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17 Fantastic Things To Do In Historic Carson City, Nevada

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  • United States

Ready for an adventure? Check out Carson City, Nevada! This vibrant capital city is filled with history and packed with plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy during your visit. Carson City has something for everyone, from its well-preserved downtown district to its stunning mountain scenery. Plus, with its close proximity to Lake Tahoe and other amazing natural areas, you’ll never run out of things to see and do.

During a recent trip around Lake Tahoe, Carson City was our home base for most of our adventures in the area. Here are some must-see attractions and things to do in the delightful Carson City.

Visit Carson City and partners hosted our stay and activities in Carson City. All opinions are my own.

Battle Born Hall in the Nevada State Capitol

1. Nevada Capitol Building

Take a walking tour of the historic Nevada Capitol Building . It is one of the most iconic buildings in Carson City. Completed in 1871, the capitol houses the Nevada State Legislature, as well as the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor.

The tour will take you through the different floors of the building and give you a chance to see the legislative chambers and the governor’s press office. Battle Born Hall is also in the Nevada State Capitol and is an interesting visit full of state history.

Take a stroll through the mesmerizing Nevada State Capitol grounds. Beautiful gardens, century-old trees, and monuments are found on a picturesque campus.

Pro Tip: There are many great spots for outdoor photos on the grounds.

2. Nevada State Museum

Carson City is full of history, and the fascinating Nevada State Museum does an excellent job of preserving and sharing it. The Nevada State Museum is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Carson City and the state of Nevada. The museum houses various exhibits and artifacts on topics such as the state’s mining and railroad history, Native American heritage, and the life of Mark Twain.

It was interesting to learn about the transcontinental railroad construction and the Comstock Lode, a major silver deposit found in the area in 1859.

Pro Tip: Enter through the glass structure addition.

Engine outside of the Nevada State Railroad Museum

3. Nevada State Railroad Museum

The Nevada State Railroad Museum is located in Carson City’s historic Virginia & Truckee Railroad Depot. The museum offers a variety of exhibits on the state’s railroad history and the development of the railroad to the west. There are many locomotives and other cars available to view. If you are a train lover, this is a must-see. 

Pro Tip: On the grounds near the visitor center is a locomotive that provides an excellent photo opportunity.

Former Governor's Mansion on the Kit Carson Trail

4. Kit Carson Trail

Explore the Kit Carson Trail that runs through Carson City. It is named after Kit Carson, a famous explorer and frontiersman living in Carson City during the 19th century. The walking tour of the historic district takes you by approximately 50 landmarks, including former governors’ mansions, Victorian architecture, vintage churches, other historic buildings, and a house that was part of a Lifetime Christmas movie.

Pro Tip: This tour involves lots of walking. Wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated.

5. Downtown Carson City

Wander the charming streets of downtown Carson City, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, casinos, and historic buildings dating back to the 1800s.

6. Virginia & Truckee Railway

Ride the world-renowned Virginia & Truckee Railway . This attraction offers 24-mile rides on antique steam locomotives from Carson City to Virginia City. The scenic ride takes you through canyons, mining towns, and tunnels. You then have time to explore historic Virginia City before returning to Carson City.

7. Stewart Indian School

Learn about Nevada’s Indigenous People at Stewart Indian School . Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Stewart Indian School is dedicated to preserving the history of what was once the largest off-reservation Indian boarding school in the United States.

Robin and friends riding railbikes in Carson City

8. Railbike Tours

Pedal yourself through Carson City history aboard a railbike that takes you along the historic tracks of the Virginia & Truckee Railway. The railbikes are motor-assisted but require constant pedaling when going uphill. Carson Canyon Railbike Tours guides you into the beautiful Carson River Canyon and beyond. This one-of-a-kind adventure takes approximately an hour and a half.

Pro Tip: Passengers must be able to pedal during the trip for an extended time.

