Home Nashville to Las Vegas Road Trip Itinerary

Nashville to Las Vegas Road Trip Itinerary

 

Looking for a road trip with funky dive bars, music history, incredible vistas and enchanting landscapes of the southwest? Take a legendary 10-state road trip from Nashville to Las Vegas, with plenty of wild and wacky stops along the way.

Nashville, forever synonymous with country music and Honky Tonks, has evolved in recent years into one of America’s great party towns. It’s become a hotbed for bachelor and bachelorette parties, welcomed the National Hockey League and is expanding like crazy.

There’s no shortage of entertainment in NashVegas. Whether you want to celebrate the catalogue of Johnny Cash at his museum, or catch the next Carrie Underwood performing her new material at The Listening Room, there’s plenty to enjoy here.

Broadway’s honky Tonks are certainly getting more crowded every year, but with good reason. You can catch live music almost 24-7-365 as artists looking to be discovered play daily.

Once you’ve shook off your Nashville hangover, head south for Alabama where you can see historic Birmingham or head to Huntsville for Space Camp. If you want even more of a musical journey, check out the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. Acts like The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and many more recorded some of their seminal albums there.

Graceland, home of Elvis Presley

Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Peter Stringer.

Want even more music history? You can head to Memphis to see Graceland and Sun Studios, but why not check out Elvis’ birthplace instead, located in Tupelo, MS? You’ll be blown away by the humble beginnings of the eventual King of Rock ‘n Roll.

If you’re into politics and presidents, you can stop in at the William J. Clinton Library and Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dying for authentic barbecue? Shoot up north to Kansas City to stop in at Arthur Bryant’s. If it’s Sunday in the fall, stick around to cheer on the Chiefs with the locals. They love their NFL football here. (Bonus points: Visit the St. Louis Arch if you want to make a day out of Missouri!)

As you make your way into Oklahoma, you’ll find some cool dive bars in Tulsa and a haunted hotel in OKC — The Skirvin Hotel is famous for scaring visiting NBA players the night before they play the Oklahoma City Thunder.

As you move west, the attractions are more spread out, and they get a little more kitschy, too. Reminisce about the legends of the ring at the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Witchita Falls, or do your own UFO research in Roswell, NM at the International UFO Museum. If real history is more your thing, you can retrace the steps of the Santa Fe Trail, or find your inner Zen in Sedona.

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Speaking of Arizona and history, if you’re looking to stay somewhere historic, check out Arizona Journey’s 14 Retro Motels and Hotels on Route 66.
Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

If you’re looking to check a few National Parks of your bucket list, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is wildly underrated and fits in nicely on this route. Zion National Park and Grand Canyon are also along the way. If you’re up for more driving, White Sands National Park, the newest National Park, is also within striking distance. And if you really want to get off the beaten path in New Mexico, the Bisti Badlands are a hidden gem.

Bisti Badlands outside of Farmington, New Mexico

Bisti Badlands outside of Farmington, New Mexico on December 30, 2019. Photo by Peter Stringer

Need the perfect Instagram selfie? Stop in at Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona, or take a boat cruise on Lake Powell. If you’ve got a few days, why not rent a house boat? And don’t miss the tours of Antelope Canyon, where you’ll descend into an amazing slot canyon that’s even better in person than it is in art galleries.

As you make the final haul to Las Vegas, stop in for a tour of Hoover Dam, or spend the day at Lake Mead. If you don’t mind going a little out of your way, head north to the Valley of Fire before you finally arrive in Sin City.

 

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