Looking for summer road trip ideas? Consider Mesquite, Nevada. Nestled in the heart of the Mojave Desert, this destination offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, outdoor excitement and welcoming hospitality, all neatly huddled in an oasis-like destination. From world-class golf courses to stunning desert landscapes to thrilling indoor and outdoor activities, this hidden desert gem is the perfect summertime getaway.

A Road Trip to Remember

No matter where you’re coming from, Mesquite is the perfect place for a summertime road trip. As with any excursion, the experience is as much the journey as the destination. Regardless of your starting point, there’s a lot to see along the way.

From Las Vegas 

You’re in for some sights during your 1.5-hour drive from Las Vegas to Mesquite. A little more than halfway there you can take a quick detour to see Double Negative, a piece of land art by renowned creator Michael Heizer. The piece, consisting of two trenches dug into the Mormon Mesa in the Moapa Valley near Overton, is something to behold. Also nearby is another interesting detour you likely won’t want to pass up — on the far northern reaches of Lake Mead is the ghost town of St. Thomas. Built during the construction of the massive man-made reservoir, the town was covered by the lake’s waters for years. The buildings have since emerged, offering an ultimately fascinating experience.

From Arizona  

Driving north, take I-17 to Sedona where you can visit the amazing red rocks and natural waterslides or catch an incredible sunset. As you trek on into Nevada, don’t miss the man-made majesty of the Hoover Dam in Boulder City as you continue onward to Mesquite.

Hoover DamHoover Dam

From Southern California

Your first stop is Lake Arrowhead, a comfortable resort-like paradise in the San Bernardino mountains. Swing through Barstow, where you can fuel up and grab a quick bite to eat on your way to Seven Magic Mountains. The large-scale art installation near Las Vegas features seven brightly colored stacks of boulders, which are strikingly beautiful set among the picturesque Southern Nevada desert.

From Utah

As you journey closer to the state border of Arizona, be sure to check out the bewildering desert mountain spectacle of Zion National Park. Then, head toward Virgin River Gorge for additional hiking or simply stop to snap some scenic pictures before you arrive in Mesquite, Nevada.

Unbeatable Desert Experiences

Getting outside is a main attraction when visiting Mesquite. There are several unique and fun experiences to have both in the destination and at nearby locations. Whether you’re exploring a nationally designated area or lounging by a sparkling resort pool, it’s always a great idea to be in the great outdoors during a Mesquite getaway. 

Where else can you see the Hoover Dam surrounded by an incredible desert landscape and beautiful blue water where you can camp, fish, boat, hike, cycle and even swim in nature’s embrace? The answer is just over 50 minutes away at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Peppered with nine wilderness areas, its 1.5 million acres include canyons, valleys and two lakes.

Lake Mead KayakingKayaking in Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Camel Safari is an accredited zoo housed within a 175-acre ranch. Here, you can meet and ride the majestic ambassador camel, one of a series of exotic, up-close wildlife attractions. The area is perfect for gatherings like family reunions, weddings, corporate retreats and birthdays.

Just 45 minutes south of Mesquite, off exit 122 on I-15, is Gold Butte National Monument, featuring over 296,000 acres of beautiful desert. Though you may encounter Gila monsters, bald and golden eagles, bighorn sheep, sidewinders and more, this national monument is a preserved environment that welcomes experienced hunters, horseback riders, birders, and photography enthusiasts. You can even ride motorsport vehicles here, just remember that most roads through Gold Butte require a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Take a refreshing dip at the CasaBlanca Pool at CasaBlanca Resort-Casino-Golf-Spa. It’s complete with hot tubs, rentable cabanas and a full bar of irresistible summertime drinks to keep you cool and hydrated.

