Do you want to take a road trip of more than 2,500 miles from one iconic American city to another? If so, then making a New York to Las Vegas road trip would be just the thing for you to do. You could spend weeks on end exploring the Big Apple and Sin City, but you could also take the time to visit some of the country's greatest national and state parks. Numerous excellent attractions and cities also await you on your road trip from New York to Las Vegas.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Many national parks are isolated and remote, but Cuyahoga Valley National Park is sandwiched between Cleveland and Akron on Interstate 80 in Ohio. If you love waterfalls, then you’ll enjoy looking at the 100 falls on display here. You’ll also be able to appreciate the 100 miles of the Cuyahoga River included in the park. On dry land, you’ll have the chance to hike on 125 miles of trails and ride on a scenic railroad. Popular activities at Cuyahoga Valley National Park include kayaking, canoeing, bird-watching, hiking, and golfing.
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park
On the southern shores of Lake Michigan, you can find the lovely Indiana Sand Dunes National Park. The gorgeous beach here is a great place for typical beach activities like fishing and swimming, but the hiking is excellent as well. You can explore 20 miles of countryside behind the beach on foot, horseback, or bike. Multiple trails will take you through wetlands, forests, prairies, and, of course, sand dunes.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Once you’ve passed through Denver, you’ll want to stop at beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park. More than 300 miles of trails take you through valleys, by subalpine rivers, and to the summits of tall peaks. In fact, this park contains a “fourteener,” which is a mountain that’s over 14,000 feet high. Plenty of mountain animals call this park home, so you just might see a moose or a black bear on your visit to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is the first national park out of several that you’ll encounter on your journey through the lovely state of Utah. It’s also one of the most photogenic thanks to its thousands of natural sandstone arches found throughout the park. The rugged desert environment here makes it an ideal place for hiking, canyoneering, rock climbing, and horseback riding.
Grand Canyon National Park
Speaking of unique rock formations and canyons, Grand Canyon National Park is considered the grandest of all national parks by many travelers. Since this park is only a couple of hours off your route, you can’t pass up this opportunity to see this amazing attraction that many visitors view as a bucket-list item. This massive canyon with the powerful Colorado River at its bottom is a big-time draw to many because there are so many different ways to explore it. You can simply look down into it from multiple choice vantage points; you can also take a rigorous hike or mule ride down into the canyon itself.
Jenny Jump State Forest
Jenny Jump State Forest isn’t far from New Jersey’s border with Pennsylvania. More than 4,400 acres of rolling terrain can be explored on 9 miles of trails. Two lakes are ideal for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. This park boasts some of New Jersey’s darkest skies, so it’s a great place for stargazing. You can also see some of the world’s oldest boulders up close and personal.
Bald Eagle State Park
Not too far from the main campus of Penn State University is Bald Eagle State Park. Nearly 6,000 acres of land in the beautiful Bald Eagle Valley contain plenty of opportunities for swimming, fishing, hiking, camping, hunting, and more. If you come in the winter, you can use the park’s 11 miles of trails for cross-country skiing.
Black Hawk State Park
Before you pass from Iowa into Nebraska, you should stop by Black Hawk State Park. Black Hawk Lake is nearly 1,000 acres large, so you’ll have plenty of room for water sports. It’s America’s southernmost glacial lake, so it’s definitely worth visiting. There are more than 30 miles of trails in the park itself; there’s also the Sauk Trail, which will take you all the way to Swan Lake State Park.
Cherry Creek State Park
If you’re looking for a gorgeous place to park your RV while you’re exploring Denver, then Cherry Creek State Park would definitely fit that bill. The 880-acre reservoir in the park is perfect for fishing and swimming, and multiple trails provide perfect places to explore on foot, bike, horseback, or even skis or snowshoes.
Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is about an hour outside of Las Vegas, so it’s one of the last items on your road trip itinerary from New York to Las Vegas. It lives up to its name since its Aztec Sandstone red rocks seem to burn with multicolored fire when lit by sunlight. There’s more here than rocks, however, since you can find plenty of desert plants and animals in the park.
Liberty State Park
You could spend weeks and weeks just exploring the New York City area, but you should stop by Liberty State Park before you leave the area behind. You’ll get to visit places like the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial, and the Liberty Science Center, and you'll get to take ferries to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The park itself also has outstanding views of that legendary New York City skyline, which looks amazing from New Jersey’s shore.
Old Joliet Prison
After you’ve explored Chicago on your New York to Las Vegas road trip, you’ll go right through Joliet as you head west. In Joliet, you’ll find the Old Joliet Prison, which opened in 1858. This imposing building and its 16 acres of surrounding land house an incredible amount of history that you’ll love learning about.
Blank Park Zoo
Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, so it’s a great place to stop on your road trip from New York to Las Vegas. In Des Moines, you’ll find the Blank Park Zoo, which has plenty of animals for you to meet. You’ll be able to see everything from an addax to a zebra at the Blank Park Zoo.
Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum
Right across the Platte River and outside of Eugene T. Mahoney State Park in Nebraska is the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum. It’s over 300,000 square feet large, so you won’t lack for air and space exhibits to view. Everything from a B-52 bomber to an Apollo command space module is on display here.
Capital Prize Gold Mine Tours
Capital Prize Gold Mine Tours is close to the Georgetown Loop Railroad roughly an hour west of Denver. If you want to tour and even mine gold from an authentic gold mine, Capital Prize Gold Mine is the place to go. Mining tools, gold and silver ore specimens, and gold and silver veins are all part of the tour you’ll take.
Cleveland, Ohio, is a big city located on the shores of Lake Erie. There’s plenty to do here, so there are many dump stations and campgrounds in the area. Places to visit include the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Two hours west on Interstate 90 is the city of Toledo, OH. Multiple dump stations and campgrounds are available for your convenience. You should visit the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium and the Toledo Museum of Art.
You only go through the outskirts of Chicago on your New York to Las Vegas road trip, but how could you pass up the opportunity to explore this fascinating city on Lake Michigan? Millennium Park, Grant Park, and numerous other attractions abound. While you’re exploring Chicago, you can use the many dump stations and campgrounds nearby.
Omaha is in Nebraska just across the Missouri River, which is also the Iowa border. Plenty of dump stations and campgrounds are available. Places to visit are the Old Market and the Lauritzen Gardens.
Denver is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a big city, so there’s much to do here like going to the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Denver Zoo. Plenty of dump stations and campgrounds are in the Denver area.