Carson Hot Springs

9. Carson Hot Springs

After hiking or riding railbikes, a soak in the hot springs is exactly what the doctor ordered. The Carson Hot Springs includes a large cool-water pool and three relaxing hot-spring-soaking pools, each at a different temperature.

10. Carson City Triathlon

Drink, dine, and dip to participate in the Carson City Triathlon . Visit Carson City challenges visitors to visit Shoe Tree Brewing Company , grab a beverage, eat lunch or dinner at Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint , and take a dip at Carson Hot Springs . (All three share a parking lot.) You can download the Triathlon Pass and check in at all three locations within 24 hours to earn a T-shirt.

11. The Brewery Arts Center

The Brewery Arts Center is a nonprofit arts organization that offers entertainment throughout the year. Past events have included concerts, plays, stand-up comedy, and more. Check out their online schedule for what might be happening during your visit. The center is located in an old brewery building, which adds to its charm.

12. Kings Canyon Waterfall

Located west of downtown, Kings Canyon is a 30-foot cascading waterfall. Two trails lead to the stunning waterfall. The main trail along the lower loop is a short and easy hike. The upper path is longer and considered moderate-to-difficult with elevation. The best time to visit is in the spring and early summer when snow melt and rain provide a steady water flow. The water is cold, but you can dip under the falls if you wish.

Pro Tip: If you plan on hiking, it is recommended to do it early, before 9 a.m., due to the intense heat and sun.

Old Fashioned Restuarant in Virginia City

13. Virginia City

Take a day trip to Virginia City. Once a booming mining town during the Comstock Lode days, Virginia City now offers historic tours, restaurants, shops, museums, saloons, mines, and more. 

You can ride the train to Virginia City or drive by car. The train was not running when we visited. It was a beautiful drive, although, the road was full of curves and steady elevation. Along the way, we saw some wild horses.

Another train runs from Virginia City to Gold Hill . We took that train ride and learned about Virginia City’s history. 

The next time we visit, we plan to take the mining tour. 

14. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a gorgeous lake only a half-hour drive from Carson City and is one of Nevada’s most popular tourist destinations. The lake is known for its clear blue water and beautiful beaches. It has one of the most beautiful views in all of Nevada.

There are also plenty of activities to enjoy in Lake Tahoe , such as hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming.

We visited in the summer and enjoyed cooling off in the lake. 

Pro Tip: For a scenic afternoon drive, ride around the entire 72-mile Lake Tahoe Loop. Be sure to stop and take photos at Emerald Bay.

15. Special Events In Carson City

Carson City is home to numerous special events throughout the year. Events include the Mark Twain Days Festival, Carson City Turkey Trot, and Silver & Snowflake Festival of Lights.

Pro Tip: If you’re visiting in July, attend Nevada Days, Carson City’s annual celebration of statehood, complete with a parade, carnival rides, live music, and more!

Barbecue Ribs at Red's Old 395 Grill

16. Restaurants In Carson City

Grab a bite at one of the many delicious eateries in town. Here are a few of the great places to eat, drink, and be merry in Carson City.

  • Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint : A fun menu and great food
  • Red’s Old 395 Grill : They have a huge menu with stellar barbecue and a fun old-west atmosphere.
  • Nashville Social Club : One of the newest places in town offering live music and southern-style food
  • Great Basin Brewing Co : Excellent for food and a brew

Pro Tip: Be sure to visit the oldest bar in Nevada. Head 20 minutes to Genoa to the Genoa Bar & Saloon . The walls of the building have been there since 1851.

17. Staybridge Suites

If you want to stay where you can spread out and feel at home, consider the Staybridge Suites in Carson City. We enjoyed our stay in a two-bedroom suite and found it to be the perfect place for two couples traveling together. Each couple had a large bedroom and bath with a common area in the middle that included a kitchen and living room.

Breakfasts were abundant and delicious each morning. I loved that they had different items on the menu daily. 

The Staybridge also had a lovely outdoor area with fire pits, a pool, a hot tub, and luxurious seating. One of the things we liked best was the large laundry area. They had numerous washers and dryers for guests to use, free of charge. With another week of travel ahead, we did laundry before the next leg of our trip.

