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Ultimate Nevada Road Trip

14 days from £1645 per person

For aficionados of the American West, there is arguably no better place to be than arid, mountainous, isolated Nevada. With its UFOs, unending highways and big skies, historic mining towns and dramatic scenery, follow in the footsteps of pioneers and prospectors traversing the Sierra Nevadas and the interior of the Silver State to Las Vegas. Beginning in San Francisco, leave the Pacific behind and climb steadily through gold country to the glorious scenery of Lake Tahoe. Crossing in to Nevada, experience the best of Reno then drive lonely highways and byways, including the famous ‘Extraterrestrial Highway’ through the state before ending in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas.

Route: San Francisco – Lake Tahoe – Reno – Elko – Ely – Alamo – Las Vegas

Itinerary Highlights

With its multi-coloured Victorian homes, museums and art galleries, the island of Alcatraz and instantly recognisable Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is the ultimate Californian city.

Famously known as the ‘Biggest Little City in the World’ and ringed by high mountains, enjoy exploring Reno, western Nevada’s answer to Las Vegas.

Drive along Highway 375 between Ely and Alamo, the world famous ‘Extraterrestrial Highway’. Full of quirky road side attractions and eccentric locals that bring this stretch of road to life.

Itinerary: Ultimate Nevada Road Trip

Today depart the UK and fly to San Francisco. On arrival make your own way from the airport to the hotel where you will stay for the next three nights. San Francisco is a city that needs no introduction. With its multi-coloured Victorian homes, bustling wharves, excellent shopping, world-class restaurants, museums and art galleries, the island of Alcatraz and instantly recognisable Golden Gate Bridge, this is the ultimate Californian city. Originally settled by the Spanish and built with Californian gold, famed for its fog and colourful 1960s hippie counter-culture, the remainder of the day is at leisure to relax after your flight. (N)
Accommodation in San Francisco: Serrano Hotel (or similar)
Over the next two days explore San Francisco under your own arrangements. A city of many distinct districts, there is plenty to see and do. Head to Pier 33 and take the ferry to Alcatraz then visit the crab shacks at Fisherman’s Wharf or the food-stalls of the Ferry Building. Despite its hills San Francisco is a walking city but take one of the famous cable cars remembering to stop at Lombard Street, ‘the most crooked street in the world’, Coit Tower for stunning views and the hippie enclave of Haight-Ashbury. Further afield, cross the Golden Gate Bridge to visit charming Sausalito and the giant redwoods of Muir Woods or the award-winning wineries of the Sonoma and Napa valleys. (N)
Accommodation in San Francisco: Serrano Hotel (or similar)
This morning collect your hire car and begin the drive which will take you from the Bay Area to the high mountains of the Sierra Nevadas. Crossing the double-decker Bay Bridge, enter the flat central valley. On the way you may wish to stop in the Californian capital of Sacramento – the impressive white-domed State Capitol and historic district of Old Sacramento are an enjoyable diversion – then start to climb the Sierra Nevadan foothills. This is El Dorado County and, as the name suggests, the discovery of gold here in 1848 sparked the California ‘Gold Rush’. There are many pretty towns between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe but Placerville, with its Bell Tower and antique shops is one of the most attractive. Arrive at Lake Tahoe in the afternoon where you will stay for the next two nights. (N)
Accommodation in Lake Tahoe: Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort (or similar)
Once referred to as ‘the fairest picture the whole Earth affords’ by Mark Twain, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and straddles the California-Nevada border. The town of Stateline on the south shore is the main centre of activity here and there is a good selection of restaurants, shops and casinos. However, the real draw is the spectacular natural scenery and today explore the lake and wider region. Hike in the hills, the Tahoe Rim Trail is one of the most popular walking routes, hire bikes and cycle the rugged shoreline or board one of the many passenger boats to cruise the lake. (N)
Accommodation in Lake Tahoe: Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort (or similar)
After breakfast leave Lake Tahoe and drive north towards Reno. You may wish to stop on the way in Carson City to visit the 150 year old State Capitol or pretty Virginia City which started life as a gold rush boomtown and today is a nationally protected historic landmark. Later arrive in Reno where you will stay overnight. Famously known as the ‘Biggest Little City in the World’ and ringed by high mountains, Reno is western Nevada’s answer to Las Vegas. Although much smaller in both scale and spirit, the downtown has a good range of casinos and restaurants as well as the respected Nevada Museum of Art. (N)
Accommodation in Reno: Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Reno (or similar)
Today begin the long drive east through the barren and lonely flatlands of the Nevada Great Basin. Break for a coffee in Winnemucca then continue to Elko arriving in the afternoon. Located close to the California Trail – one of the main overland routes for the pioneers travelling west – Elko has a long association with the American West. Elko’s Western Folklife Centre and California Trail Interpretive Centre are both well worth visiting and the more active could also visit Lamoille Canyon – a glacier-carved valley which is a short drive from the town. (N)
Accommodation in Elko: Best Western Elko Inn (or similar)
Re-trace your steps to Carlin then turn south towards Eureka – ‘The Friendliest Town on the Loneliest Road’ and one of the best preserved historic mining towns of the west. Walk Main Street and see the restored Eureka Opera House then re-join Highway 50 towards Ely arriving in the afternoon. This stretch of the isolated Highway 50 still follows the original overland stagecoach and Pony Express routes and today forms part of the transcontinental Lincoln Highway. Just north of Ely is the McGill Drugstore Museum, a preserved 1950s pharmacy rediscovered in the mid-90s and, in the town itself, is the Nevada Northern Railway Museum. (N)
Accommodation in Ely: Ramada Ely (or similar)
Start the day at Great Basin National Park to see the stalactites and stalagmites of the Lehman Caves then travel south towards Highway 375, famous the world over as the ‘Extraterrestrial Highway’. En-route make a brief stop to see the weather-sculpted red-rock cliffs and canyons of Cathedral Gorge State Park before arriving in the tiny roadside settlement of Rachel. Here discuss aliens, flying saucer sightings and top-secret Area 51 with locals and UFO enthusiasts alike at the aptly named Little A’Le’Inn before driving on to Alamo where you will stay overnight. (N)
Accommodation in Alamo: Windmill Ridge (or similar)
This morning leave Alamo for a memorable drive through the Valley of Fire State Park – the largest and oldest in Nevada. An ethereal landscape of wind-sculpted vivid-red sandstone, following the scenic byway is the best way to see the park and the many geological highlights that include Arch Rock, Piano Rock and Rainbow Vista. On arrival in Las Vegas drop off your car and make your way to the hotel for a three night stay. The self-billed ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’, Las Vegas is an extraordinary blend of neon lights, lavish hotels, super-casinos, world-class entertainment and high-quality restaurants. (N)
Accommodation in Las Vegas: Luxor (or similar)
Spend the next two days in Las Vegas. Take the obligatory photograph of the famous ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada’ sign then thoroughly explore the strip and the hotels and casinos that line it. Highlights are the Venetian with its replica Grand Canal, the mesmerising fountain water show at the Bellagio and the New York, New York rollercoaster. If possible, also try to take in one of the many excellent shows. In addition, day trips can be made to the Hoover Dam and the enchanting Grand Canyon – the latter of which can be viewed by helicopter. (N)
Accommodation in Las Vegas: Luxor (or similar)
Check out of your hotel and make your way back to Las Vegas airport for your return flight home, arriving the following day. (N)
Arrive back into the UK in the morning. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Car hire as specified

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

01892 515 966 Request a Quote

Head Office: 8-9 Orchard Business Centre, North Farm Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent. TN2 3XF

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