Nevada is a state with some amazing historical and natural wonders, not to mention some fun entertainment opportunities! Here are some “bucket list” items that every Nevadian should do at least once in the state we all love!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Hike in our natural areas.
Nevada residents tend to be big outdoor enthusiasts and why not? We have some truly beautiful natural spaces here and no matter what part of the state you're in, there's sure to be some lovely hiking and walking trails. Even better, take your canine friend along with you!
2. Visit a ghost town.
Because of Nevada's history with mining, particularly during the late 1800's and early 1990's, it was not unusual for towns to spring up overnight when a mine was discovered and then disappear within a few years when the mine production diminished. There are ghost towns all over the state for this reason and they're a unique part of the state's history and allure.
3. Marvel at our "great" lakes.
For one of the most arid states in the nation, we have some of the largest lakes in the country as well as some of the most picturesque. Lake Mead, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake - take your pick!
4. Our rivers are something else as well!
Nevada is also blessed with some large rivers which are incredibly impressive in person. The Colorado River which passes through Laughlin and down into Arizona, and the Truckee River that runs through Reno and into California, are two of the largest.
5. Step back into history.
Nevada is filled with many towns that still look much the same as they did back during the big Comstock Lode mining boom. Walking down the streets of towns like Genoa, Virginia City, Dayton and more is a window into the past and Nevada culture.
6. Celebrate on Nevada Day.
Nevada is one of the few states in the Union that actively celebrates becoming a state each year. Nevada Day, the last Friday in October, is a state holiday with various celebrations around the state, with the largest in Carson City.
7. See horses living in the wild.
Nevada has the largest population of wild horses and burros in the country, most of which live on land run by the Bureau of Land Management. It's a truly awe-inspiring sight to see one or more wild mustangs roaming free while you're out on a walk or a hike or just driving down the highway.
8. Gaze at the stars.
Nevada is known for having some of the darkest skies in the nation which makes it a favorite spot for some spectacular night time star viewing. Being able to see the Milky Way without a telescope is something you'll never forget.
9. See the Las Vegas Strip at least once.
Not everyone who lives in Nevada is a fan of gambling or the "wild partying" that is the idealized version of Las Vegas. But there are so many things to see and do in this town that it's worth a visit at least once. If you don't love casinos, there are some incredible exhibits, such as the Bellagio Conservatory (not to mention the Fountains!) and what's more, many of them are free. There's also the Smith Center, a major cultural institution, and many fine museums, fine dining and more.
10. Dine at a buffet.
There are many types of cuisine that are done incredibly well in Nevada, such as Basque food, Asian delicacies, and more. But the quintessential dining establishment that is often associated with Nevada in many out-of-statian's minds is the buffet. And buffets are certainly to be found almost everywhere in Nevada and there's one to fit every taste (and stomach!)
11. Visit Hoover Dam.
Over a million people visit the Hoover Dam every year to see this engineering marvel in person. It's more than just an incredible building with an amazing view. There's some incredible art deco design to be found around the dam's building and the tour inside is fascinating.
12. Ride a train.
Trains were very important during Nevada's mining boom and while they are no longer employed as much, there are several renovated old-fashioned trains in the state that you can take a scenic ride on. Some even have fun events like Halloween rides, Polar Express rides and wine and dinner themes. The Virginia & Truckee Railroad in Virginia City and the Nevada Southern Railway in Boulder City are two options to try out.
13. Visit Nevada's own "Grand Canyon."
Nevada has many incredible national and state parks - Cathedral Gorge, Great Basin and Valley of Fire to name just a few. One of our most beautiful is known as our own "Grand Canyon" - the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The dramatic red rock cliffs make for some incredible outdoor opportunities. You can do everything here, from hiking to climbing to horseback riding to taking a scenic drive. It's also well loved by nature photographers.
What other activities and places would you put on Nevada’s bucket list? Share your thoughts in the comments!