Take Your Pick
Baker, NV
Stalactites of Lehman Caves
Great Basin National Park - Great Basin National Park is the only national park completely housed in the state of Nevada (Death Valley touches California and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area spills over into Arizona). The Basin covers an area of over 75,000 acres; with the park's centerpiece being the majestic Wheeler Peak, a 13,063 foot tall white capped mountain. At the base of Wheeler Peak are the Lehman Caves featuring thousands of limestone stalactites and stalagmites. Don't worry about fighting crowds here; Great Basin is one of the least visited national parks.
Black Rock City, NV
The Last Night of Burning Man
Burning Man - Every year around Labor Day an otherwise desolate ancient playa lake bed springs to life and transforms into a community of 50,000+ for a weeklong event called Burning Man. Burning Man is a combination self-expression, music, survival, sharing, art, contemplation, social-interaction and mind-freeing experiment that is unlike anything else in the nation. With only a few exceptions, there are no rules. This means you will see, hear and possibly do things which are at first outside your comfort zone, but that is part of the fun. There are two things you are guaranteed to take home with you from Burning Man - a new found sense of community and 20 lbs of dust.
Boulder City, NV
The Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam and Lake Mead - Hoover Dam was an engineering marvel in the 1930s and continues to impress today. This 726 foot tall and 1,244 foot wide concrete gravity-arched dam was built between 1931 and 1935 in the heart of the Great Depression. It's located about 30 miles from Las Vegas in Black Canyon between Nevada and Arizona. Initially titled "Boulder Dam", it was renamed in 1947 "Hoover Dam" after our 31st President, Herbert Hoover. The results of the dam were a huge supply of electricity for Nevada and the surrounding states, and Lake Mead, the largest man-made lake in the USA. The clear and cool waters of Lake Mead offer a variety of recreational activities.
Carson City, NV
The Silver State Capitol
Capitol Building - The Nevada State Capitol Building is one of the oldest and smallest state capitols west of the Mississippi. Designed by San Francisco architect Joseph Gosling the two story "Italianate" structure was completed in 1871, and constructed with sandstone from a nearby quarry. It is topped with a silver dome or cupola in honor of Nevada's nickname "The Silver State". The interior is replete with eye-catching Alaskan marble and the campus grounds are shaded with mature trees. A small memorial to the USS Nevada also graces the grounds.
Carson City, NV
Nevada History in the Former Mint
Nevada State Museum - Housed in the former US Mint building which operated here from 1870 to 1893, the Nevada State Museum is an exceptional historical resource. Exhibits include a fantastic and completely realistic full-scale underground mine, ancient civilization artifacts, a Columbian Mammoth, and a time-line of Nevada's history. Coin Press No 1 from the Carson City Mint which pounded out silver coins from the Comstock Lode is also on display. If you have a coin with a "CC" stamped on it, you know it came from Carson City and it is probably worth a little money.
Elko, NV
Hanging Out in Elko
Basque Festival - The Basque Festival held each year around the 4th of July holiday, is an exciting celebration of the Basque culture. There's dancing, bullfighting, running with the bulls, contests and games, religious ceremonies, and of course food. The Basque people immigrated to Nevada from Pyrenees Mountain area between France and Spain and were famous for the sheepherding skills. Don't get this monkey wrong, Elko isn't just a one sheep town; there is the Northeastern Nevada Museum featuring photography, history and art exhibits and several nice casinos too.
Ely, NV
Lonely but Scenic
Loneliest Road in America - US 50 stretches 3,073 miles from Ocean City, MD to Sacramento, CA, crossing 12 states and the District of Columbia. The 287 miles from the Utah/Nevada border to Fallon, Nevada was termed the "Loneliest Road in America" by Life Magazine in 1986. Although Life Magazine meant it as a negative moniker, Nevada turned it into an endearing term and even hands out free "Survival Guides". Sure it is a little lonely, but this old Pony Express route is very scenic with 11,000 foot snow capped mountains, historic mining towns, state parks and a National Park all close by.
