We are fresh off of our family vacay to Zion National Park and I gotta say, this was the best getaway we’ve had in a long while! It was our first as a family of 3 and it was perfect in so many ways. And 3 states (we briefly passed through Arizona, lol!), two airplane rides, and one awesome Kelley RV road trip later, we are so looking forward to our next family adventure. Here’s a quick recap of our trip from California, to Nevada, and some of my favorite moments exploring Las Vegas in a whole new way. (Stay tunned later this week for Part 2 – Camping in Zion National Park, Utah)
I think one of the most exciting parts of our trip to Las Vegas was flying there. Ha! Although it’s just a 4 hour drive there from CA it was a luxurious and welcome change from previous visits. And since we knew we would spend another 3 hours on the road each way going to Zion I really wanted to fly to Vegas. Plus it would be our last opportunity to fly with Connor for free since she’ll be two in just a couple of weeks. The flight was short, sweet, and so worth the time it saves with a toddler! And although Connor was a bit antsy towards the end, she did great!
Our hosts for the week were two our favorite people (Auntie Pam & Uncle Al Kelley), who are expert explorers, campers, and recently Nevada transplants. And thanks to them, we experienced the beauty of Las Vegas in a whole new way! Not once did we step foot on the Strip but discovered Nevada Living Life Kelley style! This was so needed since we visited twice last year for hubby’s family reunion and again at Christmas. And (even before Connor) we really just aren’t the Vegas life party types. So visiting Red Rock Canyon & Springs Preserve had us leaving Las Vegas with a whole new appreciation and fascination for the unique Nevada state history and landscape!
Red Rock Canyon
Our first stop off the beaten path was the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area! And boy was I impressed and surprised that such natural beauty lay just miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. And to a geology buff like myself (I really am a complete geek in real life! lol!) it’s a dream! As you may have guessed from its name, it’s a place known for its beautiful red rock formations, wildlife, hikes & rock climbing, and camping. And for less than $10 you can drive through the canyons one-way 13 mile Scenic Drive and experience the beautiful and unique visitors center. This is the route we took and spending an hour or so exploring and driving through the canyon was the perfect kick off to our vacation! Connor had a wonderful time here! And although it got a bit windy at times it is an experience we’ll not soon forget.
Our hosts sure know how to pick them right?! And they know we’ve got a thing for Museums and Gardens, so the following day we spent some time at Springs Preserve, also located in Las Vegas, NV. And after visiting this place, I seriously have a new found love, respect, and admiration for Nevada and its history. You can easily spend all day here if you want or just a couple of hours. Springs Preserve serves as a Nevada one-stop history and exploration shop, housing two museums (The Origen [Science] Museum & The Nevada State Museum), a Sustainability Gallery & Desert Sol (which showcases a 754 sq. ft solar powered home and guides to live a more eco-friendly life), and Butterfly Habitat. There is seriously a little something here for everybody and I love how family friendly it is!
So, so many pleasant surprises on this recent Las Vegas trip! And with close family living there now, we have so many reasons to explore there more often. Apparently, there is so much more there than meets the eye.