Thinking of a road trip to visit Las Vegas and Los Angeles? Plan your adventure with these top hotspots and things to do in Vegas and L.A.
A road trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles offers a delightful way to explore the cultural hot spots in these two exciting destinations with a single trip. Start in Las Vegas to enjoy luxurious afternoons by the pool followed by dazzling nightlife. Just over a 4-hour drive through the peaceful desert takes you to Los Angeles, a city filled with beach days, iconic locations, shopping, and artistry.
Daytime in Las Vegas
To get oriented, begin with a leisurely drive down Las Vegas’ famous Strip, the four-mile section of South Las Vegas Boulevard that has the most elaborate themed casinos on both sides of the street. Stop at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino for a baguette and a café au lait at the charming French café located at the base of the huge replica of the Eiffel Tower. The view from the top of the tower is spectacular too, so be sure to venture above ground.
Across the street, the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, modeled after an Italian villa, is the spot to admire huge glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly. Art and design aficionados also flock to the luxurious Wynn Las Vegas Hotel on the Strip for its whimsical Spanish-themed lobby with mosaic floors and a striking art fountain.
For a funkier vibe and a taste of vintage Vegas, tour the downtown area to spot some of the brightest neon-clad casinos. Nearby is the Neon Museum, with its quirky collection of historic neon signs.
You may want to linger poolside during the midday heat. For the largest wave pool, rent a cabana at Mandalay Bay. For celebrity watching, try the Bellagio.
Vegas at Night
Among the many options for dining, Le Cirque at the Bellagio stands out for its elegance, while Twist at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel gets top ratings for its extraordinary cuisine. After dinner, venture out to one of the daring extravaganzas performed by Cirque du Soleil from Montreal.
Go clubbing afterward at the upscale XS nightclub at the Wynn, or sip a specialty drink in the rooftop bar at Voodoo. To finish off the night, scale the dizzying heights at the 107 Sky Lounge on the 107th floor of the Stratosphere Tower to enjoy a cocktail overlooking the city lights.
Arriving in Los Angeles
When it’s time for a change, make the four-hour drive (depending on traffic) through rolling desert hills to the sprawling wonders of Los Angeles.
You may already know about Disneyland, Universal Studios, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and the upscale Rodeo Drive shopping district, but don’t stop with the biggest tourist attractions. The city offers many more sophisticated hotspots to explore.
Daytime in L.A.
Take a leisurely drive through celebrity-studded Beverly Hills on your way to beautiful Santa Monica Beach. Once there, relax on the sands before indulging in a fashionable brunch with an ocean view at one of the numerous restaurants.
For culture, visit the Getty Center art museum and its lovely grounds or the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which features modern art in the largest art museum in the western U.S. The museum is close to The Grove, a chic shopping district, as well as the Original Farmers Market, open all week and a local favorite for fresh and gourmet goodies.
Northeast of downtown, explore the innovative art museum known as The Broad, where the Infinity Room art installation gets rave reviews. Nearby is Grand Central Market and food vendors that offer artisan sandwiches and various other prepared foods.
If you saw the film “La La Land,” you might enjoy visiting Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park to view exhibits and stroll around the beautiful grounds. The famous Hollywood sign is at the northwest edge of the park. For the best view of the Hollywood sign, drive through the winding streets of the Hollywood hills to Lake Hollywood Park.
Los Angeles Nightlife
After a day in the city, head for the Pacific Ocean. Take a drive down the iconic Mulholland Drive — the scene of many movie segments — on the way to Malibu. Enjoy a stroll on Zuma Beach before settling in to dine on fresh seafood at Geoffrey’s Malibu seaside restaurant, with magnificent views of the sunset over the ocean.
Alternatively, in the city center, splendid choices for dinner include République with its contemporary French menu and Bestia with innovative Italian dishes (make a reservation far in advance). After dinner, head to the magical Bar Marmont in West Hollywood, a popular evening destination for decades at the famed and celebrity studded Chateau Marmont, or get into the groove at the power-plant-turned-nightclub The Edison in trendy downtown.
Two Cities, Double the Excitement
Las Vegas and Los Angeles each play host to more than 40 million visitors a year and offer plenty of entertainment to satisfy every taste. You can experience the vibe of both cities in a single trip by putting together a bucket list of the major hotspots and hitting the road.
Both Las Vegas and L.A. are filled with amazing photo opportunities. Share your best shots of your trip with us on Instagram.