Genoa, NV
Drink in the History
Oldest Thirst Parlor in Nevada - Visiting the "Oldest Thirst Parlor in Nevada" is a trip back in time when buildings were lit by oil lamps and heated by a wood stove. The structure was built in 1853 in the small trading post town of Genoa, formerly named Mormon Station. Inside the tavern are walls filled with black and white photos, old-timey posters, deer antlers and a variety of dust and cobweb covered antiques. The Genoa Bar has served many famous people including Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Ulysses S Grant, Clint Eastwood, Socko the Monkey and Raquel Welch (her bra can still be found hanging here).
Las Vegas, NV
Vegas Baby Vegas
Free Things in Vegas - At some point during every Las Vegas trip you'll want to quit gambling while you're ahead or quit before you're too far behind. Either way you'll have time for the Free Things in Vegas. Some of the best are; the world famous Belligio Fountains; window shopping at the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes; the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign at the south end of the strip; the Sirens at Treasure Island; the Volcano and Aquarium at the Mirage; the most photographed sculpture at the Riviera; and circus acts at Circus Circus. Of course the lights of The Strip are worth the trip alone.
Las Vegas, NV
Party Under the Lights
Fremont Street Experience - Downtown Las Vegas with the Fremont Street Experience is one of my favorite places in Sin City. It is comprised of a number of relatively smaller hotels, The Golden Nugget, The Plaza, Fitzgerald's, Binions, etc., and has an "old Las Vegas" feel to it. The buffets and restaurants, shows, deep fried Twinkies and drinks are all a little less expensive down here. But the main attraction of downtown is the 1,500 foot long, 90 foot tall, lighted canopy that dazzles the crowds with many a fantastic light and sound show each night. This is the world's largest screen and contains over 12 million LEDs which can display 16.7 million color combinations. Don't miss this on your next Vegas trip.
Las Vegas, NV
The Bellagio Fountains
The Strip - Running nearly 4 miles from Mandalay Bay (Russell Road) to the Stratosphere (Sahara Ave) is the world famous Las Vegas Boulevard otherwise known as "The Strip". Nearly 40 million visitors a year come to the Strip and bathe in the glow of flashing neon lights, while admiring the ostentatious architecture. This adult amusement park began with the El Rancho Hotel and Casino in 1941 and continues to reinvent itself today with multi-billion dollar projects like CityCenter. Whether walking, driving, or aboard the monorail, there is no other place on earth like the Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas, NV
Going to the Chapel and We're...
Wedding Chapels - Las Vegas is the place for quick and inexpensive weddings. Sure you can have big ones here too, but the Strip is lined with lots of tiny chapels perfect for saying "I do". The Little White Wedding Chapel is one of the most famous, having married dozens of Hollywood celebrities including: Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy, and even Mickey Rooney a couple of times. Other notable chapels include The Little Church of the West and the Graceland Wedding Chapel. Speaking of Graceland, Elvis and Priscilla were married in Las Vegas in 1963.
Nixon, NV
Yes, There is Water in Nevada
Pyramid Lake - That's not a mirage in the middle of the sage brush filled Nevada desert, that's the enormous 120,000 acre Pyramid Lake. Sure it's only a remnant of its original size when it was Lake Lahontan covering most of northern Nevada, but it is still a big drink of water. In fact it is the third largest salt lake in the US. Pyramid Lake derives its name from the pyramid shaped tufa rock (a porous limestone) formations in and around the lake. Recreational activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, boating and fishing. Cutthroat Trout are the primary game fish caught in Lake Pyramid's briny waters.
Overton, NV
Grinding Corn in the Lost City Museum
Lost City Museum and Valley of Fire State Park - Two great attractions are located about an hour's drive from Las Vegas, the Lost City Museum and the Valley of Fire State Park. The Lost City Museum exhibits a huge variety of Anasazi Indian artifacts that were rescued from the area being flooded by the creation of Lake Mead. The Valley of Fire State Park which officially opened as Nevada's first state park in 1935 contains some colorful and interesting features. Giant rust-colored sand dunes frozen in time for over 150 million are the primary feature and are how the park got its name. There are a variety of naturally formed arches and man-made (Anasazi) petroglyphs throughout the park.
