2023 Las Vegas Itinerary 5 Days? No Problem! Start Here!

2023 Las Vegas Itinerary 5 Days? No Problem! Start Here!

2023 Las Vegas Itinerary 5 Days? No Problem! Start Here!

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Las Vegas Itinerary 5 Days? No problem! We’ve got you covered!

Planning a trip to Las Vegas might seem like navigating a maze of glitzy lights and endless choices, especially if you’re a first-time visitor. That’s where having a well-crafted 5-day Las Vegas itinerary can truly be your saving grace. 

With our seasoned expertise as Las Vegas veteran visitors for over 20 years, we understand both the excitement and the potential overwhelm that comes with exploring this vibrant city. Fear not, fellow traveler, for we’ve got your back.  

Let us guide you through a meticulously designed itinerary that ensures you experience the best of Las Vegas without missing a beat. From iconic attractions to hidden gems, together we’ll uncover the city’s treasures and make your 5-day Vegas itinerary an unforgettable adventure. 

Let’s Go!


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Las Vegas Itinerary 5 Days

Las vegas vacation ahead.

While planning your Las Vegas 5-Day Itinerary, it’s important to remember that the initial excitement can lead to overexertion, especially on the first and second days.

It is tempting to embrace all the city has to offer, but pacing yourself is crucial to fully enjoy your entire trip.

Drawing from our experiences of exploring Las Vegas year after year since the late 90’s, we are here to make sure that you strike the right balance between indulgence and relaxation.

Let’s craft an itinerary that allows you to make the most of your time without wearing yourself out, so you can treasure each moment of your Las Vegas adventure.


Las Vegas Itinerary 5 Days: Condensed

Elvis at las vegas sign.

Because there is so much information in this article, we want to give you a condensed 5-day Las Vegas Itinerary before we go into detail. We’ve also prepared a downloadable PDF so that it is easy to follow, print, or use digitally.

This 5-day Las Vegas Itinerary is jam-packed and you might find the schedule demanding. In designing the itinerary, we tried to keep the best points of interest close to each other so to save you time and money on transportation.

Feel free to switch the days or experiences around as needed.

Day #1

Hop On/Hop Off Bus
Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
Mob Museum
Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

Dinner and a Show
Show and Dinner


The Hop On/ Hop Off bus has convenient boarding locations for ticket holders on the Strip, Fremont Street, and Downtown.

Save time by pre-booking your ticket and avoid long lines at the ticket booth.

 Click for Pricing and Availability:

Hop On/ Hop Off Bus

 Mob Museum

Day #2

Seven Magic Mountains
Hoover Dam

Fremont Street Experience
Happy Hour and Dinner
Container Park
Atomic Liquors


Experience the 7 Magic Mountains and Hoover Dam small group tour with a dash of expertise and lots of comfort.

Your guide will take you through the highlights while you sit back and enjoy the ride.

Click for pricing and availability:

7 Magic Mountains and Hoover Dam Tour

Day #3

Explore Las Vegas Blvd The Strip
Lunch at Eataly-Park MGM
Luxury & Designer Boutiques
Happy Hour Hidden Speakeasy
Bellagio Fountains
The Linq Promenade- High Roller
Paris-Eiffel Tower

Las Vegas Helicopter Tour
The Neon Museum Evening Tour


Experience the Neon Sign Bone Yard come to life after dark.  This tour sells out quickly, so don’t miss your chance.

Click for pricing and availability:

Helicopter Tour and Neon Museum

 Day #4

Option #1:  Full Day Tour Grand Canyon National Park
Option #2:  Full Day Tour Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks
Option #3:  Half-day Tour Emerald Caves Kayak Tour
Option #4:  Pool Party-Day Club
Option #5:  Night Clubs


Leave the driving to the professionals.  See the sights, skip the lines, and arrive in style.  These are a few of the highest-rated tours for exploring the daylife and the nightlife.

Click NOW for Pricing and Availability:

Grand Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park

Kayak Emerald Caves

Las Vegas Pools and Day Clubs

Las Vegas Nightlife

Day #5

Area 15 Entertainment Complex

Celebration Fancy Dinner

Day #6

Time to go!

Travel Safe and Adventure Often!

Las Vegas Itinerary 5 Days:  Detailed

Paris hotel las vegas.

Las Vegas Itinerary Day #1:  Daytime


Big Bus Hop On/Off

The best way to see and get an overview of the city is the Big Bus Hop On/Off.  

The sightseeing Loop takes about 2 ½ hours to complete.  The tour will take you through the Downtown Arts District, Wedding Chapel Row, Fremont Street, and of course the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.  

The bus has multiple stops along the route, allowing you a convenient boarding point close to your hotel both on the Strip and Downtown.

Since our itinerary includes Fremont Street and The Las Vegas Strip, it is not necessary to hop off at these locations, until later.


Stop #1: 

The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign: 1 hour

Welcome to las vegas sign

Once onboard, we suggest you stay on the bus until you reach the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. Since the sign is not within reasonable walking distance, the Hop On/Off is a good alternative to a pricey Uber ride.

Scammer Alert!!!:  There will be “nice” people around the sign offering to take your picture.  They will expect a “tip” of at least $5 and sometimes more.  Take your selfie stick or ask someone in line behind you.  Remember to offer your service back to them.  

Once you’ve taken all of your pictures, board the bus and continue your tour.  


Stop #2: 

Mob Museum:  2 hours

We suggest staying on the bus until either the Mob Museum Stop or ReBar in The Arts District.  

The Mob Museum is one of the most fascinating tours in Las Vegas. Explore the lives and legends of notable characters like Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, John Gotti, and more.

At the end of the tour, visit the Underground Speakeasy.  Try the “Bathtub Fizz” or a “Bees Knees”.  And remember to ask a guide for the password!


Stop #3: 

ReBar in The Downtown Arts District: 2 Hours

Greetings from las vegas wall mural.

By now, you are probably hungry and The Downtown Arts District is a perfect place for a quiet lunch. With vintage shops, wall murals, restaurants, and breweries, you can easily spend a few hours exploring Downtown Las Vegas Arts District.

📍 Casa Don Juan
📍 Esther’s Kitchen
📍 Good Pie

When you are ready, board the bus back toward your hotel near the Strip or Fremont Street drop-off points.   

This is a good time to rest and freshen up before you head out for the night.  


 Las Vegas Itinerary Day #1:  Evening


Nighttime view of the las vegas strip

Dinner and a Show or A Show and Dinner

Catch an early dinner and a late show, or an early show and a late dinner. The choice is yours. Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. From concerts to sports teams, it is all here!

These are our suggestions:

Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino
Bacchanal Buffet
Stanton Social Prime
Gordon Ramsey Pub & Grill

David Copperfield
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

Mad Apple by Cirque du Soleil
New York New York Hotel & Casino
Nine Fine Irishmen

Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino
Beauty and Essex


Las Vegas Itinerary Day 2:  Daytime


Collage 7 magic mountains hoover dam.

Visit 7 Magic Mountains and Hoover Dam (5 hours)

7 Magic Mountains is a highly popular art installation on the outskirts of town. The colorful boulders stacked 30 feet high, make for some amazing photos. Although you don’t need a lot of time here, it is definitely worth seeing.

The Hoover Dam is a must-see when visiting Las Vegas. Just 45 minutes from the city, stands the massive structure. Visitors can walk across the dam, explore the visitor center, or take a tour down deep inside the power plant.


Las Vegas Itinerary Day #2:  Evening

Party at the Fremont Street Experience

Fremont street experience is a las vegas party!

The party on Fremont Street is like no other. From live concerts, DJs, and street performers, the action never stops. Every night from 6 pm-2 am, the overhead canopy lights up in a magical display of music and imagery.

Although there is little outdoor seating on Fremont Street, there are a few good spots for people-watching and relaxing with a cocktail.

For people watching:
Whisker Licker Up
Four Queens outdoor patio

For dining:
$$$$ Oscars at the Plaza Hotel: Beef, booze, and broads, a Las Vegas icon.
$$ Whiskey Licker Up BBQ, burgers, and pub food.
$$ Evel Pie: We love the pizza and Evel Knievel memorabilia on the walls. It’s a total dive, but fun.

For cocktails:
Oscars for Happy Hour
Sand Dollar Lounge Live music 7 nights a week
Downtown Cocktail
Hogs and Heifers (cash only-prepare to be insulted by bikini-clad bartenders)
The Laundry Room (a speakeasy and you must have reservations)


Shark Tank at Golden Nugget

Stop into the Shark Tank pool at the Golden Nugget. You can see them circling, and if you time your visit right, you can even slide through the tank into the pool.


Slotzilla Zipline and Zoom Line

Slotzilla zipline on fremont street.

Want to fly 114 feet high above the party? Check out Slotzilla. This Zoomline experience is heart-pounding. As you fly above the crowd, the music plays and lightshow above will transport you to a whole different dimension.

Container Park

Container park art installation fire breathing praying mantis.


Container Park is located on the far end of Fremont Street, just a few blocks past the pedestrian-only outdoor and event space.   Upon arrival, you will be greeted by an enormous fire-breathing praying mantis.

Inside Downtown Container Park there are shops, restaurants, and several cocktail bars. Throughout the week, there is often live music or events. The entire facility is made from repurposed sea containers. It is a work of art and imagination.

Oak and Ivy is our favorite stop in Container Park.


Atomic Liquors & Bar

The last stop is Atomic Liquors, a Las Vegas tradition. As the oldest free-standing bar in Las Vegas, Atomic Liquors has been serving libations since 1952. Back in the day, the upper echelon would attend “rooftop parties” and watch the bombs detonate in the desert.

Not much has changed in the decor, and the floor is still sticky. However, the food is good as well as the drinks.

It is worth a stop!

Las Vegas Itinerary Day #3:  Daytime

The Fabulous Las Vegas Strip

Las vegas spelled in huge letters

Your Las Vegas adventure continues here! Excitement fills the air as you step onto the dazzling Las Vegas Strip. Your heart will race with the thrill of what’s to come. It’s like entering a world of endless fun and bright lights, and you’re ready to dive right in.

If you are like us, you are ready to get your Vegas day started early.  This will be a busy day as you explore the Fabulous Las Vegas Strip!

Sightseers like us don’t want to miss being part of the action.  We want to see everything!  Implementing a methodical approach to exploring the Strip is important.  This itinerary will help you stay organized and keep you from running in circles.

The Strip continually evolves throughout the day. It is lively and a fun place to people-watch. Unless you have reservations or show tickets, today is a leisurely day to stroll along and through the beautifully decorated casino lobbies.

There are some notable sights along the way we will point out to you. The Strip is over 4 miles long and nearly impossible to cover in one day, much less an afternoon without a plan. So, go at your own pace.

Remember, Las Vegas is a 24-hour town, so there is no need to rush your morning.  There is a lot to see and do, so don’t be worried if you miss something.  We’ve left some open time on Day #4 and #5 for you to revisit those places of interest.


Las Vegas Blvd is over 4 miles long and although not impossible to walk, it might not be recommended.

Parking is expensive, at rates of $20+ per day at each casino/hotel. That means every time you move your car, you will pay this rate. The Wynn and Treasure Island still offer complimentary parking, but other than that parking is at a premium. There is no side street parking anywhere near the Strip.

For around $8, you can purchase a 24-hour transit pass and ride the Deuce bus to explore the Strip as well as Fremont Street. The buses run every 15 minutes making your ride hassle-free.

While you may not want to see the inside of every casino, we have outlined the “show stoppers”. The casinos are grouped in proximity to each other and have the most impressive architecture and allure.

Dress comfortably during the day. Las Vegas is a tourist town and the hospitality industry appreciates you. So unless you have an aversion to sneakers, it is okay to wear them.

Wynn Hotel and Casino

Beautifully decorated bar parasol wynn casino.

The Wynn is sophisticated and elegant. Walk through the botanical gardens and breathe in the beauty.

If you are hungry The Wynn has wonderful dining options such as:

📍 Wynn Buffet Brunch
📍 Terrace Point Cafe’
📍 Bar Parasol: Quiet and intimate, perfect for an early afternoon Bloody Mary or mimosa.

Things to do:
📍Lake of Dreams: Free Show: Every evening after dark, comes alive with a vivid imagery show.


The Venetian and Palazzo Casinos

Gondola ride on the canals of the venetian hotel.

Spend some time exploring Venice, Italy (Las Vegas style). As you wander through St. Marks Square, you can find plenty of shops, cafes, and gorgeous works of art.

Things to do:
📍Gondola ride through the canals
📍Madam Tussauds Wax Museum
📍LOVE art installation
📍Indoor Rock Climbing
📍Minus 5᷾°Experience

Get on the Duece and ride all the way down to Mandalay Bay

Mandalay Bay

Mandalay Bay is a luxurious hotel in the center of the action during events at Raider’s Allegiant Stadium

Things to do:

📍Fan District:  If you are in town for a Raiders home game, this is the place to be. Eat, drink, and celebrate before or after the game.

📍1923 Prohibition Bar:  Go behind the bookcase and be transported in time to the prohibition era.  This is a great place to relax with a craft cocktail.

📍Shark Reef Aquarium
As you walk through the aquarium you will feel as though you are part of this fascinating underworld. The colorful fish delight all who enter their world. But look out! Sharks overhead, and to the side. You never know where they are lurking.

Luxor & Excalibur

If you are interested in a few great Instagramable pictures, take the FREE tram from Mandalay Bay to Luxor and Excalibur Casinos next door. There isn’t much to see inside either hotel, but the giant Pyramid and Sphinx make fantastic photo ops.

New York New York

New york new york las vegas casino skyline.

Exit the tram at the end and walk over to New York New York. The Statue of Liberty and The Brooklyn Bridge are popular photo spots along Las Vegas Boulevard. If roller coasters are your thing, then this is the best time for you to ride The Big Apple Coaster.

The Brooklyn Bridge is a fun place to listen to music on weekends. Other than that, I wouldn’t spend too much time here.

Things to do:

📍The Big Apple Coaster

Park MGM

16 foot dancing lady art installation park mgm.

Now would be a good time to take a rest, and maybe have a cocktail. You are in the Center of the Strip and have a lot of options.

Lunch suggestions:

📍  Eataly $: Every time I walk through Eataly, my mouth waters. The open-air Italian food court has everything from gelato to carbonara. There are plenty of tables or counter seating available. Take some time to relax while people watching.

📍  Primrose  $$: Park MGM: They have me at “Rose’ All Day”. Plus it is hard to resist deep-dish pancakes and eggs benedict. Primrose is a great restaurant to relax and be served.


Aria is a beautiful casino. A quick walkthrough is all you need if you desire. The restaurant and lounges are fantastic.

The Shops at Crystals

Step into the world of luxury at The Shops at Crystals, a haven of high-end fashion where you can find designer treasures from the likes of Balenciaga, Tiffany & Co, and Tom Ford. It’s a paradise for those who appreciate the finer things, offering a chance to explore and indulge in exquisite creations.

Whether you’re a fashionista or just looking to treat yourself, this upscale haven promises a shopping experience like no other.

Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino

Largest chandelier in the world.

The Cosmopolitan is our favorite hotel in Las Vegas. Combining an eclectic vibe with swanky decor, The Cosmopolitan has a host of hidden restaurants and bars, not to mention the World’s Largest Chandelier.

Enjoy a fabulous Las Vegas sunset at the Boulevard Pool in the summer or s’mores and ice skating in the winter. Slip into one of the secret speakeasies like Ghost Donkey or the Ski Lodge. Or, simply photograph the quirky art installations throughout the hotel.



Speakeasies are small cocktail rooms or secret parlors most of the time hidden in plain sight. Sometimes there is only a clue on the entrance door.  The Cosmopolitan is creative in disguising its hidden gems.  From a working barber shop to a high-end pawn shop, you never know what’s behind the wall until you ask.These are three of our favorites:📍Ghost Donkey: Shhh- it’s located behind the green exit door, near Hattie B’s Nashville Chicken.  There is a white donkey decal on the door.  Just come on in!📍Ski Lodge:  Shhh-it’s located across from the Wicked Spoon Buffet.  Look for the door with a ski lift chair, or ask the hostess at Superfrico.  There is always something weird in here.📍Secret Pizza: Shhh- it’s located on Level 3 between Blue Ribbon and Jaleo.  Look for the hallway lined with record albums.  Seriously, the pizza is perfect!

Bellagio Hotel and Casino

Bellagio fountains 1


The Bellagio sits center stage on The Las Vegas Strip and for good reason.

The hotel is both elegant and enormous.  However, the most impressive event is out front in full view of all: The world-famous Bellagio Fountains.


Things to do:

📍The Bellagio Fountains:  Every 30 minutes the fountains erupt in a beautifully choreographed dance. This show is not to be missed. Reaching heights of 400 feet, the dancing fountains are unbelievably beautiful.

📍The Bellagio Conservatory:  Step inside the Bellagio and wander through the conservatory. The installations are colorful and carefully curated. Walking through the gardens is a special treat.

📍The World’s Largest Chocolate Fountain:  Need we say more?  Well, if that didn’t do it, how about the most unique display of macaroons?  Simply delicious!

Caesars Palace

Replica statue of david.

Caesars Palace is a Las Vegas icon. Outside, statues line the plaza. Inside, the magic comes alive.

📍David:  Find the 18-foot replica statue of Michelangelo’s David in all of his glory.  If you can’t get to Florence, there’s always Vegas Baby!

📍Atlantis Show:  Stick around for the free Water and Fire Show, on the hour.  In the Great Hall experience the battle between the elements.  With effects of sight and sound, prepare to be spellbound for a few minutes.

📍Vanderpump Cocktail Garden:  For those who are intrigued with pop culture, stop by the Vanderpump Cocktail Garden. It is a whole different world.

Linq Promenade

Pedestrian mall at linq promenade las vegas.

The Linq Promenade is a pedestrian-only mall and outdoor party. There are plenty of restaurants bars and shopping in this area. Although the promenade is not necessarily a must-see, The High Roller Ferris wheel located here is.

High Roller

The High Roller is the tallest Ferris wheel in the United States and ranks 2nd tallest in the world. Standing 550 feet, the view from the top is outstanding. With panoramic viewing from the comfortable passenger pods, the complete ride takes about 30 minutes.

By timing your trip right, you can catch the city’s magical transformation from day to night, framed by the brilliance of a Las Vegas sunset, right from this towering vantage point.

Paris Hotel and Casino

Eiffel tower las vegas.

End your day with a breathtaking view from the observation platform of the Eiffel Tower. From 46 stories high above the Strip, the views are outstanding, especially after nightfall.


 Dinner Suggestions

Being in the middle of the Strip, your dining options are many! Every celebrity chef has a restaurant and they are outstanding.  Reservations are recommended.

📍Bacchanal Buffet:  Caesars Palace: Hands down, the most epic buffet you can imagine.

📍Giada:  The Cromwell:  Italian comfort food with style and flair.

📍Mon Ami Gabi: Paris:   Wine and Dine outside on the outside patio.


For a relaxing dinner away from the crowds, we suggest the iconic Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge.

The food is amazing, priced right with great service and the parking is FREE. However, if you are not driving, consider taking an Uber or Lyft to the front door of the restaurant. Otherwise, it may be a block or 2 from where the Deuce makes its stop.

This Peppermill has been featured in movies and videos, making it a Las Vegas favorite.

Las Vegas Itinerary Day #3:  Evening


Night-time Helicopter Tour

From high above the center of the action, see Las Vegas from the sky.  Las Vegas is a colorful town and begs to be seen at night.  What better way than to see it by helicopter?

The Neon Museum

Tour the neon museum in your las vegas itinerary 5 days.

An evening tour of the Neon Museum is a special treat, many of the vintage signs are all lit up! Hearing tales of the bygone era allows a glimpse into what “Old Las Vegas” was like back in the day.

Otherwise known as the neon boneyard, this museum holds Las Vegas treasures like the Hard Rock Guitar, The Stardust, and the Ugly Duckling to name a few.

The Neon Museum is a must-see and do on your 5-day Las Vegas itinerary.

Unless you are driving, take an Uber or Lyft to the Neon Museum. We do not recommend trying to walk here, especially at night after you’ve been out all day..


Book a combination night-time helicopter tour and Neon Museum Tour.  Seeing Las Vegas from the sky is extraordinary!  Give yourself another on your bucket list adventures.

For availability and pricing:

Helicopter Tour and Neon Museum Tour package


Las Vegas Itinerary Day #4: All-Day


Day #4 is a day filled with options. Las Vegas has so many things to do, besides gamble, it is impossible to do everything on a 5-day Las Vegas itinerary. If you have followed along, though, you have made a pretty good dent in covering the city.

There are so many day trips from Vegas, that it is hard to list them all here. Day 4 is a good time to take advantage of the beautiful National Parks or party like a rockstar!

Collage of natural landscapes mountains, emerald green cave kayak and hoodoos.


Option #1: Full-day Tour: Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is a few hours away and definitely worth the trip, especially if this is your only opportunity. If you only have one day to visit, then we suggest a bus trip or helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon.

Option #2:Full-Day Tour:

Bryce Canyon & Zion National Parks

Just a few hours north of Las Vegas are two of America’s most beautiful National Parks, Bryce Canyon and Zion. Relax in comfort as the motorcoach takes you to these extraordinary parks. Enjoy the views and many scenic overlooks throughout the parks.

Option #3:  Half-day Tour: Emerald Cove Kayak Tour

For those who are looking to connect with nature, a kayak tour might be your best option. You can relax in the morning, then take an early afternoon tour. Sunshine, beautiful scenery, and pristine water are the perfect amenities for an afternoon in this desert oasis.

Option #4: Party Like a Rock Star


Add a pool party or nightclub to your las vegas itinerary 5 days.

Pool Party-Day Clubs

Day clubs and pool parties are all the rage in Las Vegas. In true Las Vegas style, the parties are off the hook with tons of people. Grab your bikini, book a cabana or daybed, and dance the day away.



This is your night to fancy yourself up and hit a nightclub. Dance the night away in any of the Las Vegas hotspots. Immerse yourself in the music and light shows. Order bottle service and enjoy the party.

There is nothing quite like a Las Vegas nightclub. If this is your scene and bucket list adventure, don’t miss your night. Call to get on the guest list now!




Leave the driving to the professionals.  See the sights, skip the lines, and arrive in style.  These are a few of the highest-rated tours for exploring the daylife and the nightlife.

Click NOW for Pricing and Availability:

Grand Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park

Kayak Emerald Caves

Las Vegas Pools and Day Clubs

Las Vegas Nightlife

Las Vegas Itinerary Day #5: Daytime

Take some time today to rest and recover. Stay in bed for a few extra hours, order room service or book a rejuvenating spa treatment.

When you’re ready, head out to the Strip for shopping and last-minute souvenirs. This is a good time to check out the last few sights you may have missed.

Area 15

Post apocalyptic sign of welcome to las vegas

Area 15 is one of the newest hotspots in Las Vegas.  This HUGE entertainment complex combines art installations, eateries, and the most imaginative, immersive experiences.

Tour the Lost Distillery, shop in the super weird Omega Mart and experience the extraordinary at Illuminarium.

Las Vegas Itinerary Day #5:  Nighttime


Four glasses of wine.


Let your last night in Vegas be a celebration. You have uncovered more of this fascinating city than most because you followed along in this 5-Day Las Vegas Itinerary.

Tonight should be a special time to laugh and share your best Las Vegas moments. When we travel to Las Vegas with friends, we always set aside the last night for this occasion.



These are our suggestions for dinner:

📍Mayfair Supper Club
Prepare for an evening of entertainment and dinner beyond the ordinary. This is Las Vegas Baby! With the Bellagio Fountains as the backdrop, the entertainers will keep you dazzled while you enjoy a feast prepared for royalty.

This is more than dinner and a show, The Mayfair Supper Club is an experience.

📍Top of the World
For an over-the-top dining experience, The Top of The World is waiting. Enjoy a fabulous dinner with a view at 106 stories above the Las Vegas Strip at The Stratosphere. The panoramic views are outstanding as the restaurant revolves 360 degrees giving you Las Vegas in every direction.

📍Golden Steer
The Golden Steer is a Las Vegas icon. The ambiance makes us feel like we have stepped back in time and the Rat Pack might walk through the door. For over 50 years, The Golden Steer has been serving steaks, chops, and seafood.

Don’t be turned off by the outside appearance as it is located in a strip mall. The friendly staff and white linen tablecloths add to your dining experience. However, the food is the main event.

Before dinner, we enjoy having cocktails at another Las Vegas icon, The Mint right next door. Maybe you will too!

Las Vegas Itinerary Day #6 Bonus Day

Man entering an elevator with luggage.

Time to pack up and head for the airport! Remember to arrive 2 hours before departure if flying domestically. Sometimes, Harry Reid Airport can be a nightmare.

Remember to check all of the drawers, electric outlets, and behind the doors for anything you may have forgotten.


When is the Best Time to Visit Las Vegas?

The best time to visit Las Vegas is when you have the time and the money. Gone are the days of the $1.99 buffets and $2 cab rides. Everything costs money in Las Vegas.

Fall brings more comfortable temperatures, as well as the Raiders football and Golden Knights hockey games. Traffic can be horrendous.

Winter is chilly but dry. The few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are less busy, except of course during rodeo week.  The Holiday decorations are over the top, and definitely worth seeing.  

Spring can be windy, but the temperatures are moderate. March seems to be one of the busiest months for Las Vegas tourism.

Summer is HOT. In fact, it is incredibly HOT, often reaching triple digits before 8am.

Best Places to Stay in Las Vegas?

City center las vegas.

With a vast selection of rooms in Las Vegas, the initial question arises: where to begin? The answer is clear – rely on advice from trusted sources like us.

From ultra-luxury to budget-friendly, you can find what you want.


 Best Places to Stay in Las Vegas: On The Strip

For newcomers and those who want to be in the center of the action, a casino hotel on the Strip will give you a full Las Vegas experience.

Keep in mind these sprawling hotels require significant walking, from check-in to your room. It is worth noting that the Strip can be on the pricier side.

