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5 Family Friendly Day Trips from Las Vegas

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Take a day trips from Las Vegas and enjoy the beauty of Nevada outside of the Strip. 

a collage of photos of family day trips from las vegas

Las Vegas is one of the most popular cities in the world to visit. So, if you live in one of the top attractions in the world, where do you go for a fun day trip? Las Vegas is perfectly positioned to allow for quick day getaways that some people may plan as vacation trips.

family in front of red rock at Valley of Fire State Park in Las Vegas

Valley of Fire State Park

Home to petroglyphs and petrified wood more than 2,000 years old, Valley of Fire State Park gets its name in part due to the bright red sandstone that juts out of the ground, layered with tan limestone.

Covering about 40,000 acres, Valley State Park, less than an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, is one of the best places to spend a day hiking any of the trails. From as short as .75-mile to much longer, each trail offers something different for visitors, including movie sets, vista views and petroglyphs. It’s easy to recognize the beauty of the park, and may be more difficult to decide which ones to take. The park has a shaded picnic area, so you can grill and enjoy a meal during your visit.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Paradise is a short drive from Las Vegas. Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the country’s first national recreation area, splitting space between Nevada and Arizona, and offers visitors a bevy of outdoor activities. From boating the Great Lakes-sized water to hiking, bicycling and swimming, as well as fishing, Lake Mead Recreation Area has about 1.5 million acres of land, mountains and water to explore. With Hoover Dam within eyesight, the area offers beautiful scenery that you may not want to leave at the end of a sun-soaked day.

boy with aliens near Area 51

Area 51

Area 51 may be best known as the home of America’s alien research, the area is actually home to some interesting – alien-focused, of course – attractions. If you have science fiction, conspiracy theory or quirky attractions fans in your family, a day trip to Area 51 will excite everyone.

About a 90-minute drive from Las Vegas, enjoy the scenery as your drive the Extraterrestrial Highway, aka State Route 375, before stopping at local establishments like the Little A’Le’Inn. Geocaching is popular along the highway with a reported 1,000-plus locations. The Alien Research Center Gift Shop is also located on the highway and is a must-stop for alien souvenirs and gear.

Boulder City

Its top attraction may be the Hoover Dam, but Boulder City offers more than just one of the world’s wonders. Home to more than three dozen attractions, a day trip to Boulder City is more than a dam tour. Check out the area’s museums focusing on its mining and rail history. Public art is promoted with a sculpture walk. Nature enthusiasts will love spending a day playing at Lake Mead National Recreation Area or hiking area trails. Not to be outdone, alien aficionados will enjoy a visit to Area 52, home of the flying saucer.

Goldfield

A three-hour drive from Las Vegas, a day trip to Goldfield offers a two-tier payoff for the drive – eclectic art with a side of ghost town lore. The International Car Forest of the Last Church was conceived by a couple of artists. Beginning with one car with its front end buried upright in the desert sand, the duo has created Nevada’s version of Stonehenge with about 40 uniquely-painted cars, trucks and vans are strategically placed to create a quirky art attraction located east of town.

Once a thriving city during its mining heyday, Goldfield fell into rough times, people moved away, and the city eventually turned into a ghost town. With several buildings still standing, a drive to Goldfield provides a look into Nevada history, with a side of eeriness tossed in.

From aliens to ghosts and art, Nevada offers a variety of things to do on a day trip from Las Vegas. Leave the Strip and Fremont Street to the tourists. Journey out of town for a fun road trip without having to venture far from home.

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