Make the Most of Your Las Vegas to San Antonio Road Trip
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- Las Vegas, NV
- Phoenix, AZ
- Las Cruces, NM
- San Antonio, TX
- Roadside assistance
From the bright lights in Las Vegas to the famously serene river in San Antonio, you’ll cover a lot of ground on this road trip across four states. Buckle up and make sure your AC is ready for the adventure.
For those unfamiliar with the Southwest, the prospect may conjure images of dust and cactus for as far as the eye can see. Sure, there’s a lot of sand between Vegas and San Antonio—but there’s a lot of beauty, intrigue, and (maybe most importantly) great food as well.
To help you get the most out of your road trip, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled some of the best spots along the way. From sprawling desert cities to remote natural wonder, break up the monotony of the long drive and take in some unforgettable views, brews, and chews (and work on your rhyming game while you drive).
Make sure you’re ready for the long haul with the car insurance coverage you need, then get packed and ready for an unforgettable Las Vegas to San Antonio road trip!
Leaving Las Vegas
Sin City is known for casinos, neon signs, and Wayne Newton, but locals know there’s more to do in Vegas than hang out with tourists on The Strip.
And that starts with the food. Instead of loading up at a buffet, you’ll want to chow down like a local and follow it up with some not-so-sinful Sin City attractions.
Where to eat
Pink Box Doughnuts
Ok, so maybe this first one is a little sinful (maybe even a lot). Boldly billed as “the best doughnuts in Las Vegas,” if Pink Box doesn’t live up to their own hype, they come really close.
Get your road trip started right with a box of big, super decadent flavors like s’mores, birthday cake, cannoli, and tres leches.
If you’re looking for more of a savory start to your drive, head to chef Natalie Young’s simply named breakfast and lunch spot. As you’d expect from a chef-designed menu, there are fancy twists on old favorites like a truffled egg sandwich, prime rib hash, and crispy deviled eggs.
They’re also an ethical business, sourcing many ingredients locally, giving “kitchen scholarships” to aspiring local cooks, and working to leave a low carbon footprint.
What to do
As a huge, sprawling city in the middle of the desert and one of the country’s biggest tourist destinations, Vegas offers plenty of options.
Nevada has natural beauty to spare. If you’re into hiking, head to Valley of Fire State Park, just a short drive out of the city. You can walk through canyons and amble over rock formations—but be warned, it lives up to its name, so bring a lot of water.
In-the-know Southwesterners know Meow Wolf, an immersive art experience based in Santa Fe, NM and backed by George R. R. Martin. They opened a brand new location in Las Vegas in 2021 called Omega Mart that is 100 percent worth exploring. Expect creepy, otherworldly designs, disorienting light displays, and a mind-bending narrative to follow along.
And if you’re a sports fan, there’s a good chance you can find an event any season of the year. From the Raiders to the Golden Knights to UFC and NASCAR, they’ve got just about every major sport covered.
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Las Vegas to Phoenix, Arizona
Driving time: bout 4.5 hours
What’s a Las Vegas to San Antonio road trip without a stop in the Valley of the Sun?
If you’re looking for relief from the seemingly year-round-115-degree heat of Las Vegas, you’ll have to keep looking (or stop in Flagstaff, Arizona’s biggest ski town). Phoenix will be as hot as the city you left in the morning!
Where to eat
The Breadfruit and Rum Bar
This island-style restaurant and rum bar is a true hidden gem in a city that’s as far from an island as you can get. Featuring jerk chicken and shellfish dishes, amazing rum cocktails, cigar pairings, and tropical fare, you’ll feel like you’re miles away from the Sonoran desert.
Plus, their ingredients are certified sustainable and their kitchen is zero-waste, making this a super eco-friendly restaurant.
Pomo Pizzeria Napoletano
Pomo is renowned for their authentic, traditional Italian-style pizza. You can expect high-quality ingredients, amazingly flavorful pies, and even handmade gelato. Come for dinner, stay for dessert.
What to do
As a nonprofit museum with a mission to promote American Indian art, Phoenix’s Heard Museum is a can’t-miss experience for art and culture lovers. Blending traditional and contemporary art, the Heard showcases a diverse range of styles and cultures of Indigenous artists in America. They have an amazing collection and a gorgeous campus that are well worth spending an afternoon exploring.
Cinephiles will enjoy FilmBar. This little theater and bar serves up beer, wine, and cocktails to improve your viewing experience. Sit back and sip as you watch their pick of arthouse films, indie darlings, documentaries, and beloved classics.