📍MGM Park


Best Places to Stay in Las Vegas: Fremont Street

Opting for downtown Fremont might feel like a distinct departure from the Strip’s hustle and bustle.

If you’re a fan of serene mornings and lively nights, Fremont Street might be your ideal pick. Hotels here are more intimate and modest compared to their flashier counterparts on The Strip.



How To Get Around Las Vegas

Girls in a limousine.

Rental Car:
Renting a car in Las Vegas is super simple, with handy spots at Harry Reid Airport and lots of hotels. You’ve got options, from fancy sedans to rugged SUVs, and if you’re up for a special treat, you can go all out and drive something exotic like a Rolls Royce or a Lamborghini.

Ride Share:
Using ride share transportation such as Lyft and Uber can be a convenient, safe way to navigate the city. From the app, order your car and your driver shows up at the designated meeting place. Fares are determined at booking, so you don’t have to worry about inflated fees.

Elite Car Service:
Of course, there are always elite car service companies such as Limos.com and Blacklane. Order a stretch limousine and cruise the Strip in style!

Taxi service is still a thing in Las Vegas. Most hotels have a convenient taxi stand with cabbies lined up to take you to your next location.

The Monorail
The Las Vegas Monorail is a fun way to explore the Strip. The route stretches from MGM Grand all the way to Las Vegas Sahara, with plenty of stops in between.

The Duece
Riding the Duece is both convenient and cost-effective. The double-decker city bus transports passengers from points on Las Vegas Blvd, to Downtown Las Vegas and Fremont Street.


5-Day Las Vegas Itinerary Conclusion

Las vegas showgirls art installation.

For some, Las Vegas is a once-in-a-lifetime trip and destination “bucket list” adventure. For others like us, the first trip to Las Vegas will ignite a deep love affair causing us to visit as often as possible.

On a final note, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, especially if you are drinking alcohol. It is too easy to become dehydrated in the desert.

We put together this video on surviving Las Vegas, we hope it helps.

Travel Safe and Adventure Often! Viva Las Vegas!!!


Maureen Wright and Robb Strobridge

The Stromads

Maureen wright & robb strobridge,  the stromads.


Entrepreneurs, Wanderlusters, Constant travelers, and Full-time RV Nomads since 2016.  We are fueled by life, love, and the pursuit of all things good.  Thanks for joining our journey and we hope to see you down the road!

40+ Fascinating Things To Do in Vegas Besides Gamble 2023

40+ Fascinating Things To Do in Vegas Besides Gamble 2023

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Are there things to do in Vegas besides gamble?

The simple answer is YES, Las Vegas is a fun packed, 24-hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year crazy, beautiful, magnetic city, just waiting to host you.

Whether you’re embarking on your first adventure or you’re a seasoned local, Las Vegas has a world of exhilarating activities awaiting you beyond the casino floors. It’s a city that constantly reinvents itself, painting new scenes with each sunrise – unveiling fresh hotels, tempting restaurants, and captivating shows that keep the excitement alive.

Get ready to dive into the captivating realm of Las Vegas with someone who’s been soaking up its glitz and glamour for over 25 amazing years – and hey, I’ll let you in on a little secret:  we are not big gamblers ourselves. From dazzling shows to vibrant nightlife, we’ll take you on a journey through our favorite US hotspot, sharing the gems that have stolen our hearts.

Let’s experience Las Vegas together, minus the high-stakes bets, and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it just as we have!

As someone who’s familiar with the inner workings of this dazzling destination, get ready for a delightful surprise. Let’s dive into the non-gambling side of this desert playground and explore experiences that encapsulate the essence of Las Vegas without relying on dice or cards.

Let us show you that there are plenty of things to do in Vegas besides gamble!


1.  Visit the Famous Las Vegas Strip

Night view of the las vegas strip.

Las Vegas Boulevard is home to some of the most iconic sights in Las Vegas.

Spanning 4 miles, there is action on every corner. The Strip journeys from ancient Egypt’s giant Sphinx to Italy’s Grand Canal. Catching sight of the Statue of Liberty or the Stratosphere in the distance will leave you in awe.

At dusk, Las Vegas Boulevard wakes up and presents itself in all of its glory! With huge marquees and colorful LED lights flashing, the Strip is magical. From the watchful eye on the pyramid to the colorfully illuminated Eiffel Tower, there is so much to take in on the Strip.

The city has made it easy for pedestrians with cross-overs, people movers, escalators, and elevators. There are street performers, live bands, restaurants, shopping and people, lots of people. People-watching is certainly one of the most fun things to do in Las Vegas without gambling. Day or night, walking the strip is fun.

However, the best way to experience the Las Vegas Strip at night is to cruise it. Whether you rent a car for the day or hire a limousine for a few hours, the drive down Las Vegas Boulevard is unique and unforgettable.

Elvis Presley summed it up best in Viva Las Vegas:
Bright light city gonna set my soul, Gonna set my soul on fire…
Viva Las Vegas turnin’ day into nighttime
Turnin’ night into daytime
If you see it once
You’ll never be the same again


Planning your trip to Las Vegas?  These are our favorite hotels on the Strip.  Located centrally, you can be right in the action!

Click Hotel for prices and availability:

Vdara Hotel (No Casino)

The Park MGM

Paris Hotel

Visit The Eiffel Tower

Under view of the eiffel tower las vegas at night.

Standing in the center of the Strip you can’t miss the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Casino. Take the elevator to the observation deck at 460 feet above the strip. The view is especially beautiful as the Strip lights up in the evening.


You really should see the city from this view!

Skip the Line and make reservations for The Eiffel Tower Experience 

Click NOW!

3.  Enjoy the Fountains of Bellagio

Dancing fountains at bellagio casino.

As the music seranades, the fountains begin a captivating dance and create one of the most beautiful sights on the Las Vegas Strip.

These impressively choreographed fountains lead right up to the big finish as they shoot 460 feet into the air. The crashing water sounds like thunder!

Explore the Beautiful Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino

The world's largest chandelier at the cosmopolitan hotel.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel is a gorgeous eclectic hotel that is worth exploring. Throughout the floors, you can find interesting seating areas, weird art, and the largest chandelier in the world.

During the winter months, the Cosmopolitan transforms the rooftop swimming pools into a huge ice skating rink, complete with fire pits and s’mores.

Plan to spend a little time here discovering the secret speakeasies, the amazing food court, and the Chandelier Bar. The Cosmopolitan is one of our favorite destinations on the Strip.

Stroll Through the Park at MGM Park

Sculpture of lady dancing.

The Park is home to bars, restaurants, and shopping conveniently located center Strip. With outside seating at many of the eateries, it is fun to people-watch while enjoying a cocktail or craft beer.


Listen to Music on the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn bridge in las vegas.

Thursday and Friday evenings are especially fun on the Brooklyn Bridge at New York New York Casino. Grab a bite and dance to the live music. There is outdoor seating, plus several bars and restaurants nearby.


Join the Party on the LINQ Promenade

The linq promenade lv.

Photo Credit: Dawn Rose

This pedestrian-only area is lined with bars, restaurants, selfie spots, and a never-ending parade of people. It is a fun place to visit, especially when looking for things to do in Vegas besides gambling.

From Instagram-worthy photo ops such as the giant gummy bear chandelier and a replica “Welcome to the Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, there is so much to see and do on the LINQ Promenade. Soar above the crowd, take in breathtaking views at 550 feet, or let your imagination wander in virtual reality.

Wet your whistle with a Cotton Candy Martini, a specialty tequila flight, or a craft beer. And, of course, don’t forget the food. From sweet treats like macaroons or gelato to famous celebrity restaurants, there is something to please all palates. You can even find your beloved favorites like Starbucks, Dunkin, and In-and-Out Burger.


Ride the High Roller

High roller giant ferris wheel.

Step into the massive Las Vegas Ferris wheel, the High Roller. For 30 minutes you will be treated to some of the most beautiful views of Las Vegas. With 360-degree views from the passenger pods, you can see for miles as you reach the top at 550 feet above the promenade.

Whether you choose a day package, night package, or open bar package, riding the High Roller is fun for everyone. 



Booking a ride at dusk gives you the best views of Las Vegas. The magical transition from daytime into nighttime is a Las Vegas experience like no other. The sunset turns the skies pink with purple accents creating a beautiful contrast against the Mojave Desert and the Spring Mountains.

Then, as the dark settles in the Las Vegas Strip lights up! It almost seems like someone flicks a light switch. The energy shifts and it is time to party!

Click here for pricing and availability

High Roller

Party at the Fremont Street Experience

Group of friends partying on fremont st, lv.

The Fremont Street Experience is a pedestrian mall and entertainment district located in the historic downtown area of Las Vegas. It is known for its iconic overhead LED light canopy which covers a portion of Fremont Street, creating a vibrant and immersive visual display.

From FREE nightly concerts, millions of LED lights and people soaring high above on Slotzilla, you are sure to remember your Fremont Street Experience. Hotels, street performers, shopping, dining, and ziplining are all within walking distance in this five-block historic area.


10.  Zip Line High Above the Party

Slotzilla zipline on fremont street.

Ziplining offers a unique blend of adventure and exhilaration, making it a popular activity for those seeking an adrenaline rush and a fresh perspective on the world around them. 

Slotzilla on Fremont Street:  Fly like a superhero, under the lights on Fremont Street. This Zoomline is 5 blocks long and 114 feet above the party below!

Fly LINQ:  From 12 Stories high, soar above the promenade on an 1100-foot zip line. The people below never know when the next set of high flyers will cruise through!

Ride the Roller Coasters and Thrill Rides


Roller coaster and strat in lv.

11.  Roller Coaster at New York New York

Big Apple Coaster: How does climbing high above the New York skyline before dropping 203 feet at speeds over 67 MPH? How about adding a 180-degree heartline twist for good measure?

If this sounds like your idea of a good time, the Big Apple Coaster is your spot for fun!

12.  Thrill Rides at the Stratosphere

For crazy things to do in Vegas besides gamble, ride the thrill rides at the Stratosphere. At 108 stories above street level, you can ride two jaw-dropping, adrenaline-rushing, scary-as-heck super thrill rides:

X Scream: If being dangled 866 feet above Las Vegas Blvd excites you, then this is for you. XScream will leave you screaming each time it teeters you over the edge.

Big Shot: If the ride platform is not quite high enough for you, then the Big Shot will take you even higher. You and the riders will be catapulted reaching a height of 1081 feet, before dropping back to the platform. Just try not to scream.

Sky Jump

Man jumping from the strat in lv.

Photo used with permission: Our friend Zak jumping from the Strat!


If the line for the elevator is too long, you can always jump off the Strat. Literally! At 886 feet, you can jump off the Observation deck to the ground below. The Sky Jump holds a Guinness World Record as the highest commercial decelerator descent facility.

How’s that for a thrill?


Be careful now, the first step is a doozy!

Book your SkyJump Here!

Discover Museums and Exhibitions

Original neon marquis from stardust casino and hard rock guitar.

Museums and exhibitions definitely fit into the things to do in Vegas besides gamble category. They are as diverse, sometimes quirky, and definitely as unique as the city itself. From fine art to punk rock, touring the many Las Vegas museums can keep you busy for a very long time.

Wander through the lit-up neon signs and get a glimpse into the days of old Vegas. Pinball machines, exotic cars, art, and special exhibits like the Titanic or Bodies: The Exhibition are just the tip of what Las Vegas museums have to offer.

If old Las Vegas sparks your curiosity, then visit the Neon Museum, the Boneyard for Neon Signs, and the Mob Museum. For those that love movie stars, try Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and for those of us that love selfies, The Selfie Museum is for you.

Indulge in Extreme Experiences


Consider an extreme experience when looking for things to do in Vegas besides gamble. Las Vegas is the epicenter for extreme everything. Push the boundaries and embrace an adrenaline-charged adventure.

Turn your Vegas escapade into an unforgettable journey of the extraordinary, where the pursuit of thrill and excitement becomes your new favorite form of entertainment.


Race a Luxury Sports Car

Things to do in vegas besides gamble: race a luxury sports car.

Photo Credit: Drew Cope, Dad-preneur

Satisfy your need for speed at Speed Vegas, the world’s largest supercar driving experience.

Choose a Lamborghini, a Porche, a Maserati, or any combination of luxury sports cars and accelerate in seconds to speeds of 140 mph. Dive into the 8 hairpin turns, hit the straight away, and do it all over again and again!


Ready to book your day at Speed Vegas?  Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

Check here for rates and availability.

Shoot a Machine Gun


Man shooting machine gun at targets in a desert

Shooting a machine gun is something most people don’t do every day.

This is a high thrill bucket list experience and you can do it! Your instructor will brief you and prepare you for this mind-blowing adrenaline rush.

Jump Dunes-Baja Style


Baja style racing in the desert.


Imagine the adrenaline rush you will have when you reach the dunes at 90mph and become airborne!

Baja racing is addictive and so much fun. With 15 degrees of banking, 3 jumps and 8 turns, your heart will pound with anticipation. So strap up and climb in!



Book your Baja Racing Adventure here.

Check for availability and pricing

Fly a Fighter Jet

Cockpit of a fighter jet.

Take to the sky in an EXTRA 330LC, the highest-performance certified aerobatic aircraft in the world. Prepare to roll into aerial maneuvers, or outrun your opponent in aerial laser tag.

This is the time to put another check on your bucket list adventure!
SCA 2705 Airport Dr, North Las Vegas, NV


19.  Immerse Yourself in the World of Heavy Equipment Operation

Excavator on a rocky construction site.


Dig a ditch, move a pile of rock, or smash a car in an immersive aggression session. The Bull-dozers, Back Hoes, and Excavators are waiting for you.

Grab your safety vest, hard hat and head out to the construction site!

20.  Get Hitched

The stromads getting hitched in las vegas.

With over 120,000 weddings performed each year, Las Vegas is the Wedding Capitol of the World.  With statistics like this, it is apparent that getting married tops the list of things to do in Vegas besides gamble.

Getting a marriage license only takes about 15 minutes, and the office is open until midnight 365 days a year.  Whether it is a bucket list destination wedding with Elvis as your officiant, or a spur-of-the-moment “Will you marry me Right here, Right now” and roll through the drive-thru Wedding Chapel, a Vegas wedding has an allure.

With chapels lining the streets, it is easy to say “Let’s get hitched”!


Say ‘I do’ with ease and excitement in the glittering heart of Vegas! These wedding packages bring your dream celebration to life effortlessly, from Vegas venues to seamless planning.

Experience the thrill of a Vegas wedding without the stress.  Your day is meant to be magical with unforgettable moments for you and your loved ones.”

Simple Ceremony

Elvis Themed Ceremony

World Famous Drive-Up Wedding

21.  Join the Mile High Club

Join the mile high club.

The Mile High Club was once reserved for the private jet setters and the ulta-daring commercial flyers. Now, you and your lover can join the Mile High Club right here in Las Vegas. Your flight begins with champagne as you ascend to 5280′ above the city of Las Vegas.

Now, the rest is up to you to complete your membership. Don’t be shy, Love Cloud assures complete privacy for you and your lover.


22.  ​Stroll Through the Arts District


Wall mural dtlv

 Photo Credit: Dawn Rose

On any given day, you can find things to do in Vegas besides gamble. The Arts District is a fun place to explore with hand-painted wall murals, vintage stores, restaurants, museums, and bars.

Whether you want to enjoy drag brunch, a goth concert, or a craft beer and excellent food, you can find it here in the Arts District. As an added bonus, there are no casinos in this 18-block neighborhood.


The ENGLiSH Hotel is a beautiful addition to the Art District.  With exceptional service, you can relax in comfort and luxury.  Enjoy brunch by the pool, then a romantic dinner in the exclusive Pepper Club.  Leave behind the chaos and step into a whole new Las Vegas world.

Check here for rates and availability.

23.  Visit the Las Vegas Healing Garden

Entrance to lv healing garden dedicated to the victims of gun violence at a music festival.

Visit and reflect on those that were killed while attending a concert in one of the most horrific mass shootings we have ever known.

This peaceful space is beautiful and serene. As you walk through the path, notice the names and shrines dedicated to these fallen souls. The experience will not soon leave you.

24.  Go Golfing

Looking for more things to do in Vegas besides gamble? How about a round or two of golf?

 Pro Golf Courses 

Desert golf course with mountain in background..

Las Vegas has some of the best pro golf courses in the world. From ultra-exclusive private greens with multiple courses, you can find something to suit your playing level.

Beat the heat of the afternoon and play a quick 9 in the evening. Many of the courses have evening tee times with well-lit playing greens.

Top Golf

Golf simulator.

Top Golf is a popular entertainment complex that combines golf with a lively and social atmosphere. It offers a unique and interactive golfing experience that is suitable for players of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced golfers.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of games and activities related to golf. The complex features climate-controlled hitting bays where players can hit microchipped golf balls at targets on a large outfield. The microchips in the golf balls allow for accurate scoring and feedback on the distance and accuracy of each shot.

Top Golf is perfect for a night out when looking for things to do in Vegas besides gamble.

Mini Golf

Man playing mini golf.

In true Vegas fashion, there are a few fun mini-golf courses to play.

Some are family-friendly with glowing black lights and neon, while the soon-to-open “Swingers” will be adult-only with a cocktail bar, food, and DJ.   

25.  Take in a Show

Burlesque dancer.

Las Vegas is the entertainment capitol of the world. From world-renown concert venues, like T-Mobile Arena and The Sphere, to smaller intimate venues like House of Blues and Counts Vamp’d, Las Vegas continues to host music royalty of all genres.

With huge music festivals right in the city, and concert venues galore, music is just the beginning of Vegas entertainment.

Magic and illusion set the stage for performances of a lifetime. Whether you prefer big illusions or sleight of hand trickery, Vegas has it all.

Of course, there are stage shows and more stage shows. From the very family-friendly shows to the super raunchy, Vegas has a stage show for you.

It is quite possible to see a stage show every single day in Las Vegas for years and never repeat one.

26.  Eat, Drink, and Be Merry


Lobster tail and filet mignon.

With over 2200 restaurants in Las Vegas, you can have just about anything at any time. From McDonalds to Dine in the Dark Experience, Las Vegas is a foodie mecca.

Dim Sum at 3am, no problem. How about an All You Can Eat Lobster Buffet? Absolutely. Maybe you would rather have brunch complete with champagne and a spectacular view of the Bellagio Fountains?

Did you say dinner and a show? Try one of the over-the-top famous Supper Clubs, like Delilah’s or Mayfair Supper Club. Thinking of something more family oriented? Try the Tournament of Kings. The jousting tournament will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Las Vegas is one of the best cities to indulge in a foodie tour. Visit some of the top restaurants in the city, and sample some amazing dishes with your local tour guide.


Bloody mary with crab legs, shrimp and cheese garnish.

In Las Vegas, you’ll discover a vibrant bar scene for all preferences. Whether you’re chilling with $1 PBRs, seeking a thrilling $10,000 ONO drink, or on a quest for the best Bloody Mary, there’s something for everyone.

Dive bar tours, speakeasies, and unlimited mimosas add to the mix. Enjoy cocktails with dazzling city views, relax by poolside bars, or dance the night away with live music. Classic casino bars offer a taste of history, ensuring a memorable time beyond the casino floor.


Explore Diverse Botanical Gardens

Visiting a botanical garden allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, gain knowledge about plants, and engage in various activities that promote relaxation, education, and appreciation for the natural world. As you wander through the diverse botanical gardens, it becomes evident that there are plenty of other things to do in Vegas besides gamble.

27.  Bellagio Botanical Gardens and Conservatory

Bellagio gardens at christmas.

Walking through the Bellagio Gardens is one of the beautiful things to do in Vegas besides gamble. Each season the Horticulture and Engineering teams work their magic changing and decorating the 14,000-square-foot Bellagio Conservatory.

From a lavish European garden with floral sculptures to a winter wonderland, The Bellagio Botanical Gardens are definitely something to see while in Las Vegas.

28.  The Garden at The Wynn

Christmas at the wynn botanical gardens.

The Garden at the Wynn is always worth a visit. The ever-changing gardens are sophistically decorated in true Wynn Style. The magical carousel will delight you as the horses appear to dance in the flowers.

29.  The Springs Preserve

Spend the day exploring the beautiful scenery, wildlife, and educational exhibits in this 180-acre preserve. Learn about desert ecosystems, sustainability, or even flash flooding. You can easily spend the day at the Springs Preserve. Be sure to check the calendar for special events.

30.  Ethel’s Cactus Garden and Chocolate Tour

Ethel's cactus garden christmas display.

Stroll around 3 acres of gardens showcasing cacti, succulents, and various plant life found in the Mojave desert. Visitors during the Christmas season are treated to a winter wonderland as The Cactus Garden is magically transformed with a million-light display.

While everyone can enjoy the factory tour, adults can indulge in a wine and chocolate pairing,


31.  Tour Allegiant Stadium

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the magnificent Allegiant Stadium, Home of the Las Vegas Raiders. Not only will you have a chance to see the Broadcast Booth, and private suites, but also the Raiders lockerroom.

Even if you are not a sports fan, Allegiant Stadium is a state-of-the-art unique facility that will blow your mind. This beautiful spectacle will catch your eye and spark your imagination.

32.  Tour Las Vegas Motorspeedway

Nascar track with rainbow in the background.

Photo Credit: Everything RV by Pat

 Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, including the World famous Neon Garage, luxury suites, racing garages, and Victory Lane.

The tour will take you through Americas Racing Showplace visiting 9 other tracks including the NHRA 4 Lane drag strip as well as the dirt track which hosts World of Outlaws, Nascar K&M Pro Series, and IMCA Modifieds.

For those that need more, you can schedule a ride along or drive the track in one of the Racing Schools. Better yet, come when NASCAR is in town and experience the thrill of LIVE stock car racing.

33.  ​Mix and Mingle

Frolic at a Day Club or Pool Party

Fun thing to do in vegas besides gamble is mingle at a pool party.

Are you looking for things to do in Vegas besides gamble? Pool parties and day clubs are a fun option! Las Vegas pool parties are something you will not soon forget. As part fashion show, part dance club, with a whole lot of barely there bikinis, the DJ is not the only one bringing the fun! Grab a drink, and mingle. It’s Vegas Baby!

Go Dancing and Order Bottle Service

The Las Vegas Club scene is over the top. With world-famous DJs, extreme light shows, sparklers and celebrities, the party goes on until dawn. Dress to impress and request bottle service. This is your time to party!

34.  Get Pampered

Woman getting a spa treatment.

Getting pampered makes the list of things to do in Vegas besides gamble. There is a world-class spa in just about every hotel on the Strip. Throughout the city, you can find day spas, foot spas, IV hydration therapy spas, and blowout bars. There are even foot baths with little fish that eat the dead skin on your feet.

Relax, rejuvenate, and allow yourself the experience of a world-class spa treatment.


35.  Take a Dance Class

For a fun thing to do in vegas besides gamble, take a pole dancing class.

When it comes to things to do in Las Vegas besides gamble, don’t pass on higher education. Take a class in pole dancing, stripper basics or even aerial moves. Learn to booty shake or even learn the art of lap dancing.

Not only are these classes fun, they will challenge you physically. Take control of your body and work that pole!  

If line dancing and country music is more your style, Gilley’s offers FREE line dancing lessons throughout the week. Slide to the left…..slide to the right….

Explore the Deep Dark Sea

Sharks in an aquarium.

Have you ever wondered what lies beneath the waves? Now is your chance to explore the mysterious world of the Shark Reef. Be spellbound by jellyfish, sea turtles, and sharks! The Shark Reef is one of the largest aquariums in the US holding over 2000 sea animals.

As you walk through the aquarium tunnel, the fish swim overhead and seem to surround you on all sides. The scenery is captivating and will leave you breathless.

Venture Inside Area 15

Post apocalyptic

Area 15 is as unique and should not be missed when looking for things to do in Vegas besides gamble. As a premier attraction, Area 15 is something to put on your Las Vegas to-do list.

With immersive art displays, live entertainment, bars, and restaurants Area 15 offers a vibrant destination that captivates the senses and offers a one-of-a-kind experience.

Explore the hidden portals of Omega Mart and Wink World, or experience an alternate universe created in the Virtualis VR, Free Roam Virtual Reality. Be virtually transported to a Tokyo Night Market, an African Safari, or sit on the sidelines of a Raiders game in Illuminarium.  There is even a hidden speakeasy.

If that’s not enough, enter the world of magic, burlesque, and rum as you explore Lost Distillery. In my opinion, one of the best shows I’ve been to in Las Vegas. Sip rum, and wander the rooms while enjoying the up-close vaudeville-style entertainment.


Visit the Cannabis Dispensaries


Vintage vw smoke bus at planet 13 dispensary.

Satisfy your curiosity in a non-threatening chilled environment for things to do in Vegas besides gamble. Now is your chance to visit a retail cannabis dispensary. These are not your back alley dealers; these stores have everything imaginable and the staff to help you make the right purchase.

Don’t be nervous, do ask questions, and only buy something if you want to use it. For those that don’t want cannabis products, you might find a souvenir t-shirt or hat. Just go….


Shop Until You Drop

Girls with shopping bags.

You can find something for everyone, from super cheap t-shirt shops to ultra-exclusive designer boutiques at The Forum Shoppes.

Are you looking for a cute pinup dress? Check out the Miracle Mile Shoppes. Las Vegas has something for everyone, even outlet shopping.

You can shop for cars, furs, art, jewelry, and even vintage Ramones vinyl. In Las Vegas, you can find whatever your heart desires.

40.  Take Karaoke To a New Level

Karaoke is a thing to do in vegas besides gamble.


Looking for more things to do in Vegas besides gamble?

Grab a mic, pick your song, and let’s Karaoke, Las Vegas style! Sing with a live band or reserve a private karaoke room in any of the Las Vegas Karaoke Clubs around town. With lights and state-of-the-art sound, you are the star of your own show.

