Nevada is a big state with lots of options for visitors, though often people seem to think that Nevada is made up of one city and a lot of sand and heat and not much else. Here are 14 common things Nevadans would like everyone coming here from out of state to know.:
1. First things first, please pronounce names correctly!
Saying our state name wrong is a regular faux pas but there are many, many other state names that are often mispronounced or mangled completely. Genoa, Beatty, Verdi, Pahranagat, Owyhee...the list goes on!
2. We actually have four seasons.
We have rain too, and snow, and some incredible fall color.
3. We have snow and some great snow sports options
Yes, not only do we have winter and snow, but some top notch winter sports opportunities. There's great skiing around Lake Tahoe and even near Las Vegas, plus snowshoeing, snow mobiling, skating, cross country skiing, snow tubing, and more.
4. Nevada is much, much more than Las Vegas.
Ok, it's hard to deny that Las Vegas is a huge tourist attraction but it's not the only place to go in the state. There are other large cities such as Reno, Carson City, and Elko, and a lot of incredible and picturesque small towns.
5. If you decide to visit Las Vegas, you can have a great time without setting foot on the Strip
There's so much to do in Las Vegas and tourists should consider spending at least some time looking outside the Strip for options. Especially if you have children, you'll enjoy the water parks, hiking trails, museums, tours and so much more.
6. We have a huge diversity of cuisine in the state and Basque food is one you should know.
Due to the influence of Basque immigrants coming to Nevada in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Basque cuisine and culture is a big deal here. The Basques come from an area in the north of Spain and parts of France, and the food is typically served "family style."
7. Hiking is amazing here, but be careful for flash floods and the local wildlife.
Particularly in slot canyons which can be found in several hiking areas, flooding can happen very quickly with a rain shower, even on a hot summer day. If you're new to a spot, just make sure to read up on it and be aware of potential issues such as flooding or wildlife you might need to avoid like rattlesnakes.
8. Speaking of wildlife, don’t feed the burros!
It's very common to see burros roaming around in places like the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. They're cute and it often seems like a great idea to feed them, but take heed of the signs telling you DON'T! Wild burros can be a bit...assertive...and you may quickly regret giving them a snack.
9. Summer in the desert area can be tough. Drink lots of water and bring sunscreen and a hat
Particularly if you're going to be visiting the desert areas of the state, be cautious about your water intake and wear lots of sunscreen. If you're not used to the dry heat, you'll be surprised at how quickly you can become overheated because the sweat evaporates off your skin so quickly. If you're used to hiking in forests and shady areas, it's not a bad idea to double the amount of water you usually take.
10. Speaking of water, we have lots of it.
We definitely are the driest state in the nation, but that doesn't mean we're a big sandy desert. There's some really incredible large lake and rivers here, like Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, the Truckee and Colorado Rivers, etc. Plus our state has the most hot springs of any state. We also have many hikes which have lovely waterfalls depending on the time of year you go.
11. We have some of the best national and state parks in the nation.
Nevada is home to so many parks it's hard to pick a favorite. There's Great Basin National Park, Valley of Fire State Park, Red Rock National Conservation Area, Cathedral Gorge State Park...plus the wildlife refuges such Ash Meadows and Pahranagat to name just a few.
12. Yes, there really are slot machines in the strangest places.
Gambling is a big part of our economy, though that doesn't mean every resident here has any interest in gambling. It definitely is unique to see slot machines in the weirdest spots, like gas stations, the airport and your local grocery store.
Nevadans, what are things you feel you often have to explain to out-of-staters? Share in the comments!