While the bright lights, entertainment, and gambling of Las Vegas are certainly exciting, sometimes you just need to get out of the city for a day to explore something new. You wouldn’t know it standing in the middle of downtown, but just a few hours outside the Strip are some of the best parks and historical sites in the country. Here are our top picks for day trips from Las Vegas.
Full Grand Canyon Experience
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters offers a variety of ways to see the Grand Canyon. All of their packages include sky high views of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Grand Canyon, lunch at Sa’Nyu Wa featuring a panoramic views of the canyon and Eagle Point through glass walls and offers Southwest and Asian-inspired cuisine.
The Heli Skywalk Tour with VIP Dining Package begins with a helicopter flight to the West Rim and then an exclusive pass the Skybridge, a glass bridge nearly 4,000 feet above the floor with that offers amazing views of the Grand Canyon, Colorado River, and Eagle Rock. Guests will be given souvenir Skywalk photos to take home.
The Indian Adventure with VIP Dining Package begins by boarding an airplane featuring oversized windows designed specifically for sightseeing. After arriving at the West Rim, guests will be taken to Eagle Point for lunch before returning to their shuttle for the transfer to the second canyon viewpoint, Guano Point, the most intricate part of the canyon, offering almost 360-degree views.
The Platinum West Rim with VIP Dining Package will give guests close-up views of the Mojave Desert landscape. This ground tour transports guests from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West aboard a customized Mercedes Sprinter vehicle, complete with plush seating, air conditioning and oversized windows for optimal sightseeing. Brief stops will allow for close-up views and photo opportunities of the desert, Hoover Dam and the Colorado River. While at the canyon, shuttle service will stop for lunch at Sa’Nyu Wa. After, guests will take-in the majestic views of Guano Point before their return trip to Las Vegas.
Area 51 Tour
For alien hunters, conspiracy theorists, or anyone interested in totally weird sites, Area 51 definitely tops the list. While the secret government base is, well, secret, you can get as far the gates just to say you’ve been.
To make sure clients hit all the otherworldly stops, Viatour offers a full-day guided tour from Las Vegas hotels.
The tour starts at the Las Vegas International Airport, where supposedly Janet Airlines flies hundreds of workers to Area 51 every day. Then the tour will travel through the Joshua Tree Forest before arriving at the edge of an ancient dry lake, where unusual 6' tall Indian petroglyphs resembling aliens can be seen.
Afterwards, the tour will continue on the Extraterrestrial Highway and arrive at the famous Little A'le' Inn, where the tour will stop for lunch. The spot has been featured in multiple documentaries and movies, including “Independence Day,” and it even has an alien-themed gift shop.
Then, it's onto the perimeter of Area 51 through the mutant Joshua trees. There isn’t much to see at the gates other than signs warning trespassers to stay out, but it does make for a great photo-op.
Transportation, guided tour, lunch, snacks, and bottled water are all included.
St. George, Utah
Less than two hours away is the small city of St. George. If clients are looking for an educational day away from Las Vegas, this is a great option.
Utah is known for its large Mormon population, and there’s lots of Mormon history right in the center of town. The St. George Utah Temple was built in the late 19th century and was the first temple built in Utah by the Church of Latter Day Saints. Located in the city’s historic district, the temple offers public ground and a visitor’s center dedicated to the history of the building and the Church.
Another piece of Mormon history is the Brigham Young Winter Home. The second president of the LDS Church spent his last few winters in the historic home. It has been preserved as it was when Young lived there and can be toured daily.
For the kids, the St. George Children’s Museum is a must. The interactive totally hands-on museum allow kids to discover new instruments (and play them) in the music room or learn about the how government works and take a turn at the polling booth in the government room. Kids can put on their own show, check out x-rays of real animals, play wheelchair basketball, and even climb on a triceratops.
Another great site in St. George is the Red Hills Desert Garden. The five-acre garden features 5,000 water-efficient plants, a 1,150-foot stream full of native and endangered fish species, a replica slot canyon, and prehistoric dinosaur tracks found onsite dating back 200 million years.
Black Canyon River Adventures brings adventurers onto the river for an afternoon with views of the Hoover Dam, Black Canyon and an array of wildlife.
Guests will spend the day exploring 12 miles of the Black Canyon National Water Trail, between canyon walls that tower up to 2,000 feet above the river’s edge. Guests will view waterfalls, hot springs and other geological wonders, as well as desert bighorn sheep, osprey, great blue heron and more. The tour will be fully narrated by an experienced guide.
Along the way, the tour will stop at a side beach to allow guest to stretch and swim in the river.
Bottled water and lunch in a take-home insulated bag is included.
Hotel pickup is available for an additional charge.
Las Vegas to LA
Clients who are looking to trade one city for another for the day should check Viatour’s Los Angeles and Hollywood Small-Group Day Trip from Las Vegas.
The 14-hour tour is limited to six people per group for time efficiency since the two cities are around four hours apart.
Guests will be picked up from their hotel early in the morning and head west. A light breakfast and water will be provided on the way and lunch in Los Angeles is included.
The tour will hit all the major stops including the Santa Monica Pier, Beverley Hills, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Boulevard, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A guide will be there to give insights along the way.
The best way to see the Hoover Dam is on the water, and Lake Mead Cruises offers a variety of options to see the dam up close.
Guests travel along Lake Mead on a multi-tier boat that offers fantastic views. Along the way, guest will see Fortification Hill, an extinct volcano, the colorful Arizona Paint Pots and of course the 726 foot high Hoover Dam.
The mid-day sightseeing cruise is a 90-minute tour and departs twice a day (12 and 2 p.m.) every day April-October, and every day at 12 p.m. and Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 2 p.m. during February, March, and October. While onboard, guests can grab a small bite at the Paddlewheel Grill.
The dinner cruise runs Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays April through October. The two-hour cruise offers cooler temperatures than during the day and makes for a romantic evening on the water.
The champagne brunch runs on Sundays April through November and offers a traditional American-style buffet breakfast and champagne for all adults.