Visitors find themselves needing an escape from the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas are in luck, as the American Southwest in which Vegas resides is filled with exciting natural wonders that make for excellent day trips. So take a break from your vacation and explore the many places near Las Vegas your rental car can take you.
An American treasure and natural historic wonder, the 277-mile-long Grand Canyon is a must-see for anyone in the Southwest. Travel time between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon is 4.5 hours, but it’s worth the trip to see the layers of natural rock formations cut by the Colorado River over millions and millions of years. Ever wanted to feel like an ant scaling a rock? Inside the immersive canyon’s south rim, hiking opportunities abound, with breathtaking views of the rocky peaks and vistas to make any visitor feel the impact of this gigantic, beautiful earth.
The Grand Canyon National Park is also on Hopper's list of the five best national parks near Las Vegas
Some of the best things Las Vegas has to offer are far from the Vegas Strip. Crystal-blue water, craggy mountains and cliffs, sandy beaches and tons of marine wildlife await at Lake Mead, a mere 30-minute drive from the bright lights of Las Vegas Boulevard. The lake is welcome to kayakers and canoers, fishers, jet-skiers, hikers, picnickers, and beach babies, so there’s always something to do. So give your mind and your wallet a break and hit the water!
Don't miss Hopper's guide to visiting Lake Mead from Las Vegas for info on what to see and do at the lake
How can anyone resist such a daunting name like Death Valley? And its reputation as the hottest, driest, and lowest area in North America…. OK, so it’s not for everyone. However, for adventure-seeking hikers, mountain bikers and geology-fans, the sand dunes and ghost towns of this morbidly named desert are certainly worth the two-hour drive from the paved, air-conditioned, alcohol-soaked Las Vegas Boulevard. Despite the arid climate, the wildlife and bird migrations will surprise and stun. When have you ever seen a real life roadrunner!?
Discover a few more ways to enjoy the outdoors in Las Vegas with this Hopper article on local attractions
Less than an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, this day trip needn’t even take up the whole day. But with 19 hikes and trails ranging from beginner to advanced to discover the rainbow of natural colors splashed and layered across the vibrant 195,819 acres of Red Rock Canyon, this is not an attraction to be missed. Bring your dog or the kids and check out the tracks of small bipedal dinosaurs stamped in the Aztec Sandstone and the fossils of sea life dating back to the Paleozoic Era. Want history? This is it, over 250 million years of it. So go out and explore.
Outdoors enthusiasts should also take a look at the five best places to hike near Las Vegas to discover more places like Red Rock Canyon
An unlikely setting for a winery and merely an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, Pahrump Valley Winery produced Nevada’s first red wine in 2005. Since then, the winery has expanded to expansive vineyards around Nevada. Their restaurant, Symphony’s Restaurant, is an upscale casual white-linen dining room that visitors from all over Nevada flock to – the winery receives up to 100,000 visitors a year and offers complimentary tours and tastings.
Back in the city, pair some wine with a fine meal at one of Las Vegas' best celebrity chef restaurants