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10 Must See Attractions in Nevada

10 Must See Attractions in Nevada

Today’s post is a guest post from Maria Perez of Sew Travel Inspired.

10 Must See Attractions in Nevada

Snowy peaks, desert lakes, glittering city lights, Nevada boasts several natural and man-made, must-see attractions.  Officially known as the “Silver State” due to the importance of silver to its history and economy, Nevada is largely a desert state but that has not detracted from its beauty or made it any less of a national and international tourist draw.

From camel races to the “Extraterrestrial Highway,” Burning Man to a neon museum, you’ll find many unique experiences in Nevada.  Nevada has something for everyone!  Nevada has 23 state parks and one national park.  For outdoor lovers, Nevada offers skiing, kayaking, golfing, hiking, biking, and scuba diving.  History buffs will love the many museums, mining towns, historic railroads, and historic sites.  Add to this list the art galleries, hot springs, big name entertainment, and shopping and your family is sure to find lots of activities to enjoy.  And better yet many of Nevada’s attractions are free or inexpensive making it a great place for your family vacation.

Nevada State Capitol

Nevada State Capitol Photo Courtesy: Visit Carson City

Here is my list of the 10 must-see attractions in the Nevada for families.

Carson City   Nevada’s capital is Carson City, named after the mountain man Kit Carson.  Carson City boasts an abundance of outdoor adventures, fine restaurants, antiquing and boutiquing shops, challenging golf courses, historical attractions, great museums, gaming opportunities and don’t forget the Nevada State Railroad Museum, the Governor’s Mansion and the Capitol.  Carson City is in the heart of the action–just minutes from world-famous Lake Tahoe, electrifying Reno, historic Virginia City and the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range.

National Automobile Museum   The National Automobile Museum (one of the 5 greatest automobile museum in America) is located in Reno, Nevada.  Established in 1989, the museum houses cars from the long history of automotive technology, most notably from the 19th century until the 1960s. The museum has more than 200 cars permanently on exhibit.   Most of the vintage cars, gas pumps, and car accessories, and gas company logos, etc. were from the private collection of casino owner and operator, William F. Harrah.   Four galleries bring displays to life with authentic street scenes and sounds.  Beautiful classics from bygone eras such as Elvis Presley’s 1973 Cadillac Eldorado, John F. Kennedy Presidential 1962 Lincoln Continental, John Wayne’s 1953 Chevrolet Corvette, and a few original Horseless Carriages.  For more information

Camel Race Courtesy of Virginia City Tourism Commission

Virginia City   Known as the “Queen of the Comstock,” Virginia City is frozen in time.  You won’t find fast food restaurants in Virginia City, and there’s absolutely no condo sprawl.  Instead the town preserves and celebrates its colorful history with tours, restored historical architecture, informative museums, and commemorative events for all ages.  The authentic board sidewalks and historic structures like Victorian-era homes, historic churches, museums, Old West saloons, and quaint cemeteries make visitors feel like they’ve been teleported to another time.  Virginia City also offers a lively and unique events.  Here is a sampling of what you will find—the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry in March, International Camel and Ostrich Races in September and the World Championship Outhouse Races in October.

Beautiful Clear Water Shoreline of Lake Tahoe.

Beautiful Clear Water Shoreline of Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe   Mark Twain called it the “Jewel of the Sierra.”   Lake Tahoe’s beauty is unique and compelling.  This beautiful freshwater lake is one of the most dazzling lakes in the US. It is the largest alpine lake in the state and it is the second deepest lake in the US.  Lake Tahoe is a year-round paradise.  In winter, families can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and snowshoeing. In the summer, there are water sports like fishing, golfing, jet skiing, para-sailing, paddle sports, yachting, and sailboat racing. Add to all this the casinos, big name entertainment, world class restaurants, boutique shopping and you’ll think you have died and gone to heaven.