Pahrump, NV
The World Famous Chicken Ranch
Chicken Ranch - The original Chicken Ranch started operations during the 1840s in La Grange, Texas. At the time local cowboys, farmers and ranchers traded chickens for favors from the ladies of the night - and the name Chicken Ranch was adopted. The Texas brothel was forced to close in 1974 and a new one was opened in 1976 in Nevada. The new Chicken Ranch was built in Pahrump, which is as close to Las Vegas as allowed by law for prostitution. I was kind of expecting a huge mansion with dancing girls in long petticoats sliding down the banisters, but it's not like that. If you drive out just to visit the site, they will let you sit at the Longhorn Bar and have a drink. You can also buy a t-shirt from the gift shop.
Primm, NV
The Bullet Ridden Car of Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde's Death Car - The 1932 Ford V8 in which Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were killed on May 21, 1934 is on display at the Primm Valley Resort and Casino. Originally stolen from Jesse and Ruth Warren in Topeka, Kansas, it's made its way to Gibsland, Louisiana (the site of the shootout), and after the death of Bonnie and Clyde, traveled with carnivals, and finally ended up here. In addition to the bullet ridden car there are several articles about the duo and Clyde's death shirt.
Rachel, NV
Area 51
Area 51 - Welcome to the most secretive place in the world. Area 51 is a top secret military airbase comprised of roughly 51 square miles (hence the name) and mountains of mystery. Originally created in the 1950's to test the U2 spy plane, we can only speculate what it is used for today. You won't be able to take a tour or even get close, but you can head to the Little A'leInn for photo ops, conspiracy theories, and a cold beer. The people there are very friendly and during our visit on Thanksgiving Day, they gave Jess and me a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings, for free. On the way, you can stop at a former Area 51 employee's mailbox and look for UFOs.
Reno, NV
The Biggest Little City in the World
The Biggest Little City in the World - Self-proclaimed, "The Biggest Little City in the World", Reno is a smaller version of Las Vegas with a charm of its own. You can certainly get your gambling fix here with its world-class casinos; plus hotel rooms and all-you-can-eat buffets are a lot less expensive than its big brother LV. In fact, until 1950 Reno was the nation's premier gambling destination. It's here where Harrah's Entertainment, the gaming corporation giant first started. A fun time to visit is during "Hot August Nights", a 1950s celebration with sock hops, hula hoop contests and car rallies.
Reno, NV
The Inside Streets of the Auto Museum
National Automobile Museum - One of the nation's best collections of vintage automobiles is at the National Automobile Museum (originally owned by William Harrah). The exhibit features over 225 vintage and one-of-a-kind vehicles in its 105,000 square foot museum. The four auto galleries are arranged by years, starting from 1890 and ending in the modern day, with mock streets setup for each gallery. Vehicles include the movie car "Grease Lightening", a 1921 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and the first jet propelled land vehicle which was raced at the Bonneville Flats, called the "Flying Caduceus".
Rhyolite, NV
Rhyolite Ghost Town
Ghost Town - Rhyolite was founded in 1904 just after gold was discovered in nearby Bullfrog Mountains. Word of the discovery traveled fast and in just a few short years the town's population jumped to nearly 10,000 people, making it the third largest city in Nevada at the time. A three story bank, rail station, school and even a house made from glass bottles were built (all of which are visible today). The meteoric rise of the town was short-lived and with the stock market panic of 1907 and the dwindling gold in the hills, the town was nearly fizzled out by 1910. The remnants seen today make for some really nice photography and are the backdrop for dozens of B movies.
Zephyr Cove-Round Hill Village, NV
Wonderful Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe - Few places in the USA match the beauty of the mirrored blue waters of Lake Tahoe. It is the largest Alpine lake in North America, measuring roughly 22 miles long and 12 miles wide. The deepest point is 1,645 feet making it the second deepest lake in the USA behind his neighbor in Oregon, Crater Lake. Any time is a great time to visit; in winter you can visit any of 12 nationally acclaimed ski resorts; and in summer you can swim, walk the shores or take a sunset dinner cruise on the M.S. Dixie II.