From the solitary flats of the Mojave Desert to the sagebrush-covered valleys of Ruby Mountains, Nevada has much more to offer than just the neon and noise of Las Vegas. From the darkest of night skies in Tonopah to devil-may-care vibe and off-the-wall entertainment of the Las Vegas Strip, the ‘Silver State’ encompasses bevy of tourist attractions. Discover a new story around every corner in the sparsely populated ghost towns, chase your adventurous spirits on the open highways and smell sagebrush after a thunderstorm, or just shake the glitter off your clothes and remember – “What Happens in Vegas…”
Great Basin National Park – Established in 1986, this little-known national park features ancient Bristlecone pine trees and peculiar cave formations. The Snake Valley is the gateway to the national park and Lehman Caves. Comprising five ecological zones, the park is home to abundant animal species like rabbits, squirrels, mountain cottontails, and chipmunks. Extending for nearly a quarter-mile, Lehman Caves are the most profusely endowed (with limestone and marble) caves here. The park has 12 trails for hiking and biking; and five campsites. Don’t forget to explore Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive and Island Forest Trail.
The Valley of Fire – Founded in 1935, it is the oldest state park in the Mojave Desert. Spanning across an area of 66 sq. miles, it is renowned for petrified wood, red sandstone formations, and unique flora and fauna. It is favored by local and tourists alike for RV camping and picnicking.
Hoover Dam – Without Hoover Dam, there wouldn’t be a Las Vegas! A marvel of modern engineering, this arched dam is built on the Colorado River near the Arizona state border. At 221 meters and less than an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, this iconic dam is a major tourist attraction.
Amusement Parks – Packed with action and thrills, Adventuredome is the largest indoor theme park in the US. Comprising an area of five acres, it offers 25 rides including the Canyon Blaster roller coaster, 18-hole miniature golf course, clown shows, and an arcade. In summers, Wet’n’Wild Las Vegas – with its pools and water slides – is a good way to escape the heat.
Museums – National Automobile Museum displays vintage automobiles from the late 19th to the mid-20th century. Located in Reno, it holds more than 200 cars spread through four galleries. National Atomic Testing Museum documents the history of nuclear testing in the state. Learn about the global nuclear programs through interactive videos and fascinating exhibits to open your mind. The Nevada Museum of Art, Pinball Hall of Fame, Mob Museum, and Madame Tussauds Las Vegas are other prominent museums to visit.
Neon Boneyard – Founded in 1996, this museum is dedicated to collecting and preserving neon signs mostly from old casinos and other business establishments. Neon Boneyard North Gallery is a popular spot for hosting weddings, special events, and photo shoots. Visitors can take an hour-long guided tour which is available all days of the week.
Fly Geyser – It’s an artificial geothermal geyser located near the Fly Reservoir. A mix-up of human error and natural pressure created this rainbow-colored wonder in the Black Rock Desert.
Bonnie Springs Ranch, Nevada State Capitol, Shark Reef Aquarium, Caesars Palace, and Bellagio Hotel are other points of interest in Nevada.
Parks and Recreation – Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area allows mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and wildlife watching. Hike the 38-mile-long Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail, enjoy cross-country skiing in Lamoille Canyon, and peruse the trails for ancient Indian carvings on the surrounding rock faces. Echo Canyon State Park offers a 35-acre reservoir teeming with wildlife and birds like eagles, hawks, hummingbirds, roadrunners, and vultures.
Outdoor Thrills – Lake Mead National Recreation Area encompasses Lake Mead, Lake Mohave, and the Colorado River. It is the biggest aquatic playground in the state offering swimming, kayaking, fishing, boating, and scuba diving – for both beginners and advanced divers. In addition to its panoramic beauty, Lake Tahoe becomes a major hub for enjoying skiing with guests coming from Reno, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Heavenly Mountain Resort, Squaw Valley, and Kirkwood Mountain Resort are the most popular ski resorts in the region.
Las Vegas Strip – There is no better place to explore the ‘Sin City’ than this. As glitzy and glamorous as the Sunset Boulevard in L. A., this street is, by all means, the centerpiece of bright lights, tempting nightlife, weird sights, and wildest people. Splurge on exquisite gourmet meals, indulge in decadent spa treatments, ride the giant Ferris wheel to get a better perspective, blow on the dice and hedge your bets in casinos, attend artistic live shows of Cirque du Soleil in one of the luxury hotels, and party in the nightclubs until sun shines again. If you want a Vegas feel sans the crowd, visit casinos in Reno and Laughlin.
Wedding – Simply put, it is easier to get a marriage license in Nevada than getting a driver’s license in many states. Be it a spontaneous decision or just a budget wedding ceremony, there are many chapels in Las Vegas to tie the knot. And if it’s not too much to ask, try to stay sober on the most special day of your life.
Road Trips – Two national scenic byways, Pyramid Lake Scenic Byway and Lake Tahoe–Eastshore Drive, offer unique attractions in the state. For an “out of this world” experience of Area 51, head out to State Route 375, also known as the Extraterrestrial Highway. To really find solitude, take a drive on Highway 50 – often named the Loneliest Highway in America.
•Following are the major international airports in Nevada –
• McCarran International Airport (LAS)
• Reno–Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
Lying mostly in the Great Basin region, Nevada is a landlocked state in the western United States. It is bordered by California to the West, Arizona to the southeast, Utah to the East, Idaho to the northeast, and Oregon to the northwest.
By Air – McCarran International Airport, five miles south of downtown Las Vegas, has regular flights to and from major cities in the US, central America, European, and Asian countries.
By Train – The California Zephyr, an Amtrak passenger train, has three stations in the state: Reno, Elko, and Winnemucca Station.
By Road – While Interstate Highway I- 80 traverses northern Nevada, I-15 runs through Las Vegas metropolitan area. U.S. Routes (US 6, US 50. US 93, and US 95) and State Routes (SR 376, SR 318, SR 140, SR 225) create a dense network of road system.
• It was the 36th state to enter the union on October 31, 1864.
• The state motto is “All for Our Country” and state capital is Carson City.
• Nevada’ originates from a Spanish word meaning ‘snow-covered.’
• With an elevation of 4,007 meters, Boundary Peak is the highest point in the state.
• Reno is referred as “The Biggest Little City in the World” and Elko is nicknamed “The Heart of Northeast Nevada.”
• It is the only state in the US where prostitution is legal, except in Las Vegas and Reno.•
• Las Vegas Strip has over 75,000 miles of neon lights along its length.
• Lake Mead, formed by the Hoover Dam, is the largest reservoir in the US by volume.
• It is the largest producer of gold in the nation and only second in the world – behind South Africa.