Karaoke clubs are full-service private rooms with food and beverage packages, waitstaff, and of course, a huge library of karaoke favorites. This is the time to shine, Las Vegas style.

There are Plenty of Things To Do in Vegas Besides Gamble

Las vegas arches.

Las Vegas is like no other city in the world.

Its charm extends beyond its famous casinos, offering a kaleidoscope of experiences that redefine the art of indulgence and create lasting memories. From the enchanting allure of botanical gardens to the heart-pounding thrill of extreme sports, this dynamic city boasts a treasure trove of activities that cater to every taste and curiosity.

As you explore Sin City, you will quickly discover there are so many things to do in Vegas besides gamble.

Maureen Wright and Robb Strobridge

The Stromads


The stromads at the fabulous las vegas sign.Entrepreneurs, Wanderlusters, Constant travelers, and Full-time RV Nomads since 2016.  We are fueled by life, love, and the pursuit of all things good.  Thanks for joining our journey and we hope to see you down the road!

27 Unbeatable Things To Do In Batavia NY 2023

27 Unbeatable Things To Do In Batavia NY 2023

Wondering what are the best things to do in Batavia, NY? As your go-to travel guides, we’ve curated a list of 27 exceptional activities that showcase the rich history, natural beauty, and local delights this town has to offer.

Whether you’re a local, a Buffalo visitor, or a passerby, this charming town has a tons of activities for all ages. Join us as we unveil 27 incredible things to do in Batavia, NY that will elevate your visit to a whole new level!

1.  Holland Land Office Museum

131 W Main St, Batavia 

Holland land office museum is fun thing to do in batavia ny.
Explore Batavia’s rich history through captivating exhibits showcasing the early development and the acquisition of land in what is now Western New York. Marvel at collections of artifacts that offer a glimpse into the past.

Exhibits include medals of honor, period clothing, furniture, portraits, and an original gibbet used in many hangings for those sentenced to death.

2.  Batavia Peace Garden

17-123 W Main St, Batavia

20 international flags of designated peace gardens.


Take a stroll through the Batavia Peace Garden and relax on any of the benches. Enjoy a moment of reflection, and continued hope of international peace.

This park serves as a symbol of friendship between Canada and the United States, as part of the Peace Park Trail throughout Northern New York.

As part of the International Peace Garden project, the Batavia Peace Garden proudly displays flags representing the 21 other countries that have an international peace garden.

3.  Historic Batavia Cemetery

65 Harvester Ave, Batavia

Historic batavia cemetery.


With plots dating back to the early 1800s, visitors will find Batavia Cemetery a peaceful and tranquil place to explore.  Some of Batavia’s founding fathers are laid to rest here.  The Batavia Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places.

For a spooky night, Batavia Cemetery offers candlelight ghost tours through the grounds with haunted stories of the residents laid to rest here.  

4.  Devils Rock

5441 Main St, Batavia

Devils rock is one of the most interesting things to do in batavia, ny.
While there is a scientific explanation for the shape of this rock, we prefer the folklore and dark story of its history.

As the story is told, Satan himself was sleeping quietly next to this boulder. A good samaritan was walking by, saw the Prince of Darkness, and wanted to protect the people from falling to prey to him. The kind-hearted soul took the chain and wrapped Satan to the rock. As he was unable to escape, a frustrated Satan walked in circles around the rock for years. The chain caused the rock to wear in the middle. Eventually, Satan broke free and went on to inhabit the underworld.

Parking is challenging as Devils Rock is located on the grounds of the New York State Department of Transportation. This peculiar roadside attraction is worth a quick stop as one of the most interesting things to do in Batavia, NY.

5.  Go Art Genesee-Orleans Regional Art Council

201 E Main St, Batavia

Eclectic art work in go art, batavia ny.


The Go Art Gallery offers a little something for everyone.  For those that appreciate artwork, there are themed exhibitions that you can view and discuss with the artist.  Others may appreciate immersive classes, while some may want to work on their comedic skills during open mic nights.   


6.  Tavern 2.0.1

Speakeasy pub.

Located inside the GO ART, the tavern is open to the public Thursday and Friday nights, as well as during special events and exhibitions.  With a speakeasy style, visitors can enjoy a craft beer, wine or specialty drinks while engaging in conversations with others about the unique and interesting artwork.


7.  Batavia Ramble Explore Art & Music Festival

Wall art at the corner of go art.

Enjoy music, street performers, artists, and food at this family-fun festival.  In partnership with GO ART and Ramble, organizers continue expanding the inclusivity of the arts in Batavia. 

Many of the musicians and artists have deep roots in the Genesse-Orleans area.  Look for this one-day event in early July.


8.  Seymour Place

Ghost hunting at seymour place is a chilling thing to do in batavia ny.

For those that like the spooky side, a night at Seymour Place may be in order.  Ghost hunters tell of encounters with shapes on barstools, the scent of cigars, and the clear voices of those not still in their human form.  


9.  Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel

8315 Park Rd, Batavia

Front entrance to batavia downs gaming.

Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel is a one-stop shop for gaming, live horse racing, concerts, and restaurants. Whether you book a romantic get-a-way weekend or want to bet the ponies midweek, Batavia Downs has something for you.

Remember to sign up for their rewards card to earn points, merch, and free play!



Escape for a romantic weekend or book a trackside suite.  Luxury, fun, and excitement are waiting at Batavia Downs.

Check here for pricing and availability. 

10.  Muckdogs at Dwyer Stadium

Dwyer stadium

“Take me out to the ball game. Take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and a cracker jack. I don’t care if I never get back. Let me root, root for the home team…..”

June and July bring summer baseball fun to Dwyer Stadium. Enjoy a night of fun for everyone cheering on Batavia’s beloved Muckdogs. Throughout the season you are invited to fan experiences like fireworks, meet the players and hot dog nights.

11.  Dewitt Recreation Area


Comfortable seating area at eli fish company.


Locals agree that the DeWitt Recreational area is one of their favorite spaces in Batavia, New York. With 65 acres of parkland, visitors can picnic, walk the trails, fish, and kayak. In the winter, Dewitt Recreation Area opens an outdoor public ice skating rink.

12.  Genesee County Fair

5056 E Main Street Rd, Batavia 

Amusement rides at genesee county fair.


Take some time and come to the Fair! Genesee County Fair is one of the most fun things to do in Batavia, NY. Visitors can enjoy 4-H livestock and home arts as well as Live Entertainment throughout the day.

Delicious treats are available at the food booths. Whether the crowning of Miss Genesee County Fair Queen or the Demolition Derby is your style, there is something special for everyone at the Genesee County Fair.

13.  Genesee Speedway

5056 E Main Street Rd, Batavia

Dirt track racing at genesee speedway is a fun thing to do in batavia, ny.

Saturday night at the Genesee Speedway is the place to go when looking for things to do in Batavia, NY.  Feel the roar of the engines as the Dirt Late Models take to the track.  The dirt flies when the Street Stocks roll around the turns.  Genesee Speedway is fun for the whole family. 

A little dirt in your teeth never hurt anyone!


14.  Farmers Market

Bank Street & Alva Place, Batavia,

Local farmers market.


Shop for fresh fruit, vegetables, jams, and wine. With a nice selection of goods and wares from local farmers and artisans, be sure to bring a reusable shopping bag with you.  Shoppers like us, find great deals on soaps, jewelry, and olive oils.  

As a bonus, local food trucks like Red Osier Landmark Restaurant are ready to serve you lunch!




15.  Terry Hills Golf Course

5122 Clinton Street Rd, Batavia 

Terry hills golf course, batavia ny

Terry Hills is an exceptional 27-hole public golf course with a prestigious 4-Star rating. This course provides country club-quality conditions, ensuring an outstanding golfing experience.

Consistently ranked among the top 5 public golf courses in Western New York, Terry Hills is recognized for its first-class golfing facilities combined with a warm and welcoming atmosphere that’s down-to-earth and friendly.  The bar and restaurant are open to the public as well be sure to stop by.

16.  Plum Creek Driving Range

5141 Batavia Elba Townline Rd, Batavia 

Plum creek driving range batavia, ny


Want a little practice with your swing? Visit the Plum Creek Driving Range. Even during the winter as the weather turns cold, golf simulators are available.

Live Music

17.  Batavia’s Original Music Wednesday

500 E Main St, Batavia 

Pepperoni pizza at batavia's original.

When in town, we like to enjoy a good pizza and nice music on the patio at Batavia’s Original. Of course, there is a full menu and daily specials as well. Music is from 5-9 on Wednesdays.

Batavia’s Original is a family-friendly restaurant,  so grab the kids and eat pizza!


18.  TF Brown’s Live Music Thursdays

214 E Main St, Batavia 

Man playing an acoustic guitar.

Thursday dinner is more fun with live music.  TF Brown’s is fun for the entire family with lip-smacking goodness and something for everyone.  Join the party on Thursdays 5-8 for singing, dancing and of course great food.

Seating is available both inside the restaurant and on the patio, as well as at the full-service bar.


19.  Oliver’s Candy Store

211 W Main St, Batavia

Colorful boxes of candy.

Ask anyone in the area, what are some things to do in Batavia, NY and they will quickly answer, “Get sponge candy from Olivers”.  Although the name implies sponge, the candy simply melts in your mouth with hints of caramel, honey, and chocolate.  

There are plenty of candies and ice cream treats to satisfy any sweet tooth.  Plus, you can take gift boxes full of goodies home to the family (if they last that long).

20.  Batavia Pedal Party

Call:  (585) 356-4700

Pedal party  is a fun way to bar hop in batavia ny.


How about a fun and unique way to bar-hop around town? With two destinations of your choice, a playlist, and up to 16 of your friends, the fun is about to begin.

With the designated driver/tour guide you and your friends will pedal around town, singing to your favorite tunes while greeting those along the way. Your guide will make sure you arrive safely back to your meeting place.

Go on!  Get your pedal on!

21.  Friday Night High School Football


Home of blue devil batavia high school stadium.


Batavia High Football season starts the first week of September.

The team has been training hard all summer long and is ready to take to the field under the lights! Grab a blanket, cowbell, and team spirit as you cheer on Batavia’s own Blue Devils!

22.  Game of Throws

56 Harvester Ave, Batavia, NY 14020


Ax throwing is a fun thing to do in batavia, ny.


Looking for a thrilling and competitive activity in Batavia, NY? Look no further than axe throwing! Experience the excitement of this popular recreational sport that has taken the town by storm. Axe throwing is not only a fun individual experience but also offers fantastic team events and leagues for those seeking some friendly competition.

Gather your friends, family, or colleagues and head to one of Batavia’s axe-throwing venues for a memorable time filled with laughter and camaraderie. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or trying it for the first time, Game of Throws is sure to be a hit for everyone. So, why not add this unique and exciting activity to your list of things to do in Batavia, NY?

Grab an axe, take aim, and let the fun begin!


23.  House of Bounce

56 Harvester Ave, Batavia

Large bounce house with slides.

Kids can dive into a world of fun with exciting bounces, climb through obstacle courses, and jump on inflatable attractions. Teenagers can engage in thrilling Nerf wars and enjoy the dynamic play areas. And guess what? Adults can join in on the excitement too!

At House of Bounce fun knows no age limit creating an enjoyable experience for every member of the family.

Whether you’re looking for a fun weekend activity, planning a memorable birthday party, or simply want to release some energy in a playful environment, House of Bounce has got you covered. Come join the fun and bounce your way to an unforgettable experience at House of Bounce! 


 24.  Palm Island Indoor Waterpark

8250 Park Rd, Batavia

Indoor waterpark with slide and pool.


Splash, swim and ride the water slides at Palm Island Indoor Waterpark.  Kids of all ages can beat the heat or wash away the winter blues at Palm Island.   There’s even a hot tub soaking spa for the adults.   

For the adventurous, try the 24 foot flume slide, into the pool below.  For the sports fan, how about some water hoops?

Palm Island offers a concession stand, arcade and a party room.  Day packages available as well as stay and play weekend packages.  

Head on down to the Palm Island Indoor Waterpark for something fun to do in Batavia, NY.


25.  Ellicott Trail

Parking is available at Williams Park, Dewitt Recreational Area, throughout downtown Batavia and along Red Oak Lane


Ellicott bike trail in batavia ny.


Looking for a great outdoor activity in Batavia that’s perfect for all ages and skill levels? Look no further than the Ellicott Trail! Stretching 9.5 miles in total, this scenic trail offers a fantastic out-and-back route that’s ideal for biking. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or just starting, the Ellicott Trail provides a fairly easy ride suitable for bike riders of all skill levels.

But that’s not all – this trail is also family-friendly! It’s not just for bikers; walkers, hikers, and families with baby strollers will find the Ellicott Trail to be a delightful destination as well. So, grab your bikes, lace up your walking shoes, or pack up the baby stroller, and head over to the Ellicott Trail for a fun-filled day of exploration and outdoor adventure in Batavia!



Play Team Trivia

On weeknights, a fun thing to do in Batavia NY is play team trivia at participating venues.  Whether you are a trivia fanatic or just enjoy friendly conversation, you can join in the fun.


26.  Tuesday Night Trivia at Bourbon and Burgers

9 Jackson St, Batavia

Bourbon display at bourbon and burgers.


Test your knowledge in categories like music trivia or history and compete for prizes.  With a huge selection of bourbon and specialty burgers on the menu, your tastebuds will be watering.  

Join the fun at Bourbon and Burgers!  


27.  Wednesday Night Trivia Eli Fish Brewing Company

109 Main St, Batavia 

Comfortable seating area at eli fish company.


Wednesday nights are perfect for craft beer, tacos, and trivia at Eli Fish Company.

Assemble your own team, or make some new friends as you compete to win prizes as you share your trivia knowledge.

Where to Stay:  Batavia, NY Hotels


Hotel at Batavia Downs

8319 Park Rd, Batavia

Couple enjoying room service wearing plush robes.

For a luxury stay, the Hotel at Batavia Downs is your stop.  Imagine watching live horse racing from the comfort of your king suite balcony.  You can book that room, and relax in a plush bathrobe while waiting for room service to deliver your dinner. 

Now that’s luxury!


Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites Batavia

4333 Federal Dr, Batavia

Outside front view fairfield inn hotel.

Travelers agree, the Fairfield by Marriott is a great place to stay.  With excellent service and clean rooms, you can expect a relaxing stay.

Daily breakfast is included for all room guests.


 Red Roof Inn Batavia

8204 Park Rd, Batavia

Two boys in a hotel room playing.

For families traveling with pets, Red Roof Inn has you covered.  Enjoy a comfortable overnight stay and breakfast in the morning.


Red Roof Inn has free WiFi and a fitness room.

Where to eat:  Batavia, NY Restaurants

Fortune’s Italian Steakhouse:

8315 Park Rd, Batavia (Located inside Batavia Downs Gaming)

From char-grilled steaks to mouthwatering lasagna, the menu is impressive.  Fortune’s is a great option for date night or before a big event at Batavia Downs.  They even have a children’s menu.   

Bourbon and Burger: 

9 Jackson St, Batavia

With over 30 burgers and a few “not a burger” menu options, surely you can find something.  Plus, their fries are delicious!

Jerry Arena’s Pizzeria:

8360 Lewiston Rd

Sometimes we just want a pepperoni pizza to take back to our room.  When we found this place, we hit the jackpot.  Let us know what you think! 

Conclusion: Things To Do In Batavia, NY


Summing it up, whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to the area, Batavia offers a diverse array of exciting things to do. From exploring the hidden wonders of the Ellicott Trail to the thrilling ghost hunts of Historic Batavia, this charming town has something special for everyone.

As you venture through Batavia, you’ll discover a treasure trove of activities to enjoy – from exhilarating Nerf wars for teenagers to beautiful green spaces suitable for the whole family. The town’s rich mix of history, outdoor adventures, and family-friendly attractions promises an unforgettable experience for all.

So, why wait? Embrace the magic of Batavia and immerse yourself in the fun-filled activities this town has to offer. Whether you’re a local looking for weekend entertainment or a visitor seeking new adventures, there’s no shortage of enjoyable experiences to be had. Grab your bike, gather your friends and family, and embark on an exciting journey of exploration through the many wonderful things to do in Batavia!

Upstate New York is a beautiful area, full of waterfalls, gorges, state parks and charming towns.  We do hope you get a chance to visit!


Maureen Wright and Robb Strobridge

The Stromads


The stromads at genesee county speedway.Entrepreneurs, Wanderlusters, Constant travelers, and Full-time RV Nomads since 2016.  We are fueled by life, love, and the pursuit of all things good.  Thanks for joining our journey and we hope to see you down the road!

Big Bend Itinerary Essentials:  Scenic Drives and Breathtaking Hikes 2023

Big Bend Itinerary Essentials:  Scenic Drives and Breathtaking Hikes 2023

Big Bend Itinerary Essentials: Scenic Drives and Breathtaking Hikes 2023

Include scenic drives on a big bend itinerary.

Thestromads. Com contains affiliate links and is a member of the amazon services llc associates program. If you click and use these links we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you!

Planning your Big Bend Itinerary can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time.  With over 1200 square miles of natural beauty to explore, you may be wondering where to start. 

If you are like us, missing a beautiful vista or scenic outlook is non-negotiable.  Although we only had a few days, we covered most of the park.  This article will help you plan your Big Bend itinerary so that you can discover the splendid isolation Big Bend offers.  

As full-time travelers, we never skip an opportunity to visit our National Parks. We’ve made it our mission to visit as many parks as possible, from the iconic Yellowstone to the Everglades.   With curious spirits, we hike trails, marvel at majestic waterfalls, and soak in the tranquility of pristine lakes. From witnessing wildlife in their natural habitats to camping under starlit skies, we’ve experienced so much.  

Robb and I are thrilled to share our insights, tips, and stories with you, so you too can embark on your own incredible Big Bend National Park journey.  

Welcome to Big Bend: A natural wonderland awaits!


Planning Your Big Big Bend Itinerary

How Many Days do you need in Big Bend National Park?

Mountain overlooking a long winding river.

First things first:  Allow Plenty of Time!

While some people have the freedom of an open schedule, others, like us, have time constraints.  In other words, we must carve out time to discover these natural wonderlands.

We suggest planning at least 3-days to explore inside Big Bend.  Even for non-hikers, like us, the park is fascinating.  Because this park is so vast, even scenic drives require a several-hour time commitment. 

In order to maximize our time, we divided Big Bend into three driving segments, each with a short easy hike, some scenic overlooks, and miles of nearly deserted beautiful drives.

For avid and more advanced hikers, you will find Big Bend a paradise of natural spaces.  There are hiking trails for every level of experience. 

Likewise, Big Bend provides visitors with a variety of off-road vehicle adventures.  Many of the unimproved roads require 4WD and high-clearance vehicles. 

Always refer to current advisories and conditions before embarking on your journey.  If you have questions be sure to ask the rangers, they always have the latest information and will definitely provide some detailed insight to help with your experience.

Keep in mind Big Bend National Park is extremely remote with very little cell reception.  Once inside the park, you can easily be hours away from emergency service.

While there are plenty of hikes and off-road opportunities in Big Bend, assessing your physical limits and those of your equipment is imperative. 

Big Bend Itinerary:  Day #1


Panther Junction & Chisos Basin

Panther Junction Visitor Center is worth a quick stop.  Inside you can find out about ranger-led programs, must-do points of interest, and road closures.  You can grab a paper map, browse the bookstore and even take a short walk around Panther Path.

Panther Path  

Panther Path is an easy 50-yard loop that will help you get familiar with the Big Bend terrain.  This informative trail is designed to help us identify the bountiful plant life, desert flowers, and cacti throughout Big Bend National Park. 

This short trip around the visitor center really added to our experience as we were better able to identify the different plants and flora throughout the park. 


Tornillo Flat and Dinosaur Fossil Exhibit

Replica trex dinosaur skull.

Quite literally, the Dinosaur Fossil Exhibit is in the middle of nowhere.  From the Panther Junction Visitor Center, you will travel 26 miles to the tranquil and expansive desert area known as Tornillo Flat.  With its wide-open spaces and sparse vegetation, it offers a sense of peace and serenity. Against the backdrop of the majestic Chisos Mountains, the play of light and shadows creates a mesmerizing sight. 


Although the area may appear barren, Tornillo Flat is teeming with life, including jackrabbits, roadrunners, and reptiles that have adapted to the harsh desert environment. It’s a perfect place for quiet reflection, connecting with nature, and finding solace amidst the beauty of Big Bend.


The Dinosaur Fossil Exhibit is both fascinating and informative. Get up close and personal with a T-Rex replica skull. However, if pressed for time, you won’t be disappointed if you walk off on this stop for a more exciting trail such as Dog Canyon.

Dog Canyon

This is a 4-mile round trip with a moderate hike.  Hiking through a relatively flat area or wash features beautiful views of the desert and Devil’s Den, a narrow slot canyon.


Grapevine Hills Road

Grapevine Hills Road is an unimproved 8-mile road to the Grapevine Hills Trail.   Although 4WD is not required, it is highly suggested.  This road is brutal but doable.  There is a parking lot at the end. 


Grapevine Hills Trail to Balanced Rock

Rocky hiking trail.

Grapevine Hills Trail to Balanced Rock is about a 2 mile round trip.  The first part of the trail is fairly easy however the final part involves crossing steep and rough rock surfaces before reaching Balanced Rock.  

Navigating through a challenging terrain filled with large rocks at dusk is not my idea of a good time.  Knowing my personal capabilities and the limited daylight left, we did not hike the whole trail. 

Looking back, we should have stopped here and hiked out to Balanced Rock first before going out to Tornillo Flats.  


Chisos Basin Road

Winding mountain road high canyon walls.

From most points inside the park, the Chisos Mountains are a focal point.  Against the flat desert landscape, the Chisos are mysterious and captivating.

The scenic drive to the top of the Chisos Basin delivers on all points.  As the sun begins to set, the mountains change from browns, reds, and greens to magnificent golden hues.  


Window View Trail

Trail with the sunset casting a golden glow on the mountains.

For a non-strenuous walk, the level path from the lodge parking lot leads out to a spectacular view of the window trail.  There are benches to enjoy the sunset and everchanging scenery.  


Window Trail

Sunset through a mountain window.

This trail is a moderate 5.6-mile round trip to a scenic vista view for those that enjoy a little more challenging hike. Although the hike starts with a downhill slope, the 900-foot elevation change can be challenging on the return uphill trek. 


More Chisos Basin Hikes for the Adventurous:


The Lost Mine Trail: Moderate 4.8-mile round trip.

South Rim: Strenuous 14-mile round trip.

Boot Canyon Trail:  Strenuous 23-mile round trip. 


Take added precautions while in the Chisos Basin.  This is bear country, stay alert and never approach wildlife.  Just a few weeks before we arrived, the Chisos Basin area was closed due to heightened bear activity.  


Stay Bear Aware!


 Big Bend Itinerary:  Day #2


Rio Grande Village and Boquillas Canyon

A quick stop at the Rio Grande Village may be necessary.  Inside there are restrooms, showers, and a convenience store.  Additionally, this region encompasses two of the four campgrounds in the Big Bend National Park.

If this is your first stop of the day, we suggest checking for ranger-led programs, as well as alerts or closures in the area you are exploring.


Rio Grande Village Nature Trail

The boardwalk leads to an easy .75-mile round trip walk through the wetlands.  This is a great place for birdwatching and listening to the sounds of nature.


Boquillas Canyon Hike

Towering canyon walls and river bed.

Boquillas Canyon Hike is a moderate 1.4-mile round trip, which was a highlight of our time in Big Bend.

The trailhead starts at the parking lot and leads up a rocky path to the top of the hill, then down to the river below.  Follow the trail out and along the Rio Grande for amazing canyon views.  The colorful walls tower above you from the floor of the canyon.  

Because this is a popular hike, the trail can get noisy with chatter.  If you prefer quiet and serene hikes, go early in the morning.  Don’t be startled by the “singing Mexican” across the river or the mountain lion prints in the sand.  Both will be there lurking in the shadows.  


Visit Boquillas, Mexico


International ferry to boquillas 1

Did you know you can take the “International Ferry” to Mexico from inside Big Bend National Park?  For $5, the ferry captain will row you across the Rio Grande into Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico.


From the shore, Boquillas is about a mile up the dirt road.  It is easy enough to walk, however, you can ride into town as well.  For an additional fee, you can select, a donkey, a horse, or the back of a pick-up truck to take you to town.  Spend a few hours, shopping at local artisanal shops, eating authentic Mexican dishes, and drinking some locally distilled Sotol.  


Just make sure you make it back across the river before the US Customs offices close for the day.


Hot Springs Historic District 

Well preserve stone bath house at the historic hot springs in big bend.

Visiting the Hot Springs Historic District is like stepping back in time to the year 1909.  Travelers from far and wide made their way to the healing waters of the hot springs.  


J.O. Lankford was in dire need of physical healing from a long bout of malaria.  Once he heard of the natural springs, he and his family made the 12-day journey from Alpine TX, to stake their claim.  


As his health improved, he constructed the Hot Springs District which included bathhouses, a motor court, a post office, and a store.  Some of the rock buildings still stand as well as the remaining palm trees.  The Boquillas Hot Springs are just a short walk and still open to the public.   


Boquillas Hot Springs and Lankford Hot Springs

Boquillas hot spring trail.

If the weather permits and the trail is open, treat yourself to a soak in the geothermal hot springs in Big Bend.  The natural tub is about a ½ mile walk from the parking lot.  Follow the signs and take caution.  The water can reach 105 degrees.  


Enjoy soaking your aches and pains away as the Rio Grande flows beside you.  The beauty of Big Bend and the healing waters are a special combination.


Other area trails:


Hot Springs Canyon Trail: Moderate 6-mile round trip along the Hot Springs Canyon that provides beautiful views of the mountains and river below.


 Big Bend Itinerary: Day #3


Castolon and Santa Elena Canyon


On the far western border of Big Bend is the beautiful Santa Elena Canyon.  The road winds toward the canyon bringing the canyon wall into view.  The scenery is spectacular.

