With a reputation that includes cowboys and showgirls, what better place for a vacation than Nevada? Nevada is a state with both a vibrant and exciting past and present. Although the majority of Nevada is vast acres of rustic and beautiful rugged mountains and arid desert, the state’s big cities are among the most exciting in the world.
Nevada’s entertainment center is the casino-studded city of Las Vegas as well as popular Reno. For your fill of every outdoor sport you can imagine, visitors head to Lake Tahoe or one of Nevada’s many great recreational areas. Visitors that want a taste of the old west can find what they’re looking for in Nevada’s small towns.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Just 15 miles outside of Las Vegas you’ll find this National Conservation Area that displays some of Nevada’s stunning red rock formations. The formations are sandstone peaks thrusting up to 3,000 feet in the air. A visit to Red Rock Canyon is a popular day trip from Las Vegas and it allows visitors a chance to view the rocks, tour the visitor center, or go for a hike. Red Rock Canyon is also popular with rock climbers as the tall rock walls make for an exciting climbing challenge.
Great Basin National Park
Near the town of Baker is this national park that sits in the valley floor 8,000 feet below the surrounding Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada. Great Basin is known for its ancient bristle cone pines, trees which are considered the oldest known non-clonal organisms. A favorite attraction at the park is the Lehman Cave National Monument, caves of marble and limestone which date to 550 million years ago. The park is a popular destination for hiking and camping, and it’s also a hot spot for rock climbers.
Las Vegas Strip
The “Entertainment Capital of the World” is a favorite destination for excitement and entertainment and the Las Vegas Strip is where all the action happens. Visitors to the Las Vegas Strip can stroll the avenue for glimpses of amazing structures like the Luxor Pyramid, the Paris Casino’s miniature Eifel Tower, or the small Statue of Liberty at New York, New York. In addition to just taking in the sights, most visitors to Vegas enjoy seeing a show or performance in one of the casinos and, of course, testing their luck at the casino tables.
One of Nevada and California’s most popular vacation destinations is the enormous lake nestled between the two states where year-round fun and outdoor recreation awaits. In the summer visitors to Tahoe enjoy boating and water activities on the lake as well as golf, hiking, and camping in the surrounding areas. During the winter Lake Tahoe becomes a snowy wonderland where visitors can enjoy world-class skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating and other winter sports. For those not interested in working up a sweat during their vacation, Lake Tahoe is also known for its shopping, gambling, dining and first-class resorts.
Possibly America’s most well-known dam is the Hoover Dam, stretching across the Colorado River in the Black Canyon on the border between Arizona and Nevada.The dam’s generators provide power for many parts of Nevada, Arizona, and California. Because U.S. Route 93 used to cross directly over the dam, it has traditionally been a popular stop for tourists gawking at the massive wall of water below, but since 2010 cars have had to take the Hoover Dam Bypass route to get through and a separate road to approach the dam. Visitors to the dam can tour the visitor’s center to learn about the dam’s history and functioning, take tours of the dam, or stop for a few photographs of the technological marvel.
Top Things to Do in Nevada
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
In southeastern Nevada and northwestern Arizona is Lake Mead which skirts along the Colorado River corridor to the edges of Grand Canyon National Park.The area surrounding Lake Mead comprises three desert ecosystems: the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin Desert, and the Sonoran Desert. Lake Mead ranks among the country’s top national parks. Lake Mead is a popular destination for water recreation sports of all type and it’s also a favorite for hikers and campers.
The Mob Museum
The Mob Museum offers a wide array of thematically oriented sections addressing the Mob’s involvement in illegal activities such as gambling, drugs, prostitution or bootlegging and the efforts of the law enforcement to eliminate those criminal operations. On the second floor is a courtroom, which was the location of one of fourteen national Kefauver Committee hearings to expose organized crime. The Museum also acquired the blood-stained wall where the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre took place. Other exhibits focus on Mob violence, casino money skimming operations, and wiretapping by law enforcement. Visitors can watch a film about the history of Organized Crime.
High Roller is a 550-foot tall and 520-foot in diameter giant Ferris wheel on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. It is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The High Roller is the world’s largest observation wheel with 28 transparent pods holding 40 passengers each. At night the wheel is illuminated by a 2,000-LED system which can display a single solid color, differently colored sections, multiple colors moving around the rim and custom displays for special events and holidays.
Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is a public recreation and nature preservation area covering over 40,000 acres. World-renowned for its bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops nestled in gray and tan limestone, Valley of Fire State Park contains ancient, petrified trees dating back more than 2,000 years. A Visitor Center provides exhibits on the geology, ecology, prehistory and history of the park and nearby region. Open year round, the park has numerous campsites equipped with shaded tables, grills and water, as well as many trails.
Nevada Museum of Art
The Nevada Museum of Art is located in Reno, Nevada. The Nevada Museum of Art permanent collection is divided into four thematic focus areas: Altered Landscape Photography, Art of the Greater West, Contemporary Art, and the Work Ethic. The Center for Art + Environment Archive Collections and Library serve scholars and researchers seeking information related to creative interactions between people and their natural, built, and virtual environments.
Things to Do in Nevada
Only Las Vegas has been dubbed “the Entertainment Capital of the World,” but it’s a name that all of Nevada has earned with its wealth of exciting destinations for travelers of every type. From the awe-inspiring magnificent Hoover Dam, to the stunning Bellagio Fountains of Las Vegas, and the dazzling sky of Tonopah, Nevada redefines the word entertainment.