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The Ultimate Los Angeles to Las Vegas Road Trip

The Ultimate Los Angeles to Las Vegas Road Trip

One of the best weekend getaways from Los Angeles, the drive to Vegas is a worthwhile adventure that exposes you to a whole new world.


5 min read

June 29, 2021

Ready, set, Vegas! Join the many Californians this year on a Los Angeles to Las Vegas road trip that starts with driving on the highway and ends as a luxurious trip full of fine dining, shopping, and entertainment. One of the best weekend getaways from Los Angeles, the drive to Vegas is a worthwhile adventure that exposes you to a whole new world in the span of less than five hours. Viva Las… oh well, you know the rest. 

Las Vegas is approximately 325 miles from the heart of L.A., and without traffic will take around five hours to get there.

Why Drive to Vegas?

No one needs convincing to visit Las Vegas, but here are a few reasons why you should embark on the Los Angeles to Las Vegas road trip ASAP.

  • Since June 1st, Las Vegas has been back to life pre-pandemic. So, fully vaccinated people are able to experience the beauty and Bellagio sans limitations.
  • Not only is the drive time from Los Angeles to Las Vegas short, but there are plenty of things to see along the way that will make those four hours fly by.
  • Sun’s out fun’s out. Did we mention that summer is the perfect season for a road trip to Vegas? Picture the pools, hotels, shows, and other fun activities you’ll enjoy in person while people back home wait for the sun to go down to be able to leave their homes without melting.

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Everything You Need to See on a Road Trip to Las Vegas

Book your hotel and put on your road trip playlist; these places to stop on the way to Vegas make for one heck of an awesome road trip to kick off a weekend in Sin City. 

Mormon Rocks is an area of tilted sandstone slabs exposed to the elements thanks to plate tectonics in the past, located along the San Andreas Fault.

Stop #1 Mormon Rocks

The first stop on your 270-mile L.A. to Vegas drive is at the Mormon Rocks in Phelan. Just over an hour out of Los Angeles, these peculiar sandstone formations will immediately catch your eye. While you should definitely admire them from afar, the best way to see the rocks is via an easy one-mile hike. So, if you have enough time to spare while driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, don’t miss out on trekking the Mormon Rocks Interpretive Trail.

Stop #2 Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch

Put aside enough time for a quick detour onto the iconic Route 66. Less than 20 minutes away from Mormon Rocks, you’ll come across the famous Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch. Created by Elmer Long in 2000, this collection of metal trees full of old bottles and other vintage items is fun to stroll through and take pictures of. 

While Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch is the most famous roadside attraction along Route 66 from L.A. to Vegas, there are other cool spots like diners and antique shops to see should you venture out a bit further.

Stop #3 Route 66 Mother Road Museum

The Route 66 Mother Road Museum is a cool little stop in Barstow, where you can learn about the historic route and check out memorabilia. Consider donating a small sum to help maintain the volunteer-run museum—the admission is completely free.

Stop #4 Desert Discovery Center

The Desert Discovery Center, located near Barstow, is a major institution that educates tourists about the Mojave Desert's culture, local community, and natural heritage. The museum's most renowned exhibit is the Old Woman Meteorite. This spectacular collection, which includes the oldest and second biggest meteorite in the United States, making the museum one of the must-see stops on the trip to Vegas.

Side note: the original Del Taco is also within half a mile from the museum. If you’re more excited about tacos than meteorites, you’ll definitely want to add a pitstop here as well. 

Giant letters spelling CALICO are visible, from the highway, on the Calico Peaks behind it.

Stop #5 Calico

Calico is one of the most visited ghost towns in California, frequented mostly by people on a Los Angeles to Las Vegas road trip (or Death Valley, you choose). Nestled in the Calico Mountains of the Mojave Desert, this silver mining town was founded in 1881 and is now a local historical landmark. Stroll around the abandoned town, take pictures, and travel back in time to the 1800s before hopping back in your car and driving towards Las Vegas—the polar opposite of Calico. 

Peggy Sue's is an original roadside 1950s-style diner, with American classics such as meatloaf and chicken-fried steak on the menu.

Stop #6 Peggy Sue’s Diner

At this point, you’ve been on the road for around three hours already. Before your stomachs start rumbling and your mood goes sour, you definitely need to stop and grab a quick bite. Peggy Sue’s 50s Diner is an old-school spot in Yermo that’s a yummy restaurant and cool place to check out 50s and 60s memorabilia. Get a burger and a shake and you’ll be ready to make more stops along the scenic drive near Las Vegas.

Stop #7 Baker

Baker is not so much a sightseeing spot as it is a necessary one. Not only is it one of the only gas station stops along the entirety of the road trip to Las Vegas, but Baker also features a couple of cool places you can check out on the go. If you like beef jerky, pick up unique flavors from Alien Fresh Jerky to keep you full for the last few miles of the drive to Vegas. Don’t forget to take a picture with the world’s tallest thermometer before getting back on the road.

Comprised of seven towers of colorful, stacked boulders, Seven Magic Mountains stand more than thirty feet high.

Stop #8 Seven Magic Mountains

2021 might be your last chance to check out this famous public installation before it’s removed from Henderson, Nevada. You’ve definitely come across the brightly colored boulders stacked upon each other on your social media feed, but trust us when we say they’re much better looking in person.

The 35-foot art installation is meant to resemble the mountains of the desert and was created by renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. As the last official stop of your summer road trip, Seven Magic Mountains is a cool sight to see on your Los Angeles to Las Vegas road trip.

Stop #9 Las Vegas

You’ve made it. You’ve successfully beat traffic boredom and made it to Las Vegas while listening to good music, checking out the coolest landmarks, and learning about California history in the best way. Goodbye reality, hello Vegas!

For now, you have awesome shows, great food, beautiful hotels, and many fun activities to look forward to in Vegas. You know what they say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas—more like we post about it non-stop on Instagram. 

If you find yourself craving more adventures on the way back, we have your back with more bucket list-worthy destinations to add to your itinerary

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