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Day Trips



Primm is located roughly 40 miles south of Mandalay Bay on the Nevada/California border and has an outlet mall and 3 casino hotels. It is quite easy to get to Primm, both in a hire car and on public transport.

The drive should take between 40 minutes to an hour. Some people swear by the fact that the Primm outlet shops carry cheaper prices than their Vegas equivalent and this may indeed be true.

Outlets at Primm include – American Eagle, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach, Converse, DKNY, Guess, Gap, Lacoste, Levis, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma and Tommy Hilfiger.

To get to Primm unless you have a hire car, you will need to get the ‘shoppers shuttle’.

You can pick up the shuttle from LVH, Fashion Show Mall, The Venetian, Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood, or Tropicana. It costs $15 round trip per person.

The shuttle runs Monday – Saturday.

It picks up at LVH at 9am, Fashion Show Mall at 9:05am (outside forever 21), Venetian at 9:10am (at ground transportation lobby), Miracle Mile at 9:15am (by self parking garage entrance), and 9:20am at Tropicana (North Entrance).

It returns from the outlet mall at 2:30pm leaving enough time to shop and perhaps take in one or two of the casinos.

The three casinos are run by the same people and are called Buffalo Bills, Whiskey Pete’s and Primm Valley. All three have accommodation. Primm Valley is their top end property, with Buffalo Bills in the middle and Whiskey Pete’s having the budget accommodation. The rates can be significantly cheaper than Vegas hotels at busy times and worth considering if you fancy a couple of nights outside the city to escape a busy weekend.

As well as the shopping and casinos, Primm has a spa, 2 golf courses and also some theme park style rides including a log flume, a rollercoaster and a 3D ride. At the weekend the resorts run a monorail that takes you between the three properties.

Death Valley

Death Valley:

It is possible to ‘do’ Death Valley in a very full day trip from Las Vegas. It is roughly a 2 hour drive from the strip to the entrance to Death Valley National Park. You will need to plan your day carefully to make sure you fit everything in. There is loads of information about the park including maps on their website.

A good route if you are coming in from Las Vegas is to head to the park via Pahrump (there is a supermarket called Smiths in Pahrump that you drive right past if you need supplies) and Death Valley Junction. If you look at the ‘routes from Las Vegas’ document on the website this is called ‘the shortest route’. The leave Death Valley via the Beatty Exit ‘the ghost town route’. This means you can see most of the sites in the park without driving back on yourself.

If arriving and leaving in this way start your day at Dante’s view before heading into the park via Zabriskie Point. Before heading to Furnace creek follow the road round towards Badwater. See the devil’s golf course on the way and the Artist’s Palate one way drive on the way back. You then hit Furnace Creek visitor centre. From there head North via the Harmony Borax works and Salt Creek. After Salt Creek you can head back to the Beatty cutoff road which cuts through the park towards the exit, or carry on and take the long way round. The ghost town of Rhyolite is just before Beatty if you have time. From Beatty it should take just under 3 hours to get back to Vegas.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead:

Lake Mead is a very pretty desert lake on the outskirts of Vegas. It is very sprawling, but the main visitor centre is located near the cute town of Boulder City which is a 45 minute drive from the strip.

There are scenic drives, picnic areas, places you can have a swim and plenty of hiking trails.

It is also only another 15 minute drive on from here to the Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam:

The Hoover Dam is just under an hour’s drive from the Las Vegas strip. There is a visitor centre that is open every day (apart from Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) 9am – 5pm. You can get a guided tour of the Dam for $30 a head. No children under the age of 8 are allowed. You can also get a tour of just the Power Plant which is suitable for all ages. This is $11 for adults, $9 for children ages 4-16 and under 4s are free. Note that parking costs $7.