Las Vegas Strip   Las Vegas Blvd, known as the Strip, is an incredible place, morning, noon, or night.  Open 24/7 the Strip is pure entertainment with something for everyone.  More than 37 million people visit the Strip every year. Packed into the 4+ miles are casinos, thrill rides, live music, theaters, clubs and pubs not to mention several golf courses, shopping malls, and gourmet restaurants. From the Strip, tourists can see the fountains at the Bellagio, the Mirage’s volcano and Caesars Palace with its Fall of Atlantic and Festival Fountains. With the cross-section of visitors and celebrities who come to Las Vegas, people-watching is primetime entertainment.  For more information and a free visitor’s guide,

Hoover Dam, Nevada

Hoover Dam   The Hoover Dam is astounding!  The dam was a major public works project built during the Great Depression by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to generate hydro-electricity.  The Dam straddles Black Canyon, holds back the mighty Colorado River, and forms Lake Mead.  Visitors of all ages will enjoy a trip to Hoover Dam.  You can photograph the dam and its vicinity, tour the surrounding areas, kayak or raft on the Colorado River, enjoy the views from the Observation Deck at the Visitor Center, and lunch at the local restaurants.  You also may want to drive across the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (the Hoover Dam Bypass), the longest arch-suspension bridge in North America.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area   Lake Mead is one of the deepest reservoirs in the US and it has an impressive 550 miles of shoreline.  Formed by the Hoover Dam, the lake offers several year-round activities like boating, yachting, water skiing, fishing, sunbathing, and swimming, scuba diving, wildlife watching, and biking. The lake also has four marinas and boat tours can be booked from any of these marinas for fishing or water sports. Dotted with several small man-made islands, the lake makes a great place for a family vacation.

Great Basin National Park   If you love the great outdoors, then Great Basin National Park is the park for you!  The Great Basin National Park is famous for Wheeler Peak, mountain streams, alpine lakes, a glacier, caves and some of the oldest trees on earth—5,000-year old bristlecone pines.  All this without a ton of tourists!  It’s the kind of place where seeing the scenery is more important than making “the scene.”   But there’s still lots for families lots to do here—backpacking, biking, bird watching, camping, caving, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, pine nut gathering, scenic drives, skiing, snowshoeing, star gazing, and wildflower viewing.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area   The Red Rock Canyon is beautiful and it showcases sweeping vistas of towering red rock formations  and looming 3000 feet sandstone walls. The entire area is impressive and it is spread out over more than 195,819 acres. The area offers hiking, camping, rock climbing, horseback riding, biking, miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing and a visitor center with indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as a bookstore.  Drive the 13-mile scenic drive for a great sampling of Red Rock Canyon. .

Entrance to Area 51

“Extraterrestrial Highway” & Area 51   In April 1996, Nevada State Highway 375 was officially named the “Extraterrestrial Highway because of the many UFO sightings along this lonely stretch of road.  The highway is close to the mysterious Area 51, a super-secret Air Force test facility. The route to Area 51 is some of the most incredibly scenic in the world.  The “Extraterrestrial Highway” is about 100 miles of glorious nothingness with vast desert and mountain views.  While travelling on the “Extraterrestrial Highway” it may seem that there’s nothing but desert, but in fact the area is full of history and natural beauty if you know where to look. There are ghost towns, historic mines, petroglyphs, and other places of interest within easy driving distance from the small town of Rachel.  (One word of warning, make sure you have plenty of fuel, there are no gas stations on the highway.)

Families visiting Nevada will be pleasantly surprised to find an amazing diversity of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, and many recreational things to do at affordable prices.

Traveling and sewing are my two passions. I like to combine them when I can. Come visit me at Sew Travel Inspired. I share easy sewing projects for travel related items and quick gifts as well as info on some of my favorite travel destinations. I also sprinkle in my favorite sewing and travel tips, tricks, and hacks.

Wednesday 19th of February 2020

That was a really interesting blog. There's so much to explore in Nevada and the information that you shared is very helpful. Every traveler visiting US, should have Nevada in their list. Thanks for sharing these details with us, it was a good read!