Normally, we suggest stopping at the Visitor Center before exploring or hiking, especially if this is your first day in Big Bend.  Trail closures and advisories are common in National Parks.  However, if you are like us, you’ve already done your homework and are getting a head start on your day.

Santa Elena Canyon Hike

Santa elena canyon towering walls and river.

From the parking lot, walk down the boardwalk path to the river and creek crossing. Even if you don’t plan to hike Santa Elena Canyon, the views are worth the short walk.

The Santa Elena Canyon Hike is a moderate 1.7 mile roundtrip.  To hike into the canyon, you will have to cross the Terlingua Creek bed.   At times, the creek may be impassible, so don’t be disappointed.  

Unfortunately, for us, the creek water was extremely high and we couldn’t cross.  From another crossing point, we watched more seasoned hikers traverse up and across the rocky hill, before making their way to the canyon trail.

Although we like to push our limits, the access to the canyon trail was just too scary and tough for me.  Instead, we explored the area along the river and creek before heading out.


Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Scenic mountain road.

Unless you are an experienced off-road explorer and have a high-clearance vehicle, you will exit Santa Elena Canyon on the same road you came in on, The Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.  

With 30 miles of brilliant colors, mountain walls, and never-ending scenery, this road is not to be missed.  There are several stops with vista outlooks and canyon overlooks along the way.  For hikers, there are a few places of interest as well.


Castolon Visitor Center

The Castolon Historic District holds significant historical value and has been officially recognized by being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This designation highlights the district’s importance in preserving and showcasing the rich heritage of the area. Exploring the Castolon Historic District allows visitors to immerse themselves in the stories and remnants of the past.

In 2019, a fire devastated the Castolon Historic District.  While the efforts to restore the area continue, most of the buildings are closed.  During the winter months, the Visitor Center is open.

The park store is open year-round.  River permits for boat access into Santa Elena Canyon are available here as well.


Tuff Canyon

Tuff canyon overlook into a canyon bed.

With three outlooks, visitors can get a great perspective of the canyon below.  For the energetic, you can take a short walk down to the canyon floor while exploring the canyon walls and rock formations.  

Tuff Canyon is particularly fascinating and a little unnerving.  It resembles a wash area with 100-foot canyon walls.  Although I don’t know why, I just imagine a 60-foot wave rolling in to overtake me.  Too many sci-fi movies, I guess.  

As you make your way back to the main road, check out the Mule Ears Viewpoint, Carousel Mountain, and Sotol Vista.  


Other Area Hikes and Trails

Lower Burro Mesa Pour-off Trail: This 1-mile round trip is an easy hike through gravel drainage ending in a box canyon with a 100ft pour-off.

Mule Ears Spring Trail: A 3.8 Mile round trip moderate hike leading through the foothills of the Chisos Mountains.  

Upper Burro Mesa Trail: This moderate 3.8 mile round trip trail leads to the top of the 100 ft pour-off.  Be prepared to climb down large rocks.  

Chimneys Trail: Another moderate 4.8 round trip hike to the famous Chimneys rock formation and Chimney Arch.  


 Best Time to Visit Big Bend National Park

Desert landscape with brilliant sky and mountains.

Big Bend is best enjoyed when you have a bit of time to explore.  Being aware of weather patterns, increased crowds, and nearby events can help you decide the best time to visit Big Bend National Park.


The best time to visit Big Bend National Park is when the daytime temperatures are warm and the nights are cool.  Hiking and sightseeing are much more enjoyable when the weather is mild.


Big Bend Spring


Springtime in Big Bend is beautiful.  The mountains and desert come alive with bluebonnets, cactus blooms, and desert flowers.  People flock to Big Bend to witness the desert wake up after a long winter’s nap.  However, the crowds can be massive during spring break.


Big Bend Fall


Fall is fantastic in Big Bend. With warm days and cool nights, visitors get the best that Big Bend has to offer.   However, late summer rains can affect the river flow and trail access. 

Crowds will increase during special events such as the annual Terlingua Chili Cook-Off and Dia de Los Muertos-Day of the Dead Celebrations that take place in nearby Terlingua.


Big Bend Winter


Winter attracts tourists to the park due to its mild climate and clear night skies.  Big Bend winter daytime highs often reach 70 degrees while nighttime lows can be below freezing. 

Although snow is rare in Big Bend, the area had record snowfall in 2023, showing us all that weather patterns can turn on a dime.  


Big Bend Summer

Summer months in Big Bend can be brutal.  With daily temperatures reaching triple digits, hiking past mid-morning is highly discouraged. The visitor centers and campgrounds have limited access. 

However, the best time to go to Big Bend is whenever you can.  Just be aware of the nuances of the season you are visiting and your personal limitations.  


How To Get To Big Bend National Park


Where is Big Bend National Park


Outline of texas with major cities and big bend np.


Big Bend National Park is situated in the southwestern part of Texas, near the border with Mexico. It occupies a vast area of approximately 801,163 acres, making it one of the largest national parks in the United States.

The park is nestled within the curve of the Rio Grande, which forms the natural international boundary between the United States and Mexico. The park’s proximity to Mexico lends it a unique cultural and geographical significance.

In terms of neighboring areas, Big Bend is surrounded by vast stretches of desert landscapes and rugged mountains. To the east, you’ll find the city of Marathon, and further northeast is the city of Alpine. To the west, the park borders the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, and the small town of Boquillas del Carmen, which offers a crossing point into Mexico.

There is no public transportation to Big Bend or inside the National Park.  Unlike some of the more popular parks like Zion or Grand Canyon, there are no shuttles or buses for visitors.  Even the most avid hiker would agree, that driving is essential within the park.



  Closest Airports to Big Bend National Park


While Big Bend itself doesn’t have its own airport, there are a few options for flying into the vicinity.

The closest commercial airports to Big Bend National Park are:

  • Midland/Odessa, Texas 235 miles
  • El Paso, Texas 330 miles

Both airports serve most major airlines.  With convenient car rentals nearby, travel to Big Bend National Park is accessible for everyone.  

Remember to allow for travel time to and from the airport when planning your Big Bend Itinerary.


Going to Big Bend and need a rental car?  Consider a Jeep 4×4 or similar vehicle with 4WD.  Although a convertible may be tempting, the hot sun may have you reconsidering your choice.   From sports cars to SUVs, you can find affordable rental vehicles without the hassle.

Click Here For Availablity and Pricing

Where To Stay In Big Bend National Park


Staying overnight or for a few days in Big Bend can be the opportunity of a lifetime.  Lodging inside Big Bend National Park is limited, but there are a few options:


Camping In Big Bend National Park


Camping in Big Bend is a dream come true for many.  The dark skies give way to the most amazing stargazing experience.  However, there are limited options, with few amenities.  Reservations are required.


Rio Grande Village Park:  Located on the eastern end of the park.  Reservations are required.  There are no hookups, but generators are permitted during daylight hours.  Rio Grande RV Park is open all year.  There is an adjoining tent area which is suitable for group camping.


Rio Grande Village RV Park:  Located on the eastern end and operated independently from the National Park Service.  The entire RV park is an asphalt parking lot with full hookups.  It’s not the most luxurious but you are right in the park and surrounded by its beauty.


Cottonwood Campground: Located between Santa Elena Canyon and Castolon Historic District.  There are no hookups and generators are prohibited.  The campground is quiet and remote.  Reservations are required.  Cottonwood Campground closes for the summer May 1-Oct 31.


Chisos Basin Campground:  Located at the top of the Chisos Basin.  These sites are restricted to smaller units under 24 feet.  The Chisos Basin Road is steep, winding, and narrow.  The campground is open all year long with the exception of high bear activity.


There is some backcountry and primitive camping available with a permit.  However, within the park boundaries dispersed camping and boondocking are prohibited.


Big Bend National Park Lodging

Cottage with views of mountains in the background.

Chisos Mountain Lodge:  Located at the top of Chisos Basin Road.  The lodge offers rooms and cottages.  There is also a dining hall and gift shop for your convenience. Chisos Mountain Lodge is the only lodge within the park.


Have you ever considered renting an RV?

Renting an RV offers the ultimate freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace. With an RV, you have the ability to embark on unforgettable adventures, experiencing the beauty of nature while enjoying the comforts of home on wheels. It’s an opportunity to create lasting memories, go off the beaten path, and truly immerse yourself in the wonders of the open road.

We recommend Outdoorsy for reliable and convenient RV Rentals.  

Click Here For Pricing and Availability


Lodging Near Big Bend National Park


Terlingua Ghost Town

Rickety sign displaying

Although staying inside Big Bend is appealing, it is not always easy.  With limited lodging options inside the park, most visitors find a variety of accommodations in the nearby towns.  Terlingua Ghost Town is only a few minutes from the Maverick Junction entrance on the west end of the park.  


The town is fascinating and there is plenty to see and do.  Whether you want to watch the sunset from the Terlingua Cemetery or have dinner in the Starlight Theatre, a detour to Terlingua is worth it.  


Terlingua has plenty of lodging options available from dome tents, to full house rentals.  Enjoy stargazing, amazing sunrises, and sunsets in the dark skies that surround the area.


Glamping, Bubble Tents, and Mirror Domes are just a few unique lodging options near Big Bend.  Relax in comfort while taking in the views and the night sky.  

 Click Here For Pricing and Availability

Terlingua Ranch offers comfort with outstanding views of the night sky.  Cool off with a dip in the pool before heading over to the Bad Rabbit Cafe for music and burgers.

Click Here for Pricing and Availability


Lajitas golf course with mountains in the background.

For luxury accommodations, consider Lajitas Golf Resort.  On-site, you can relax, play a round of golf, or enjoy a meal.  Indulge yourself in a spa treatment after a long day of hiking or sip a cocktail by the pool. 

While in town, take a minute to stop by and meet the Mayor of Lajitas.  He likes a cold beer now and again.


Your luxury accommodations await at Lajitas Golf Resort.

For pricing and availability click here.

 Big Bend State Ranch Park

Long winding desert road into the green mountains in the distance.

To wind up your Big Bend National Park adventure, the drive on the River Road from Lajitas to Presidio is spectacular.  The road is winding and perfect for a motorcycle ride or a leisurely Sunday drive. 


For hikers, there are plenty of pull-offs and short to moderate hikes.  We loved the Hoodoo Trail and Closed Canyon. 

 Is Big Bend Safe?

Sign reads

Relatively speaking, Big Bend is safe to visit as long as you take proper precautions.  The few deaths that have occurred over the years are due to extreme heat and environmental issues.  

Our National Parks are full of natural beauty.  Unlike Disney or curated parks, many of the walkways, trails, and viewing overlooks have no guardrails.  The trails can be steep and uneven.  Know your limits and never hike alone. 

Check with NPS for road closures, trail closure and other alerts before heading out for the day.  

Although the Rio Grande River may look calm, it can be deep and rapid in some areas.  Crossing the river into Mexico is tempting, but illegal except at the Port of Entry.  

Big Bend Safety Tips

What to do if you see a bear or mountain lion safety.

Hydrate:  Bring plenty of water with you, especially if you are hiking the trails.  Plan on 1 liter of water per hiking hour.  Dehydration and heat stroke are the primary causes of death in Big Bend.

Wildlife:  There is an abundance of wildlife in Big Bend’s Chisos Basin. Bears become quite territorial during the mesquite bean season. Javelinas and mountain lions lurk in the canyons and mountains. Meanwhile, snakes, spiders and scorpions can be hiding in plain sight! Stay aware!

Footwear:  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people hike up rocky trails in flip-flops, only to slip and twist an ankle.  Besides the rocks, Big Bend has scorpions, rattlesnakes, and prickly cactus.  Always wear proper hiking footwear.

Souvenirs on the trails:  Sometimes the Mexican vendors and artisans will cross over into Big Bend illegally to sell their wares.  Buying these items only encourages illegal crossings.  Buy from reputable vendors, inside the park stores, or over in the town of Boquillas. 

Unpaved Roads:  If a road has a “high clearance vehicle required” warning, it means it.  Taking a regular passenger car or motorcycle can lead to a miserable and costly situation.  It is not uncommon for tires to blow or vehicles to get stuck.  Since there is no cell service, your only options are to walk or wait for another vehicle.  Don’t take unnecessary chances in the backcountry.


Big Bend Itinerary Essentials Conclusion

Like many of you, Big Bend National Park was a bucket list adventure for us.  The stunning scenery is like no other park we’ve visited. 

Mountains, deserts, canyons, and river views blew us away.  Our only regret was not having more time to spend in the area.  

Planning your Big Bend itinerary should include time relaxing while taking in the raw beauty that nature provides.  The dark skies will give you ample opportunity to stargaze or even catch a falling star. 

With hiking trails, scenic drives, and plenty of wide open spaces, there is something for everyone in Big Bend National Park. 

As you plan your visit to Big Bend National Park, we wish you incredible adventures, breathtaking vistas, and unforgettable experiences in this remarkable natural wonder.

Travel Safe and Adventure Often!

Maureen Wright and Robb Strobridge

The Stromads

Maureen & robb, the stromads.

Entrepreneurs, Wanderlusters, Constant travelers, and Full-time RV Nomads since 2016.  We are fueled by life, love, and the pursuit of all things good.  Thanks for joining our journey and we hope to see you down the road!

Going On Road Trips: 12 Benefits Of The Ultimate Adventure

Going On Road Trips: 12 Benefits Of The Ultimate Adventure

Going on Road Trips: 12 Benefits of the Ultimate Adventure

Going on road trips can be an exhilarating and memorable experience that offers a unique way to explore the world around us.

With over four decades of hitting the road under our belts, Robb and I have refined our road-tripping skills.  As dedicated RVers and passionate travelers, we’ve ventured across all sorts of landscapes, immersed ourselves in diverse societies, and connected with folks from all walks of life.  Through years of experience, we’ve become true experts in the art of traveling the open road.

Through this blog, we will share our knowledge and passion for road trips.  You will see a showcase of how road trips offer not only an unforgettable journey but also have a profound impact on personal growth, relationships, and the environment.

Fasten your seat belts and join us on this journey to discover the incredible benefits of going on road trips!

1.  Going on Road Trips Is Just Plain Fun!

Going on road trips is fun with a car full of women!

 Photo credit: Andrea Eckman

Road trips are an incredibly fun and exciting way to explore new destinations or revisit familiar ones.

The freedom of the open road, the joy of singing along to your favorite tunes, the delight of snacking on tasty treats, and the laughter that comes from playing car games with your travel companions all contribute to the unique and memorable experience of going on a road trip. It’s a chance to break free from the ordinary, create cherished memories, and bond with your fellow travelers in a way that’s unlike any other.

Go ahead! Pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready for an adventure filled with music, snacks, laughter, and unforgettable moments!


Road trips can be a lot more fun with the right automobile.  Consider the terrain, weather, and companions.  Sometimes it’s fun to rent a car that is more geared to your needs, like a Jeep or a sporty convertible.

Check out these options

2.  Adventure and Exploration

Going on road trips offers an incredible opportunity for adventure and exploration. Whether it’s a spontaneous weekend getaway or a planned cross-country journey, hitting the open road will allow you the freedom to discover new places and create unforgettable memories.

These unique experiences can provide a deeper understanding of a destination and leave us with truly meaningful travel experiences.

Discovering New Places and Hidden Gems 

Going on road trips and driving on the beach.

Road trips provide the perfect opportunity to explore the unknown and uncover hidden gems that may not be on the typical tourist route.  You can venture off the conventional path and discover lesser-known destinations that are not easily accessible by other means of transportation. 

From charming small towns to breathtaking natural landscapes, road trips allow for the thrill of discovery and the chance to create unique beautiful memories.

Road Trips = Adventure

Likewise, unplanned adventures and spontaneous detours are some of the most exciting aspects of hitting the open road. 

Discovering an unexpected hiking trail, stumbling upon a hidden beach, or encountering a local festival or event can add a sense of excitement and novelty to your trip.  Road trips often present opportunities for impromptu adventures or a quick photo opportunity at a quirky roadside attraction. 

These unique opportunities can create lasting memories and add impulsive moments to the journey.

Opportunities for Off-the-Beaten-Path Experiences


When going on road trips you can find unique places like the prada store in marfa, tx.

Road trips can take you to remote and secluded areas, allowing you to connect with nature, experience untouched landscapes, and indulge in authentic local experiences that are off the tourist radar.

You’ll be captivated by the hidden gems that you can uncover during an exciting road trip to off-the-beaten-path destinations.


RVing takes road tripping to a whole new level.   Consider hitting the open road in a luxury RV or a cozy camper van.  For a fraction of what one costs to own, you can RENT an RV and discover those hidden gems you’ve been dreaming of finding.

  Click to see what’s available

3.  Stress Relief and Relaxation


Going on road trips can be a refreshing escape from the daily stresses of life, offering a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday routines.

The freedom of the open road, with its endless possibilities and scenic routes, can provide a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation like no other. The thrill of exploring new destinations, unwinding amidst nature, and immersing in the journey itself can help reduce stress and increase relaxation, making road trips a perfect getaway for rejuvenating the mind and body.

Escaping from Daily Routine and Responsibilities

Room service breakfast is a great way to relax and unwind.

Going on a road trip provides a much-needed break from the monotony of daily routine and responsibilities. It allows you to break free from the usual work, household chores, and other obligations, giving you a chance to relax and unwind. 

The change of scenery and pace can provide a sense of escapism, helping to alleviate stress and promote relaxation.

Disconnecting from Technology and Enjoying the Present Moment

Guy is drumming on top of his car while watching the waves.

Road trips offer a unique opportunity to disconnect from technology and fully embrace the present moment.

Being away from screens, emails, and social media allows you to be fully present in your surroundings, engage in meaningful conversations with travel companions, and truly experience the beauty of the destinations you’re exploring. 

The absence of the usual stressors and responsibilities allows you to focus on self-care and prioritize relaxation. You can engage in mindfulness practices, meditate, or simply unwind and rejuvenate in the tranquility of nature during your road trip.

A digital detox can help reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and enhance the overall road trip experience.

Connecting with Nature and Enjoying Outdoor Activities 

Road trips often involve spending time in nature and engaging in outdoor activities. 

Whether it’s camping in the wilderness, hiking in national parks, or swimming in lakes, being surrounded by nature can have numerous benefits for mental well-being. Connecting with nature has been shown to reduce stress, improve moods, and promote a sense of calm and relaxation. 

Outdoor activities also provide an opportunity for physical exercise, which further contributes to health and wellness.


Couple disconnecting from technology relaxing at a scenic overlook.

Reducing Stress and Promoting Mental Well-Being

Going on road trips offers a change of scenery, a break from routine, and an opportunity to relax, rejuvenate, and recharge mentally, making them a great way to promote mental well-being.

 4. Increases Bonding and Builds Relationships


Cruising along the open road can be an excellent way to bond with friends, family, or loved ones.  An uncomfortable silence can be quickly turned into a karaoke sing-along when a favorite tune comes on the radio.  Likewise, funny road signs or a scenic overlook can provide a nice segway into a conversation.

Some studies even show that people prefer having deep conversations in the car.  Whether it be the predetermined amount of time in the car or the inability to make eye contact, people talk easier on the drive. 

Quality Time with Friends, Family, or Loved Ones

Going on road trips provides a unique opportunity to spend quality time with friends, family, or loved ones. Road trips offer uninterrupted time together, away from the distractions of everyday life, where you can engage in meaningful conversations, share stories, and create lasting memories. 

Whether it’s a romantic getaway with a partner, a fun-filled trip with friends, or a family adventure, road trips can strengthen bonds and deepen relationships by sharing experiences and creating cherished moments.

Deepening Relationships and Creating Lasting Memories

Group of friends posing in front of a waterfall.


Road trips can create lifelong memories and forge deeper connections with those you are traveling with. The shared experiences of exploring new places, embarking on adventures, and overcoming challenges on the road can create strong emotional bonds and lasting memories.

These memories become a part of your personal history and can be cherished for years to come, strengthening the relationships with your fellow travelers and creating unique stories that can be reminisced upon in the future.

A few years ago we drove the Ring Road in Iceland.  One of our stops was the 196-foot Seljalandsfoss Waterfall that you can walk behind.  I was really scared to climb this slippery rocky path, but my friends were there for me. Even though it was challenging, I found the courage to take each step with their support.

Their belief in me meant everything, and with that last “push”  I made it.  I was so proud of myself, and I couldn’t have done it without my amazing friends cheering me on. It was an incredible feeling of accomplishment, and it’s moments like these that make me grateful for my awesome friends who push me to conquer my fears and achieve new heights.

Shared Experiences and Mutual Learning 

Road trips often involve shared experiences that can help us grow.  Exploring new destinations, trying different cuisines, and experiencing different cultures together can lead to a greater understanding and appreciation of each other’s perspectives and differences. 

Road trips can also provide opportunities for learning new skills, such as navigation, camping, or outdoor survival, which can enhance teamwork and collaboration among travel companions.

Before GPS and navigation systems, we had to learn how to read a paper map.  Once unfolded, the map was massive and rather difficult to handle.  Most times, the paper would wear on the folds making the map unreadable.  Navigation was a welcomed skill!


With Apps like RV Life Trip Wizard and RoadTrippers, navigation just got easier.  Plan custom road trips in minutes.  Save time and money on the road makes sense!

Click here to find out more about RV Life Trip Wizard

Click here to find out more about Roadtrippers

Strengthening Communication and Teamwork Skills: 

Two teenage boys pretending to go on a road trip in a pretend car.

Road trips require effective communication and teamwork to plan, navigate, and make decisions together. From mapping out routes to coordinating stops and accommodations, road trips necessitate clear communication and collaborative decision-making. 

Allowing everyone to participate in the planning and execution brings the group together.

Engaging in such activities can improve communication skills, build trust, and enhance teamwork among travel companions. Road trips also provide opportunities to overcome challenges and solve problems as a team, which can strengthen relationships and create a sense of camaraderie among travelers.

5.  Freedom and Independence


Going on road trips offers the freedom of travel with a sense of independence and empowerment, the ability to make your own decisions, and the opportunity to push boundaries and step out of your safe haven.

It’s a chance to embark on a journey of self-discovery and create memorable experiences that will last a lifetime.

Flexibility To Travel on Your Own Terms 

Wine glasses with a vineyard in the background.

Many people agree that road-tripping allows flexibility to travel on your terms. Having the freedom to create your itinerary, choose your destinations, and determine the pace of your trip allows for impromptu adventures.

In other words, you have the freedom to follow your curiosity and interests.  With no rigid schedules or fixed plans to follow you can adapt your plans based on your mood, interests, and the recommendations of locals or fellow travelers.


  6.  Nostalgia and Sentimental Value

Road trips are not just about the physical journey, but also about the sentimental value they create.

From nostalgic memories that last a lifetime to building sentimental value in the journey and destinations.  Reminiscing about road trip experiences can bring back cherished memories and evoke a sense of joy.

Road trips become more than just travel; they become treasured experiences that hold emotional value and contribute to the story of one’s life.

Creating Nostalgic Memories That Last a Lifetime 

Recreating a nostalgic moment in front of a replica train.

This image captures a cherished childhood memory from a road trip taken by Robb

Going on road trips often involves embarking on adventures, exploring new places, and experiencing unique moments. 

These experiences create cherished memories that can last a lifetime. From the thrill of driving along winding roads to witnessing breathtaking landscapes, road trips are filled with moments that evoke nostalgia. 

These memories become part of one’s personal history, and reminiscing about them in the future can bring joy and warmth, creating lasting nostalgic value.

Building Sentimental Value in the Journey and the Destinations


Road trips are not just about the destinations, but also about the journey itself. 

The bond formed with fellow travelers, the conversations shared, the spontaneous detours taken, and the unexpected discoveries made along the way all contribute to the sentimental value of a road trip.

Each destination visited becomes a part of the trip’s story and holds meaningful value, as it becomes a backdrop for creating cherished memories. The journey and the destinations visited during a road trip become infused with emotions, making the experience even more special. 

Reminiscing about Road Trip Experiences in the Future


Road trips often create memories that are cherished and recounted in the future. 

Reminiscing about the road trip experiences can bring back the joy and excitement of the journey. Looking back on the photos, recalling the conversations, and reliving the adventures can transport one back to those moments and elicit fond memories.

Road trips become a source of stories and anecdotes that are shared with friends and family, keeping the memories alive and treasured for years to come.

Establishing a Sense of Belonging and Attachment to the Places Visited

Going on road trips connects you to beautiful places.

Big Sur left an imprint on my heart.  

Exploring new destinations, immersing in local culture, and connecting with nature can create a sense of attachment to the places visited during the road trip. These places become more than just dots on a map; they become special and meaningful, as they hold the memories of the road trip experiences.


7.  Going on Road Trips Is Cost-Effective

Going on road trips is cost-effective, making them an ideal travel option for those who desire to manage their travel expenses without compromising the quality of the experience.

     Going on Road Trips Can Be More Cost-Effective 

    In and out burger bag and red wine is a budget-friendly meal on a road trip.

    Road trips can be a cost-effective mode of travel for budget-conscious travelers. By driving your own vehicle, you have control over transportation costs, which can be more affordable compared to flights or other forms of transportation. 

    Packing a cooler of snacks reduces the need to eat out for every meal.   Likewise, cooking your own meals can help you save on dining expenses, making road trips a budget-friendly way to explore different destinations.

    Road trips also allow you to choose affordable dining options, such as local eateries or street food stalls, where you can sample local cuisines without breaking the bank. 

    Flexibility To Choose Budget-Friendly Accommodations

    Stay in the infamous clown motel when going on a road trip

    Road trips provide the flexibility to choose budget-friendly accommodations, such as campsites, hostels, or budget motels.

    You can opt for more affordable lodging options without compromising on comfort or safety. Road trips also allow you to choose accommodations based on your preferences and budget, whether it’s staying in a rustic cabin in the woods or a cozy bed and breakfast in a small town. 

