Amusement Parks
National Parks
Route 66 Cities Beaches


Las Vegas

The Grand Canyon

Getting There
Driving I-40 and Route 66
Train via Amtrak & The Grand Canyon Railroad

Your third travel option is to fly to Las Vegas, stay at least one night on The Strip or nearby, and bus to your hotel at the South Rim. An alternative is to fly to Vegas, stay at least one night, rent a car and drive to the Canyon. Either way, this option is made more affordable by the fact that the Vegas casinos, to lure gamblers, have always made sure to keep their hotel and meal prices ridiculously low. If you've never been there, you will not believe how low. You can stay just off The Strip, or at either end of it, for $40-70 a night for a nice double. Only the new hotels on the Central Strip charge $150-170 a night and even they frequently offer specials. The restaurants offer similarly stunning prices for very good table service meals or generous buffets. Air fares from Lexington or Cincinnati run from $570 to $670 round trip with about a week advance reservation. Flights leave at noon or 1 pm and arrive in Vegas at 8 or 9 pm.

The Grand Canyon Tour Company offers the bus trips. The bus picks you up at your hotel at sunrise, stops at Hoover Dam for a midmorning brunch, stops at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams for a late lunch, and drops you at your South Rim hotel at 3 pm. On the day of your departure, you'll meet the bus at 3:30 pm, stop for dinner at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, stop at Hoover Dam for a snack, and reach your Vegas hotel at 9:30 pm. So you need at least one night in Vegas each way, but you have time to enjoy the town, sample a few restaurants, and do a little gambling.

We think the rising cost of gas plus the fact you'll hopefully be staying at the Canyon for at least two nights makes the rental car a less attractive choice (since you're paying a per day rate and it's parked). However, travel agents and travel websites are always offering specials, and occasionally they offer airfare - hotel - rental car packages which undercut the usual cost and do make it a very good deal. Always shop carefully at least five or six places to see what's available. Even with the bus trip, the packages undercut what you can arrange separately.

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