Looking to embark on the epic American road trip drive from New York City to Las Vegas? Driving coast-to-coast across the United States is an unforgettable way to see the diversity of the country. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to drive from New York to Vegas.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The fastest route is to take I-80 W all the way to Vegas, which takes roughly 40 hours of nonstop driving.
Below we’ll recommend optimal routes, must-see stops, trip planning tips, and entertainment for your drive. Let’s hit the open road from the Big Apple to Sin City!
Choosing the Best Route from New York to Las Vegas
If you’re looking for the most direct route from New York to Las Vegas, Interstate 80 West (I-80 W) is the way to go. This route spans across 11 states, offering beautiful scenery and a chance to experience the diversity of America’s landscapes.
From the bustling streets of New York City to the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, the Great Lakes of Ohio, the wide-open plains of Iowa, and the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado, I-80 W will take you through a variety of landscapes that are sure to captivate and inspire.
Another popular route to consider is Interstate 70 West (I-70 W). This route takes you through some of the most iconic cities in America, including Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Kansas City. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to explore attractions such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis or visit the famous Kansas City barbecue joints.
While I-70 W may take a bit longer than I-80 W, it offers a more diverse cultural experience and the chance to explore different regions of the United States.
Adding a Stop in Chicago
If you have some extra time on your hands and want to add an additional stop to your road trip, consider taking a detour through Chicago. Not only is the Windy City a popular tourist destination in its own right, but it also serves as a convenient midway point between New York and Las Vegas.
Explore the vibrant neighborhoods, indulge in deep-dish pizza, and take in the breathtaking views from the Willis Tower Skydeck. Adding Chicago to your road trip itinerary will add a whole new level of excitement and adventure to your journey.
When choosing the best route for your road trip from New York to Las Vegas, it’s important to consider factors such as time, distance, and personal preferences. Each route offers its own unique charm and attractions, so take the time to plan your journey accordingly.
Whichever route you choose, buckle up, turn up the music, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure across the United States.
Top Attractions and Destinations to See Along the Way
One of the most iconic landmarks in the United States, Mount Rushmore is a must-see attraction on your road trip from New York to Las Vegas. Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, this colossal sculpture features the faces of four former American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
The intricate craftsmanship and sheer scale of the monument will leave you in awe. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of Mount Rushmore, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views from the observation deck.
Yellowstone National Park
As you make your way west, be sure to stop at Yellowstone National Park, America’s first national park. Spanning across parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone is known for its stunning natural beauty, including geysers, hot springs, and wildlife.
Witness the famous Old Faithful geyser erupt or explore the vibrant colors of the Grand Prismatic Spring. With over 2.2 million acres to explore, Yellowstone offers endless opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
Keep your camera ready, as you may encounter bears, wolves, elk, and other fascinating creatures.
Grand Canyon National Park
No road trip from New York to Las Vegas would be complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon. Located in Arizona, this natural wonder is a true testament to the power of nature. Carved by the Colorado River over millions of years, the Grand Canyon offers breathtaking views and a sense of awe-inspiring beauty.
Hike along the rim, take a helicopter tour for a bird’s-eye view, or even venture into the canyon itself for a thrilling adventure. Don’t forget to catch the sunrise or sunset, as the colors dancing across the canyon walls create a truly magical experience.
These three destinations are just a taste of what you can expect on your road trip from New York to Las Vegas. Along the way, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore other national parks, charming towns, and scenic landscapes.
Plan your stops in advance and make the most of your journey across the country.
Saving Time and Money on Your Road Trip
Tips for Good Gas Mileage
When embarking on a road trip from New York to Las Vegas, it’s important to optimize your gas mileage to save both time and money. One of the most effective ways to do this is by maintaining a steady speed and avoiding sudden accelerations and decelerations.
Not only will this help you conserve fuel, but it will also make for a smoother and more enjoyable ride. Additionally, keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by up to 3%. Regular vehicle maintenance, such as changing the oil and air filters, can also contribute to better fuel efficiency.
Finding Cheap Gas Prices
Keeping an eye on gas prices along your route can help you save money during your road trip. There are several websites and apps available that provide up-to-date information on gas prices in different areas.
Websites like GasBuddy and AAA’s Fuel Price Finder allow you to search for the cheapest gas stations near your location. By planning your fuel stops accordingly, you can avoid overpaying for gas and stretch your budget even further.
Additionally, consider using a gas rewards credit card to earn cash back or discounts on fuel purchases.
