US Road Trip: Las Vegas & Grand Canyon

Vivaaaa Las Vegas! (Imagine an Elvis impersonator in a white suit singing this!) A must-see when you’re in the area is of course Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Keep reading to find out what I thought of the city that is known for its parties all over the world

Vegas – What to Expect

When we were planning our route (read more about that here), we quickly realised that Vegas pretty much unavoidable as it’s close to Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park.

Now, you might wonder why I said unavoidable and honestly, I wasn’t that excited to go to Vegas. Firstly because I imagined it as an artificial city with loads of drunk people on their bachelors party and second because the Vegas shooting had just taken place a week or two before we went.

Soo – was it as bad as I thought it would be? Well, I didn’t love Vegas, but once you give it a chance, it’s quite nice. There isn’t a ton of stuff to do here but you can easily spent an entire day walking around the different hotels and the malls attached to them.

I reckon you could spent all day inside and see a bunch of different hotel without having to leave the airconditioning as most hotels are connected. A few of my favourites have been the Venetian with it’s very realistic sky ceiling and the Caesars Palace with it’s amazing Roman fountains everywhere!

At night, don’t miss the spectacular fountain show in front of the Bellagio. It goes on for quite a while and the show changes every night, so it’s worth coming back multiple times.

The Fountains at the Bellagio

We stayed in Vegas during the week where hotels (see my recommendations below) where very affordable and it wasn’t super crowded. On the weekend it does get a lot busier and hotels also get much more expensive.

I didn’t go out properly in Vegas, but I went to the Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in the Venetian with a friend. Funny story, when I was travelling through Cambodia (more here) I met a girl in a hostel and we ended up travelling together for quite a while. In Siem Reap we met another girl called Jess and did Angkor Wat together with her for 3 days and met up with her again in Bangkok.

So when I went to Las Vegas, she happened to be working in Kingsman just south of Vegas and we managed to meet up again! And at the moment she is travelling Europe and we’ll hopefully meet up again in the next weeks! That’s one part I love about travelling, making new friends all over the world and seeing them again in the most random places!

Back to Vegas now though! One thing high up on my list of places to see was Downtown Las Vegas and especially Fremont Street! It’s were the oldest hotels and casinos in the city are and were it all started! It’s very different from the strip and definitely worth a visit!

Downtown Las Vegas

Grand Canyon – The Bucket List Item

After a few days of relaxation in Las Vegas, we drove towards the Grand Canyon. On our way there, we made a quick pit stop at the Hoover Dam, which was built in the 1930s and that produces electricity for a big region.

From the Hoover Dam, we drove another 4 hours to the Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. We had a quick pit stop for lunch in Williams which is on the famous Route 66 and a good place to fuel up (both your body and your car) before continuing to the Grand Canyon.

Our first stop at the Grand Canyon was of course the Visitor Center to get an overview and figure out where to go. For a good two hours, we wandered around to different viewpoints including the Mather Point and Yavapai Point before we decided to head to the Desert View Watchtower for sunset. It’s half an hour drive from the Visitor Center and turned out to be a great idea as it wasn’t crowded there at all.

I loved the Grand Canyon and it’s a bucket list item for many people for a good reason. It makes you see the width of our world and it does make you feel really small! The landscape is stunning and seeing the sunset there was a once in a lifetime experience for me! I’d love to go hiking there one day!

Where to Stay

Since we came to Vegas twice, we stayed in 2 different hotels. My sister really wanted to stay at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino where we stayed for 2 nights. For our 2 nights before we went to the Grand Canyon, we stayed at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino which I liked a lot more. It’s right on the strip and super close to Caesars Palace and the Venetian Hotel.

Treasure Island Hotel & Casino seen from the Venetian

Also, I loved the pool! After driving for almost a week straight, it was nice to chill out by the pool for a bit!

Since we left the Grand Canyon pretty late and had already driven a long distance from Las Vegas, we spent the night in the Cameron Trading Post Motel which is not far from Page. I loved this motel because it’s conveniently located next to the highway, but it was still quiet and it has so much history! Also, the restaurant is fab and serves amazing Navajo food!

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