Overall I enjoy living in Vegas, but every now and then I need a break from the brown desert and tourist-driven Strip. Having grown up in Washington, I miss experiencing all of the seasons and being surrounded by trees and water. Rob and I love taking road trips to the mountains for a taste of winter and also escaping our sizzling summers by driving to the beach. We are lucky that Vegas is only a few hours away from so many amazing destinations. Whether you feel like hiking, sightseeing or eating, these are a few of the trips I would recommend.
Big Bear Lake – 3 hours, 47 minutes.
This is a great place if you want to slow down and enjoy good company. Most of the accommodations are individual cabins rather than multi-story hotels. We stayed at Noon Lodge, which was so cute and cozy! During the day we explored the village, had lunch at 572 Social and a beer at Big Bear Lake Brewery. I also recommend Teddy Bear Restaurant for brunch—my cinnamon roll French toast was delicious! We also drove around the lake, which doesn’t take very long, and offers gorgeous views.
Zion National Park – 2 hours, 49 minutes
Rob is definitely the outdoorsier one in our relationship. Hiking has never been a passion of mine, but I always enjoy it once we’re there. I was a little nervous about hiking Angel’s Landing since it has such a steep incline, but it was very rewarding once we reached the top! We hope to visit again and try more of the trails!
Antelope Canyon – 4 hours, 47 minutes
Words can’t describe how incredible this slot canyon is. The colors and formations here are unreal! We took a wonderful guided tour and took so many fun photos. I want to go back now that I have a better camera! They also offer photography tours, which would be really cool to try.
Horseshoe Bend – 5 hours, 1 minute
Just a short drive from Antelope Canyon is Horseshoe bend, which is a gorgeous portion of the Colorado River. It’s so cool to see the steep cliff and gorgeous water. There’s a small hike from the parking lot, but it’s not strenuous and definitely worth the view!
LA – 4 hours, 31 minutes
I would love to live in LA—it’s such an exciting, trendy city. We fit a lot into our one-night trip: exploring the Rose Bowl Flea Marketing, shopping at The Grove, walking along the Santa Monica Pier, visiting the LACMA and of course eating (full list here). There are so many more places I want to visit, so we will definitely need to make another trip!
San Diego – 5 hours, 16 minutes
If you want a beach escape, San Diego is the place to go! We attended a beautiful waterfront wedding there one summer. During out trip we enjoyed kayaking to the La Jolla caves, sunbathing in front of Hotel del Coronado, cheering on the Padres and exploring Balboa Park. When it comes to food and drinks, we enjoyed the Gaslamp Quarter, which has a lot of trendy bars and restaurants (more favorite eats are listed here and this post has our complete to-do list).
Mammoth – 5 hours, 25 minutes
We have driven to Mammoth twice since living in Vegas, both times during the winter. The first year we stayed for a night and had a fun time exploring the village and skiing. Then the next year we rented a cabin with some friends over Super Bowl weekend, which was a blast except for the Seahawks losing :( You can see my full Mammoth travel guide here. Definitely check out the brewery!