    This flexibility in accommodation choices can help you manage your travel expenses and stay within your budget while on the road.

    9.  Easier to Adapt to Unexpected Situations

    Road trips offer the flexibility and spontaneity to change plans, embrace new experiences, and adapt to unexpected situations. They provide opportunities to develop resilience, adaptability, and the ability to go with the flow, which can be valuable life skills applicable beyond the road trip experience.

    Changing Plans on a Whim and Adapting to Surprising Turns  

    Going on road trips offers the freedom to change plans on a whim and adapt to surprising turns. Whether it’s taking a detour to explore an unplanned attraction or adjusting the route due to unforeseen circumstances, road trips allow for unplanned adventures.

    The ability to change plans and adapt to unexpected situations is not always pleasant or easy.  However, changing directions in your automobile is surely easier and more comfortable than waiting for “the next available flight”.

    During our road trip travels, we have had to turn abruptly to tend to a family member who fell ill, detour around a freak snowstorm and completely reroute our trip due to the wildfires.  Although these situations were unfortunate, we were able to pivot quickly and do what needed to be done.


    Embracing Uncertainty and Learning To Go with the Flow

    When going on road trips be flexible in case of detours and road closings.

    Road trips often come with uncertainties and unexpected situations. 

    From changing weather conditions to unforeseen road closures, road trips can throw surprises along the way. Embracing uncertainty and learning to go with the flow can be valuable life skills developed through road trips.

    Developing Resilience and Adaptability

    Man changing a flat tire.

    Going on road trips can help in developing resilience and adaptability.   Honestly, I wish I kept count of all the tires we have blown on road trips.  One time in particular, we lost three trailer tires in two days.  

    Road trips may not always go as planned, and challenges may arise along the way. Learning to deal with unexpected situations, adapting to changes, and overcoming challenges can help build resilience and adaptability.

    Road trips provide opportunities to develop these important life skills, as we learn to navigate through uncertainties, make quick decisions, and find solutions on the go. These skills can be beneficial in various aspects of life, helping us become more resilient and adaptable individuals.

    10.  Opens Opportunities for Photography and Creativity

    Road trips can be a treasure trove of opportunities for photography and creativity, offering stunning landscapes to capture, enhancing photography skills, creating memories, and inspiring others through shared experiences. It’s a chance to document the journey, unleash creativity, and share the joy of exploration through the lens of a camera.

    Capturing Stunning Landscapes and Unique Moments

    2 black bears in the forest.

    Going on road trips provides ample opportunities for photography enthusiasts to capture breathtaking landscapes, picturesque vistas, and unique moments along the journey. 

    From stunning sunsets over mountain ranges to picturesque coastal vistas, road trips offer a plethora of subjects to capture and immortalize through the lens of a camera. The diverse scenery and changing landscapes during a road trip can fuel creativity and provide endless inspiration for capturing stunning photographs.

    As long-time road trippers, we have taken some of the most beautiful scenic routes.  From catching a glimpse of a momma bear and her cubs crossing a road to the colorful sunsets across West Texas, we continue to be mesmerized by nature.  What’s even more fun, is when you accidentally come up on a weird art installation in the middle of nowhere. 

    Certainly, you can’t get these views from an airplane!

    Art installation going on road trips through amarillo, tx

    Amarillo, TX is known for its weird and quirky art installations

    Enhancing Photography Skills and Creativity

    Road trips offer a chance to enhance photography skills and creativity. With different lighting conditions, unique perspectives, and varying subject matters, road trips can challenge and improve photography skills.

    Experimenting with composition, exposure, and post-processing can result in unique and creative photographs. Road trips also provide an opportunity to try new photography techniques and expand creative horizons, leading to personal growth and development as a photographer.

    Creating Memories and Documenting the Journey

    Happy family posing in front ot lake making memories.

    Road trips can be a great way to create lasting memories and document the journey. 

    From candid shots of fellow travelers to capturing the joy of discovering new places, road trips offer a chance to capture the essence of the journey through photographs. These photographs can serve as cherished mementos, reminding us of the adventures, stories, and experiences that unfolded during the road trip, and preserving memories that can be cherished for years to come.

    Sharing Experiences and Inspiring Others

    Going on road trips can be a source of inspiration for others when we share our experiences through photographs. Capturing and sharing unique moments, stunning landscapes, and the stories behind them can inspire others to embark on their own road trip adventures. 

    11.  Road Tripping Allows Time for Self-Reflection and Personal Growth


    Going on road trips provides ample opportunities for self-reflection and building self-confidence.  By stepping out of a familiar bubble, and pushing personal limits, road-tripping experiences can lead to increased self-awareness while contributing to overall personal growth and development.


    Time for Introspection and Self-Awareness

    Going on road trips helps to clear your head.

    Photo Credit: Grandpa Jack’s Photo Albums

    Going on road trips provides an opportunity for introspection and self-awareness. 

    Being away from the usual daily routine and distractions allows for quiet moments of reflection, where one can delve deep into their thoughts, emotions, and self-perception. Road trips offer a conducive environment for self-reflection, allowing individuals to gain insight into their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

    This self-awareness can lead to a better understanding of oneself and promote personal growth.

    Reflecting on Life Goals, Aspirations, and Priorities

    Road trips also offer a chance to reflect on life goals, aspirations, and priorities. 

    Being on the open road, surrounded by nature and new experiences, can help put things into perspective. It allows for reflection on what truly matters in life, what goals and aspirations one wants to pursue, and what priorities are important. Road trips can be a time for evaluating one’s life choices, reevaluating goals, and setting new intentions for the future.


    Stepping out of Comfort Zone and Pushing Personal Limits

    Motorcycle riders ready to go on a road trip.Photo Credit: Andrea Eckman

    Going on road trips often involves stepping out of comfort zones and pushing personal limits. It may involve trying new activities, exploring unfamiliar territories, or facing unexpected challenges.

    Stepping out of one’s familiar surroundings and embracing new experiences can stimulate growth and development. Road trips provide opportunities to challenge oneself, overcome fears, and expand horizons, leading to increased self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

    Building Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

    Road trips can also contribute to building self-confidence and self-esteem. 

    Successfully navigating through unknown territories, making decisions on the go, and overcoming challenges can boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Road trips allow individuals to develop a sense of competence and accomplishment as they overcome obstacles and adapt to changing situations.

    An increase in self-confidence and self-esteem can carry over to other areas of life, positively impacting one’s overall sense of self-worth. 


    12.  Road Trips Benefit Environmental Consciousness

    Going on road trips can help people become more aware and concerned about the environment, which includes things like nature, animals, and natural resources.


    Reducing Carbon Footprint Compared to Air Travel

    Electric car charging at a charging station.

    Going on road trips can be a more environmentally conscious choice compared to air travel, as it often involves lower carbon emissions.

    Road trips allow for more efficient packing, shared transportation with fellow travelers, and the ability to choose eco-friendly vehicles.  By reducing the reliance on air travel, road trips can contribute to minimizing the carbon footprint and promoting sustainable travel practices.

    Appreciating the Beauty of Nature and Promoting Eco-Tourism

    Road trips provide an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature up close and personal. 

    Driving through scenic landscapes, exploring national parks, and immersing in natural wonders can stimulate a sense of awe and appreciation for the environment.

    By promoting eco-tourism through road trips, travelers can support local communities and conservation efforts, contributing to the protection of natural resources and the preservation of fragile ecosystems.

    Creating Awareness about Environmental Conservation

    Posted signs to beware of mountain lions and bears. 

    Going on road trips can be a way to create awareness about environmental conservation. 

    Travelers can educate themselves about local ecosystems, wildlife, and environmental issues, and share their knowledge with others. Engaging in responsible travel practices, such as packing out trash, following Leave No Trace principles, and respecting local traditions and customs, can help spread awareness about the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability.

    Practicing Sustainable Travel Habits 

    Road trips provide an opportunity to practice sustainable travel habits. 

    This can include using reusable water bottles, avoiding single-use plastic, conserving energy and water, and supporting local businesses and communities. By being mindful of our impact on the environment during road trips and adopting sustainable travel habits, we can minimize our ecological footprint and contribute to a more environmentally conscious way of traveling.

    Going on Road Trips Conclusion

    As you can see, going on road trips can offer a multitude of benefits for travelers. From the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace, to the opportunities for learning, personal growth, and self-reflection, road trips provide a unique and enriching travel experience.

    The chance to connect with nature, appreciate diverse landscapes, and promote eco-tourism, along with the opportunities for inspiration and creativity, make road trips a perfect choice for those seeking adventure and exploration. 

    Whether it’s a leisurely drive through picturesque covered bridges or an adventurous journey along scenic highways, road trips offer a chance to break away from routine, create lasting memories, and embrace the joy of discovery.

    So, buckle up, travel safely, and let the open road lead you to new adventures. Get out of the hotel, book a car, and hit the road for an unforgettable journey.

    Here’s to safe travels and frequent adventures!

    The stromads, a nomadic couple spend much of their time going on road trips.

    38 Super Fun Things To Do In Puerto Penasco 2023

    38 Super Fun Things To Do In Puerto Penasco 2023

    38 Super Fun Things To Do In Puerto Penasco

    Thestromads. Com contains affiliate links and is a member of the amazon services llc associates program. If you click and use these links we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you!

    So you are wondering if there are things to do in Puerto Penasco, right?  There sure are!  In fact, there are plenty of things to do in Puerto Penasco.  So get ready, pack your bags, and let’s head down to Puerto Penasco, Arizona’s beach. 

     1.  Explore Rocky Point Beaches

     Best thing to do explore rocky point beaches.

    Topping our list of things to do in Puerto Penasco is enjoy the Rocky Point Beaches.  Relax and enjoy the warm sun, soft sand, and soothing waves at any one of these beaches.  Although beach access is limited at some of the beaches, there are no private beaches in Puerto Penasco.

    With 55 miles of coastline, it is easy to find the Rocky Point Beaches.  The Sea of Cortez is especially inviting with its calm clear water.  Water temperatures hang around the mid 70’s, with winter being a tad cooler and summer just a bit warmer.

    In other words, you can soak up the sun and play in the water, as long as you don’t trespass through someone’s yard.

    2.  Go Tidepooling and Sea Shell Hunting

     Exploring tide pools is a fun activity in puerto penasco


    As the name implies,  Puerto Penasco which means Rocky Point, features coastline that is both rocky and sandy.  The tides in Puerto Penasco are quite dramatic.  The tide changes trap water in the rocks and create natural pools filled with treasures.

    For shell hunters, it is not unusual to find small octopus, fascinating shells, and sand dollars in the tide pools.  As the tide comes back in, these mysterious creatures and rocky coastlines are once again hidden. 

    3.  Celebrate Sunset

     Spectacular sunset on the rocky point beaches.

    The sunset on the Rocky Point Beaches is spectacular.  We were amazed watching the sun drop into the sea, the skies can turn brilliant with shades of orange, yellow, red, and purple.  Sometimes the sky appears to be on fire!

    Whether you are having dinner at one of the fantastic Rocky Point rooftop restaurants, strolling on the Malecon, or chilling with the neighbors at your campsite, take a quiet minute and enjoy this sunset celebration.

    4.  Treat Yourself To A Massage On The Beach

     Massage table on the beach.

    What could be more relaxing than the sound of the waves, a slight breeze, and a massage?

    Often, well-practiced masseuses will walk up the beach with their table in hand.  Flag them down and let them do their magic.  Prices are inexpensive and you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

    Beach massages are more common near the resort areas.  If you don’t see one on your beach, certainly call any one of the spas and ask about their beach massage specials. 

    Watersports Activities in Puerto Penasco


    When it comes to watersports, Rocky Point beaches have you covered.  The water is calm, clear, and shallow making your time on the water fun and accessible.  Try some of these thrilling adventures. 

    5.  The Banana Boat Experience

     Ride the banana boat in puerto penasco.

    The Banana Boat experience can be fun for the whole family.  Put on your life vest, hop on this enormous rubber tube, and hold on tight.  As the banana boat is pulled through the waves and the water, you will have the ride of a lifetime.  Because the banana boat holds up to 8 adults and children, everyone can have fun. 

    6.  Rent a Jet Ski

    Be the driver when you rent a jet ski.  Jump the waves and fulfill your need for speed on the water.  The fabulous ocean spray ocean will cool you down on a hot day.  Clear your mind as you take to the Sea of Cortez on a jet ski rental. 

    7.  Kayak and Paddleboard

     Man paddle boarding in puerto penasco.

    The calm waters of the Rocky Point beaches are perfect for kayaks and paddleboards.  Use your own or rent one from a nearby tour company.  Paddling at sunset can be beautiful as the sky changes from bright blue to shades of orange.  You might be fortunate enough to have some dolphin friends join you!

    8.  Parasail Above The Sea of Cortez

     Things to do in puerto penasco parasailing.

    Take to the sky in this thrilling ride high above the Rocky Point Beaches.  The tour guide straps you safely into the harness and gives the signal.  Then like magic, you are in the air, looking down at the blue water.  What an incredible rush for thrill seekers. 

    9.  Sharpen Your Skills at Kite Surfing

    Kite surfing is popular on the Rocky Point Beaches.  The ocean breeze and shallow waters make perfect conditions for gliding along the surf.  This extreme sport is fun and exhilarating.

    10.  Go Snorkeling in Puerto Penasco

     Things to do in puerto penasco, go snorkeling.

    Snorkeling in Puerto Penasco is one of the best things to do because the water is crystal clear and still making conditions perfect for everyone.  Tours and equipment are available through your resort concierge or by arrangement through a reputable tour company.  For those that want to venture out on your own, be mindful of the tide charts and be careful you don’t get stranded on a sandbar.

    For those of you that have been snorkeling in Puerto Penasco, what did you see?

    11.  Learn to Scuba Dive

    Below the ocean’s surface is a whole new world waiting for you to explore.  See the sea life in their native habit, and be wowed at the brilliant colors unseen by many.  Refresher courses are available and if your are new to the underwater world you can take lessons to earn your diving certificate.

    The Sea of Cortez is fascinating and waiting for you! 

    Take A Boat Tour in Puerto Penasco

     Man on a boat looking out over the blue green water of puerto penasco.

    What better way to enjoy the sights of the area than on one of the many boat tours in Puerto Penasco? Are you looking for an afternoon of fun with friends, a family-friendly experience, or a romantic date with your squeeze?  There are plenty of choices when it comes to boat tours in Puerto Penasco! 

    12.  Party on a Booze Cruise

    The Booze Cruise is a favorite amongst the party crowd.  Free-flowing beer and margaritas will get any party started.  Dance the afternoon away to the sounds of a live band onboard and have fun.  There are “no bad days here”! 

    13.  Sail the Sea on a Pirate Cruise

    Aye Matey!  The Pirate Cruise is ready for your arrival.  Take to the high seas with the swashbuckling crew of El Rey Del Mar, the King of the Seas.  Once you set sail your crew will treat you to dinner, drinks, fun, and games plus a spectacular Puerto Penasco sunset.  Don’t worry, you won’t have to walk the plank. 

    14.  Relax on a Catamaran Cruise

    What better way to sail the Sea of Cortex than on a luxury catamaran cruise?  We love the smooth sailing and quiet cutting through the water on a catamaran.  The experienced crew will serve you as you sit back and relax on the calm waters.  Enjoy an afternoon or evening sunset cruise with dancing and margaritas.

    15.  Go Whale Watching

    Whale watching is our favorite boat tour in Puerto Penasco.  Seeing these majestic creatures up close and personal is always a wonder.  Whales migrate to the warmer waters of the Sea of Cortez to give birth.  From January through March, it is common to see Momma and Baby swimming side by side.  If you are lucky you may see a humpback whale breach the water with a spectacular splash.  Be patient and keep your eyes peeled for the spouts.

    Remember to bring your binoculars and sunscreen!

     16. Take a Date on a Sunset Cruise

     Relaxing sunset cruise in puerto penasco.

    Undeniably, a sunset cruise on the Sea of Cortez is extraordinary.  The changing colors of the sky and the gorgeous blue waters make a sunset cruise super special.  We love sunset cruises.  An evening cruise is the perfect setting for a romantic night out.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sea air and changing scenery with the one you love. 

    Go Fishing in Puerto Penasco

    Everybody has a fish story, right?  Well if you don’t, it is high time you get one.  Surely you can come up with your own tall tale fishing in Puerto Penasco.  

    Whether your story involves the “one that got away” or “your first catch” we want to hear it!  

    17. Try Deep Sea Fishing in Puerto Penasco

    Deep sea fishing charters are available for morning, afternoon, and overnight excursions.  Imagine how you will feel bringing in tonight’s fresh catch of Sea Bass, Large Grouper, or Red Snapper.  Your crew of experts will help you with rods, reels, and bait, plus they will keep your catch on ice until you arrive back at the docks and even clean it for you.   

    18.  Go Surf Fishing

    From the docks, piers, or the beach, fishing is easy in Puerto Penasco.  Fishermen often catch halibut, snapper, and triggerfish. 

    Don’t go home empty-handed if the big one gets away. 

    Stop at any of the local fish markets near the marina and pick up the fresh of the day.  Our favorite is Jessy’s Fish Market for fresh shrimp, cleaned and deveined!  Be sure to say Hi to Jessy Jr. and tell him the Stromads sent you! 

    More Puerto Penasco Activities

    19. Adventure on an ATV Tour

     Atv ride into the dunes and bluffs at rocky point.

    Ride the dunes or adventure out to the rocky cliffs on an ATV rental in Puerto Penasco.  You can venture off by yourself or with a group tour.  Better yet, do both and have some fun in the sun.

    For more experienced riders, Competition Hill is a 300-foot sand hill with a 30-degree slope located near Cholla Bay.  Note the beaches near Sandy Beach and Los Conchas as well as the main streets of Puerto Penasco are off-limits to riders.  You will get ticketed.  Exercise caution and safety at all times.  Riding is prohibited at night.

    20.  Saddle up and Go Horseback Riding

     Things to do in puerto penasco horseback riding on the beach.

    Experienced horsemen will guide you through the shopping districts of the Malecon and Calle 13 or take a sunset ride along the shoreline.  If a desert ride is your desire, your guides will take you to the foothills of the Sonoran Desert for a peaceful afternoon ride.

    21.  Soar the Sky in an Ultralight Flight

    Take to the sky like a bird in an ultralight flight.  As the glider takes off from the beach, you will have a bird’s eye view of the Rocky Point Beaches below.  Don’t worry, the ultralight flight is piloted by a professional so you can take pictures and videos of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

    22.  Play Pickleball

     Play pickleball at dukes in puerto penasco.


    Pickleball is all the rave and super fun, plus it is good exercise.  Grab your paddle and join one of the leagues or just swat the ball around with your friends.  Dukes Restaurant has a vibrant pickle community and indoor court.  You will also find that many of the RV Campgrounds have courts as well.

    23.  Play 18 Holes on Puerto Penasco Golf Courses

     Play a round of golf in puerto penasco.

    Be sure to pack your golf clubs when traveling to Puerto Penasco.  Professionals and amateurs have a choice of three 18-hole courses.

    Vidanta Golf Puerto Penasco

    Designed by Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus II, this beauty has stunning views out to the Sea of Cortez.  This Championship golf course is located at the Mayan Palace Resort.  Onsite you will find a pro shop, as well as a locker room lounge, bar, and convenient bag storage.

    The Links at Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort

    Located across from the las Palomas Resort is the most popular golf course in Puerto Penasco.  This 18-hole course was designed by Forrest Richards and Arthur Jack Synder.  Las Palomas Golf Resort has a putting green as well as a Pro shop and snack bar.  

    The Club at Islas Del Mar Golf Course

    The Club at Islas Del Mar Golf Course is both scenic and challenging for players.  Jack Nicklaus designed this challenging 18-hole course.  Although it technically has only 9 holes, the course has an additional 9 tee boxes giving the golfer a different view.  The Sea of Cortez and adjacent lagoons make this course challenging in several spots.  Both visitors and locals find this course one of their favorites.

    Casa Blanca Golf and Villas

    For fun, Casa Blanca Golf and Villas have a Mini Golf course suitable for families and fun.  With 18 holes to play, everyone staying at the Casa Blanca Villas can enjoy an afternoon of golf in Puerto Penasco.

    24.  Go Shopping in Puerto Penasco


    Shopping for colorful calaveras in puerto penasco.


    Shopping in Puerto Penasco is easy.  Being a highly residential area, grocery stores are easily accessible within minutes of the resorts, hotels, and RV Campgrounds.  Puerto Penasco has plenty of convenience stores and souvenir shops as well.

    Rodeo Drive Puerto Penasco  

    Enjoy a relaxing day shopping at Rodeo Drive Puerto Penasco.  Strolling through the artisan shops you are sure to find that perfect treasure to take home with you.  Dishes, tchotchkes, and clothing shops line the street.  When you finish shopping, be sure to stop in Mariachis & Tequila Restaurant for a fresh margarita and some house-made guacamole.


    Walmart Puerto Penasco has most everything you would find at any Walmart SuperCenter:  Clothing, food, cosmetics, and household goods.  As you might expect, there is also a Sam’s Club in the same parking lot.  Remember though, this is Mexico and some things are a little different or not available like they are in the US.


    Shopping on the Puerto Peñasco Malecon is a fun way to spend the afternoon.  The curious will find jewelry, clothing, pharmaceuticals, and even fresh fish.  Besides the stores, there are plenty of kiosks and vendors, especially late in the day near sunset.  

    Super Ley

    Super Ley is one of the grocery stores in Puerto Penasco.  They have an amazing bakery filled with freshly made bread and goodies.


    The frutteria’s are small convenience stores selling fresh fruit and meats.  Their small size and locations all over town make them easier than the Walmart or Super Ley when you need to grab something fresh for dinner. 

    25.   Visit Puerto Peñasco Malecon

     Walking the malecon in puerto penasco is a fun thing to do.

    The Puerto Peñasco Malecon is similar to a boardwalk in a beach town.  Whether you walk, ride your bike, or sit and take in the sunset, Puerto Peñasco Malecon is one of the top things to do while in the area.

    On the weekends it is common to hear the battle of the Mariachi Bands along the Malecon.  Families and couples dance the night away to the sounds of trumpets, drums, and guitars.

    Come down early to enjoy a cocktail and sunset before heading off to one of the amazing nearby restaurants.

    26.  Experience The Puerto Penasco Nightlife

     Risque nightlife in puerto penasco.

    When the sun goes down, the Puerto Penasco Nightlife lights up the city.  Many of the bars have live music and dancing.  The vibrant party scene can be fun especially if you find a band you enjoy.

    Tekila Bar, Boo Bar, Leo’s Bar and El Tapeo are our favorites.  You can always find attentive bartenders and good conversation.

    The area on Calle 13 is rowdy and crowded, especially on weekends and late in the evening.   You can find a more risque experience, topless bars, and prostitution is prevalent.  As with any city, stay aware! 

    27.  Dine at the Best Restaurants in Puerto Penasco

     Sunset views on rooftop lounge in puerto penasco.

    Puerto Penasco has wonderful restaurants with fantastic service.  Fresh fish and sunset views mixed with a little mariachi band make for a wonderful meal.

    La Casa Del Capitan

    High above the city, enjoy a rooftop dining experience.  The food is fantastic and the view is captivating.

    Moo Restaurant

    Enjoy dinner on the Malecon at Moo.  The low twinkle lights of white and red, give Moo a romantic feel.  Enjoy a steak, tableside caesar salad, and the Monte Blanc for dessert. 

     Things To Do In Puerto Penasco: Specialty Tours

    There are even more things to do in Puerto Penasco.  When you’ve relaxed enough on the beach, explore the outer side of Puerto Penasco.  Specialty tours are fun, informative, and friendly.

    What’s your pleasure? 

    28.  Tour Isla San Jorge Bird Island Puerto Penasco

     Sea lions on isla st jorge.

    Isla San Jorge also known as Bird Island is located about 30 miles off the coast of Puerto Penasco.  This wildlife paradise is home to sea lions, dolphins, and exotic birds.  Charters are available to take you to Bird Island where you can play, kayak, snorkel, and scuba dive.

    Visiting Bird Island is a favorite activity in Puerto Penasco, especially if you enjoy wildlife in its natural habitat.

    29.  Hike El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve

    In 2013 El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The area was formed by lava flowing underground creating craters throughout the landscape.  Although dormant, there are nine volcanic craters.  The landscape resembles that of the moon’s surface.  

    Please be respectful when visiting this area.  Archeologists continue to study this peculiar landscape as it is mostly untouched and undeveloped. 

    30.  CEDO: Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans

    Studying the diverse ecosystems of Puerto Penasco is fascinating.  As the name indicates, both the desert and the ocean ecosystems are being studied here.  You are welcome to join any of the educational tours the CEDO: Intercultural Center for Study of Deserts and Ocean offers:

    • Pinacate & Gran Desierto de Altar
    • Estuary Excursions
    • Estuary Kayaking
    • Tidepooling
    • Oyster Farm
    • Great Desert of Altar’s Sea of Sand

    31.   Take a Day Trip to Oyster Farm

     Oysters fresh from the sea.

    Oysters so fresh, they slept in the sea!  Visit the Oyster Farms and learn about sustainable oyster farming in Puerto Penasco.  Stick around for some tasty offerings.  If you’ve never had oysters fresh out of the sea, you are in for a sweet treat.

    32.  Learn about Tequila at the Tequila Factory

     Xscapers enjoying tequila tasting in puerto penasco.

    Manny’s Tequila Factory is a must-stop while visiting Puerto Penasco.  You will be treated to several Tequila expressions and mixed cocktails as your hosts explain the tequila-making process.  Their witty personalities and expert storytelling will keep you entertained.  We enjoyed taking a group of friends to Manny’s for some fun times!

    While you are in Puerto Penasco, try some Bacanora, The Best Kept Secret of the Sonoran Desert.

    33.  Visit The Seashell Museum

    For over 20 years, curator Naomi Black has been collecting seashells.  Visit Naomi at her Seashell Museum, and be awed by her collection.  She is part collector, artist entrepreneur, and mermaid.   Be sure to stop in the gift store for some unique souvenirs.

