We took the road less traveled during our planned Vegas trip and it ended up to be a journey of discovery. We were able to travel to 3 states in 1 day, actually more like an hour as we traversed to freeways less used by many to reach our destination. We made many stops to various attractions along the way and went off-road to admire the beauty of the rugged mountains and the Colorado River with the help of our ride – the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser.
HOW TO TRAVEL TO 3 STATES IN 1 DAY – CALIFORNIA – ARIZONA – NEVADA ROAD TRIP GUIDE:
Visit California, Arizona, and Nevada in 1 day! You will actually be able to cross all 3 within an hour. Because the route crisscrosses the Colorado River where the border of the 3 states cuts through, you will find yourself being in California crossing to Arizona at one point only to find yourself crossing back to California once again at some point. It’s a pretty interesting journey. Follow our guide below to be able to travel to 3 States in 1 Day.
Start in the Coachella Valley, CA (the greater Palm Springs area) and drive to Havasu City, AZ
Take the 10 East Freeway, 177 North, 62 East, then 95 North.
Sights along the way:
- A 1908 Railroad Bridge that crosses the California-Arizona Border over the Colorado River.
- The Colorado River and the beautiful rugged mountains in Arizona during your drive. You can bring your boat or jet ski for a fun ride around the Colorado River. The 2017 Land Cruiser has an 8100 lbs. towing capacity by the way.
- London Bridge in Havasu City. This bridge was built in the 1830s and formerly spanned the River Thames in London, England. It was dismantled in 1967 and relocated to Arizona.
- Lake Havasu. 400 miles of coastline, 300 days of sunshine, and 60 miles of navigable waterways. Lake Havasu is a unique mix of tranquil waters and rugged mountains. It’s a fun place to hike, bike, go fishing, play golf, off-road, and go boating. You will find boats being towed here in every intersection you turn. There’s also a drive thru coffee house that everyone is lining up for – The Human Bean. Try it when you’re there.
Leave Havasu City, AZ and drive to Laughlin, NV
Take the 95 North, 40 West, Needles Highway, right to Woodbury Drive and you’ll see all the casino resorts.
Sights to see:
- Tri-State Area: the area of the Colorado River where California, Arizona, and Nevada meet.
- Visit various Casino Resorts in Laughlin, NV with access to the Colorado River for water play. We took a lunch stop at Harrah’s Casino to try Chef Guy Fieri’s garbage nachos only to realized it doesn’t open until 5 PM. We ended up eating garlic knots and a slice of the 30″ pizza from Pin-Up Pizza and the yummy truffle swiss burger and garlic rosemary fries from Smashburger. You can stay overnight here but we only have a 3 day weekend, so off to our next destination.
Leave Laughlin, NV and drive to Hoover Dam on the Nevada Arizona Border
Take the 163 West, 95 North, 93 East, 172 East to Hoover Dam Access Road
Sights to see:
- Lake Mead. We didn’t stop here but you can see the waters on your way to Hoover Dam and it’s quite a sight. You can boat, hike, cycle, camp, and fish at America’s most diverse national recreation area. With striking landscapes and brilliant blue waters, Lake Mead spreads across 1.5 million acres of mountains, canyons, valleys and two vast lakes. You can see the Hoover Dam from the waters of Lake Mead as well.
- Hoover Dam. Constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression, the dam’s generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction; nearly a million people tour the dam each year. It is a sight to behold. You can pay for parking to walk and see the dam but I would suggest driving up to the lookout point after to see the beauty of it all. I step on the Land Cruiser’s running board to get an even better view and better pictures.
Leave Hoover Dam and drive to Las Vegas, NV
Take the 93 North, 515 North, 215 West, 5 North.
Sights to See and Things to Do:
- Stay at Mandalay Bay. Amazing bed and pillows, lazy river, wave pool, more pools. Comparable to Cosmopolitan Hotel in terms of comfort.
- Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Treasure Island. An immersive and educational experience that brings fans into the world of The Avengers. See on display an extensive range of Avengers operational equipment such as Captain America’s uniform and shield, Bruce Banner’s laboratory, Hawkeye and Black Widow uniforms and weapons, Vision’s birth cradle, Ant-Man’s helmet, a preserved Chitauri warrior, as well as the Hulkbuster suit. Visitors can also map the stars to find Asgard and battle Ultron.
- Go on a Tour of Neon Museum at night. A two-acre outdoor exhibition space known as the Boneyard features more than 200 signs. The hour long interpreter-guided tours of the Neon Boneyard are available seven days a week but book ahead, they are always fully-booked.
- Lunch and icy drinks at Tea Station, Korean dinner at Magal BBQ or dim sum snack at Ping Pang Pong.
- Drive around the Vegas strip with the moon roof of your Land Cruiser all open to see Stratosphere and the bright lights of Las Vegas.
We had a really good trip and the kids enjoyed themselves not only at Mandalay Bay’s lazy river but also in the car where they watched the SING movie 4 times, yes 4 times, followed by the Frozen movie on our way back. I was also able to squeeze in my favorite, The Sound of Music.
The 2017 Land Cruiser comes with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with two individual 11.6-in. display screens, RCA jacks, HDMI input, remote, and two wireless headphones. You can also watch movies in the front when the car is parked. Think school pickup, moms!
The Toyota Land Cruiser is a favorite in the family and our family friends. Each family owns 1 or 2 but I’ve only been a passenger of my brothers and have never personally driven it until now. The first thing you’ll feel right when you ride it is how luxurious it is and I know it’s not only because of the luxurious leather seats because I felt this even when we were driving at night.
My favorite perks about having this car are the dual extendable sun visors, hands-free phone capability, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with three-position memory function, center console cooler box, and the DVD entertainment system.
The Toyota Land Cruiser has remained an icon in 4WD performance and reliability for over 60 years around the globe and after driving it, I can see why. It’s a combination of off-road prowess, on-road comfort, and unparalleled refinement.
With seating for up to eight, the Land Cruiser’s 5.7L V8 engine, 8-speed transmission, and robust suspension will make you want to explore every corner of the USA. And a bonus for the parents that the kids are entertained before we reach our destination of course. I didn’t even hear “Are we there yet?” a single time during this trip and the “Can we keep this?” request by our eldest had us thinking! Thanks, Toyota for the smooth ride even on the roughest of roads.