. This short and sweet drive just long enough to fit in some beautiful desert views, historic museums, local casinos, and even three state welcome signs.

Pack your bags, rally the troops, and fill the tank, because we have all the recommendations to have the best Lake Havasu to Vegas road trip!

The Logistics: Route, Drive Time & Traffic

Regardless of the route your GPS guides you down, the road trip to Vegas from Lake Havasu City should take just under 3 hours to complete. Without factoring in traffic, driving on the US-93 N and US-95 N both have a drivetime of about 2 hours and 40 minutes over the course of 153 miles on the US-95 N and 162 miles on the US-93 N.

Depending on your goal for the drive to Las Vegas, these two routes boast slight differences. If you’re seeking more nature and desert sights, the US-93 N mainly takes you through Arizona toward Lake Mead, where you can find beautiful views of the Hoover Dam and take a hike if you need to stretch your legs. On the US-95 N, you can visit Arizona, California, AND Nevada all within the short drive time.

As with most road trips, the weekends are the most popular, and therefore most heavily trafficked, days to drive. Schedule in some additional drive time if you plan on traveling during the holidays or when there are big Las Vegas events, as you may see your time on the road increase. If possible, try to leave on a less-popular day to avoid heavy traffic getting in to Las Vegas. Monday through Wednesday will probably be the quickest option if you are looking for a quick arrival or want more time to visit road trip stops!

Lake Havasu to Las Vegas stops in a gif.

Lake Havasu to Las Vegas Road Trip Stops

London Bridge | 153 Miles to Vegas

One of the top Arizona attractions is located right in Lake Havasu City, even though it wasn’t originally. Take a $10 walking tour of the London Bridge to learn more about its interesting past and journey from across the pond.

Topock66 Party Pool | 125 Miles to Vegas

Las Vegas is all about the pool parties, so get an early dose at Topock66 while taking in the views of the Colorado River. The party pool is open every day and offers live music on the weekends, just remember to drive responsibly after visiting!

Pirate Cove Resort & Marina | 123 Miles to Vegas

At the Arizona and California state line, the Pirate Cove Resort & Marina is a California oasis on the Colorado River, and the perfect pit stop on your road trip to Vegas. From pirate ships to jet skiing to off roading, this stop is sure to entertain.

Jack Smith Park & Launching Facility | 113 Miles to Vegas

Another great recreational stop on the Colorado River is Jack Smith Park. One of the biggest perks of a short drive from Lake Havasu to Las Vegas is the ample time to stop so pack a picnic, relax, and take a swim in the Colorado River.

Wagon Wheel Restaurant | 111 Miles to Vegas

With nearly 800 reviews and a 4.4-star rating on Google, the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Needles, CA a great stop to refuel on your trip. This Western-themed restaurant has an extensive menu to please everybody’s palate.

Cal-Nev-Ari, Nevada | 70 Miles to Vegas

The term Cal-Nev-Ari (pronounced Cal-Nev-Air) might sound exotic, but it’s simply an abbreviation for California, Nevada, and Arizona. Make a stop in the casino, which made the city the first fly-in casino town in the state.

Terrible’s Roadhouse | 59 Miles to Vegas

If Cal-Nev-Ari wasn’t enough to satisfy your pre-Vegas gambling needs, Terrible’s Roadhouse in Searchlight offers $1 beers, friendly service, delicious food, pool tables, and more. Grab a bite as you enter the final stretch of your drive!

Searchlight Historic Museum | 59 Miles to Vegas

Learn the history of one of Nevada’s boomtowns at the Searchlight Historic Museum. Once a booming town in 1907 due to mining, this museum highlights photos from the past and guests can walk down the historic Rex Bell Trail.

Lake Mead Overlook | 27 Miles to Vegas

Take a slight detour off of the US-95 N and make a quick stop at the Lake Mead Overlook for stunning views and amazing photo opportunities. While the Hoover Dam is typically the star of the show, marvel in the beauty of the lake here!

Clark County Museum | 21 Miles to Vegas

The Clark County Museum takes you back in time. Walk through the county’s history while exploring historic buildings from various decades. Only $2 for admission, this Lake Havasu to Las Vegas pit stop is definitely 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.