    More Things to do in Rocky Point:  A Guide to Rocky Point Events and Festivals

     El camaronero statue in puerto penasco.

     Are you still looking for more things to do in Rocky Point?  How about a Festival or Special Event?

    34.  Sample Local Cuisine at The Seafood Festival

    By far, one of the tastiest events we have attended.  Local restaurants showcase special dishes for locals and visitors.  Come for the food, stay for the party.  Dance, laugh, eat, and drink on the Plaza del Cameron.  Look for the Seafood Festival in mid-February. 

    35.  Dance and Sing at Roger Kline’s Circus Mexicus

    What started off as a rooftop party has boomed its way into a 4-day concert event each June.  Join musical talent Roger Kline and The Peacemakers along with a stellar lineup for Circus Mexicus!

    36.  Party Like a Rock Start During Spring Break

    March is known for Spring Break in Puerto Penasco.  Grab your bag and let’s hit the beaches.  Because Puerto Penasco is only a few hours from Phoenix and Tucson, this location makes it a perfect place for college kids to come.  The legal drinking age is only 18, so the crowd is young and rowdy, especially downtown.

    Of course, you can still find some peaceful areas like the Mayan Resort or Cholla Bay area.  Whatever you choose, pack a swimsuit and sunscreen.  The water is perfect and the sun is hot! 

    37.  Hear The Thunder at The Rocky Point Motorcycle Rally

    November is the month to join motorcycle enthusiasts for some fun in the sun.  Events at Rocky Point Motorcycle Rally include a bike parade, Charity Poker Run, and one heck of a party.  You don’t have to be a biker to join the fun!

    38.  Feel The Adrenaline at Southern Arizona Desert Racing

    SADR is desert racing at its best!  Watch ATV, Quad, Moto, and Buggy racing through the desert.  Come early and check out Pre Race festivities.  Stay late for the afterparty.

    Be sure to check out the details for Southern Arizona Racing.  With four big weekends of racing, you won’t want to miss any of the action. 

    Where to Stay in Puerto Penasco 

     Grand Mayan Puerto Penasco

    Beach view from pool in mayan palace resort.

    For luxury and solitude, The Grand Mayan Puerto Penasco is the place for you.  Onsite entertainment, fabulous restaurants, bars, and in-room dining will make you feel like royalty.  Relax in the spa, pool, or even on the beach.  You can even play a round of golf if that’s your fancy.  The breakfast we had while touring there was so delicious!

    You can book your stay right now! 

    Hotels in Puerto Penasco

    With plenty of hotels in Puerto Penasco, you only need to choose a date.  For fun in the sun, easy beach access, and restaurant options check out these fantastic hotels.

    Puerto Penasco Vrbo

    Sometimes it’s more comfortable to vacation in a private residence.  Quiet dinners on the patio sound relaxing.  Imagine how nice it will be, to walk out your door and step onto the beach.  A Puerto Penasco Vrbo could be the option for you.

    RV Parks in Puerto Penasco

     Renegade verona beachfront camping in puerto penasco.

    With quite a few RV Parks in Puerto Penasco, these are our recommendations:

    Concha del Mar:  Located just a few minutes from Calle 13 and the Malecon, Concha del Mar is convenient.  This RV park is strictly beachfront boondocking.  Although there are no RV hookups, there is a dump station and fresh water available.  The bathhouse and laundry are exceptionally clean.  The views are outstanding.  With 24-hour security and gated access, Concha del Mar is our top spot for beach camping.  Our stay there was fantastic.

    Playa Bonita RV Park: Conveniently located just minutes away from shopping and dining, Playa Bonita RV Park is a favorite for beachfront camping.  The full hookups, onsite social lounge, and jacuzzi are a bonus for guests.  The park has 24-hour security, gated access, and an unbelievable sunset. 

    Let’s Wrap Up The Things To Do In

    Puerto Penasco

     Couple standing on beach with blue water behind them.

    Puerto Penasco is a wonderful town in Mexico.  We enjoyed everything this city has to offer from the amazing sunsets to the great restaurants, shopping and music.

    The driving ease and proximity of the Greater Phoenix Metro area make this a popular destination for Arizona locals.  We would definitely recommend a trip to Rocky Point for everyone.

    With so many things to do in Puerto Penasco, what’s stopping you?

    Pack a bag and your passport.  Let’s head for the border.   If you hurry, you can catch the sunset.

    Thanks for reading!

    Travel Safe and Adventure Often….

    Stunning Rocky Point Beaches: 2023 Guide

    Stunning Rocky Point Beaches: 2023 Guide

    Stunning Rocky Point Beaches:  2023 Guide


    The Rocky Point Beaches are no secret to the people in the southwest.  With 55 miles of diverse coastline, it is easy to understand why Rocky Point Beaches are so popular.

    While Rocky Point or Puerto Penasco lies in the Sonoran Desert, the western border is literally The Sea of Cortez.  The calm clear waters and soft sand are inviting to visitors and locals throughout the year.

    Relax and enjoy the warm sun, soft sand, and soothing waves at any one of these stunning Rocky Point beaches.


    Which Rocky Point beach will you visit?


    Pelican Beach

    Pelican Beach sits at the far northern end of Puerto Penasco in the Cholla Bay community.  During low tide, the shore becomes a resting place for flocks of brown pelicans.  A hearty buffet of crabs, clams, and shrimp keeps the pelicans happy.   Locals too enjoy tide pools, swimming, and water sports in Pelican Beach.  Parking can be difficult for visitors, which makes Pelican Beach a favorite with locals.

    Arch doorway leading to beach.


    Sandy Beach:

    Just south of Pelican Beach sits Sandy Beach, home to watersports and off-road racing fun.

    From horseback riding on the beach to kite surfing, you can find something fun to do.  You can rent jet skis or take a banana boat adventure from the Sandy Beach area.  Of course, the calm water and soft sand are inviting if you want to relax.

    High-rise resorts such as the Sonoran Sea Resort and Bella Sirena are perfect for a weekend getaway or a family vacation.   Nearby, Wrecked on the Reef offers food, music, and a seriously good time.  For campers, there is an adjoining RV Park.

    Across the road from the resorts are the sand dunes.  How do you feel about renting an ATV and playing in the sandbox?

    Robb and I scheduled a guided tour on ATVs, that took us up on the rocky bluffs overlooking the ocean.  The view from above the beach is outstanding and it can only be reached by ORV.  Be aware though, the rocks and cliffs are quite dangerous.

    Off Road Racing is popular here in Sandy Beach.  Hill climbs are especially exciting to watch and participate in if you have the right equipment.  In any event, wear goggles and a neckerchief to protect yourself from the blowing sand.

     Sand dunes at rocky point beaches.


    Playa Hermosa / Playa Bonita:

    Stretching from Sandy Beach to the edge of town is Playa Hermosa and Playa Bonita.  The soft sand and gentle waves make this beach perfect for a morning walk or a sunset celebration.

    Seasonal RVers enjoy beachfront camping at its best on Playa Bonita.  Between the gorgeous views and affordable prices, it is understandable.

    Along the beach, you can find tasty restaurants, tiki bars, and even a beach massage.  Calle 13 is within walking distance with beach access near the Penasco del Sol Hotel and Conference Center.

    Sunset is our favorite time of the day on Playa Bonita.  Watching the sky turn from sunshine yellow to cotton candy pink and blue is beautiful.  However, when the sky turns blood red and black with layers of ripples, look out, it is mesmerizing.

    Long stretch of white sandy beach.

    Mirador Beach

    Along the southern side of Puerto Penasco, is Mirador Beach.  Mirador Beach is close to downtown and popular beach bars, like Manny’s Beach Bar.

    Spring Breakers flock to Mirador Beach during February and March.  The vibe here at Mirador Beach is party-central and a lot of fun.

    Like the other quieter beaches, the water is calm and the sand is soft.  So grab your floaties and jump in!  the water is fine!

    Dinosaur on rocky point beaches.


    Las Conchas Beach:

    Las Conchas is one of Puerto Penasco’s finest stretches of beach.  With 6 miles of pristine sand and shallow waters, you can feel relaxed and set apart from the hustle of daily life.

    Las Conchas is a private community, where you will find full-time residents as well as beach house rentals.  The quiet neighborhood and limited public beach access allow residents privacy and a feeling of seclusion.

    Remember, all Puerto Penasco Beaches are public.  However, please don’t trespass through private property to access them.  Park in designated areas and not in private driveways or resort parking lots.

    Quiet stretch of  sandy beach in rocky point.


    La Playa Jolla and Playa Encanto:

    Located 15 minutes outside of town, just south of Estero Morua, are La Playa Jolla and Playa Encanto.

    Here, you can feel as though you are on your own private island.  Kayak, jet ski, or just soak up the sun here on one of Puerto Penasco’s quiet beaches.

    Estero Morua is known for its tidal fluctuations, so be sure to check on the tides before venturing into this area.  Low tide can stick you on a sandbar for hours.

    If seashell hunting is your hobby, you will be rewarded with fascinating treasures.  For star gazers, the night sky is perfect, as there isn’t much ambient light in the area.

    La Playa Jolla Beach and Playa Encanto are perfect places for a romantic beach day or night.


    Playa Dorado and Playa Mirimar:

    Continuing south is the less populated stretch of beaches, Playa Dorado and Playa Mirimar. This area is about 30 minutes away from downtown Puerto Penasco.  Although there are plans to develop residential and commercial properties here, it seems like more of a ghost town.

    Since the area is remote and quiet, beachfront rental properties are popular with those visitors wanting to “get away from it all”.   For the few residents and curious explorers, these beaches are perfect.

    Housing construction near quiet puerto penasco beaches.

    The Mayan Palace Beach:

    Just 45 minutes south of downtown Puerto Penasco is the Mayan Palace Resort.  This super luxurious resort is home to a 2-mile stretch of pristine beachfront.  Although you don’t need to be a guest at Mayan Palace to access the beach, you will wish you were.

    Relax on the soft sand, enjoy the calm waters or take a nap in the warm sun.

    There are no bad days here.

    Beach view from pool in mayan palace resort.

    The Mayan Palace Beach:

    Just 45 minutes south of downtown Puerto Penasco is the Mayan Palace Resort.  This super luxurious resort is home to a 2-mile stretch of pristine beachfront.  Although you don’t need to be a guest at Mayan Palace to access the beach, you will wish you were.

    Relax on the soft sand, enjoy the calm waters or take a nap in the warm sun.

    There are no bad days here.


    Rocky beachfront and blue ocean.


    Water Temperature in Puerto Penasco


    Although the average winter water temperature in Puerto Penasco is only 61 F, it is not unusual to see people in the water wading and even swimming.

    While the Summer sun heats the water to a tepid 83 F, the Fall water temperatures in Puerto Penasco range around a comfortable 77 F.

    Grab a towel and jump in the water!


    Tidepools and Sea Shells


    As the name implies, Puerto Penasco or Rocky Point, you can find a rocky coastline as well.  As the tides change, water is trapped in the rocks creating natural pools.

    For shell hunters, it is not unusual to find a small octopus, fascinating shells, and sand dollars in the tide pools.  As the tide comes back in, these mysterious creatures and rocky coastlines will be hidden once again.

    Tide pools on puerto penasco beaches.

    Tide Charts Are IMPORTANT


    The tides in Puerto Penasco are quite dramatic.  The fluctuation can sometimes be up to 24 feet.  Because the beaches have such a gentle slope, the water line can recede pretty far.  It is not unusual to see swimmers way out in only knee-deep water.

    Cholla Bay, aka Tucson Beach, provides a prime example of these crazy tides.   Low tide makes the beach a perfect place for families to play, as you can park right up to the water’s edge.

    A few years ago, during the “spring” high tide, the area quickly flooded leaving a few dozen cars submerged.

    Several months later, Tropical Storm Rosa hit the area destroying some of the surrounding streets.  Barricades were placed to prevent visitors from parking along the beach now.




    The sunset on the Rocky Point Beaches is spectacular.  As you watch the sun drop into the sea, the sky can turn brilliant with shades of orange, yellow, red, and purple.  Sometimes the sky appears to be on fire!

    It’s no wonder why Rocky Point Beaches are a favorite snowbird location for RVers, retirees, and even spring breakers.


    Colorful dramatic sunset on the rocky point beaches.


    Rocky Point Beaches Conclusion


    Although beach access is limited at some of these beaches, there are no private beaches in Puerto Penasco.  In other words, you can soak up the sun and play in the water, as long as you don’t trespass through someone’s yard.

    Each of the Rocky Point Beaches brings a unique experience to both locals and visitors.  With beachfront home rentals, fabulous resorts, and RV Campgrounds there are plenty of lodging options.

    After a day on the beach Puerto Penasco offers plenty of things to do from a stroll down the Malecon to a relaxing dinner there are many possibilities.

    Grab a towel, or beach chair and slap on some sunscreen.  The Rocky Point beaches are waiting for you!

    Travel Safe and Adventure Often!

    Happy couple standing on a rocky point beach.


    Rocky Point Mexico RV Parks: Ultimate Guide 2023

    Rocky Point Mexico RV Parks: Ultimate Guide 2023

    Rocky Point Mexico RV Parks: Ultimate Guide 2023

    Thestromads. Com contains affiliate links and is a member of the amazon services llc associates program. If you click and use these links we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you!

    Before you set off across the border to go RVing in Mexico, you will want to check out our 2023 Guide to Rocky Point Mexico RV Parks.

    If you are looking to RV in Mexico in a beautiful place near the water or on the beach with amazing sunsets Puerto Penasco may be just the place for you.  It sure was for us we loved living in our RV in Puerto Penasco.  

    Rocky Point and Puerto Penasco are the same place and will be used interchangeably throughout this article.

    With little information available to first-time visitors of Rocky Point, we understand your concerns when it comes to RVing to Mexico.  There are plenty of obstacles to overcome when planning international travel, like logistics and paperwork.  

    We were super concerned with crossing the border and driving our 40 ft. Renegade Super C and toad in Mexico.  The first time we visited Puerto Penasco, we chose to join the Xscapers Convergence.  Going with a group eased our mind and now we feel comfortable enough to go on our own.    

    So to save you time and help eliminate frustration, this article lists the most popular RV Parks in Rocky Point Mexico.  We will also address some important travel information about crossing the border and suggest some things to do in Rocky Point.

    So let’s go!

    ‘Rocky Point Mexico RV Parks


    Sunset at rocky point rv park.


    Playa de Oro:

    Calle Mariano Matamoros s/n,El Mirador, 83550 Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico

    This large RV park offers well-defined RV spaces, full hookups, and beachfront sites.  The lot is gravel and level with 24-hour security.

    With private beach access and a clean clear swimming pool to choose from, your only decision will be which one today?

    Playa de Oro has a lounge on-site as well as a grill for guest use.  Right next door is Pitaya Bar which is nice for Happy Hour and a quick bite to eat.


    San Rafael RV Park

    83554, Calle Mariano Matamoros, Benito Juárez, Puerto Peñasco, Son., Mexico

    This small RV park has beachfront views with beach access just a few steps away.  San Rafael RV Park is quiet and offers discounts to seniors.

    Pitaya Bar is just next door making your dinner plans a little easier. 


    Captain Ron’s RV Resort

    Av. José María Morelos y Pavón, Benito Juárez, 83554 Puerto Peñasco, Son., Mexico

    Captain Ron’s RV Resort caters to long-term and permanent residents.  Tenants are community aware and help with maintaining security.

    The sites are full hookups with an on-site laundry facility, fire pit, and picnic area. The beach is a quick 10-minute walk while a convenience store, pharmacy, and full-service restaurant are only around the corner.


    The Boulders RV Park:

    C. Manuel Arista, Benito Juárez, 83554 Puerto Peñasco, Son., Mexico

    The Boulders RV Park is only 2 blocks from the beach access.  Full hookups, a gated entrance, and a quiet residential area make this a nice park for those not wanting beachfront accommodations.

    Pharmacy, convenience stores, and restaurants are just around the corner.


    Playa Bonita:

    Paseo Balbao final, Playa Hermosa, 83550 Puerto Peñasco, Son., Mexico

    At Playa Bonita, you can experience beachfront camping at its best.

    Full- hookups, private beach access, clean restrooms with showers, and an onsite laundry facility makes this Rocky Point RV Park super desirable.

    As an added bonus, there is a jacuzzi tub for guests.  Campers offer plenty of good reviews based on cleanliness, location, and fun activities such as potluck dinners and games. Plus, there is a fantastic restaurant, Puesta Del Sol, within walking distance.


    Concha del Mar:

    C. Aquiles Serdán, Bella Vista, 83553 Puerto Peñasco, Son., Mexico

    Concha del Mar offers dry camping only.

    Beachfront sites are available as well as private beach access.  24-hour security helps keep the park quiet and safe.  There is a self-service dump station for convenience.  Otherwise, for a small fee, the staff will dump and fill your rig with fresh water.

    Restaurants and pharmacies are within walking distance.  There is a pickleball court, clean restrooms, and laundry on site.

    Robb and I enjoyed our stay at Concha del Mar.  Although the campground is basically a hard sand lot, the sites were spacious enough that you didn’t hear your neighbor’s personal “business”.

    The sunsets were spectacular as you could watch the big orange ball sizzle when touching the water.  The changing colors in the sky were nature’s artistry changing every night.  Edgar, the owner, is very accommodating and pleasant.

    We will be back soon!

    Rv parking in concha del mar rv park.


    Sunset RV Park:

    Plutarco Elias Calles and 25 Puerto Peñasco, Sonora C.P. 83550

    Sunset RV Park may be the perfect Rocky Point RV Park for you.  .  The park is small and intimate with 24-hour gated security.   The park is alluring with its large saltwater pool and dog park.

    Although it is not beachfront, it is only a short walk to the beach.  With an onsite restaurant and free hot breakfast, your days will be relaxing.

    No bad days here!


    Whale Hill Storage and RV Park:

    Plutarco Elias Calles and 25 Puerto Peñasco, Sonora C.P. 83550

    Whale Hill is a Small RV park and storage facility.  Some sites have electric hookups.  Free Wifi, water, and sewer are available.

    They also feature recently renovated clean and affordable apartments.


    The Reef RV Park

    Blvd. Paseo de la Duna, Playa Arenos, 83560 Puerto Peñasco, Son., Mexico

    The Reef RV Park is spacious with full hookups, beachfront sites, and a whole lot of fun.  The adjoining restaurant Wrecked on the Reef has delicious food offerings, a full bar, and live music.

    The private beach access and spectacular views make The Reef RV Park highly desirable.    

    Tiki hut seating overlooking blue sea.

    RVing to Mexico FAQ


    Directions to Puerto Penasco – Rocky Point

    Driving an RV to Mexico can seem a little daunting, intimidating, and scary at first.  With proper planning and the right information, we found it to be much easier than we anticipated.

    Puerto Penasco is about 4 hours from Phoenix or Tucson, AZ.  Either way, you will make your way to Rt 85 South toward the town of Ajo and the border crossing at Lukeville, AZ. 

    Timing your entry is extremely important.  Allow yourself enough time to cross and arrive at your designated Rocky Point RV Park during the daylight.  Driving to Puerto Penasco after dark can be dangerous and should be avoided.

    When planning any road trip, we like to use RV Life Trip Wizard.  Not only does RV Life Trip Wizard provide alternative routes, but it also helps to identify campgrounds along the route.  We especially like the flexibility to add our own places of interest or scenic stops.  You can sign up for a free trial or RV Life Trip Wizard right here!


    Mexican Car Insurance for Rocky Point Travelers

    Mexican Car Insurance for Rocky Point Travelers is mandatory.  Be sure that you are covered AND you have proof of coverage BEFORE coming to the Lukeville Border Crossing.

    Contact your US insurance carrier first to verify your auto and RV coverage in Mexico.  Many RV and vehicle policies do not include Mexico in their coverage.  

    As with any service, we shop around for the best rate and coverage.  Mexican car insurance rates vary significantly.  Quotes from insurance providers can take a few days.  Do not wait until the last minute to secure your coverage.  

    You can apply for coverage over the phone, on the company’s website, and in person with some companies in Ajo or Lukeville at the border.  Be sure to make an appointment if applying in person.


    Documents Needed to RV in Mexico

    If you haven’t done so, this is a good time to make copies of all of your documentation.  We keep an electronic file, plus 2 hard copies.  Immigration may require a hard copy, so be prepared. 

    Lukeville Border Crossing

    Lukeville Border Crossing: Preparation

    Preparation is essential for crossing international borders.  Border towns make it easy to store items not permitted in Mexico such as weapons or other such contraband.  

    These items are PROHIBITED in Mexico.  If you are searched and these are found, your items will be confiscated and you may get arrested.  Do not bring these items. 

    • Guns or ammunition. Guns are illegal in Mexico. You will be put in jail for having one.
    • Pepper spray
    • Lethal knives and machetes (anything over 8” is not allowed)
    • Live predator fish
    • Totoaba fish (fresh or frozen)
    • Turtle eggs
    • Poppy seeds or flour of poppy seeds
    • Marijuana, medicinal marijuana, marijuana products, marijuana seeds or spores, or marijuana extracts
    • Opium extract
    • Stamps or prints, displayed for their sale in envelopes or packages, containing illustrations that represent childhood in a degrading, violent, self-destructive, anti-social, or ridiculous way (i.e. Garbage Pail Kids trading cards)
    • Thallium sulfate.
    • Isodrin, Aldrin, Heptachlor, Drinox, Endrin, Mendrin, Nendrin, Hexadrin, or Leptophos insecticides.
    • Heroin
    • Medication prepared with acetyl morphine or its derivatives
    • Loggerhead turtles or turtle skins
    • Goods that have been declared as archaeological monuments by the Secretary of Public Education.
    • Air compression speargun prohibited. Rubber band spearguns are permitted.
    • Seeds, seedlings, and fresh plants. Be especially careful with items such as trail mix and granola bars that often include seeds.
    • Fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, and cereals
    • Dairy products
    • Flour and cornmeal

    Mexico has recently banned the sale of vape pens, cartridges, and e-cigarettes.  It is unclear whether you can bring them into the country.  It is also unclear as to whether or not you can use vapes in public at this time.  Cannabis in any form is illegal in Mexico.  

    You can find current information from US Customs, at the US Embassy mx.usembassy.gov and the Mexican Consulate.

    Lukeville Border Crossing: Inspection


    Crossing the border can definitely create some anxiety.  The first step to reducing anxiety is having all the necessary documents and being sure you are in compliance with what you have in your possession.  It is a good idea to put all purses and valuables away and out of sight.  No loose change or cash laying around.

    The Lukeville Border Crossing is open daily from 6 am-8 pm. 

    Plan accordingly or you will be turned away until the following day.  Weekends and holidays can affect your time at the border.  It’s a good idea to check the calendar and try to avoid busy times.  You can monitor the wait times at the US Customs and Border Protection site.

    Puerto Penasco is still an hour’s drive from Lukeville, so again be sure to give yourself enough time to be in your RV Park before nightfall.

    As you approach the gate be confident and respectful.  You may or may not be stopped and inspected.  Be prepared for either. 

    If stopped for inspection, allow agents to access areas of your car and RV that THEY request to see.  Stand with them, and never leave your rig or vehicle unattended or let anyone be out of sight while they are inspecting.  

    Once you’ve been given the green light, proceed through the inspection area and PARK along the side of the roadway.  Do not block businesses or driveways.  There is no official parking lot, so you may have a long walk.  

    Caravanning with more than 4 other RVs can make finding parking difficult.  If you are traveling with a group, consider staggering your arrival times to alleviate frustration with parking oversized vehicles.


    Lukeville Border Crossing: Immigration


    Everyone in the RV and Car MUST appear in person to the immigration office that you just passed coming through the inspection lane.  

    LOCK your rig & vehicle before walking away.  

    Proceed to the immigration office WITH all of your documents.  The immigration officers will verify your passports and FMM card.  They may ask for vehicle identification and insurance as well.  This is a very simple procedure, but it may take some time if the border is busy.  

    Once you have been stamped and have been given your FFM card, you are ready to proceed to Puerto Penasco!

    Welcome to sonyta banner.

    Driving To Puerto Penasco: Road Conditions


    Driving to Puerto Penasco should be fairly easy, as long as you obey the speed limit signs.  It is very easy to become distracted in a new country.  Stay aware.

    Although the locals will be driving fast and loose, it is far better to stay within the posted limits and keep your eyes on the road.  

    Speed limit signs are posted in kilometers per hour, not miles per hour.  For easier driving, set your speedometer to kilometers if possible.  Speed traps are common, so drive aware.  

    ALTOS means STOP.  Come to a COMPLETE Stop and count to 5, before proceeding with caution.  

    Although the drive to Puerto Penasco is designated as a Trouble-Free or Safe Zone sometimes there are police officers that will pull vehicles over and intimidate drivers into paying exorbitant fines in cash. 

    Please be aware this is not normal or standard procedure. 

    Simply ask the officer to escort you and your RV to the police station where you can pay the magistrate.  Many times this will alleviate a disingenuous situation and you will be permitted to continue with only a warning.

    The main roads can have large potholes, so take caution to avoid them.  You can easily damage a tire or rim.

    Avoid shortcuts and side streets until you have investigated them yourself.  Stick to the main road and follow the direction given by your RV park or host.  

    RV drivers should always know the height and weight of their unit.  Side roads and residential areas may have low-hanging power lines and lights. 

    The train runs through town, making some of the track crossings extremely steep.  You can easily bottom out and get stuck while trying to cross.   

    Severe weather such as rain or high wind can impact driving conditions in Puerto Penasco.  Being a coastal town with subpar drainage solutions, flooding is common.  Many side streets are unpaved and have huge potholes.   Advance with caution.

    Rving in mexico desert road.

     Things to do in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point)


    There are plenty of things to do in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point).  While some want to sit endlessly and watch the quiet surf of the Sea of Cortez, others want to explore the town.  What’s your pleasure?

