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The Vegas road trip

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by SirSwizzlestick, Jun 21, 2012.

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  1. SirSwizzlestick

    SirSwizzlestick Low-Roller

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    I highly suggest for anyone who lives within reasonable driving distance to Vegas to forgo the flight this time, grab some snacks and some tunes and hit the road for a drive through the desert.

    Over the years, Ive developed an affinity for the Orange County Ca to Vegas drive. Most people see it as a boring 4 hr trek but to me it has become part of the Vegas experience. Im sure anyone who has done this drive has taken note of all the curiosities along the way. The worlds largest thermometer, Calico ghost town, Zyzyx rd, the abandoned waterpark, Primm (stateline, sight of the trips first gamble always!), and more. Passing each of these locations means im one step closer to Vegas and the warm and fuzzies increase!

    Viva the Vegas road trip! Cheers.
     
  2. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Know that road, umm, well. lol It made exactly zero sense for us to fly up, being 3+ out door-to-door. We didn't have to worry about packing, baggage fees, shuttle or rental costs/hassles, TSA or airfare. If we wanted to play golf at Paiute we didn't have to settle for LV National and a cab ride over. If we wanted to see Red Rock Resort, we went, without being hostage to bus or shuttle schedules. If we wanted to experience Hoover Dam, we were there in 40 minutes, on our own schedule. Viva La 15!
     
  3. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Is there a definition of "reasonable driving distance"? I'm a 2 day drive from Vegas and I prefer to drive. People say I'm crazy. :)
     
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Hey, I do nonstop from SoCal to Seattle, so how smart am I?

    Wait, don't you hate to fly? That alters things.

    I invoke the five-hour rule; all else equal, if some place is five hours by car, we drive, no question. Now "all else equal" has various meanings, of course. Christmas in PDX? Fly. Summer excursion? We're as apt to drive. Time, what we want to do on the other end, season, cost--it's a formula.
     
  5. travelfiend

    travelfiend High-Roller

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    I went to college in Durango, CO and have fond memories of last minute road trips to Vegas, was only 550 miles. Depending how you went, you could visit Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, Laughlin along the way. Of course, we never did, had to get to the tables and drinking, ahhh youth.
     
  6. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I don't hate flying, I hate being trapped in a fiery tube of death with the dregs of humanity. :haha:
     
  7. Bruinfan1

    Bruinfan1 Tourist

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    Vegas is less than a day trip for me..."day" meaning 24 hours, of course. I love to drive, especially in Montana where the consequences of speeding are a $20 fine once every 100,000miles (<=95mph), jail (>100mph), or single-vehicle fatality (>125mph). Did the 15 on my last trip. 19 hours 45 minutes, plus or minus some construction just past Mesquite. Audio book on the way down, pop music on the way back.

    I won't comment on what's "reasonable" - given the above comments I've disqualified myself. :wink2: I would say that if you need to overnight on the way there, you should have a major financial benefit or some places to visit along the way. Otherwise fly, get settled in your cheap Vegas hotel, rent a car, and drive around the desert if driving is so much fun.... Depends how much you despise flying, I suppose.

    Ken's last comments match mine: it all depends when you're driving, what you plan to do in Vegas, how many fit in the vehicle, how much fun you'll have on the drive, and of course how much time you have. It could be as simple as whether we're golfing or not, or whether WestJet has a good fare or not.

    On my first visits to Vegas, my driving was in the opposite direction from OP: I'd fly to Vegas, hop in a rental car and drive to my destination. Of course I made sure to spend some time in Vegas too! :licklips:
     
  8. MisterJJ

    MisterJJ Low-Roller

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    I just drove roundtrip from Ramona (San Diego area) to Vegas twice in as many weeks. I thought the second trip would feel a lot longer and turn me off from making the trip in the future. Not so. Second trip even felt shorter, despite the fact that it was longer due to traffic.

    P.S. On the way back this Tuesday there was an ambulance at the abandoned water park and a helicopter was flying away. Wonder what happened.
     
  9. Bungadin

    Bungadin Low-Roller

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    From Phoenix I've averaged the 286 miles in 4.5 hours, both coming and going. I mark my progress in 90 mile segments.

    The first 92 miles mixes dual and single-lane highways with Lake Pleasant, Wickenburg and the Joshua Tree Forest. The JTF is long monotonous single lane stretch with an occasional and welcomed passing lane. The end of the Forest means the rest of the trip is all two-lane highway.

    If you get by the idiots camping in the left lane you can do 85-90 mph to Wikieup and make up some time. Just past Wikieup is a small bridge over a hillside runoff I dubbed "Half-Way Bridge" starting the second 143 mile leg and just 45 miles to Kingman.