Lake Las Vegas:

An alternative to Lake Mead is Lake Las Vegas. It is actually a very small part of Lake Mead a bit closer to town (a 30 minute drive from the strip). Lake Las Vegas has 3 hotels. Hilton Lake Las Vegas, Montelago casino resort and Westin Lake Las Vegas. Some of these hotels run a free shuttle from the strip that are supposed to be for just hotel guests, but sometimes at quiet times will let others board (see free shuttles in transport section). The Montelago has a small casino and there is also a village area next to the lake with shops and restaurants. Note that this area can be very quiet especially on a weekday during daylight hours when residents of the hotels have decamped for a day on the strip.

Red rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon:

Red Rock Canyon State Park is a very scenic area just 30 minutes drive from the strip. The park has a 13 mile scenic drive and lots of hiking and photographic opportunities (a lot of locals come here to have their wedding photos taken, so if you see a lady out on the trails in a wedding dress this is why!) The park costs $7 per car.

Slightly further on from the entrance to Red Rock on the same road is Bonnie Springs Ranch. It is possible to pick up an hour horseback tour of Red Rock from here for $60 a head. Bonnie Springs also has a restaurant, a petting zoo and a replica 1880’s mining town where Wednesday – Sunday they hold Wild West gunfight shows.

See their website for show hours which vary by season.

Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire:

Valley of Fire state park is 1 hour 15 minutes from the strip in the opposite direction to Red Rock state park. Again hiking and photography are the most popular activities. Valley of Fire also has a scenic drive. The visitor centre is open from 8:30am – 4:30pm.



grand Canyon

Grand Canyon:

It is possible to see the Grand Canyon as a day trip from Las Vegas. Plenty of people do (although you may get more out of it if you chose to stay overnight).

The most popular way to get to the Grand Canyon is by helicopter from Las Vegas. This can be pricey (around $400 a head), but cuts out the amount of travelling time you will have to do to get there. A general helicopter tour to Las Vegas will include a limo pick up from your Vegas hotel that will take you to the helicopter port, followed by the helicopter trip to the canyon that will include a scenic view of Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam from the air. A champagne picnic lunch inside the Grand Canyon is generally served before the flight back to Vegas. This trip only takes around 4 hours in total and departures leave several times a day. Note that you will see the Grand Canyon from the air and from the ground inside the canyon, but you will not have the opportunity to stand on the rim.

Another way to see the Grand Canyon is by coach tour. Coach tours go to both the West and South rim. The differences are that the West rim is a lot shallower than the South rim, but has the Skywalk. The South rim is the more famous section of the canyon. Coach tours to the West Rim generally do not include entrance to the Skywalk; tickets need to be purchased separately on arrival (check the small print of your chosen tour). Both tours usually include pick up from your Vegas hotel, a light breakfast on the coach, a drive over the Hoover Dam, lunch, time for souvenir shopping. A west rim tour will cost around $100 and a South Rim tour $80. A west rim tour is likely to last around 10 hours, a South rim tour 14 hours. Both depart early morning.

You can of course drive yourself to the Grand Canyon, but it is worth having more than one driver if you intend going there and back in one day. I would recommend an overnight stay in the Grand Canyon area if you are driving yourself. You can book accommodation actually on the rim of the Canyon at the South Rim or in the nearby town of Williams. It is about a 4 and a half hour drive to the South Rim from the Strip (Hoover Dam and some route 66 towns are en route). It is 4 hours to the skywalk and West Rim.

For accommodation in the Grand Canyon National Park South Rim see the below web link –



Laughlin is a fun little casino town only an hour and a half drive from the Vegas strip, which can be a nice day trip if you fancy a change of scenery, but don’t want to stray too far from a casino.

Laughlin casinos include Aquarius, Colorado Belle, Riverside Resort, Edgewater Casino, Golden Nugget (same chain as the Las Vegas downtown property), Harrah’s Laughlin (same chain as the Las Vegas property), Pioneer gambling hall, River Palms Resort and Tropicana Resort.

All of these casinos also have hotels if you fancy staying the night.

There is also an outlet mall in Laughlin with 55 shops.