    Rocky Point Beaches:

    For many,  white sandy beaches, and blue-colored water is alluring.  The clear water and the soft waves are inviting to swimmers and beach walkers.

    Long stretch of quiet beach, soft surf, clear water in puerto penasco, mexico

    However,  Puerto Penasco Beaches are quite diverse.  As the name Rocky Point implies, there are also rocky beaches along the Sea of Cortez perfect for tide pooling and fishing.

    Rocky shoreline in puerto penasco.


    As with any coastal town, there is a constant breeze.  The bright sun keeps the sand warm.

    Water temperature in Puerto Penasco averages about 73 degrees Fahrenheit with lows in the winter of 61 degrees.  As the summer heats up, the water temperature in Rocky Point can reach 83 degrees.

    Whether you are a sunset seeker or wave-runner, Puerto Penasco Beaches are beautiful and friendly.

    One of the biggest advantages of RVing in Mexico is camping on and near the beach.  Imagine walking just a few steps from your RV to the beach!  There are very few places in the United States that have this type of view for the price.

    🏄‍♂️Playa Encanto.

    🏄‍♂️Pelican Beach.

    🏄‍♂️Mirador Beach.

    🏄‍♂️The Mayan Palace Beach.

    🏄‍♂️Las Conchas Beach.

    🏄‍♂️La Playa Jolla Beach


    Bird Island

    Take a lovely boat ride out to Bird Island off the coast of Puerto Penasco.  See for yourself, sea lions, dolphins, and other marine life, in their natural habitat.

    Kayaking, snorkeling, and exploring are fun things to do while visiting Bird Island.  If you are lucky, you might even spot black fin or humpback whales as they migrate to the Sea of Cortez in the winter months.

    Fishing Rocky Point

    When it comes to fishing in Rocky Point, what’s your pleasure:  Surf fishing or deep sea adventures?  How about both/and for an answer?  There are plenty of charters that leave from the Puerto Penasco marina early in the day.  The fresh catch includes sea bass, grouper, flounder, and red snapper.

    For surf fishing, pick a spot on the pier at Wrecked on the Reef, or just pull up your chair and toss a line into the water at your RV park.

    Fishing is a way of life in Puerto Penasco.  Just ask a local.


    Fishing boats in harbor at rocky point.


    Golf Rocky Point Mexico

    Of course, you can golf in Rocky Point.  Enjoy the saltwater breeze, beautiful blue sea, and gorgeous views as you putt around the green at any one of 3 golf courses:

    ⛳️Vidanta Golf Puerto Penasco

    ⛳️The Links at Las Palomas Beach & Golf Resort

    ⛳️The Club at Islas Del Mar Golf Course


       Shopping in Puerto Penasco


      Rodeo Drive Puerto Penasco

      Rodeo Drive is a fun shopping area where you can find souvenirs, Mexican art, and pottery.

      Located on the outskirts of town the dirt streets and run-down buildings may give the appearance of a ghost town.  However, Rodeo Drive Puerto Penasco is definitely inhabited and worth visiting.

      There is also a wonderful restaurant serving up margaritas and guacamole, to hungry shoppers.


      Colorful calaveras line the shops on rodeo drive puerto penasco

      Walmart Puerto Penasco

      Bodega Aurrera is a subsidiary of Walmart in Puerto Penasco.  Staples like paper products, laundry detergent, as well as groceries, are available here.

      Can’t find what you’re looking for at Walmart Puerto Penasco?  Check out the Sam’s Club right next door.

      Still not satisfied?  Puerto Penasco has plenty of grocery stores, fruiterers, and convenience stores.

      Jessy’s Fish Market

      Right here at Jessy’s Fish Market, you can purchase fish so fresh it slept in the sea last night.  Fresh jumbo shrimp cleaned and deveined while you wait.

      The staff is super nice and helpful.  I think you will be shocked at the prices (in a good way that is).

      Jessy's fishmarket, shopping in puerto penasco


       The Malecon Puerto Penasco

      The Malecon is a fun vibrant area with shopping and dining along the sea wall of Puerto Penasco.   Whether you are barhopping or watching the sunset, the Malecon is the place to be.

      On weekends, it is not unusual to see 10-15 Mariachi bands lined up and playing music to well into the wee hours.   You can’t help but dance!


      The malecon is a walkway along the seawall in puerto penasco.


      Best Restaurants in Puerto Penasco   

      Moo Steakhouse and Grille

      Moo Steakhouse and Grille serves up steaks, table-side caesar salad, and decadent desserts.  The dim red lighting and sexy atmosphere make Moo Steakhouse and Grille a romantic option for date night!

      Lighted sign for moo restaurant.

      La  Casa El Capitan

      We can’t say whether the view or the food is better because BOTH are sure to WOW you!  Afternoons on the patio are relaxing as you gaze at the sea with a margarita. And, the beautiful sunset is a perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner. 

      Couple posing with a scenic view of the city below.

      La Argentina Empanadas and More

      Empanadas are our favorite light bite.  Gooey Nutella and strawberries or something a bit more savory like shrimp and cheese might meet your craving.  Why not just pick up a mix of 12 different empanadas and enjoy dinner in your RV tonight?

      Outdoor restaurant serving empandas.

      Churros Penasco

      Churros Penasco is our favorite street food. Hot fresh churros are a perfect way to end the night.  Since they don’t open until 6 pm, there is no reason to rush your dinner!

      Churros street restaurant in puerto penasco


      Bars in Puerto Penasco


      As you might guess, there are plenty of bars in Puerto Penasco.  You can find live bands, DJs, and even a mariachi band throughout the week.  While some have a “spring break vibe”, there are a few bars in Puerto Penasco that have a more laid back quiet feel.


      Leo’s Bar

      The laid-back vibe, great service, and live music make Leos’s a favorite stop.  Being located just a few blocks off The Malecon keeps the rowdy crowd away.  Leo’s is perfect for an afternoon cocktail, happy hour, or date night.

      Restaurant sign, leo's puerto penasco.

      Manny’s Beach Club

      Manny’s is what you would expect in a beach club.  You can enjoy the afternoon in the surf and sand while sipping a margarita.  When the sun goes down, the club comes to life with music and dancing.

      This really is a fun place, it even has swings and a pool.  Manny’s serves food, so you can stay all day!


      Guy on swing in a cabana bar.


      Tekila Bar

      Located near the center of the Malecon, the 2-story Tekila Bar is party central.    Although Tekila Bar has “this is a bad decision” written all over it, it is a fun place.  The crowd can be rowdy, but the bartenders and bouncers have the party under control.

      The second story has an outside patio which makes for a magnificent sunset.


      Bartender holding a bottle of tequila.


      RVing to Mexico does take some coordination and pre-planning.

      With several Rocky Point RV Parks to choose from, you only need to decide what amenities you desire and make a reservation.  The winter months can be warm and inviting, especially if you are leaving the cold weather behind.

      Rocky Point is a fun place to visit, and while you are there, try some Bacanora (Tequila’s lesser-known cousin).


      Couple smiling on beach in rocky point mexico.


      Thank you for reading and enjoy your RV trip to Puerto Penasco!

      On your way to Puerto Penasco if you are traveling through Amarillo, Texas, or Terlingua, Texas to Big Bend, we have some great information to pass along. 

      Travel Safe and Adventure Often!

      Maureen & Robb

      11 Fun Things To Do In Terlingua, 2023

      11 Fun Things To Do In Terlingua, 2023

      11 Fun Things to do in Terlingua, 2023

      Thestromads. Com contains affiliate links and is a member of the amazon services llc associates program. If you click and use these links we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you!

      This article will cover 11 fun things to do in Terlingua as well as the surrounding areas of Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park,  Alpine, Ft. Davis, Lajitas, and Marfa. If you are planning a trip to any of these Texas towns, make sure you read this article!

      So let’s get started exploring Terlingua Texas Ghost Town!

      Rustic welcome to terlingua ghost town sign.

       Things To Do In Terlingua


      1.  Terlingua Trading Company

      The Terlingua Trading Company is a one-stop shop.  Whether you are looking for that perfect souvenir or a bottle of Texas wine, you can find it here.  Robb and I are not much on shopping, but we sure did take advantage of the unique offerings in this store.  Room after room of artwork, jewelry, and clothing will keep you browsing.

      More importantly, you can pick up your self-guided tour map at the register.  The map will help guide you and give you some background about the Town of Terlingua.

      Terlingua trading post a general store with a porch.

      2.  Terlingua Cemetery

      With graves dating back to 1903, this peaceful resting place is one of the MOST photographed cemeteries in the US.  As you visit Terlingua Cemetery, you will understand why it tops our list of fun things to do in Terlingua.

      Many of the graves are covered with rocks giving the cemetery a creative landscape.  There is no rhyme or reason or even a straight path along the plots.

      Some of the graves in Terlingua Cemetery are barely marked with a simple cross, while others are elaborate and festive burial plots.

      While there are about 400 graves in the Terlingua Cemetery, the majority date around 1918-19 when the town was hit by the deadly influenza outbreak.

      The Terlingua Cemetery is both quirky and fascinating.  Take a walk-through, snap some pictures, and pay reverence to the residents.

      Terlingua ghost town cemetery in the desert


      3.  St. Agnes Church

      Established in 1914, St. Agnes Church, formerly known as the Chisos Mission served as a spiritual refuge to the people of Terlingua.  The adobe structure stands today overlooking the town below.

      Come inside, take a seat on the wooden pews, and allow yourself to reflect in this beautiful quiet place

      Restored church in a desert ghost town.

      4.  Starlight Theater Restaurant and Saloon

      You can’t come to Terlingua without stopping at the Starlight Theater Restaurant and Saloon.  Even the locals think the Starlight Theater is one of the best things to do in Terlingua.

      Opened in 1913 as a movie theater for the local miners, the Starlight Theater quickly became “the place”  for traveling musicians, entertainers, and performers.

      Back in the day, a terrible storm blew the off the roof.  That didn’t stop the entertainment.  The Starlight Dinner Theatre continued to host dances, concerts, and productions under the stars.  The roof has since then been replaced, but the rustic interior transports you back to yesteryear.

      This historic venue serves dinner, drinks, and live music seven nights a week.  Although the dinner line starts forming around 430, food and drink service starts promptly at 5 pm.

      Hanging out on the porch is part of the fun.  Local musicians and storytellers will keep you entertained as you wait for your table.

      Visiting this vintage theatre is a fun thing to do in terlingua.

      5.  Chisos Mine

      Founded in 1903 by Howard E. Perry, the Chiso Mine Company was the primary source of work in the area.  As a major producer of quicksilver, the mine flourished.  The industry brought in eager laborers, geologists, and businessmen from far and near.

      When WWII was over, the production of mercury slowed down and the mine finally closed in 1946.

      Although the mine is closed, you can walk out to this elevator shaft to get a feel for what it might have been like to travel down into the earth.

      Deserted mine shaft and elevator in terlingua ghost town.

      6.  Perry School

      As the mining population grew, so did the need for a school.  The original tent school was built in 1909.  Around 1923, the school expanded into a 1 room adobe structure with 53 students.  By 1930, the Perry School expanded into a 4-room stucco schoolhouse, educating 141 students.


      Exploring the ruins of perry school is a fun thing to do in the terlingua ghost town.

      7.  Arts and Artists of Terlingua

      Over the years, Terlingua has become a landing place for passionate artists.  With amazing sunsets, mountain and desert views, and the raw beauty of Western Texas,  it is easy to find inspiration.

      From carefully curated galleries to randomly stacked rocks, art is everywhere in Terlingua.

      Rusted vintage motorcycle in a desert garden.


      8.  Catch The Sunset

      Oh, those Texas skies never disappoint.  Sunset is a highlight of any given day in the Chihuahua Desert.  As the sun sets, the sky often displays hues of pink, blue, purple, and red before turning into an amazing monochrome.

      Often times the colors pop after the sun has disappeared beyond the horizon.  Look up and look behind you!

      Watching the sunset is one of my favorite things to do in Terlingua. 

      Watching a colorful sunset is a fun thing to do in terlingua ghost town cemetery.

      9.  Take An Outdoor Adventure

      There are plenty of outdoor adventures as thing to do in Terlingua and surrounding towns.

      Horseback Riding

      There are several outfitters just a few miles from Terlingua both Study Butte and Lajitas.  The friendly and experienced trail guides will lead you on some beautiful trails through the desert mountains.

       ATV Tour

      What better way to experience the vastness of the Chihuahua Desert than going off-road in an ATV?  Since these trails are not accessible by regular vehicles, you are in for a treat.

      Float Down The Rio Grande

      Take a guided float down the Rio Grande in a canoe, kayak, or raft.  Experienced guides will give you lessons in history and geology along with some fun folklore.

      This is a professional tour and you can book it here.

      A kayak tour on a river with high canyon walls is a fun thing to do in terlingua ghost town.

       Photo Credit:  dave@thehensleys.org

      10.  View The Night Sky

      Both Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park are designated Dark Sky parks.  However, there aren’t many streetlights or other ambient lights in Terlingua.  Look up and be amazed at the night sky.  The constellations, satellites, and even the Milky Way seem close enough to touch.   

      Timing your visit with meteor showers, Full Moons or even the New Moon can bring a different perspective.  Keep an eye out and make a wish on a shooting star!

      11. Visit the Terlingua Jail

      The original Terlingua Jail still stands on the corner by the Starlight Saloon.  With a dirt floor and no creature comforts, it’s hard to imagine doing time here.  

      In case you are looking for restrooms, they are located behind the jail.  Oh, and don’t worry, they are modern.

      A visit to a rustic jail is a fun thing to do in terlingua ghost town.

      Keep Going There’s More! 

      Terlingua Texas Lodging

      There is quite an assortment of lodging choices in Terlingua.  The allure of Terlingua is the dark sky, sunset views, sunrise over the mountains, and of course the desert mountains.  Whether you are hiking Big Bend or counting stars in the Chihuahua desert, you can take comfort in any of these unique Terlingua Texas lodging options.


      Traveling with family or friends may be more comfortable in any of the Terlingua Casitas. Equipped with kitchens, bathrooms and private patios with fire pits allow you to experience the desert surroundings in total comfort and privacy.

      Take a look at these casitas and private homes.  

      Terlingua Ranch:

      Terlingua Ranch offers a little bit of everything.  Whether you stay in a motel room, a cabin, or your own RV, you will agree, the hospitality at Terlingua Ranch is outstanding.

      Book Terlingua Ranch NOW


      Big Bend Holiday Hotel:

      Owned and operated by long-time Terlingua residents Bill Ivey and his family.  It’s easy to recognize the dedication, love, and care they have put into this beautiful restoration.  Big Bend Holiday Hotel gives overnight guests a variety of lodging options.

      Ghost town lodging offers 1, 2, and 3-bedroom suites for visitors.  Luxury accommodations in a rustic ghost town will make from some tall tales.

      The Casitas provide comfort with a little extra room.  These are perfect for porch sitting and watching the sunset.

      Rio Grande Rock House is the Ivey family homestead.  When the family is away, lucky guests can rent this home.   As it offers some of the most scenic views of the Rio Grande, this dwelling may be just the place to get away from it all.  Enjoy the patio, the views, and the quiet.

      Perry Mansion sits high above the town of Terlingua.  With 6 luxury suites, a common great room, a guest kitchen, and a rooftop patio, Perry Mansion provides guests with the right amount of space for alone time or friendly conversation with other guests.

      Hotels and Motels in Terlingua

      El Dorado Hotel: Although it looks rustic and plain on the outside, you will find eclectic decor and comfort inside.

      Chisos Mining Co. Motel:  Take a step back in time and relax.  Try walking or meditating in the huge labyrinth out back.  The sunset and sunrise will amaze you!



      Camping in Terlingua

       Camping in Terlingua is super popular.  The night sky is perfect for stargazers.  Mountain and desert views provide a colorful backdrop for all travelers.  Whether you prefer full hookups or tent camping, you can find something in Terlingua and surrounding towns.

      Vintage Air Streams

      Airstream RVs have a certain allure to them.  Complete with vintage decor and desert scenery, you can reserve a stay in any of these beauties:  Alice, Josephine, Betty, Rosie, or Savannah.  A Retro Rents vintage camper makes for the beginning of a fun ghost town adventure.  

      Book a stay in this cute vintage airstream in terlingua ghost town.

      RV Parks in Terlingua

      • JoMommas RV Park: Very small privately owned RV Park with amazing views.  Book through HIPCamp.
      • Lost Gringo RV Park: What a perfect place to experience solitude and peacefulness.  Full hookup and off-grid camping are available
      • BJ’s RV Park:  Full Hookup and spacious lots available.  Just wait until you see that sunset.
      • RoadRunner Travelers RV Park: Big Rig Friendly, full hookups, and easy to park.  Great views and close to all attractions.

      Glamping Terlingua

      Glamping is tent camping with all the comfort of a luxury hotel room.  Experience the quiet desert surroundings and mysterious shadows as the sun fades away.  Glamping in Terlingua is relaxing with all of the benefits and none of the “hard” work.  Just sit back and relax.

      Basecamp Terlingua has you covered with your glamping adventure.  From fully furnished casitas to tipis, you can enjoy all that Terlingua offers. 

      Terlingua Bubble Tents

      Driving through Terlingua, you might notice some crazy bubble tents or mirror domes.  You can vacation in these!  Imagine laying in bed, cozy and warm, counting stars.  While the structures protect you from the harsh elements of the desert,  the transparent walls allow you a full view of the night sky.

      Click here for Bubble Tents and Mirror Domes availability and pricing!

      Restaurants in Terlingua TX

      • Starlight Dinner Theatre:  Serving dinner nightly with live entertainment.  Queso, brisket, burgers, and steaks will make your mouth water.
      • High Sierra Bar and Grill:  Grab a beer, some Tex-Mex, and a seat on the porch.  Relax to the sounds of local musicians while watching the day fade away.
      • Espresso Y Poco Mas: Wonder in for a latte and a breakfast sandwich.  Or grab a cold brew and some lunch.  Either way, your belly will thank you.

      Frequently Asked Questions About Terlingua 

      Is Terlingua Texas Worth Visiting?

      The million-dollar question “Is Terlingua Texas worth visiting?”  is only something you can answer.  Any location comes down to your personal preference.

      Since you made it this far in the article, I assume you are interested in visiting this quirky weird Texas ghost town.  With its rich history and its funky celebrations, Terlingua could be a new favorite destination.

      Terlingua is the Gateway to Big Bend National Park, and Big Bend Ranch State Park.  The proximity to the parks makes Terlingua worth visiting.  Ample lodging, restaurants, and facilities make this ghost town a fun place to vacation.

      Weather in Terlingua Texas

      As far as the weather, summer is super hot as you might expect in the southwest corner of Texas.  Temperatures can rise to triple digits during the day, while the evenings can be quite cool.  The dramatic temperature changes are something to note when packing for your trip.

      Summer is also the rainy season.  Flash floods are common and can be quite dangerous when exploring the canyons.

      Fall and winter can bring a cold snap to those desert nights. Nighttime temperatures in the low 30s might not be for you, but the days are so comfortable.  The clear skies, brisk nights and moderate weather also bring in the crowds.

      When is the best time to Visit Terlingua?

      The best time to visit Terlingua is when you have time to explore Big Bend, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and surrounding areas. Scenic drives, slot canyon hikes, colorful sunsets, and dark skies are all waiting for you to explore.

      • Fall is the most comfortable time.  The last week of October into the first week of November is especially fun in Terlingua.  The Annual Chilli Cookoff and Dia de Los Muertos-Day of the Dead celebration are popular parties.
      • Winter brings tourists because of the mild climate.
      • Spring brings wildflowers and colorful blooms.
      • Summer is super hot and may not give you the best that Terlingua has to offer.

      The Chihuahua Desert is like no other place.  The raw beauty, fascinating mountains, and desert views are beautiful any time of the year.  Don’t let the crowds or harsh climate prevent you from visiting Terlingua.

      Decide what is best for you, and prepare accordingly!

      Terlingua Chili Cook Off 

      What started as a publicity stunt between 2 Chili Cooks in 1967, is now an international sensation.  The Annual International Terlingua Chili Cook-Off brings thousands of visitors to Terlingua every year to compete, taste, and party in the desert.

      Experience the Best of the Best Chilli, live concerts, and everything else that Terlingua has to offer during the Terlingua Chili Cook-Off.  Viva Terlingua!

      The event is always the first weekend of November.  Save The Date!


      Colorful poster of a couple dancing advertising the terlingua chili.


      Dia de Los Muertos – Day of the Dead Celebration

      November 2, Dia de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead Celebration.  Join the locals as they pay tribute and reverence to those that have passed on through life. This is not a haunted experience, but rather a fun celebration of life.

      Dress in your favorite colors, wear a crown of marigolds and paint your face.  The celebration begins in the Terlingua Cemetery at dusk with the lighting of candles and a bonfire.

      Visitors bring offerings of flowers, photos, trinkets, coins, and prayers to the deceased.  Whatever you do, DO NOT REMOVE ANYTHING FROM THE CEMETERY!


      Cemetery entrance at sunset.


      What does Terlingua mean?

      Folklore and legends continue to debate the origin of Terlingua.  As it translates to “3 tongues” it is unclear as to the reference.  Historians and storytellers offer these explanations:

      • 3 languages are spoken in the area: English, Spanish (Mexican), and Native American
      • 3 languages of the Native Americans that lived in the area: Apache, Comanche, and Shawnee.
      • 3 Forks of the Terlingua Creek which flows 83 miles through the mountains and valleys before emptying into the Rio Grande.

      Where is Terlingua, Texas?

      Terlingua Texas is far from anywhere.  Located in the very western part of Texas, Terlingua sits in the Chihuahua Desert bordering Mexico.

      Does Terlingua have an airport?

      Yes, the Terlingua International Airport is a private airport, servicing residents and visitors to the area.  Currently, there are no commercial flights directly into Terlingua.  The closest airports would be El Paso (299 miles) or Midland (238 miles).  Visiting Terlingua, Big Bend, or any of the surrounding areas is a travel commitment.  Allow yourself ample time to enjoy all that the Chihuahua Desert has to offer.


      Things to do Near Terlingua

      Terlingua is a perfect place to stay for a spell while exploring the rest of the area.  You may be surprised at how much there really is to do in the Chihuahua Desert. Let’s Explore:


      Just a few minutes down the road is the town of Lajitas.  If golfing is your thing, stop into the Lajitas Golf Resort to reserve a Tee Time.  While you are checking out the local digs, be sure to visit the cemetery and of course Mayor Clay Henry III (he likes beer).

      Goat drinking something fizzing from a bottle

      Photo Credit: 12-ft Hedgehog Productions 

      Big Bend National Park

      Terlingua is a short 8 miles from Big Bend National Park.  Big Bend is a must-do for anyone that enjoys wide open spaces, desert views, and mysterious mountain terrain.  Whether you are an adventure seeker, avid hiker, or country road driver, Big Bend has something beautiful to offer.

      Chisos Basin:  This spectacular drive will take you near the top of the Chisos mountains.  It is fascinating to see the landscape, change from stark desert to forestry.  There are several trails to explore, as well as a visitor center.  The sunset on the window trail is beautiful.

      Sunset in the distance between an opening in a mountain range.

      Boquillas Canyon:  This is a 1.5-mile moderate hike to some of the most incredible scenery.  The path takes you up and over a hill, down to the valley and river below.  Finally, you will be met with massive canyon walls towering up to 1200 ft.


      Panoramic view of a river through a canyon,

      Boquillas Mexico:  Cross the Rio Grande in a rowboat and arrive in Mexico.  The town is about a mile up the sandy road.  Of course, you can walk, or indulge in other means of transportation, say a donkey or a horse.  The town is super small so you won’t need a lot of time.  Have some lunch, do some shopping and drink Sotol!

      Man rowing a row boat on a river

       Hot Springs: This desert oasis was the place to go back in the day.  Be prepared to soak in the natural hot springs at Big Bend.  The pool is a short hike from the parking area out to the Rio Grande.  Let the 105-degree water rich in minerals relax and rejuvenate you.  While you are there, check out the ruins and the petroglyphs.

      Unfortunately for us, the Big Bend Hot Springs area was closed when we visited in October 2022.  The heavy summer rains and monsoons filled the hot springs with sediment from the Rio Grande River.  The good news is the park rangers have worked hard to clear the area making it safe for visitors once again.  Always check with the  National Park Service before hitting the trails.

      View of a river with a walkway around the point

      This picture shows a cement pathway that was covered before the storm.

       Santa Elena Canyon:  If the creek is low enough, you can cross it and hike up into the canyon.  The canyon walls will envelop you and the views are outstanding.  The short walk out to the creek is easy enough for just about everyone.  Even for nonhikers, the drive to the canyon is spectacular!

      Santa elena canyon walls reach 1500 feet high.

      Big Bend Ranch State Park:

      Big Bend Ranch State Park is right outside of Terlingua and is a gem worth visiting.  Take the 68-mile drive along River Road through canyons, mountains, and the flat lands of the desert to the town of Presidio.  The scenery will mesmerize you.  River Road is one of our favorite drives because of views like this!

      Scenic two lane road through the mountains

       If you are up for a hike, we recommend two:

      Closed Canyon:  This slot canyon hike is 1.5 miles out and back.  Once down to the canyon floor, the hike is moderate.  However, the deeper into the canyon you go, you may find some boulders to climb over.  Just go as far as you are comfortable as there is no prize at the end.  The canyon walls are massive and mysterious.

      Man hiking into a closed canyon near big bend.

      Hoodoos:  This hike is 1-mile roundtrip and moderate.  Walk the gravel path down into the weird hoodoos formations.  The views of the Rio Grande are outstanding!


      Hoodoo rock formations forming a tower like structure.

      Alpine, TX:

      Terlingua to Alpine is about 84 miles of desert scenery.  Besides wall murals, eateries, and historic culture, there is a quirky hike we encourage you to take.