Planning an Efficient Itinerary
Efficient planning of your road trip itinerary can help you save both time and money. Before hitting the road, take some time to map out your route and identify key attractions or landmarks you would like to visit along the way.
Consider using online trip planning tools or apps to help you optimize your route and minimize unnecessary detours. By organizing your itinerary in a logical and efficient manner, you can avoid backtracking and maximize your time exploring the destinations you’re most interested in.
It’s also beneficial to research and book accommodations in advance to secure the best rates and avoid last-minute price hikes.
Packing and Planning Checklist for the Drive
What to Pack
When embarking on a road trip from New York to Las Vegas, it’s important to pack strategically to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey. Start by packing essential items such as clothing, toiletries, and personal documents. Consider the weather conditions along the route and pack accordingly.
Don’t forget to bring a first aid kit, snacks, and plenty of water to stay hydrated during the drive. It’s also a good idea to bring entertainment options such as books, podcasts, or music to keep yourself entertained during the long hours on the road.
For a more convenient experience, make sure to pack a GPS device or download a reliable navigation app on your phone. This will help you stay on track and avoid getting lost. Additionally, bring a car charger for your phone and any other electronic devices you may need.
Lastly, don’t forget to pack a camera to capture all the amazing moments and breathtaking landscapes you’ll encounter along the way.
Booking Hotels in Advance
As you plan your road trip from New York to Las Vegas, it’s crucial to book your hotels in advance. This ensures that you have a place to rest and rejuvenate after a long day of driving. Research and identify hotels along your route that offer convenient locations and amenities that suit your preferences and budget.
Booking in advance not only guarantees you a room but also allows you to take advantage of any deals or discounts available. Some websites, such as Booking.com or Hotels.com, offer user-friendly platforms that allow you to compare prices, read reviews, and make reservations with ease.
Remember to consider factors such as parking availability, pet policies, and cancellation policies when choosing your accommodations.
Having Your Car Serviced
Prior to embarking on your road trip, it’s essential to have your car serviced to ensure a smooth and safe journey. Schedule a maintenance check-up with a trusted mechanic who can inspect your vehicle’s tires, brakes, fluids, and overall condition.
This will help identify any potential issues that could disrupt your trip.
Make sure your car is in good working order by checking the oil level, engine coolant, and windshield wiper fluid. It’s also advisable to have a spare tire, jack, and jumper cables in case of emergencies.
If you’re unfamiliar with performing these checks, you can refer to resources such as the Car Bibles website for step-by-step instructions and helpful tips.
By having your car serviced before hitting the road, you can minimize the chances of encountering any mechanical problems during your trip. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on enjoying the scenic drive from New York to Las Vegas.
Fun Entertainment Ideas for the Road
Best Road Trip Playlists
No road trip is complete without a killer playlist to keep you entertained along the way. Whether you’re into classic rock, pop hits, or country tunes, creating a customized road trip playlist can set the perfect mood for your journey. Don’t know where to start?
Check out popular music streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music, where you can find pre-made road trip playlists or create your own. These playlists often feature a mix of upbeat and nostalgic songs that will have you singing along and tapping your fingers on the steering wheel.
Podcasts and Audiobooks
For those who prefer more engaging content during long drives, podcasts and audiobooks are a great option. There is a vast array of podcasts available covering various genres – from true crime to comedy to educational podcasts.
They offer a fantastic way to learn something new or get lost in a captivating story. If you’re a bookworm, audiobooks provide an excellent opportunity to catch up on your reading while on the road. You can find a wide selection of audiobooks on platforms like Audible or Librivox, ranging from best-selling novels to self-help books.
Car games are a classic way to pass the time and have some fun while on a road trip. From the traditional “I Spy” to the popular “20 Questions,” there are plenty of games that can keep everyone entertained.
Another popular game is the “License Plate Game,” where you try to spot license plates from as many different states as possible. Additionally, you can play the “Name That Tune” game by humming or singing a few lines from a song, and the others have to guess the title.
These games not only entertain but also create memorable moments and foster camaraderie among fellow road trippers.
If you’re looking for more game ideas and inspiration, websites like TripSavvy offer comprehensive lists of fun car games that can make your road trip even more enjoyable.
With the right preparation and planning, the drive from New York to Las Vegas can be an epic and rewarding cross-country road trip adventure. Use this guide to choose efficient routes, schedule great stops, save money, pack properly, and stay entertained on your drive. Get ready for the American road trip of a lifetime!