If you maintain the speed limit, driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas should take about four-and-a-half hours. When you travel in a stylish and comfortable passenger van from State Van Rental, those hours will feel like no time at all. With convenient locations in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas, we are the perfect travel solution for Vegas roadtrippers, but don’t just focus on the destination. The trip can be quite entertaining as well, if you know where to stop along the way.
If you’re planning a trip from Los Angeles, and you have a relatively flexible travel schedule, take time to stop at the following five locations that will be just as memorable as your time in Sin City.
1. The Mormon Rocks
When making your way over the Cajon Pass along Interstate 15, take a break from driving to absorb the breathtaking scenery of the Mormon Rocks. These gigantic sandstone rocks — which coalesce to form what looks like a compact mountain range — were named by Mormon settlers who traveled through the area in 1851 on their way from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles.
The site is so renowned that it now has a visitor center that you can reach within about five minutes of exiting the interstate. After you arrive at the center, you can tread a one-mile walking path that provides a bevy of scenic views of the jutting rocks. The trail officially begins at Mormon Rocks Fire Station, which is located on Highway 138 directly west of i-15.
2. Bottletree Ranch
The name of Bottletree Ranch accurately describes what the ranch is: An area consisting of man-made tree formations that have bottles on the branches instead of leaves. But Bottletree Ranch is more than just its owner’s eccentric obsession with creating artificial trees adorned with glass bottles. The site is also considered an “ode to independent art” and a must-see art installation.
Known simply as “Elmer”, the creator of the site obviously considers his unique passion to be more than just a hobby. Bottles and tree forms appear carefully selected to deliver a cohesive aesthetic, and new “trees” are added all the time. Be sure to bring along your best camera for plenty of picture taking. You won’t find a site that is quite like Bottletree ranch anywhere else.
3. Barstow Station
If you have a hankering for fast food when driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, visiting the “train car McDonald’s” at Barstow Station is a great way to satisfy your hunger and see a unique site at the same time. The unique franchise location (it actually looks like a train station) is located on Route 66 and can be accessed via the E. Main Street offramp, the last freeway exit in Barstow, California.
If it seems like McDonald’s Corporation wouldn’t be interested in spending extra money to create a franchise that resembles a train depot, you’re right. In the past, the location was a real train station. After the station closed, it was eventually repurposed as a McDonald’s location by an entrepreneurial investor. The location also features several quaint retail shops and other dining establishments that combine with the McDonald’s to form one of California’s most unique pitstops: Barstow Station.
4. Peggy Sue’s Diner
If you’re in the mood for comfort food but the thought of eating fast food fare doesn’t wet your whistle, skip train car McDonalds and stop off at Peggy Sue’s Diner instead. The restaurant is a traditional American diner that will serve you a heaping cheeseburger and a mound of fries, and then entice you to go for dessert by tempting you with homemade apple pie and other treats.
But food isn’t the only thing to be had at Peggy Sue’s Diner. After you finish eating or before you start, you can walk through a large outdoor garden that contains metal dinosaurs. The eatery also runs a shop where you can buy classic memorabilia from the 1950s and 1960s. Enjoy the food, take photos of the dinosaurs, and buy some interesting souvenirs from the shop. There is even a pond where you can feed ducks.
5. Calico Ghost Town
Calico Ghost Town is real ghost town whose buildings are maintained to preserve their historical integrity. Calico was once a thriving, miniature metropolis, many of whose residents moved in hoping to capitalize on the California silver strike that occurred in the 1880s. Today, the silver veins have been plundered and residents are long gone, but the town remains.
According to a Calico Ghost Town website, “Walter Knott purchased Calico in the 1950’s, architecturally restoring all but the five original buildings to look as they did in the 1880s.” His efforts didn’t go unrewarded. In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed Calico to be “California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town.” For a true blast from the past, be sure to visit Calico on your way to Nevada.
Bonus: Las Vegas Sign
Standing just south of the Las Vegas Strip is the famous “Las Vegas sign”, which actually reads, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada”. Designed by visual artist Betty Willis, the well-lit sign was erected shortly after 1959, the year the project was funded. Today, the sign is one of the most well-known signage landmarks on the U.S. West Coast and beyond.
There are literally hundreds of things to do in Vegas, but capturing the sign in a photograph — preferably with you included in the picture — should be on your to-do list if you don’t travel to the city very often. They say that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but a nice photograph of the Las Vegas sign is something that you can take home with you and hang on the wall.
Need a Passenger Vehicle for Your Trip?
There are lots of unique sights to see while driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, but you need a dependable means of travel to visit them. If your trip to Las Vegas will include more than just you and a friend or a loved one, take the journey in comfort by renting a multi-passenger vehicle from State Van Rental. Our current line of rentals include 15 passenger vans, 12 passenger vans, 8 passenger vans, and cargo vans.
Reserving your passenger vehicle with us is easy. Call us toll-free at (888) 826-5212 to speak with one of our customer service specialists, or contact us by filling out the contact form on our website. When you use our vehicles and stop off at the attractions above, driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas becomes a comfortable, exciting trip that will create a lifetime of memories. We have convenient locations near LAX and McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, so you can pick up or drop off your vehicle at either location!