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Old 02-29-2012, 11:06 AM
 
2,182 posts, read 3,063,591 times
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I'll be visiting some friends out in SD that summer. I am from Virginia so it will be a big trip that my friend and I take. We also are going to be stopping in Los Angeles (Big Dodgers fan here). We plan on setting a side 2 days for Vegas and 2 days for LA.

Most likely we'd probably leave for Vegas in the morning from LA. Stay all night and stay the following day. We will have a rent a car so it's possible to do some things the day we leave Vegas because all we will be doing is going back to SD.

So the question is...in the time period we will be there what should we do that are must see places. We want to go into this trip as a once in a lifetime trip out west considering we are so far away and we are both close to 30 so once we start having families it could be decades before the opportunity arises.

I know Vegas is a big gambling town but i know there are plenty of other things that are great to check out.

We will likely gamble some but were not really big into gambling as much as we are exploring the city and seeing great things.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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For easterners that haven't seen the west, I usually recommend the scenic stuff. Life in the west is not about being indoors in casinos, and you can see casinos where you live, although not likely as elaborate. Of course youíll want to at least cruise the Strip a couple of times, and probably see The Fremont Street Experience downtown, but it all depends on how long you have. Las Vegas is central to some, if not most, of the most exciting and beautiful places in the U.S. Iíve been here most of my life and still havenít seen it all.

Given your time limits, Iíd recommend Goggling these things:

*Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (minutes from town ─ spectacular).

*Valley of Fire State Park (60 to 90 minutes from town, and much larger, and even more spectacular, than Red Rock Cyn).

Lost City Museum at Overton (as long as youíre going to the Valley of Fire).

*Hoover Dam & Lake Mead (You can actually do this on the way to Valley of Fire if you leave early. Youíd have to double back to the North Shore Road -of Lake Mead - from the dam. Then return to town from VOF via I-15.).

**Mt. Charleston (imagine the Blue Ridge Mountains Önow imagine them 3 to 4 times higher).

**Zion National Park (itís only 3 hours away ─ no big deal when driving in the wide open spaces of the west, and the drive there is worth the effort anyway. BEING there is a spiritual experience).

**Grand Canyon National Park (not the stupid overlook ─ THE Grand Canyon. As Teddy Roosevelt said, every American should see it. Imagine the spiritual experience I said you'd have at Zion ─ now imagine Heaven. I've known people who cried tears of joy at the sight. I'm misting up just telling you about it).

The National Atomic Test Site Museum (in town, great experience).

The Mob Museum (really).

Thatís just a small list but it will get you started, and again, fits your time limits Ösort of. If I were you Iíd allow more time for that leg of the journey. It would really be the best part of the trip.

*These would be mostly outdoors in the desert. In summer it is very hot. Sort of like climbing in your oven with the heat on.

** These are higher elevations, therefore, a bit cooler.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:40 PM
 
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Thanks for the info! I agree that we wouldn't want to spend much time indoors. Probably only at night will we be in doors. The benefit we'll have unlike past vacations I've been on is having a rent a car so driving to places is possible.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
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Here's a similar thread that you might want to read through. It's fairly recent (Fall 2011) and the time of year that you'll be visiting is different, but you might find some usefulness in it...

Visiting Las Vegas for the FIRST time!
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
12,686 posts, read 31,817,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfkIII View Post
Here's a similar thread that you might want to read through. It's fairly recent (Fall 2011) and the time of year that you'll be visiting is different, but you might find some usefulness in it...

Visiting Las Vegas for the FIRST time!
They might find that useful but I think they are looking for other things to do besides the Strip.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Undisclosed location in the American desert Southwest
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Summer 2013? We might all be dead tomorrow!
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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I was recently in Palm Springs CA, which is a small city of, I believe, about 45,000, but there are about 500,000 in the Coachella Valley if I'm not mistaken. It was pointed out by a tour guide that all those other towns in that Valley have an image problem ─ they are all known as Palm Springs (no I'm not that way; I like girls).

Here in the Las Vegas Valley we refer to just about every place as being in Las Vegas. I believe "Las Vegas" as we locals know it, is about 1500 or 1600 square miles. When tourists hear the name Las Vegas, they think "Las Vegas Strip". Most seem to think the Strip is our downtown, and don't know our downtown is four miles from the Strip, which itself is 4 miles long. But the Strip covers ....what? only 4 to 6 square miles of the Valley? The whole resort corridor, if you include Paradise Road, Convention Center Drive, Harmon, East Flamingo, and East Tropicana, and West Flamingo, can't be more than 10 or 15 square miles, if that.

My point is that there is whole lot more going on around here than resorts on the Strip. Granted, the Strip is what almost all of the 39 million tourists a year come to see. But when someone says they aren't interested in gambling, and want to know what else there is to do, I don't understand why everyone goes on about the Strip. Everyone in the whole wide world is familiar with the Strip ...or think they are.

In fact, the area we all call home runs E-W from the Pacific Ocean to Flagstaff, AZ, and N-S from Yellowstone National Park to Baja California, in Mexico. What's that 400,000 - 500,000 square miles?
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
12,686 posts, read 31,817,523 times
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If you want a nice desert experience close to Las Vegas, here tis...

Click through these pix of Gold Butte (south of Mesquite, NV, near Lake Mead).

Pix: Buzz Floyd | Facebook




Trip of the week article on Gold Butte: Beauty, solitude await in Gold Butte region - Living - ReviewJournal.com
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:52 AM
 
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If you're going to be in San Diego I'd cut the LA portion of the trip shorter and spend more time in Vegas. Unless you plan on doing some studio tours, trying to catch Leno/Letterman/Conan, visiting the hollywood sign, strolling Sunset Blvd, San Diego is far better than LA.

If you do drive up to LA from San Diego you should plan on stopping in Huntington Beach for lunch. It's on your way just take Beach Blvd off the 405. Go to Main street and I guaranteed you've never seen so many 9s and 10s in you life.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:01 AM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,869 posts, read 14,199,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevadaned View Post
Summer 2013? We might all be dead tomorrow!
I think the Rapture crowd is betting on Dec. 2012.
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