How to take a day trip to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas independently

As soon as you mention you're heading off to Vegas one of the things most people ask is 'Are you going to see the Hoover Dam?'. Now you can do a tour and you'll lots of tours being offered along the strip but you'll get a lot more freedom if you choose to do it independently.

Where to hire a car
We did a comparison of car hire places online before we left. We found that Avis was the cheapest. You can choose what hotel to pick up the car from, we decided to go for the Luxor. It is located at the far end of the strip, not too far from the famous Las Vegas sign. This way you'll miss all the traffic and won't have to navigate through the madness of the strip. The desk opens about 7am and the collection was fairly pain-free. For two days hire with extra insurances and two people on the driving list, it cost us around £200 for a giant seven seater car.

What to do when you get to the Hoover Dam
It's possible to do a guided tour of the Dam but I've heard that it sells out pretty fast due to limited numbers and you have to get to the Dam pretty close to the opening time to snag a spot. We didn't make it but I don't think you need it to appreciate the attraction. Schedule time in the morning to see everything, in fact you probably won't need more than an hour there. There are various plaques dotted around to give you information so make sure you give them a read. Just take your time soaking up the  surroundings. It's a very photogenic place!

Where to stop for a bite to eat
There is a cafe inside the Hoover Dam but I recommend jumping back into the car and driving the short distance to Boulder City. Built especially for the workers of Hoover Dam, Boulder City is the only town in Nevada where gambling is illegal. This is because they didn't want the works to get distracted! We had originally planned on hitting up The Coffee Cup, which has been featured on Guy Fieri's Diner, Drive-ins and Dives but sadly we didn't make it in time as it closes at 2pm. Instead we headed to Boulder Dam Brewery Co as I noticed it had pretty good reviews on Tripadviser and it had a pretty good garden to enjoy some food. Based on an English pub, the brewery offers around seven different types of beer - all brewed by themselves. I highly recommend the Powder Monkey Pilsner which was incredibly refreshing on a hot summers day. The menu is typically 'pub grub'. Lots of burgers, sandwiches and wraps, exactly what you need to hit the spot. I had the pub's version of a German Bratwurst which was delicious. The portion size was normal which is what I'd been craving in Vegas where everything is so big! We all agreed the late lunch here was one of the best of our whole trip! Boulder City is a great little town to have a wander around. It just feels so 'American'. Cute little single storey houses, antique shops and flags fluttering in the wind. It's definitely worth a few hours of your time.

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