“What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”- I suspect even kids these days are using this well known global slogan, many of us use and over-use it for many travel destinations. Las Vegas is a renowned destination in the USA that is popular in many American TV shows, well known for gambling and adult freedom. What some might not know is the natural landscape glory of the state of Nevada, in which Las Vegas is located. Located between three states, Arizona, Utah and California, Nevada in my opinion has one of the most diverse mountain formations in shorter distances of the landscape. With some great view points and frequent sights of mountains and lakes along the way, Nevada is a great location for breath taking road trips. During my road trip to Las Vegas and Boulder city in Nevada, as the second instalment of the best road trips in USA, two weeks in Arizona, Nevada and California, we drove from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas following highways 40, 66 and 93 in the evening time to reach Vegas right in time for our much awaited casino-hopping. During this installment of the trip, I noticed many flashy sports cars and motor bikes on the road as Nevada is famous among road-lovers.
My friend Arun and I, left the Grand Canyon and the national park in the evening around 4 pm and started our road tri to Las Vegas taking the national highway 40. To include the famous highway 66, we took a detour via Truxton and then merged with highway 93 towards Las Vegas, which is known to be a very dangerous road. This costed us some hours, but it was worth it. The route was a fantastic driving experience with frequent curves, ups and downs and is very enjoyable with the picturesque scenery of varied desert mountain views. On the way we saw the Pro Gun Club in Nevada- where people play shooting maybe ?? Their website even states- “Only at Pro Gun Club can you purchase a vehicle and blow it up at the end of your experience!”.
When you are approaching Vegas, the view of the city is captivating when you suddenly see a grand city with tall buildings appear on the horizon far away, in contrast to the mountainous side views from the road. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to capture a nice picture of our approach. On reaching Vegas, we directly went to check-in at the Airbnb and get ready to explore the city. We were ready to experience one of the best road trips in USA.
- Stroll in the Las Vegas City
- Enjoy the Bellagio Music Fountain
- Try gambling in a casino
- Take a road trip to Hoover Dam
- Explore Boulder City
During the drive, the city looks really charming with palm trees and the sun setting in the background. Once we had freshened up, we left for the city to explore the night life. Las Vegas city looks pretty flashy with lots going on- so many heavily lit-up buildings and advertisements of luxurious brands all around you. The replica Eiffel Tower is a good representation with a Las Vegas touch. The Coca-Cola Store is unique and catchy.
After having dinner in one of the restaurants in the area, we watched the famous Bellagio fountain show, which happens regularly and took some photos. It is a thrilling experience with waters dancing with great music. I would recommend watching it from a high vantage point for a better view.
Right behind fountains is the famous luxurious hotel and casino Bellagio, which not only hosts the fountain show but also themed exhibitions inside. When we visited, I was particularly delighted to see some of the pearls in the exhibition, as my name means pearl in Arabic.
Being a fan of wallstreet, my friend Arun was totally in the mood of living his American Dream of investing 100 dollars in the Vegas casino, placing some high risk bets and becoming an overnight millionaire. We both have been to London casinos before and actually made some profit, so we were pretty excited and over confident to recreate our past positive experience during our road trio to Las Vegas.
Personally, the casino was a disappointment, as I didn’t get the same vibes as my previous casino experiences. It could be just that we were not a big group of friends this time and I was very tired after driving continuously for days. After my 20 dollars vanished pretty quickly, I had to call it quits. For Arun, this was a dream come true and we decided that I would go get some sleep to drive the next day while Arun made his millions overnight.
It was quite adventurous for me to drive alone at 1 am back to my Airbnb outside the city leaving Arun alone and I was pulled over by police for having my headlights off 😉 Being pulled over by police definitely was out of the positive things to do in Nevada.
Arun spent the entire night in the casinos, leaving a message for me to pick him up at 5 am. Unfortunately, I didn’t see this until I woke up at around 10 am when his phone was dead. I set out searching for him and thankfully he was just where I left him. He was so dead tired, after staying up all night, that he was snoring the moment he got inside the car. I returned to the Airbnb to pack our bags and set off towards Boulder City and Hoover Dam which we had passed on during our road trip to Las Vegas, but planned to visit the following day before we left for California.
The whole drive to Hoover dam (a part of our road trip to Las Vegas) was one stunning view after another. Arun was dead to the world and I was driving, so unfortunately I missed capturing many picture although I had to stop at this location as the scenery of the mountain looked just like a water color painting. I was so lucky I decided to stop here as I got to fulfill one of my life long dreams. I was admiring the amazingly beautiful view point when a motor cyclist entered (as caught at the end of my video below).
After locking Arun inside the car I had placed my tripod and started taking my countless selfies, the motorbiker approached me to ask if I could take some of his pictures for his Instagram. I said of course and took many pictures for him from different angles, he was impressed and started asking me where I had came from etc. During our conversation I mentioned it was my dream to ride a sports bike just like his and he was quick to offer me some pictures and a ride around the car park. I started getting a bit worried and tried to wake Arun up but he was dead to the world but I could not resist the opportunity and man, it was an amazing experience, which I was seeking for years.
Seeing my excitement, the biker offered to go back to his garage and bring his other bike. Now I was scared and told him I had to leave and was checking if I was being followed. Looking back I was being silly and I wish I could have actually rode on this other bike as well as taken his Instagram account details to see how my pictures came out. Trusting others is always a conflict, especially seeing gun stickers before in the United States, but I sincerely thank him for fulfilling my travel wish.
Hoover Dam is located in the border of Arizona and Southern Nevada, where the dam is constructed across the Colorado river whose middle forms the border of these two states.
We took the route via Boulder City to catch the I-15S highway, as our next destination was Los Angeles in California. Boulder City is a nice small city with some amazing art spotted here and there, where we stopped briefly in the city for a short break and a coffee. The number plate board in different designs of various states was interesting and I have got one of them as can be seen in my magnet board for the road trip.
From here, we continued our journey to Los Angeles taking the highway I-15S. On our way, I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. I was lucky to find a quick stop to capture the moment.
Arun continued sleeping and I was also feeling exhausted but I had ~300 miles to go.
Checkout the other parts of the journey here, keep in touch for the upcoming ones…