The drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is notoriously long and dull, as anyone who has ever made the trek on a Friday night and sat in baking traffic on Highway 15 without cell phone service or sanity will tell you. Fortunately, the destination is 100 percent worth it. There’s nothing like seeing those neon lights rising out of the desert for the first time. Believe it or not, the journey can also be pretty fun, too. Break up the drive next time by stopping at these notable spots along the route.
Peggy Sue’s ’50s Diner
Fuel the drive with a quick bite at Peggy Sue’s ’50s Diner in Yermo. Originally constructed in 1954, this retro restaurant makes you feel like you’re on the Great American Road Trip – which you sort of are. Enjoy a poodle-skirt paradise while eating sandwiches named after ‘50s icons like Marlon Brando, Buddy Holly and Fats Domino.
If you’ve ever driven past the sign for Zzyzx Road, you’ve probably wondered where exactly it goes – not to mention how to pronounce it. Take the exit and you’ll be rewarded with something surprising: the remains of a former mineral springs resort. Stroll the abandoned palm-studded oasis and check out signs explaining the area’s history.
The World’s Largest Chevron
What’s a road trip without a completely random roadside oddity? In Jean, Nevada, you’ll find the world’s largest Chevron. This 50,000 square-foot gas station has 96 fuel pumps and so many restroom stalls (60 to be exact), you might actually get lost in the bathroom. There are also race cars hanging from the ceiling inside the convenience store, a candy shop, a selection of ice options for soda and souvenirs.
Lake Dolores Waterpark
Fair warning: this isn’t an operating waterpark. What it is, however, is the ghostly remains of one. Built in 1962, this eerie site has loomed from the side of Highway 15 since it closed in 2004. Trespassing may or may not be allowed here, but you’re welcome to park outside the entrance and take photos, or just keep an eye out for the abandoned slides in between Barstow and Baker.
The Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings is a historic western saloon. Order a jalapeno margarita served in a mason jar, post up on the porch outside and listen to the local’s chatter about life in the middle of nowhere.
Seven Magic Mountains
Seven Magic Mountains is a little confounding – just why are those massive stacks of brightly colored rocks sitting on the side of the road? – but you’ll probably post a shot of it to your Instagram anyway. Ugo Rondinone’s art installation is only slated to remain in its desert location outside of Jean until 2021, so visit while you can. And P.S.: After you visit Seven Magic Mountains, it’s only another 20 miles to Las Vegas