If you ever vacationed in Las Vegas and have gotten tired of the crowds, bright lights and shows and are looking for other things to do, rent a car for some fun day trips.
We can only do Las Vegas a couple of days before we are ready to venture. Using Las Vegas as our home base we can go North, West, or South for a nice day away from it all.
If you travel north, there are two national parks that one can visit in a day. The closest is the Valley of Fire State Park which is about an hour drive north.
Another destination is Zion National Park in Utah. This is about 2 ½ hours away towards the north. Each has their own unique show of spectacular cliffs, mountain sides and rock views.
To the west is Red Rock Canyon National Park. Just a short forty-five minute drive from Las Vegas, where you can take a scenic drive through the park or get out and hike.
If you want to go atop a mountain then drive slightly north then west and visit Mt Charleston. We were there one November and enjoyed the snow that falls at that elevation.
If you want to be more adventurous, then a trip to Death Valley National Park is in order. It’s about a 2 ½ hour drive from Las Vegas. If you never been there it is worth the visit.
If you travel south, south east, there are several option for this route also. There is the traditional must see Hoover Dam that is about 1 hour away from the heart of Las Vegas.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers boat and water lovers access to its shores. This is about 1.5 hours away.
Another popular destination from Las Vegas is the Grand Canyon. If you don’t want to drive, there are plenty of bus trips to take you for the day.
Numerous Ghost Towns
On our recent vacation to Las Vegas, we took a day trip to visit two ghost towns. First we visited Oatman, Arizona which we have visited in the past and never seems to change.
This town is a former mining town and it is full of shops housed in buildings that were erected back when the town was formed. Most are in the original construction when they were build. The old floors, doors and windows show the many years of wear and tear.
Wild burros freely roam the streets.
During certain hours of the day, a gun fight is reenacted out on the street for your entertainment.
Scenic Route 66
From Oatman, we took the Scenic Route 66 to reach the town of Chloride, another ghost town.
This would be our first time visiting Chloride. This town is located off the beaten path.
After exiting the highway, we traveled down a winding road where we came into the main section of the town which seems empty and desolate.
The town used to be a miners town, but now about 200 people call this home. The yards are filled with antiques, junk, abandoned homes, and old gas station converted into a home and two restaurants.
Before going to Chloride, I was looking for a place to eat and read about the restaurant called YESTERDAY and we decided to have lunch there. It seemed deserted when we pulled up, but the sign said OPEN and we went inside. It’s like going back in time.
The restaurant was a converted stage coach depot way back when the town was flourishing. The wood floor had the grooves of the wheels when the coach was placed in the depot for repair.
The waitress greeted us and immediately showed us a table. There were only two locals enjoying coffee inside the restaurant. Our waitress was very friendly and proceeded to tell us the history of the building. We ordered our food and while we waited went to the room off to the side to look at the pictures of the murals painted on rocks about a mile and a half outside of Chloride by Roy Purcell in 1966. Since they recommend a 4 wheel drive to visit the site, we just enjoyed the pictures.
As we were eating more locals came in. They were going to have an afternoon of karaoke and invited us to join in. We declined and after our delicious meal, we left and rode around the town and looked at the remaining buildings still standing.