Border To Border

Las Vegas has to be the easiest city in the world to drive around: Everything lines up along, or in relation to, one big road: The Strip. Dubbed an official “All-American Highway,” along with such scenic landmarks as the Blue Ridge Parkway and the stretch of Hwy-1 through California’s Big Sur, this five-mile traffic-clogged barrage of bright lights and architectural extravagance is also known as South Las Vegas Boulevard and runs parallel to I-15 between the compact downtown area and the airport. Other roads in Las Vegas are named after the big hotels near their junction with The Strip; hence you have Sahara Avenue, Flamingo Road, and Tropicana Avenue one after another.

Almost everybody who drives into Las Vegas comes by way of the I-15 freeway, which runs between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City and which connects with US-93 some 20 miles northwest of The Strip. From the south and Hoover Dam, use the new I-515 freeway, which carries US-93 and US-95 on a snaking S-figure between Henderson and Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.

US-93 actually bypasses The Strip, veering southeast along Fremont Street and the Boulder Highway—or along I-515—but it’s all but required that you drive at least a little of The Strip before you can say you’ve been to Las Vegas. Don’t expect to get anywhere quickly, though; The Strip is like one big, slow cruise, with 10 lanes of traffic moving past all those casino lights at about 10 mph, day or night.