The drive from Phoenix to Las Vegas is primarily along U.S. Highway 93 through Arizona and Nevada in the arid desert. If you would like to see some sights along the route (or in close proximity), you have a number of choices to liven up the ride in both states.
Located in Lake Havasu City in Arizona near the Nevada border, the London Bridge was relocated there from the English capital in 1971 after being sold to American businessman Robert McCulloch. The bridge spans the Bridgewater Channel and has become one of the top tourist attractions in the state. Fortunately, Lake Havasu City is only about an hour south of Laughlin, so you can hit both attractions on the way to Las Vegas as part of a side trip.
Although much smaller than Sin City, Laughlin is an enjoyable and relaxing casino vacation spot. The Nevada city is located just across the state line from Bullhead City, Arizona, and borders the Colorado River. The casinos front the river and water taxis will take you from place to place. Top casinos there include Harrah's and Colorado Belle, with all of the expected games of chance. The city is just south of the far tip of the Lake Mead Recreation Area. Take U.S. Highway 95 from there to reach Boulder City and the Hoover Dam.
This mammoth structure was built in the early 20th century on the Colorado River to create Lake Mead and provide usable water for the citizens rapidly moving to the southwest part of the country. The dam features a visitor center with exhibits on the construction of the dam as well as a guided walking tour of the facility.
This 291-square-mile lake features 550 miles of shoreline, many of them dotted by pleasure seekers. There you can ride on personal watercraft, water skis, pontoon boats or go for a relaxing swim in the lake. Rental outlets for these water vehicles are plentiful around the lake.
Valley of Fire State Park
Take a side trip about a half-hour north of Las Vegas to see this barren landscape that has been described as Mars-like. The sand and oddly-shaped rock formations have a red tint. The park offers a scenic drive as well as hiking opportunities.
- Frommer's Las Vegas 2009; Mary Herczog; 2009
- Rand McNally website
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