From San Francisco, Las Vegas is about 600 miles away and can easily be reached hopping on a plane or traveling by bus or car. There's no direct train service between cities, but travelers in search of a fun road trip have the option of taking a few scenic detours.
|Bus||12 hours||from $34||Budget travel|
|Flight||1 hour, 25 minutes||from $75||Fastest way|
|Car||8 hours, 30 minutes||569 miles||A fun road trip|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From San Francisco to Las Vegas?
It's a slow way to Las Vegas by bus, but operators like FlixBus and Greyhound typically offer fares for as low as $34 to $45. The shortest possible bus trip will still take you about 12 hours. Some trips could even take as long as 14 to 18 hours, so either way you're in for an overnight ride. On the plus side, this will save you some money on one night's accommodation because you can sleep on the bus. Factoring in the cost of gas and daily parking fees once you get to Las Vegas, a bus ticket is much cheaper than driving. If you get lucky, you may be able to find a one-way flight to Las Vegas for a comparable rate, but this is usually an exception to the norm.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From San Francisco to Las Vegas?
Flying is by far the fastest way to get to Las Vegas from San Francisco, with the shortest direct flights taking just 1 hour, 30 minutes. Compare this with the long hours you'd spend on the road and there is no competition. Generally, you can get a one-way ticket to Vegas for around $100 or less, but be careful not to book a route that requires a connection. This could add unnecessary hours of travel time to your trip. Airlines that fly direct flights between San Francisco and Las Vegas include Frontier, Alaska, United, and Southwest. Typically, Frontier and Southwest have the cheapest flights.
When comparing flights between airports, make sure you're checking all three of the Bay Area's airports: San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Oakland International Airport (OAK), and San Jose International Airport (SJC).
How Long Does It Take to Drive?
You have several options for a road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas. The fastest route is 570 miles and takes about 9 hours with no stops. This route is the least likely to experience winter road closures, but there's not a lot to see along the way. From San Francisco, you'll drive east to take I-80 and I-580, and then go south on I-5. About halfway through the trip, you'll get onto Highway 58 so you can get onto I-15 east, which will take you directly to Las Vegas.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Las Vegas?
With summer temperatures frequently exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), you won't find too many people visiting this desert city between the months of June and August. Wintertime is actually considered high season because this is when travelers from around the U.S. typically come to escape the colder temperatures in other parts of the country. Hotels are usually booked up and tickets for shows like Cirque du Soleil and the Blue Man Group may sell out if you don't book early enough. For the best weather and the least amount of crowds, a visit during the spring or fall months is ideal.
What's the Most Scenic Route to Las Vegas?
The scenic route to Las Vegas will add a few hours to your trip, but it's a lot more entertaining and you can see some beautiful landscapes along the way. Your choices are to veer north to Lake Tahoe, which will add about three hours of driving to your trip, or go through Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks, which will add about four to six hours of driving to your trip. If you're taking the scenic route, you may consider camping overnight or booking a nearby hotel, so you have more time to enjoy the nature you're going out of your way for. This will also help break up the long drive.
Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?
The Las Vegas Strip, where you'll find all the big casinos and the city's main action, is just eight miles from McCarran International Airport (LAS). It's a short ride-share or cab ride, but if you want to save a couple of bucks you can take one of the many airport shuttles, the cheapest of which costs about $8.
You could also make use of the public bus system, which will bring you to the Strip. A single ride costs $6, but if you plan on using public transit throughout your stay in Vegas, you might consider purchasing a 3-day pass for $20.
You don't have to be the gambling type to have a good time in Las Vegas. The city offers plenty to entertain travelers of all kinds, from headlining shows of world-class performers to beat-pumping nightclubs and family-friendly attractions like the thrill rides at Stratosphere Tower. Not to mention, Vegas is home to some over-the-top restaurants that are used to dishing out gourmet meals for the high-rolling crowd. And whether you're down on your luck or adhering to a strict budget, it's pretty easy to come across free entertainment just by strolling through the hotels and casinos.