Las Vegas is well known for its Strip, a roughly four-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard lined with a remarkable assortment of resorts and casinos. From the Stratosphere on the north end to Mandalay Bay on the south, the Las Vegas Strip offers up a sensory overload of adult-themed fun. But if you have had your fill of slot machines and Cirque du Soleil, there are plenty of entertainment options a short drive away. Here are 10 of the best day trips from Las Vegas:

Hoover Dam

35 miles from the Strip; about a 45-minute drive

The Hoover Dam made Las Vegas what it is today. Workers building the dam were housed in adjacent Boulder City. Boulder City’s restrictions on gambling and drinking left Las Vegas as the most viable option for a good time for dam workers. Las Vegas went from a sleepy railroad stop to an entertainment destination in large part because of the construction of the dam. At the time of its completion, Hoover Dam was the tallest dam in the world.

Visitors can tour the dam beginning at 9:30 a.m. Pacific time each day, with the last tour starting at 3:30 p.m.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

20 miles from the Strip; about a 30-minute drive

Red Rock is a short drive from Las Vegas and offers some natural scenery that is competitive with the artificial scenery of the Strip. You can view the stunning red rocks via a 13-mile scenic drive through the conservation area. Red Rock Canyon is a photographer’s delight. For the more adventurous, there are more than 20 different hiking trails within the conservation area.

Mount Charleston

48 miles from the Strip; about a 50-minute drive

At nearly 12,000 feet, Mt. Charleston is the highest peak of the Spring Mountains. Its high elevation means Mt. Charleston has a temperature that is often 25-40 degrees cooler than Las Vegas. It also features a large number of trees, mostly bristlecone pines. The area is filled with hiking trails and campgrounds, making it an outdoors oasis for Las Vegas visitors. Mt. Charleston also has the only ski resort in southern Nevada.

Valley of Fire State Park

53 miles from the Strip; about an hour drive

You might be tempted to believe this park got its name from the sweltering summertime temperatures. It actually derives from the red sandstone formations that appear to be on fire when hit by the sun. The sandstone formations are a fascinating feature making for a wondrous landscape.

Camping and hiking are two popular activities within the park, as well as the many petroglyphs located in the park. Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest state park and is quite busy in the spring and fall.

Laughlin/Colorado River

100 miles from the Strip; about a 1.5-hour drive

Laughlin is a small resort town situated on the Colorado River, at the extreme southern tip of the state. The river offers a number of recreational activities. You can even catch a jet boat to the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Be aware that Laughlin is among the hottest places on earth, with summertime temperatures reaching 120 degrees.

Lake Mead National Recreational Area

30 miles from the Strip; about a 35-minute drive

Lake Mead was formed by the Hoover Dam and is the largest reservoir in the United States. Boating, fishing and camping are popular here.

Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area

18 miles from the Strip; about a 25-minute drive

Hiking and nature watching are popular at the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area. The Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site is the centerpiece, with more than 300 art panels dating back thousands of years.

Zion National Park

165 miles from the Strip; about a 2.5-hour drive

Located In southern Utah, Zion National Park is an easily accessible natural wonder just up Interstate 15. The park has a unique geology that is otherworldly.

Bonnie Springs Ranch

22 miles from the Strip; about a 30-minute drive

Located near Red Rock Canyon at the base of the Spring Mountains, Bonnie Springs has a replica of an old West town and offers a petting zoo and horseback riding.

Death Valley National Park

120 miles from the Strip; a little more than a 2-hour drive

Death Valley is the hottest, driest and lowest national park. It has a stunning array of sites that make you feel as if you are on another planet. Kick off your trip with a visit to the Furnace Creek Visitor’s Center, where you can learn everything you need to know about the park.

Las Vegas has much more to offer than just the Strip, with some wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities just a short drive away.

Have any great day trips from Las Vegas that didn’t make our list? Let us know in the comments section below!

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