Every year, hoards of tourists descend on Las Vegas. It’s a city like no other – that’s why 42 million people visited last year. It might not surprise you to learn that most of these visitors arrived by flying into McCarran International Airport. Air travel, after all, is the easiest and quickest way to travel – particularly to a remote city like Vegas.
However, a fair number of tourists made the journey by road. If you find yourself in that position, here are the best routes to Sin City from across the US.
San Francisco to Las Vegas
As you head out of San Francisco, you’ll drive through the Sierra Nevada Mountains on your way to Lake Tahoe. Take your time here to recharge your batteries with a nice spot of kayaking or a peaceful afternoon fishing.
Your next pit stop will be Yosemite, home to some of the most imposing rock faces and waterfalls on the planet. If those sights don’t sound like your type of thing, make sure you go and check out the giant sequoia trees – the oldest living trees in the world that you can actually drive through.
Once you’ve finished with Yosemite you’ll want to boost the air conditioning as you drive through the hot and arid Death Valley. The name is somewhat misleading – if you’re an avid photographer you’ll actually feel as though you’re driving through Heaven Valley.
The stunning sights and vistas will keep you smiling all the way to Las Vegas, which emerges like a mirage out of the desert wilderness.
Chicago to Las Vegas
This is one of the most fabled drives in all of the US. It’s part of Route 66, and while it’s a long drive, chances are you’ll find some amazing scenery to write home about. Drive through Monument Valley for some awe-inspiring views through rusty red landscapes and pink sunsets.
You’ll want to stick roughly to the I-55 to St Louis and then the I-70 – while these are incredibly long stretches of road, they’re also particularly scenic. When you get to Utah, exit the interstate and drive through Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park on your way to Vegas.
Denver to Las Vegas
Another famous US drive is from Denver to Vegas. The open expanses you’ll pass through on the way are truly breathtaking – including Canyonlands National Park as well as Goblin Valley State Park. But really, the I-70 is full of great views all the way – as it passes through the Rocky Mountains – and you’ll want to get out and snap everything you’re seeing.
Take the I-70 all the way through the San Rafael Swell through Utah. Here you’ll move into the I-15 and pass the Virgin River Gorge, another mountainous segment of your journey, where you’ll be forgiven for stepping out of the driver’s seat to soak up the sheer beauty around you.
Dallas to Las Vegas
Die-hard Texans often make the pilgrimage to Vegas by road. While it’s a very long way, it does take in some of the best sights you can ever hope to see in the US.
Start by driving west to Fort Worth, and from there take the US 287 to Amarillo. Here, take a trip to the Cadillac Ranch – an art installation where dozens of spray-painted Cadillacs are piled high. This place is also renowned for the Big Texan restaurant, where you can chow down on juicy steaks and burgers before you hit the road again.
After that, head for the Grand Canyon. If you’ve never been before, you’ll find it by taking the I-25, then the I-40, and finally Highway 89. It’s every bit as spine-tinglingly magnificent as they say it is, with a jaw-dropping expanse of red rocks and jagged peaks under a cloudless blue sky.
After visiting the Grand Canyon, head west to I-40 to Kingman, then take Highway 93 all the way to Vegas.
Casino Bus Rides in Vegas
There’s a whole host of routes to take to Vegas from across the US, and the sheer range of options doesn’t end when you get there. This is the place that’s regularly described as an “adult Disney World”, with many sources of entertainment, including of course gambling.
With so many iconic casinos inviting you to play indoors, you’re really spoilt for choice in this gambling mecca. Check out the Bellagio, the Venetian and the MGM Grand and you’ll be stepping inside three of the pillars of Las Vegas gambling culture.
Casino bus rides will take you around all the main casinos, and can be a great option if you want to play at a few different venues during your time in Vegas. Moreover, many casinos provide shuttle buses at no cost, and will pick you up from major urban areas.
So if you don’t want to walk, pay for a taxi or rent a car, free shuttles are an option. Here are some options:
- Downtown Loop Shuttle – direct trips to the Arts District, Mob Museum and Fremont
- Sam’s Town Shuttle – daily drops off across the Vegas Strip and Main Street Station
- Gold Coast Shuttle – pick-up and drop-off at the Orleans Hotel & Casino and Gold Coast Hotel & Casino
- Hard Rock Hotel Shuttle – rotates between several venues across the Vegas Strip
- M Resort Shuttle – direct trips to Tropicana Las Vegas and the airport
Of course, when you’re on a shuttle bus destined for your favourite casino, you can get some practice in by playing at online casinos. There’s no shortage of places to play online – with many operators out there providing players with the chance to have a flutter on games such as blackjack, roulette and slots.
However, surely while you’re in Vegas, the most appropriate place to play is at an online casino themed around the city you’re in. With branding and design harking back to the 1960s golden era of gambling, here’s a one of a kind online casino that’ll entertain you with a broad range of engaging games, and immerse you in the charms of Sin City.
Driving to Vegas is fine when you’ve got all the excitement to look forward to. However, when it comes to the return journey, when you’re on your third hangover. Therefore, do consider getting a bus back home afterwards.