Red Rock Canyon and Back to Blighty – Road Trip USA Days 17 & 18

Road Trip Feb 2015 – London – Los Angles/Orange County – San Diego  – Palm Springs – Las Vegas

Saturday (day 17) – Las Vegas is such an interesting lively place to visit but it’s certainly not a relaxing location so we decided to have a much needed chill out day. Most people go to The Grand Canyon sometime during their trip but, as it was quite a distance away and neither of us fancied a helicopter ride, we opted for nearby Red Rock Canyon.  Just a few miles outside the chaos of Vegas, and we were already headed into the tranquillity of the mountains. You pay $7 per car to enter the area and you can spend as long as you want. We drove the 13 mile scenic loop of Red Rock Canyon (twice). It was absolutely beautiful up there and extremely windy so it was literally breathtaking.  Many people got out to hike the trails but we were happy just to look –  each stop off point was different to the last.  We spent ages in the visitors centre too which was really interesting and more on the scale of a small museum. I have found that as I’ve got older I’ve actually wanted to know more about my surroundings and have found it all fascinating. School is wasted on the young eh? Never too old to learn though.

On the way back we went for our last casino buffet, this time at Palms after reading such good reviews about it.  They served good food (not quite on par with The Bellagio but good in quality and variety none the less) AND gave the best service that we’ve experienced. It was a bonus that they were the cheapest at only $14 pp for a late Saturday afternoon buffet. (The only thing could that let this down was that some tables were in close proximity to the Casino floor which meant it was smoky – however, it was easily remedied by asking to sit further away)

Sunday (day 18) – We made use of the late check out to just chill out for a bit then went for lunch at Cocos in Vegas (not a patch on the Palm Desert one but it was ok and packed). We flew out of McCarren International Airport which is very close to the centre of Vegas. Do allow plenty of time from your car drop off point before checking in though as that is quite a drive. Another benefit of booking your own holiday is that you can fly in and out and drop off hire car at different airports – although some destinations do charge an additional fee for the car drop – LA, Vegas and San Francisco didn’t at time of writing but do check. The airport itself is pretty small but has what you need. Plus if you fancy one more chance at the jackpot there is a casino in the airport (which also means you can smoke too!).

So that was it, the road trip was over and we were headed back home to the real world! We covered 1150 miles by road (only $150 total in petrol) 10,500 miles by air, and couldn’t even begin to estimate how many miles we’d walked, all in 18 days.

It was such a great experience and by spending some time beforehand doing research, we were able to do this trip on a budget which means we will certainly be roadtripping the States again. There are so many free interesting things to do that you don’t need to just stick to expensive tourist attractions to have a great holiday.  And whilst it isn’t all about saving or scrimping on money, I have given you lots of prices and ways to save during this blog so that you can put it towards the things that need spending on. I do hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this and that it may have been of some use to you with ideas of where to eat, stay, visit, etc, even if it just gives you a starting point.

There was so much more we could have done in the way of activities and attractions so I will follow up this blog with a chronological list of places to see and things to do that – something I started off my research from. In hindsight we would have done Vegas first because we found we were shattered at the end of it, but you can of course make it a far more relaxing stay than we did. Also you find it takes a few days to get used to the time difference and of course Vegas is open 24/7 so if you’re up at 3am, there’s always something to do!

Until the next time …….



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