      A quick climb up Hancock Hill will lead to an old desk.  Take a rest and read the notes left by hikers through the decades.  Leave some advice or goodwill to those that will come later.

      Marfa, TX:

      Terlingua to Marfa is about 72 miles.  Marfa is best known for those creepy lights that show up in the desert after dark.  The viewing area is open to the public all night.

      Be sure you also stop by the Prada Store.  It isn’t open for business, but it does make a great photo opportunity.

      Woman posing in front of a designer store.


      Ft. Davis, TX

      Terlingua to Ft. Davis is about 109 miles of scenic driving.  The McDonald Observatory is a highlight for anyone interested in star gazing.  The observatory often hosts special programs and star-gazing parties.  The Dark Skies are extraordinary, especially when seen through these high-powered telescopes. 

      Things To Do In Terlingua: Conclusion

      Whether you take a few hours or a few days to explore, you can agree that Terlingua, Texas, and its surrounding areas are mysterious.  The scenic drives, desert views, and distant mountains will keep you mesmerized.

      Robb and I hope we have helped you decide that Terlingua is worth visiting. Thank you for reading!

      Travel Safe and Adventure Often,

      Maureen Wright and Robb Strobridge

      The Stromads


      Happy couple posing in front of the starlight dinner theatre. Entrepreneurs, Wanderlusters, Constant travelers, and Full-time RV Nomads since 2016.  We are fueled by life, love, and the pursuit of all things good.  Thanks for joining our journey and we hope to see you down the road!

      The Ultimate Big Sur Road Trip Guide with Map 2023

      The Ultimate Big Sur Road Trip Guide with Map 2023

      The Ultimate Big Sur Road Trip Guide with Map 2023

      Thestromads. Com contains affiliate links and is a member of the amazon services llc associates program. If you click and use these links we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you!

      Going on a Big Sur Road trip?  You are going to want to use this guide and map to create your perfect itinerary!

      Big Sur Road Trip

      Our Big Sur Road Trip will cover 100 miles of the California Coast starting in Carmel and ending in Cambria.

      Although the drive itself only takes a few hours, allow yourself time for traffic, road work, and most importantly, photo opportunities. In this article, we will elaborate  the best Big Sur Viewpoints and scenic places of interest. Let’s get started! 

      Big Sur Itinerary

      It is amazing there is so much to see and do in less than 100 miles.  Your itinerary will reflect your physical capabilities as well as your time allotment.  In our opinion, Big Sur is best enjoyed over the course of several days, especially if you plan to hike the suggested trails.

      Overnight stays near the midpoint will help you lay out your itinerary.  These are a few options to consider.

      • Big Sur Lodge
      • Big Sur Cabins and Campground
      • Fernwood Campground and Resort

      Although you can visit each point of interest in order, we recommend that you split up your road trip and make a plan that works for you.


      California State Parks charge an entrance fee.  However, that one-time fee will give you access to all of the parks in a 24-hour period.  You can also park on the road outside of the park and walk in for free.  Only park in designated areas though, the highway is dangerous.

      Big Sur is often foggy in the early morning.  Starting too early may seem like a good idea, but you won’t be able to see much, including the road directly in front of you.

      Likewise, the Pacific Coast sunset is AMAZING and definitely worth watching from one of the scenic overlooks or beaches.  However, the switchbacks and twisting roads can be scary to navigate after dark.

      Planning a Big Sur Day Trip Itinerary

      If I had to pick 3 places to stop on Big Sur that are  get-out-of-your-car, must-sees, they would be:

      • Bixby Bridge
      • Partington Cove
      • Pfeiffer Beach State Park

      All 3 of these can be done on the same day, and they are outstanding viewpoints.   Of course, there is so much more to see and do, so let’s get started!

      Drive through tunnel on a big sur hwy 101.

      Big Sur Viewpoints and Scenic Stops


      Big Sur runs along the California Coast from Carmel to Cambria.  The two-lane highway allows drivers to cruise the coastal highway both north and south.  Going south can be nerve-wracking as the cliffs seem to be right out the passenger’s window.  This does allow the passengers a bird’s eye view and great photo opportunities.

      For this article, we are driving North to South and stopping at 18 named viewpoints along the way.  So, buckle up, and let’s go!

      1.  Carmel-by-the-Sea

       What better way to start or end your Big Sur Road trip than a short stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea?  This quaint village is storybook-perfect.  Wander through the art galleries, and specialty boutiques, or simply enjoy the sunset, Carmel is fascinating.

      Carmel has been the setting for many movies and television series.  Play Misty for Me, The Graduate and Pretty Little Liars are just a few.

      Besides celebrity sightings and amazing views, Carmel has some peculiar and fun laws:

      • Unit 1986, ice cream was outlawed, as it would create a sticky mess on sidewalks and streets if spilled.
      • Unless you have a permit, you cannot wear high heels.  The town’s streets and walkways are not stiletto-friendly.  In other words, safety first!
      • There are no streetlights or sidewalks in Carmel with the exception of the downtown area.
      • Carmel residents have no street address and there is no door-to-door postal delivery.  Rather than 123 Maple Street, a neighbor might say, 3rd house on the left after the little white bungalow.
      • Did you know Clint Eastwood was once the Mayor?
      • Carmel’s Beach is dog friendly.  Thank you Doris Day!

      Carmel-by-the-Sea is magical, so stop in and experience it for yourself.

      Tree on a white sandy beach blue water

      2.  Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

      62 CA-1, Carmel-by-the-Sea

      Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is often referred to as “the crown jewel” of the state parks system.  On your visit, you will surely agree.

      Tide pools, pristine beaches, wildlife, and a Pacific view for miles.   While there, be sure to check out the Whalers Museum as it holds treasures of the early whaling industry.

      From hiking to scuba diving, you can easily spend the day here.  With 9 beach trails to explore, these views will never get old.  As you gaze out to the ocean you might just see some grey whales, especially during the late winter through spring.

      Emerald green lagoon.

      3.  Garrapata State Park

      34500 CA-1, Carmel-by-the-Sea

      Garrapata State Park is known for its scenic hikes above the coast and pristine beaches.  As you take the trails out to the cliffs, you will be blown away by the views.  Often you can view migrating grey whales, seals, and other wildlife.

      Visiting Garrapata State Park during February and March may give you a pleasant surprise as the Calla Lillies are in peak bloom.

      Take the stairs down to the sandy beach and explore the fascinating rock formations.  As beautiful as this area is, it is often unoccupied, giving you a perfect opportunity for peace and quiet.

      Rocky coastal view overlooking emerald green pool of water.

      4.  Bixby Bridge

      CA-1, 18 miles south of Carmel

      The iconic Bixby Bridge is a sight in itself.  Standing 260 feet from the canyon floor and spanning 714 feet gives you a feeling of driving over nothingness.

      The beautiful architecture makes Bixby Bridge the 2nd most photographed bridge in California (The Golden Gate Bridge is #1).  It’s no wonder TV and movies have often featured views of the Bixby Bridge.

      Parking is allowed on the north side of the bridge, but be extremely careful.  There are no guardrails preventing an accidental fall into the canyon below.

      Pedestrian traffic is prohibited on the bridge, but you can get spectacular pictures from this vantage point.

      In our opinion, Bixby Bridge is one of our top 3 places to stop and visit while in Big Sur.

      Arch bridge over a very deep gorge and ocean.

      5.  Andrew Molera State Park

      45500 CA-1, Big Sur

      Rustic and wild is the best way to describe Andrew Molera State Park.

      With roughly 4800 acres, there are 10 trails to hike depending on your level of expertise.  Surfers, hikers, and nature lovers agree that Andrew Molera State Park is a favorite.

      Be sure to keep your eye on the sky and witness the beautiful condors in their natural habitat.

      Overcast sky and crashing waves on a rocky coastline.

      6.  Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

      47225 CA-1, Big Sur

      Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park provides visitors with lush forestry and natural beauty.  From easy to strenuous hikes, there is something for everyone.

      The Redwoods tower high above keeping the forest floor cool.

      Hike along the Big Sur River, climb to the vista point or just take a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk.  Adventurous hikers often choose the Pine Ridge Trail leading to the secret Sykes Hot Springs.

      Secluded pond surrounded by trees

      7.  Pfeiffer Beach

      9100 Sycamore Canyon Road

      Pfeiffer Beach is one of our TOP 3 places to stop as you travel through Big Sur.  With its crashing waves, rocky coastline, and purple sand (Yes! I said purple), Pfeiffer Beach is spectacular.

      The famous Keyhole rock stands majestically in front of you as the waves crash through the opening.  During December and January, you might be lucky enough to catch the sun setting through the keyhole.  Whether it’s waves or the sun, you will agree the view is picture worthy.

      Manganese garnet from the nearby hills causes the sand to have a purple color.  After the rain, purple is more prevalent.

      Pfeiffer Beach can be windy and chilly.  The water is cold and the currents are strong.  Swimming is not advised.

      This is truly a beautiful beach, but be prepared.  Bring chairs, a blanket, a picnic, and someone that will love the views.  Wear layers as it can be windy and chilly.  After all, this is the Central Coast.

      There are a few things to keep in mind when visiting Pfeiffer Beach.

      • The turn for Pfeiffer Beach road sits between the Big Sur ranger station and the Big Sur Post office on the southbound side of Hwy 1.  The entrance is not well-marked and may appear that it is a private road.
      • Sycamore Canyon Road is paved, but very narrow.  RVs, buses, and campers are prohibited on the road.  There are potholes and curves, as well as 2-way traffic.
      • Parking is limited.
      • This is a day-use-only beach, with no overnight camping
      • The entrance fee is $12 CASH per car.
      • Nudity is legal on this beach and is common at the northern end of the beach.
      • Purple sand beach.

      8.  Nepenthe

      48510 CA- 1, Big Sur

      Nepenthe is a Big Sur icon.  Sitting 600 feet above the ocean, the views are outstanding.  Enjoy a relaxing glass of wine on the patio, or a delightful meal as you gaze out to the Pacific Ocean.

      The gift shop and cafe are open for something quick and easy as well.

      Nepenthe is a great place to stop and relax as you are cruising Big Sur.

      Glass of red wine overlooking the lush green forest and blue ocean.

        9.  Partington Cove

        51700 CA- 1 Big Sur

        By far, this stop is off the hook and definitely one of our top 3 places to visit on Big Sur.

        Fair warning, there is a 1 mile out and back hike to the prize views  The path down to the cove is dirt and easy.  However, like all rules of physics, eventually, you will have to come back up.

        Park carefully along the road as there is no lot.  Follow the dirt path down, down down.  The path will fork, and both trails are worth walking.

        To the left, cross over the wooden footbridge and go to, then through the tunnel.  It’s creepy for sure, but the view on the other side is OUTSTANDING!

        To the right, the path will lead directly to the ocean.  The rocky shoreline is nothing short of breathtaking.

        The huge boulders make a great place to sit and watch the waves.

        Wooden tunnel on a dirt path.       Rock shoreline and beach on a sunny day.

        10.  Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – McWay Falls

        52801 CA-1, Big Sur

        McWay Falls is an 80-foot plunge tidefall.

        During high tide, the water falls directly into the ocean.  The scenic overlook gives views of the pristine beach, emerald green water, and stunning waterfall.

        Unfortunately, you cannot access the beach, and attempting to do so can get you into a heap of trouble.

        The path out and back is about 1/2 mile and very easy.

        Since there is a $10 fee to access this state park, you may want to park on CA-1 and walk in for free.  Also, CA State Parks allow you same-day entrance to the other state parks thereby stretching your dollar.

        Emerald green water and waterfall.

        11.  Slates Hot Springs & Esalen Institute

        55000 CA-1 Big Sur

        For those desiring a break from the world, you can find tranquility here at the Esalen Institute.  Their holistic approach to reviving your spirit, soul, and body makes them a leader in the industry.  Relaxing spa treatments, meditation, and jaw-dropping views are only the highlights

        The mineral-rich natural baths overlook the Pacific Ocean creating an immersive experience.

        The Esalen Institute requires advanced reservations.  However, the Slate Hot Springs within the property is open to the public from 1 am-3 am nightly.

        Ariel view of cliff side retreat.

         Photo Credit CallabanCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

        12.  New Camaldoli Hermitage

        62474 CA-1, Big Sur

        High above the CA-1 sits the New Camaldoli Hermitage.  The community of Camaldolese Benedictine monks welcomes visitors from all walks of life.  Whether you seek the solitude of a silent weekend retreat or the peaceful views from convenient benches, this is a beautiful stop along Big Sur.

        Please be considerate of the spiritual nature of the New Camaldoli Heritage.  Children, pets, music, and loud talking are not permitted.  Kindness and understanding is always appreciated.

        Ocean views from a tall mountain retreat.

        13.  Limekiln State Park

        63025 CA-1, Big Sur

        Due to a fire, the trails have been closed for some time.  Volunteers have worked countless hours cleaning the area and making the trails safe again.

        As the trails open again, visitors can wander through the giant redwoods, search for the 100 ft waterfall or explore the kilns.

        14.  Sand Dollar Beach

        69232 CA-1, Big Sur

        This stunning cove is a favorite of surfers and beachcombers alike.  The soft sand and big waves welcome visitors.  Tidepooling is popular, as you can sometimes find sand dollars and jade.

        The high bluffs protect the beach from the wind making your visit comfortable and relaxing.

        Visit from the top or take the stairs down to the beach.  Either way, Sand Dollar Beach is unforgettable.

        Stunning coastline views showing the mountains transitioning to the sea.

        15.  Ragged Point

        19019 CA-1, Ragged Point

        Ragged Point offers some of the most incredible views of Big Sur.  Whether you come to spend the weekend in one of the 39 cliff-side rooms or grab something to go from the snack bar, Ragged Point will treat you to their million-dollar views.

        For those that are up for a hike, take the .6-mile trail down to the black sand beach.  Remember to look behind you to view the 300-foot waterfall.  This is a strenuous hike and best enjoyed by experienced hikers.

        The rest of us can take a leisurely walk out to the Portal and look 400 ft down to the beach below.

        Ocean and cliff side view.

        16.  Elephant Seal Vista Point

        CA-1 , San Simeon

        Have you ever wondered what Elephant Seals do all day?

        This is your chance to see, hear and smell them in their natural environment.

        From late November through March there are hundreds of elephant seals doing seal things: sleeping, swimming, and singing!

        Elephant seals laying in the sun on a beach.

        17.  Hearst Castle

        750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon

        Built between 1919 and 1947, Hearst Castle sits high above San Simeon overlooking the valley below.  The property encompasses over 250,000 acres secluded from those that want to sneak a peak. With 115 rooms including 38 bedrooms, 40 bathrooms, a salon, a Theatre, and two pools, The Hearst Castle was once the ultimate party house.

        Celebrities and the ultra-wealthy of yester-year often visited William Randall Hearst at the Castle for extravagant functions.   Guests would fly into the private airstrip and be shuttled to either the main house or one of the 3 guest houses.

        At one point, Hearst Castle was home to the largest private zoo.  The zoo housed bears, orangutans, camels, giraffes, and zebras.  The zoo was dismantled in 1947 due to financial difficulties.  Most of the animals were rehomed to other zoos, while some were permitted to roam freely.  Zebras, (yes zebras), elk, and antelope continue to freely roam the countryside in San Simeon.  Keep your eyes open as you take the drive.

        Three years after William’s death in 1951, Hearst Castle became a California State Park.  The Castle is open for tours.

        For those interested, you can become a member of the Hearst Castle Foundation, which is dedicated to the preservation of the Castle and philanthropic educational endeavors through science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.   Through special events including pool parties (yes, you can swim in the Neptune pool), the Foundation raises money to support these programs.

         Beautiful swimming pool with pool house.

        Photo by Catalina Johnson on Unsplash

        18.  Cambria

        The Village of Cambria is a vibrant community that has so much to offer its residents and visitors.

        Stunning beaches, a farmers market, fine dining, and a weird roadside attraction.  Whether you spend a few hours or a few days, Cambria will be a beautiful memory.

        Weird looking house on a hill

        Frequently Asked Questions about Big Sur Road Trips and Big Sur Itinerary


        How much time do I need for a Big Sur Road trip?

        Big Sur is roughly 100 miles from Carmel to Cambria.  The posted speed limit is 55mph, however, the hairpin turns steep inclines, and jaw-dropping views, coupled with traffic and lane closures don’t often allow drivers to go so fast.  Where available, slower drivers can utilize pullouts to allow faster traffic to pass.  CA-1 should not be driven if you are under serious time constraints.  

        Save this spectacular scenic route for when you have ample time, 4 or 5 hours minimum.  It is far too beautiful to rush.

        In our opinion, Big Sur is best experienced over a few days.  Visiting the beaches, taking a few hikes, and of course, catching a famous Pacific Coast sunset are all part of the magic.

        How many days should I spend in Big Sur?

        Spending even 1 night in Big Sur, somewhere near the midpoint will add to your overall Big Sur Experience.  Spending 2 or more nights will definitely enhance your visit.  By staying multiple nights, you can spend more time at each of the viewpoints as well as enjoy some of the hikes. 

        Whether you fancy dinner at Nepenthe or s’mores nestled amongst the Redwoods, Big Sur can be enjoyed for a little or as long as you desire.  Ask any of the locals, they never want to leave.   

        Is Big Sur Worth Driving? 

        If miles of hairpin turns, scenic overlooks, jaw-dropping views, and countless photo opportunities are your jam, then Big Sur is DEFINITELY worth driving.

        There is a reason that CA-1 is often counted as one of the top 10 best road trips in the United States.  Big Sur is just THAT IMPRESSIVE.

        As constant travelers, we have driven some beautiful scenic roads: The Road to Hana, The Million Dollar Highway, and The Apache Trail to name a few.  Big Sur makes our Top 5 road trips of all time.

        We’d love to know your favorite roads! 

        Can I Drive My RV on Big Sur? 

        The short answer is yes, RVs are permitted on CA-1.    However, just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should drive your RV on Big Sur.

        With steep grades throughout Big Sur, driving your RV or pulling a camper might not be the best idea when it comes to visiting Big Sur.   Plus, the scenic overlooks are not RV friendly.  Many are small and only have room for a few cars.

        With Over 40 years of experience driving and towing, Robb considers himself an expert driver.   After navigating CA-1 in our Renegade Verona, he was quite relieved to make his way to Interstate 5 (I-5).  The steep grades will burn up your brakes if you are not careful.

        For those that are camping in Big Sur, you will have to drive part of the highway.  Our best advice is to drive directly to your destination.  Take the road as slowly and carefully as you need to.  Leave your rig at the campground and explore Big Sur by passenger vehicle or motorcycle. 

        When Is The Best Time To Visit Big Sur?

        Peak season in Big Sur is April to October.  Temperatures are in the mid-70s, which makes the beach days and hikes more pleasant.  With the warmer temperatures the crowd increase.  Traffic can be a nightmare on a 2 lane coastal highway.  

        Although the winter months may bring some rain and cooler temperatures, it is also prime time to see beautiful gray whales.  The crowds have gone home and Big Sur is fairly quiet.

        Only you can decide between whales or crowds.  

        Big Sur is often windy, chilly, and foggy in the morning.  Daytime temperatures fluctuate from the high 70s in August to the low 60s in January and nighttime temperatures are a moderate 43-50 degrees.  There is little chance of freezing roads, however, the threat of a landside or mudslide is high during the rainy season. 

        Wildfires are far too common on Big Sur.  Severe damage has been seen in some of the inaccessible trails.  

        Big Sur is a fragile area and should always be treated with respect and care.

        Where to stay in Big Sur?

         The big sur road trip guide and map will help you find views like this!


        Big Sur is such a magical experience, captivating families, road-tripping friends, and especially lovers.  Whether your plans are hiking, driving, or exploring the many beaches, consider spending a few nights in one of the cozy lodges.

        Big Sur River Inn,

        46800 Highway 1, Big Sur. 

         Click here for availability and pricing.

        Big Sur River Inn is located center stage of Big Sur.  Just a few minutes from Andrew Molera State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Big Sur River Inn is perfect for winding down after a long day of sightseeing.  Relax with a glass of wine or enjoy dinner in the on-site restaurant.  During the summer, you can take advantage of the beautiful in-ground swimming pool.  Wi-Fi is available or you can disconnect for a little while as you explore the creek and trails.

         Big Sur Lodge

        47225 Highway 1, Big Sur

        Click Here for Availability and Pricing

        Big Sur Lodge is a perfect place to “leave the outside world behind”.  Located centrally along Highway 1, visitors have easy access to the Pheiffer Big Sur State Park and Pheiffer Beach.  During the summer months, the in-ground pool is perfect for cooling off after a day of hiking.  Likewise, you can snuggle up in front of the fireplace after a chilly Northern California fall afternoon.  The convenient onsite restaurant and bar make dining easy. 

        Where can I find Big Sur Campgrounds?

        Spacious site in big sur campground and cabins.

        There are several campgrounds in Big Sur, as well as lodges, cabins, and hotels, but don’t leave your stay to chance.  Reservations are required for most campgrounds and RV space is a premium.   Consider traveling during the mid-week for more options.

        We enjoyed our stay at the Big Sur Cabins and campground.  Although the campground is “big rig friendly”, parking an RV can be challenging. The RV spaces are tight, as you would expect, deep in the Redwood forest.  The campground is well-maintained and quiet.  We would return in a heartbeat.

        As with most of Big Sur, there is no cell service or internet service.  However, the nearby Big Sur Library has free Wi-FI and free DVD rentals.

        Check out these convenient campgrounds:

        • Riverside Campground and Cabins: Accommodates RVs up to 34ft
        • Big Sur Campground and Cabins:  Accommodates RVs up to 40ft
        • Pfeifer Big Sur State Park South Camp: RV and Tent Camping
        • Ventana Campground: Tent camping only
        •  Fernwood Resort: RV & Tent Camping


        What type of vehicle should I rent for my Big Sur Road Trip?


        We’ve all seen the Hollywood version of the California Coast, right?  Cruising CA-1 in a cute little convertible might sound fun, but the reality is somewhat different.

        The mist and the fog will surely dampen your early morning plans.  Save the sports car for Southern California or even Wine Country.  Think about a jeep or 4Wheel drive small SUV for some of those hard to get to places.


        Tips For Your Big Sur Road Trip:

        Download Guide Along App:

        By far, Guide Along to Big Sur is the most comprehensive road trip companion we have used.  Your guide will help you navigate Big Sur with stories, history, and a few surprises.

        Guide Along is like having a personal guide at a fraction of the cost.   The narrator is witty and knowledgeable while guiding you to all the best sights of Big Sur.

        You can get the Guide Along App right here!

        Download The Ultimate Big Sur Road Trip Guide:

        There is little to no cell phone service in Big Sur.  Don’t leave your “Best places to see” to memory.  Download a copy of this Ultimate Big Sur Road Trip Guide.  It would be a shame to miss that one spot you wanted to see!


        Interactive Big Sur Map

        1. Carmel-By-The-Sea

        What better way to start or end your Big Sur Road trip than a short stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea?  This quaint village is storybook-perfect.  Wander through the art galleries, and specialty boutiques, or simply enjoy the sunset, Carmel is fascinating

        Point Lobos Natural Reserve

        Garrapata State Park

        Bixby Bridge

        Andrew Molera State Park

        Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

        Pfeiffer Beach


        Partington Cove

        Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park : McWay Falls

        Slates Hot Springs Esalen Institute

        New Camaldoli Hermitage

        Limekiln State Park

        Sand Dollar Beach

        Ragged Point

        Elephant Seal Vista Point

        Hearst Castle



        Note The Ranger Station Information

        47555 CA-1, Big Sur

        The Big Sur Ranger Station has a wealth of information.  Stop in for travel guides and up-to-date information about trails, traffic, and wildlife.

        Bring snacks and drinks:

        Although there are a few convenience stores along CA-1, you may not pass them when you venture out.  Always pack plenty of water and easy snacks for your road trip.  Plus, who doesn’t love an impromptu picnic in an amazing location?

        Dress in layers:

        Big Sur weather can fluctuate rapidly.  The mornings are often foggy, misty, and chilly.  The afternoon can warm up considerably.  This coastal drive is often windy, especially on the beach and overlooks.  Dressing accordingly will keep you comfortable.


        Wear appropriate footwear for walking and hiking.

        Of course, this should be common sense, but you would be surprised at the fashionable shoes on the trails.  Rocks, snakes, and sprains are all too common to hikers.  Sturdy shoes will help keep you from accidental slips and slides.


        Stop at the scenic overlooks, take pictures

        The scenic overlooks, jaw-dropping views, and the Pacific Ocean are the reason we come to Big Sur.  Stop and smell the sea air from high above.


           Big Sur Road Trip and Big Sur Itinerary: Conclusion

        Big Sur will always be one of my favorite destinations.

        There is something mysterious, yet energizing about this region.  Maybe it’s the fog or maybe it’s the way the mountains meet the sea.   Whatever it is, Big Sur is magical, serene, and definitely worth the visit.

        Robb and I appreciate you for reading this article.  We hope that we have brought value to your upcoming Big Sur Road trip.


        Couple posing at scenic ovelook with ocean in distance.

        Until next time,

        Travel Safe and Adventure Often,

        Maureen & Robb

        33 Amazingly Weird Things To Do In Amarillo, TX 2023

        33 Amazingly Weird Things To Do In Amarillo, TX 2023

        33 Weird Things To Do In Amarillo, Texas 2023


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        Are you traveling through the Texas Panhandle soon?  Make time in your schedule to check out some of these  Weird Things To Do in Amarillo.  Go ahead, give this article a read, and discover how fun Amarillo can be. 

        If quirky roadside attractions are your jam, then you really should take a day or three to experience a few of these weird things to do in Amarillo.  Many of the attractions are located close to I-40 with ample parking.  Food, ice cream, photo ops, and hiking are easy to experience, even if you only have a few hours to visit.

        Just passing through with only a few hours to spare, these attractions are for you.  Most have easy access from