Viva Las Vegas! There is no doubt that Las Vegas is a bucket list destination. Every year, millions flock to Sin city to celebrate birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings and sometimes even divorces! Living in Las Vegas definitely has its perks but sometimes, you just want to get away.
What is it about the Southwest that draws us in? Could it be the sunset views from Elysian at Hughes Center® that seem to blend the perfect mix of pinks and purples on the horizon? The convenience from Elysian at Tivoli to the mountains and Red Rock Canyon. Or maybe it’s the collection of history and vintage diners you’ll find along Route 66 that is just minutes from any of our Elysian Living properties. Whatever it is that piques your interest in the Southwest, there are many fabulous locations right around the corner from Las Vegas for a day trip or a weekend jaunt. Here are six must-see spots in the Southwest, each with their own unique character and presence.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock, located about 30 minutes from the Strip is a hot spot for tourists and locals, literally. The canyon spreads across 195,819 acres of the Mojave Desert and in the summer can reach temperatures close to 100 degrees. Still, a break from the heat of the city and Red Rock typically offers a comfortable temperature at around 75 degrees, perfect for doing any of the activities the park offers, such as biking, hiking, or backpacking through any of the 27 trails guests have to choose from. The canyon is the perfect way to experience a day of unconventional Las Vegas beauty.
Grand Canyon National Park
To the world, it’s one of the seven wonders, but to the person standing in front of the Grand Canyon, it is simply tranquility and mystery. The Grand Canyon leaves its visitors speechless and hosts over 5.9 million people each year. Taking over 277 miles of the Arizona desert, the canyon is only two and a half hours from the heart of Las Vegas, making it another perfect spot for a quick overnight trip. The Grand Canyon is one of the most unique places on the earth because of its incredibly diverse topography—something you must see to believe. While the famous overlook at the park is enough to leave its visitors in awe, the depths of the canyon and its incredible experiences of white-water rafting, photography, overnight stays and serene swimming locations are well worth the trek.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Didn’t know you could swim in the Hoover Dam? Well, maybe not quite, but close to it at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which spreads from Nevada to Arizona. Lake Mead was formed directly from the Hoover Dam and is the largest reservoir in the United States. Lake Mead is the perfect location to get multiple activities in at once. If you enjoy adding education to your holiday, consider taking a tour of the Hoover Dam, offered year-round. After spending time at this massive man-made creation, visit the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Lake Mead not only offers relaxation through swimming and boating, but it is also a prime fishing and camping spot, the perfect place to take your enjoyment of nature to the next level.
Scottsdale, Arizona, is a fantastic city that is only a short flight or drive from Las Vegas and is well-worth visiting. What makes this random gem a must see? It is the perfect mix of high end and history. Scottsdale is famous for its booming business in luxury resorts, professional golf courses and highly sought-after shopping experiences. If this sounds good to you, you may want to add a short overnight trip to your list. In addition, Scottsdale is home to many museums, music festivals and lots of western spirit. The city has evolved into a modern-day location but is also very much keeping to its roots of western culture that can be seen very clearly in a visit to Old Town Scottsdale. The old town is the perfect place for a relaxing night, with diverse restaurants, activities and cultural adventures.
The Oasis at Death Valley, California
Best known for its extremely high temperatures and colorful rocks, Death Valley is one of the most surreal locations in the world. Named the “driest place on Earth,” the valley sees almost no rain through the year and ranks 282 feet below sea level at the lowest point. Death Valley is visited by tourists year-round, but the Oasis offers an experience that connects perfectly with the valley; peaceful. Only a short drive from Las Vegas, The Oasis is one of the newest resorts in Death Valley and offers much more than competing accommodations. Take your pick from a simple room for one-night unwinding or a spacious presidential suite for those extra-long visits. Complete with a stone-top pool, enclosed outdoor fireplace, eclectic outdoor lighting, traditional southwest design, and a view of the valley, this resort is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day in the sun.
Zion in Utah
While Zion National Park offers similarity to the Grand Canyon and Red Rock, each locale offers its very own rejuvenation to the soul, and this Utah wonder cannot be left out. Not only will you experience something magic upon arriving in Zion, but the trip from Las Vegas is also something to take advantage of. The two and a half hours of driving won’t even come close to the amount of time you could spend checking out all the unique spots along the way. Between Nevada and Utah, the sites are endless, and while on the drive, take some time and select a route that showcases the Arizona State line, Valley of Fire State Park, Lake Mead and Mesquite Nevada to enjoy a break from the road.