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Las Vegas Roadtrip

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Vegas Vacation is one of my favorite comedies of all time and I have always wanted to do a Southwest roadtrip. January is a great time to see the different terrains and weather patterns, plus away from all the Holiday and Summer rush crowds.

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Another free flight courtesy of the JetBlue American Express card. Can’t beat the direct flight from Fort Lauderdale to Las Vegas. From there, we rented a car to explore the smaller Southwest towns of the USA.

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Las Vegas is known for it’s cheap accommodations to get you into the door. Used points when we arrived to stay at the Westin Henderson to get a head start on our road trip and found a great rate on JetSetter to be Las Vegas central at the new SLS. During the roadtrip we stayed at Best Western Plus in Bryce, Utah and Page, Arizona. Well equipped and both in perfect locations on 15 minutes from nearby attractions we wanted to visit.

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Arrived to Las Vegas at 9pm just before the rental car place closes. Make our way to Henderson, NV to get ready for an early morning drive.

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Wake up at sunrise to get the road trip started! Zion National Park is about a 4-5 hour drive from Nevada. Stop at The Egg & I in St. George, Utah for a nice breakfast and several refills of coffee. Don’t miss the Mormon church in town for an interesting stop. Zion National Park is immense and since we only really had the day to explore, we opted to take a self driving tour around the sites. They have breathtaking hikes, but you really have to stay on-site or nearby in order to complete these treks before dark. You still have a plethora of gorgeous scenes while driving, but definitely plan to go back at some point to explore more on foot. Quick stop on the way to Bryce, Utah at Chili’s for dinner before heading into the complete darkness. 

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Up again at sunrise to explore Bryce Canyon National Park. It’s freezing! It’s a great time to visit if you have a short amount of time because it is basically deserted and you can hit all the popular spots. Don’t miss Inspiration Point at sunset, exploring the Queen’s Gardens and an unforgettable photo at Bryce Canyon. Again, would love to return during warmer weather when more of the trails are open, but it is amazing to see for the first time. In the afternoon, the snow begins to melt a bit, but the crisp air provides a refreshing atmosphere as we drive through the park. One of my favorite places I have ever been and can’t wait to return. Head back to the hotel for a hot tub and an early night in. Don’t forget to check out the amazing stars in the wide open sky.

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Up at sunrise again for one last tour around Bryce Canyon before we head out to Page, Arizona. It’s another 4-5 hour drive, but the scenery is unbelievable. You really do say “Wow” every other minute at the red rocks and bluest of skies. We find a great crepe place in Page and then head to Horseshoe Bend. Just park your car and explore. It really is an out of body experience being at Horseshoe Bend. The sheer size of it is incredible. We drive a bit to Lake Powell nearby before our 3pm guided tour of Upper Antelope Canyon. Do not miss this! It’s amazing to see the history and the beauty of nature. If you are a photographer, definitely bring your best camera for some unforgettable footage. Off for some Mexican food and back to the hotel for another early night in. 

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Up at sunrise for the last leg of the road trip back to Las Vegas. It’s another 3 hour drive back and be careful not to speed! There are cops everywhere and the tickets are extremely pricey. We arrive in the early afternoon to check in at the SLS hotel. Drop off our bags and take the monorail to the Bellagio for some dim sum at Noodles. Walk around the casino floors for a bit and then hop back in the car to check out Frank Gehry’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. An amazing piece of architecture and the super friendly security guard even gave us a private tour. We then head to the Neon Musuem of Las Vegas to see all the old Vegas singage. Really cool, unusual thing to do in Las Vegas if you are getting tired of all the hotels and casinos. Head back to the Forum Shops for some pre-dinner shopping and then out to the Cosmopolitian for a wonderful French dinner at Comme Ca.  

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Slept in finally today and then go to the Wynn to walk around the beautiful property and do some gambling. Jump back on the monorail to the Cosmopolitian for tea time at the Mandarin Oriental. We have a later afternoon appointment at Louis Vuitton to view the James Turrell exhibit. You have to call in advance to reserve a spot and I cannot recommend it enough. One last meal at Lemongrass at the Aria before it’s time to drop off the car and head back home on the red eye.

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Bryce Canyon’s rocks are among the youngest of those on the Colorado Plateau, dating back a mere 65 million years ago to the Cretaceous period.

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Before Las Vegas was famous for gambling, it marketed itself as a place to watch atomic bomb tests in the desert. Over 10,000 people have successfully claimed half a billion dollars back from the US Government in compensation for fallout-related illnesses.

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Antelope Slot Canyon got its name from the stories of the local Navajo people about antelopes that used to graze along the canyon during winter. The smooth, rippled sandstone walls were gently carved by water rushing through it for countless millennia.

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When full, Lake Powell has almost 2000 miles of shoreline, about the same as the west coast of the United States!

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