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Trapped in Vegas? Day trip escapes from Sin City
Despite the local government's best efforts to clean things up in southern Nevada and make Las Vegas more of a "family friendly" destination, there's still a good deal of unbecoming aspects that are impossible to avoid. Driving on Paradise Road and seeing glorified advertisements for call-girls isn't exactly the greatest way to start one's morning, and frankly, there's only so much alcohol to be drank, cigarettes to be smoked and money to be lost. If you've found yourself bored with the so-called Entertainment Capital of the World, we've got a few drastic diversions that are all just a day trip away -- all of which are markedly cheaper than indulging in yet another played-out show or overpriced restaurant. Read on if you're dying to escape.
Cost: $5 per vehicle (covers up to 5 consecutive days)
Valley of Fire State Park
Cost: $5 per vehicle entry fee
Located about 45 minutes southeast of Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam is a must-see. You'll need to allow for lots of traffic and a potential multi-hour wait, but the reward of seeing one of the most historic hydroelectric power plants in America (if not the world) is well worth it. You'd be doing yourself a huge disservice to pass this one up if you're already so close (and so anxious to get out).
Cost: $8 per person
Situated only 25 minutes northwest of the city, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a world away from the high frequency Vegas atmosphere, a serene, bucolic landscape where one can jump out of the car, hike around the massive, sandstone features and drink in the sprawling views of the Keystone Thrust.
Cost: $5 per vehicle
Death Valley National Park
A National Park just a day-trip away from Las Vegas? You bet. California's own "Land of Extremes" offers up a veritable plethora of sights. From desert landscapes to snow-spotted mountains, you'll find numerous faces of nature just 2 hours of 45 minutes away from the city you can't wait to evade.
Cost: $20 per vehicle (covers up to 7 consecutive days)
Mojave National Preserve
If the heat of Death Valley frightens you, maybe the sand dunes at Mojave National Preserve sound a bit more inviting. This area --- which sits just 1.5 hours away in the south of California -- also houses wildflowers, Joshua tree forests and a government promise of "serenity and solitude from the crowds of major metropolitan areas." Funny -- that's exactly what you were searching for, wasn't it?
Zion National Park
Cost: $25 per vehicle (covers up to 7 consecutive days)
Got even more time? The 5 hour drive to the infrequently visited North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a no-brainer, as is a visit to Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce Canyon National Park. If you're looking to book a week's vacation following your business trip to explore the Southwest, we admire your ability to make the most of a Vegas situation. Thankfully for you, we've got a guide to cover that as well.