As much as there is to do in Vegas, it's nice to get out of town for a day. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent day trips to take. My favorites are Death Valley, Valley of Fire, and Laughlin.
Valley is a long, but manageable, day trip.
You can make it a "loop" trip by taking 95 north, coming into the park on 373, and then return on 160 through Pahrump, a possible dinner stop.
The views in Death valley are simply spectacular. The photo at left is taken from one of the highest points in the park. The lowest point in the continental U.S. is in the park. Most of your visit will be driving but there are some short hiking trails.
of Fire, Nevada's first park, is about an hour north of Vegas and is
where the land scens of one of the Star Trek movies was filmed. The
park's appearance is definitely "out of this world"!
There are a number of nice hiking trails and you'll see strange rock formations as well as excellent petroglyphs (rock art).
On the Nevada side of the Colorado River across from Arizona, Laughlin is a relaxing getaway from Vegas if you to go into the "wildnerness." The easiest way to visit this river town is to take one of the free trips offered in the tourist magazines. You'll be picked up at your hotel, taken to a casino (typically Flamingo or Harrah's), given a coupon book, lunch or dinner, and returned to your hotel after a few hours. Of course, you are free to wander to any of the other casinos and there's a small outlet mall if shopping interests you more than gaming. If the weather's nice, take a water taxi to one end of the river "strip" and then walk back along the riverwalk that connects all the waterfront casinos.