An aerial view of the CasaBlanca Hotel Casino Golf Spa Pool.CasaBlanca Pool at CasaBlanca Resort-Casino-Golf-Spa

Or, perhaps the heated outdoor pool at Eureka Casino Resort could be more of what you’re looking for. Open mornings and evenings, this luxurious pool experience showcases hot tubs and numerous poolside amenities so you’re cool and relaxed as the sun dips below the horizon.

A Golfer’s Paradise

For golf enthusiasts, Mesquite has some incredible places to play, most within minutes of the resorts. A surprisingly lush desert oasis, the area is home to nine championship-quality golf courses, each offering a unique cross-section of amenities, food and individually curated views of the surrounding desert. Mesquite’s courses feature desert arroyos, panoramic fairways and mesmerizing rock formations.  

Head Inside to Keep the Good Times Going

When you need a good massage, exfoliating scrub, facial or pedicure, The Spa & Salon at CasaBlanca Resort-Casino-Golf-Spa has got your back — literally and figuratively. After a full day in the sun experiencing the natural wonders of the Nevada desert, your quest to feel re-energized, refreshed and rejuvenated is just an appointment away.

Lose yourself in the rugged history of the American and indigenous West at the Lost City Museum. Built in 1935, the National Park Service created the museum to exhibit artifacts recovered from prehistoric archaeological sites that were flooded when the Colorado River was dammed to form Lake Mead. The institution features three exhibit galleries, a screening room and research library.

Two couples standing outside of the Lost City Museum in Mesquite.Lost City Museum

Ready for an out-of-this-world bowling experience? Then Cosmic Bowling at Virgin River Hotel/Casino/Bingo might just be the perfect spot. Turn off the lights, queue up the music, and let the good times bowl with incredible lights and sounds. Perfect black-light-inspired family-friendly fun happens here every Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to midnight.

The Donkey History Museum is dedicated to chronicling the many contributions of donkeys to civilization, the town of Mesquite and the world. The museum features substantial donations of an incredible personal collection of donkey memorabilia along with a substantial display of international armed forces donkey-related photos. There is no cost for admission at this attraction just off the I-15 north of Las Vegas.

Dig Into a Variety of Delicious Options

Enjoy all-American fare at 1880 Grille inside Conestoga Golf Club, named in keeping with the traditions and homesteader spirit of the first pioneers who came down the Old Spanish Trail and settled the area in 1880. Try the Signature 1880 burger, a thick, Black Angus patty served on a brioche bun. It pairs perfectly with the house-made 1880 lager.

Gregory’s Mesquite Grill at Eureka Casino Resort is a classic steakhouse with added Italian flair. Founder Gregory Lee designed his restaurant as an extension of his home — welcoming and warm. It features two dining rooms; one somewhat reserved, while the other offers a more relaxed clubhouse vibe – perfect for a nice dinner or a romantic special occasion. The hand-selected wines of “Greg’s List” are available by request and promise to pair the perfect wine with your meal.

A couple enjoying a dinner and wine at Gregory’s Mesquite Grill inside Eureka Casino Resort.Gregory’s Mesquite Grill at Eureka Casino Resort

Speaking of American cuisine, don’t miss Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner. When you’re craving an ice cream float with a burger and fries, a plate of wings or a hand-tossed pizza, this is your spot. It’s also loaded with TV memorabilia and nostalgically addictive 1950s tunes.

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, Sierra’s Buffet at Virgin River Hotel & Casino does not disappoint. Grab a delicious buffet-style meal with attentive service and a full menu of delicious and familiar favorites. Eat affordably and eat well.

If you want authentic Mexican recipes served in a fun atmosphere, then you want Los Lupes Mexican Restaurant. For 20 years, this family-owned and operated restaurant lets you select from a large, diverse menu accompanied by a full bar in a fun and welcoming atmosphere where smiles and laughter aren’t on the menu but are served in abundance daily.

When searching for summer road-trip inspiration, put Mesquite at the top of your list. Discover more about Mesquite, or explore the numerous resorts and discover this gem of relaxation and experiences embedded deep in the Nevada desert.