    After the customary fill-up and pit-stop in Kingman I'm know I'm 105 miles away. The new bridge over the dam cuts precious minutes off the trip and shortly after the dam I drive by the Fiesta Henderson where I once visited on a previous drive home. Friendly and clean, I'll stop by again I'm sure.

    I always get a feeling of "road relief" after this drive because this moment begins my next few days in Vegas and I am happier than a pig in poop.

    A big advantage to driving is bringing your own food and booze. I usually bring water, crackers, cans of Coke and a bottle or two of Jack Daniels or Makers Mark. I have a small cooler I strap to my roller-luggage keeping my morning chocolate milk cold.
     
  10. JWBlue

    JWBlue VIP Whale

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    Yes.....
     
  11. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    It's not the drive there that I have issues with... the excitement of what's to come makes things go fast... it's the return trip hungover and broke that's a killer!!!! I'd rather veg an the airport and plop my big-butt in the airplane and leave the driving (flying) to them!!!
     
  12. cloudi63

    cloudi63 MIA

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    We'll be driving to Vegas in a few days! We live in New Mexico, and it's like an 8 1/2 hour drive, I've done it in about 7 1/2 to near 8 hours, however the last couple of trips we had, we stayed over in Kingman, since it was very late, Vegas is just under 100 miles from Kingman, we're hitting the road to Phoenix first, we love the drive through Payson, it's absolutely beautiful, however on this up-coming trip I'm not so sure, I haven't driven the route from Phoenix to Vegas in nearly 3 years, it's very boring. We'll will be on a 3 day comp at Aria, with $200 FP and $100 F&B. Everyone is more excited than I am right now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  13. JWBlue

    JWBlue VIP Whale

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    Yes...


    I have been on a few solo trips. The drive from my home to Las Vegas is about 4.5 hours.

    When I drive there by myself, I can make it without having to spend the
    night on the way.

    Driving back, I can not make it. Their is no excitement and anticipation creating adrenaline.

    On the way back, I always stay at the Comfort Suites in Barstow. A great value at about $100 a night. Free full menu buffet breakfast.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  14. cloudi63

    cloudi63 MIA

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    I feel exactly the same way, on the drive back home as others do.
     
  15. TuneinTokyo

    TuneinTokyo High-Roller

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    I don't like flying for a number of reasons so the 9 hour trip from the SF Bay Area isn't so bad. It's the furthest I think I would want to drive anywhere as much as I hate flying.

    I enjoy the drive along the long and boring I-5 and usually leave at 4:30 in the morning. That gets me town by early afternoon, enough time to check in, rest and and still get some game time in at night.

    My and wife and I love the conversation time and typically don't even play music. I'll be going solo this year so there will have to be definite music considerations.

    The worst is the drive back, of course. Nothing looks as fun anymore and usually we're hating it by hour 7. We vowed last year to drive half way and then spend the night in Bakersfield or somewhere close. The six hour drive back brings you to Harris Ranch near Coalinga which is also a nice choice for a one night stay.

    If you enjoy driving and are comfortable in a car it's great.
     
  16. Souette

    Souette Tourist

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    I do a Vegas Road trip the odd way.
    I fly from Nashville to Vegas and then rent a car. Stay a few days in Vegas and then head in various directions over the years to get the road trip in.
    Yes, I've seen the world's largest thermometer, Bakersville, Winslow Arizona, slept in a Wigwam, sat on the Black Rabbit and stood between the broken arrows and seen the Grand Canyon in the dark. lol Seen the sun rise over Bryce Canyon and added to the infamous Shoe Tree and seen 134 degrees in Badwater.
    THEN!!...I trek back to Vegas with the same anticipation as the original flight in a few days earlier. I choose an AM station with old country hits from the era that my family would cross-country when Daddy was in the service.
    Great music from the radio, snacks and my always new Wal-Mart Atlas.
    Back to Vegas for a few days and then completely spent and exhausted in the best way & usually sleep on the flight home.
    So looking forward to next week!!
     
  17. SirSwizzlestick

    SirSwizzlestick Low-Roller

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    Very true, the drive home is depressing and brutal.
     
  18. zerofan

    zerofan VIP Whale

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    Sonya - you would HATE the NYC subway system which is why I still drive to work and would rather sit in traffic in my own car.
     
  19. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I love the irony.

    As for the drive home, we're cool with it. It was often a relief. Always nice getting home, and for some number of years there another trip could be anticipated in a month or so, so no sense of missing out on Vegas/anything.

    The drive's now six hours. That's not nearly as alluring.
     
  20. lisaloveslv

    lisaloveslv Tourist

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    Agree.

    My husband and I are both born & raised So. CA residents, and still fondly remember the Lake Dolores commercials. Sad that the "new" waterpark was never successful.

    The drive home is not fun when you are hungover, tired and barely have enough gas money.
     
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