Arizona scenic detour: Lake Havasu City
If you’re really taking the scenic route, you might as well stop by Arizona’s unlikely beach town.
This town has the feel of a city like Charleston or Key West, but with a distinct desert vibe. Located on Lake Havasu, the city boasts great food, a nice museum, quirky cabin rentals, and Instagram-ready views of the lake.
It’s also the home of the actual London Bridge, which was imported to connect the city proper to the lakeside marinas!
London Bridge, Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Phoenix to Las Cruces, New Mexico
Driving time: about 5.5 hours
About a half day’s drive will get you from the heart of Arizona across the southern foot of New Mexico to Las Cruces. This small city sits near the border of Texas and Mexico, giving it a unique cross-cultural identity.
Where to eat
La Nueva Casita Café
There are slight differences between Mexican and New Mexican cuisine, but you can get a little of both here. La Nueva Casita sits in the lovely Historic Mesquite District and offers up traditional, scratch-made Mexican food. Try some green chile (not the same thing as chili!) for the true nuevo flair.
Mediterranean food is often light and refreshing and perfect for a hot day in the desert. This super solid blend of Greek, Lebanese, Syrian, and Cypriot food will hit the spot as you head toward Texas.
What to do
Las Cruces lies in the shadow of the Organ Mountains, which offer some phenomenal hiking just outside of the city. Get out and stretch your legs at Dripping Springs Natural Area. If conditions are right, you can get to a striking little oasis of falling water in the heart of the desert.
If you missed out on La Nueva Casita Café, you should still check out Mesilla. This historic village shows off the feel of the southwest with hanging ristras, adobe buildings, and art galleries. Take a load off at Spotted Dog Brewery while you’re there.
New Mexico scenic detour: Deming
If you want to make a quirky stop for food en route to Cruces, the tiny town of Deming is home to one of the more unique restaurants in the state. There’s not a lot here, but the Adobe Deli is worth the trip.
Stocked with old books, taxidermy, hordes of vintage trinkets, and a classic western saloon-style bar, this ranch-museum-bar-steakhouse hybrid is an experience. Oh, and it’s also possibly (probably) haunted. Take the drive down a long dirt road and ask for a tour before your meal.
If you miss this on the way, try to catch it on your return road trip from San Antonio to Las Vegas.
Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces, NM to San Antonio, TX
Driving time: about 8 hours
This may sound like a long way—and it is. Frankly, there’s not a lot to see in western Texas, so prepare for a whole lot of sand and tumbleweed. The good news is that you cover a lot of ground pretty quickly without much traffic or many stops along the way.
Where to eat
The Guenther House
This is one of the more striking places you can eat in San Antonio. Housed in a historic building, you can get a blend of comfort food classics like biscuits and gravy or hybrid dishes like champagne chicken enchiladas. And with top-notch cocktails, a museum, and a gift shop, this is a place you’ll want to linger in.
Texmex, American, and Mexican food are abundant in San Antonio, so why not mix it up with some of the state’s finest Asian cuisine? Sichuan House offers some of the staple dishes you’re used to alongside less common, more authentic ones. Try cold garlic noodles, twice-cooked pork, smoked duck, mapo tofu, and much more from their extensive menu.
What to do
Why decide on just one thing? The Pearl is a gorgeous, sprawling space packed with amazing restaurants, bars, and even a weekend market. You can even stay at historic Hotel Emma, which was once an 1800s brewhouse.
Or, you could go big with a theme park. San Antonio is home to Six Flags Fiesta, White Water Bay water park, and the charming Morgan’s Wonderland.
Before your evening River Walk tour, you can also take in some culture at the Witte Museum or the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Texas scenic detour: Big Bend National Parational Park
There may not be much in west Texas, but this is an exception. If you’ve got the time, Big Bend National Park is a great place to get out and take in the sights.
It’s a bit of a drive from the nearest town of Fort Stockton, but you’ll find dazzling water, canyons, lots of desert wildlife, and maybe even fossils!
River Walk, San Antonio, Texas
Secure your ride with Jerry roadside assistance
If you missed any of the scenic detours, the San Antonio to Las Vegas drive back will leave you plenty of options to mix things up. And they definitely need mixing up on this ride.
When you’re in the middle of the desert in 100-degree heat with no town for miles, boredom might be the least of your worries if your ride breaks down. Get peace of mind with Jerry roadside assistance.
Jerry offers jump starts, lockout help, tire repair, fuel delivery, and more for just $6.99—the cost of a green chile cheeseburger. Don’t get stranded with the tumbleweeds!
“Jerry is awesome! I loved my experience. Love from Las Vegas, NV.” ––Kelly G.
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