On the border of Nevada and Arizona (and, depending on the time of year, also on the Pacific/Mountain Time Zone) is the historic Hoover Dam, also known as the Boulder Dam, which cuts across the Colorado River and created the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Built during the 1930s and designed to bring water and power to the growing southwest, workers lived in Boulder City and then worked on the mighty structure, which was considered an amazing feat of engineering.
The hydroelectric generators and colossal concrete structure also infuses some art deco into its design with four towers (two of which display the time on either side of the river).
In 2010, a massive bridge straddling the Colorado River was constructed.
Looking up at it from the dam, it scares the crap out of me. I swore I would never drive on it, but I accidentally stayed on the road too far one day, and nearly panicked when I saw the “welcome to Arizona” sign. I crossed the bridge and didn’t die. So, now, the bridge and I have worked out our differences, even though I’m not too eager to take anyone across.
For those interested, there are two tours which can be taken at the dam — the Power Plant and Hoover Dam tours. The Power Plant tour is $11 for adults and includes a 30-minute guided tour of the power plant and access to the Visitors Center. The Hoover Dam tour is $30 for adults (sorry, no kiddos allowed for this one) and treats guests to a one-hour guided tour of not only the power plant but also the passageways of the dam to see the inner workings of this immense structure.
Getting there: A 30-mile drive from Las Vegas, take I-15 to I-215 East, then take US-93 South towards Boulder City. The smart road planners take you through the quaint little Boulder City en route to the dam. Boulder City is a cute little town, stop at the Boulder City Brewing Co. for a blueberry beer (super tasty) or get a bit to eat and a glass of wine at Milo’s. Then, head to the dam. There is free parking, but it is a walk from the main attraction. Parking on-site in the garage is $7.