Every year I hope to be able to plan an exciting adventure. This year I’ve been slow on plans because of the new house. My daughter has gotten me back on the plan. She has a big birthday this year and has missed out on vacations for the last couple of years. She wants to go to Las Vegas, which is an interesting place to go. Neither one of us gambles, so it is more to see the sites. What excites me is that she is willing to go on excursions outside of the city. The Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon south rim are the attractions on the list! We don’t have much time, 2-days travel and 3 full days there, we need to make our plan. We will spend 2 days in Las Vegas and one in the Grand Canyon. It’s almost like a drive by. I’m not exactly sure how much time my daughter would be willing to spend on the nature adventure. I’m hoping to get a glimpse of it and come back at some point and do more if possible.
In doing research, the south rim is a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas, and the Hoover dam is on the way. You can actually reach the west rim sky bridge in 2 hours from Las Vegas, but the main park appears to be south rim. Why not go big or not go? Since she is willing to let me do the planing, I’m happy to do it. So far we have plane tickets. For a Thursday to Monday stay, I’m thinking we will spend Friday all day in Las Vegas, then head out Saturday to the Grand Canyon, spend the night and head back Sunday and spend the rest of the day Sunday in Las Vegas.
We are looking at staying at the Venetian for the first two nights. That is the one place I didn’t go the last time. The hotels are nice along the strip, they all charge a ridiculous $40 resort fee and are in the same price range. It looks like there is free parking at the Venetian so we should be able to rent the car from the airport, park it at the hotel and be ready to head towards the south rim early in the morning Saturday.
The challenging part is figuring out how to visit the dam and where to stay and exactly what to see in such a short time at the south rim. I found out the dam opens from 9AM-5PM, and that you can drive over the dam outside of those hours. So there should be some viewpoints we have access to even if the visitor center isn’t open.
So far that I can tell there is no availability of hotels to say inside the grand canyon village. So we are looking at staying just outside the village. The hotels are all 2-star and the same price as the fancy 5-star hotels in Vegas!!!! I’m looking at hotels in Tusayan.
On the visit to the Grand Canyon I think we will do best with taking in the Desert View and Watchtower and Look out studio by Bright Angel trail. I looked into a tour which included a small plane from Las Vegas to South Rim, at $280/per person, it’s $560 and with gas and rental car, it’s $180 with car rental, gas and park entrance. We would save 4 hours to do the tour, but the cost isn’t worth it, we are driving. My daughter wasn’t into the flight/tour she looks at all of the reviews online!
We might stay at a different hotel on the way back just to get a different experience. I am so excited.