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Renting a Car - Hoover Dam

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by BarelyHangingOn, Nov 30, 2015.

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  1. BarelyHangingOn

    BarelyHangingOn Low-Roller

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    We are going to rent a car and drive out to the Hoover Dam one day next week. From the map it looks like we will head down Tropicana Blvd. and pretty much head south until we hit the dam, On the way back we may hit the mall in the south and maybe the Pinball Museum.

    We are wondering is there anything we should know before we go driving down there?

    Anything to avoid or where not to stop? I am assuming it's a fairly safe drive down and back we we wont be driving through Spanish Harlem,:rolleyes2:

    Maybe somewhere to stop and see along the way that's worth it or grab something to eat?

    Anything at all?

    Thanks!
     
    3rd Aria Stay Coming Up
  2. hotreds

    hotreds VIP Whale

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    My two cents? Take a tour! You don't have to worry about parking, and you can look at the scenery on the trip i/o concentrating on driving. Chances are you'll meet some nice people, as well.
     
    A/C in December!?
    Will give them a try!
  3. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    You got it correct! It's a nice drive. Nothing at all to avoid. I agree on taking one of the tours. Just looking around on your own is OK, but a tour is well worth the time.
     
  4. roycpa

    roycpa Low-Roller

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    Not sure where you are starting from or how long you are staying in LV. Both of those make a big difference. If you're staying a week or more, there are lots of places to stop and look at. If you're only out for a long weekend, there's not too much to stop and see.

    Lots of unusual stuff within Boulder City, (rr museum) antique stores, couple of restaurants featured on triple D. On the way out or way back there's several casinos on Boulder Highway worth a stop at least once, and of course there's Ethel M chocolate factory and amazing Cactus garden.

    If you're used to city driving, LV is a piece of cake to get around. To get to the dam the quickest way, take I-15 to I-215 east to I-515 south. Interstate will end and you'll soon be in Boulder City. 10 minutes later you're at the dam. (Take the longer tour, its worth it.) Ask any questions you want!
     
  5. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    We stopped for lunch at Boulder Dam Brewing Co in Boulder City along the way, I can recommend.
     
  6. willywilkes

    willywilkes Low-Roller

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    Not sure how active you are, but we like to walk the historic rail trail. It's about 4 miles each way and goes from the trailhead to the Hoover Dam parking garage. http://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisit/hikerr.htm

    If you go, make sure you come from the south (through Boulder city) so you avoid having to pay to go through the lake mead recreation area.

    There is a water fountain about half way and again at the Hoover dam, this time of year you don't have to worry about it too much in the heat, but the first time we did it in July and that was a killer.
     
  7. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    We like to stop at SUNSET STATION on the way for a cheap lunch and some great gambling! We racked up enough points on one stop to get 6 COMP nights! I also hit my first Royal there.
     
  8. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Before you reach the dam make sure you stop off and take a hike onto the bypass bridge. The parking lot is right before you go down to the dam. You get to walk on the bypass bridge and get a good look at the dam. It is an awesome view and worth it if you are driving down to the dam.

    As others mentioned, you can also stop off at boulder city to check out the old town. If you have the time you can even take the scenic lakeshore road that goes along lake mead and end up at lake las vegas, also another scenic locale.

    Beware if you are driving on Tropicana, lots of traffic lights so it may take awhile to get to boulder highway, depending on where you are starting out it might be easier to take the 215 (esp if you are starting out near the I15) and getting off at the 515 to get to the dam. Also note that you will probably have to take the 215 if you want to get to the south premium outlet. There is the galleria mall near sunset station that is right on your way from the dam (not sure which mall you were talking about).

    Just make sure that you have your maps in order so you don't get lost or take a roundabout drive to get to or from the dam.
     
  9. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Drive and join a tour there. If you are like me and like having a rental car to actually drive and see what's out there, that is a nice ride whether you go local or take the expressways.
     
  10. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Avis has rental desks at Crystals, Monte Carlo, and NYNY. If you have a corporate discount code or can grab one online, you will save yourself a ton of time on the pickup and return compared to going to the airport.
     
  11. BarelyHangingOn

    BarelyHangingOn Low-Roller

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    I booked one at Aria using the MLife Code and another code I found online for an upgrade like GPS or something. It wasn't the cheapest but is pretty handy.

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I have heard the lookout bridge is a must see and that there lots to do in Boulder.

    I decided to take the highway route you suggested as it is probably an easier touch. I figured Tropicana Blvd would be a bit of a Gong Show but wasn't sure.

    Hopefully we have time to do a few extra things, my wife has her heart set on shopping at the outlet mall. I think once she grasps how much the Canadian to US conversion is there won't be too much shopping.
     
    3rd Aria Stay Coming Up
  12. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I also rather drive. I find taking tours from your hotel are more commercial, they may take you to the dam but they also intersperse it with stops at their tourists traps. By driving you can leave anytime you want, avoid the tourist traps and spend as much time as you want enjoying your trip. If you are tired or bored you can just hop in the car and drive back, you don't have to wait for others or wait for the bus to take you back to your hotel.

    But some people like taking the tours, they don't have to worry about renting a car or driving around and many don't mind the comforts of someone taking them around.
     
  13. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I agree!

    Years ago we took one of those bus tours and we were literally held prisoner at the Chocolate Factory for what seemed like hours. After you did the Cactus Garden, the only two options were to buy stuff or stare at idle machinery!

    I do agree on the footpath over the new bridge. Also take a drive around the shore of Lake Mead and drive in to those turn-offs along the way. You can then get back via either Henderson or North Las Vegas. If you really feel adventurous, you can drive all the way to Valley Of Fire on that road.
     
  14. Gutzy

    Gutzy Low-Roller

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    Which tour do you recommend? Will be staying on the south end of the strip.
     
  15. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    My two cents is forget a tour bus. Hoover Dam has 2 tours. The better one (IMO) you can only buy tickets for in person on the day you're there so the tour buses don't offer that. Drive yourself, be on your own schedule and enjoy HD, it's fun.
     
  16. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    The problem with bus tours, almost any kind of them is that there's a LOT of sitting and a LOT of standing around.
     
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