The best thing about Staybridge was the staff. They went out of their way to be accommodating and provide tips on where to eat, where to see a great view, etc. We felt very welcome and comfortable during our stay.

Carson City is a great place to visit if you’re looking for culture, history, outdoor recreation, or just a good time! With its rich history and abundance of outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone in this charming little city. Whether you’re visiting for a day or staying for a week, check out these fantastic things to do in Carson City!

Related Reading:

  • Why We Quit RVing Full-Time And Moved To Mesquite, Nevada
  • 7 Cities In Nevada Ideal For Retirees
  • 8 Best Day Trips From Las Vegas, Nevada

Image of Robin O'Neal Smith

Robin O’Neal Smith is a freelance and travel writer. A young baby boomer, Robin and her husband have traveled throughout North America, many of the Caribbean Islands, and Europe. She loves cruising and inspiring others to live their dreams of travel. Follow her travels on her personal site where she discusses travel, food, and more!

PlanetWare.com

11 Top-Rated Things to Do in Carson City, NV

Written by Brad Lane Updated Mar 24, 2023

Carson City, the capital of Nevada , is on the far western side of the state, near the east shoreline of Lake Tahoe. It's been the capital since Nevada earned its statehood in 1864 and was the territorial capital before that. Before explorer John C. Fremont laid eyes on the land in the 1840s, the Washoe People occupied the region for thousands of years.

From the 1870s State Capitol to the old homes and storefronts lining the Kit Carson Trail, history is hard to miss when visiting. And several tourist attractions like museums, house tours, and heritage railroad lines make this history a participatory experience.

Carson City provides several modern attractions within its historical settings. It also offers access to the region's stunning natural environment. Places to visit like Lake Tahoe and Lake Washoe are less than a half-hour drive from the city center, and downtown offers several local restaurants and boutique stores to explore between adventures.

Find a new Nevada adventure with our list of the top things to do in Carson City.

1. Walk through History on the Kit Carson Trail

2. visit the nevada state capitol building, 3. shopping and dining in carson city, 4. roll down the tracks at the nevada state railroad museum, 5. tour the nevada state museum, 6. find adventure at washoe lake state park, 7. hop aboard the v&t railroad, 8. spend a sunny day at bowers mansion regional park, 9. step back in time in virginia city, 10. take a dip in lake tahoe, 11. day trip to reno, map of things to do in carson city, nv, carson city, nv - climate chart.

Governor's Mansion, Kit Carson Trail

Carson City has been the state capital of Nevada since 1864 and was the territorial capital before that. This longstanding history is readily apparent upon walking the downtown streets and capitol grounds. Alongside the stately Capitol building itself, several aesthetic buildings throughout the area still stand from the 1800s.

The Kit Carson Trail is a 2.5-mile self-guided historic walking tour, highlighting much of the remaining 19th-century architecture. The sightseeing route zigzags from the Capitol Complex and throughout the adjacent West Side Historic District. Among the buildings along the route are the Governor's Mansion, century-old churches, and dozens of historic homes.

Historical house on the Kit Carson Trail

Nearly 50 landmarks comprise the Kit Carson Trail in total, making it one of the most extensive history walks in the state. Interpretive information on the edge of most properties details the historic statures of each building. These information placards help paint the picture of Carson City's early history.

The Kit Carson Trail is one of Carson City's best attractions. It's also an unavoidable part of almost any visit. Much of Carson City's appeal, including the Capitol Complex and downtown district, are on this historic path.

Nevada State Capitol

For those interested in state government or not, the Nevada State Capitol Complex is a beautiful space to walk around and enjoy the day. Tree-lined walkways navigate the complex, which includes other government buildings like the State Library and Supreme Court . And a large plaza and walkway at the center of campus offer a stately place to enjoy the day.

The State Capitol itself, constructed with native sandstone between 1870 and 1871, is the oldest building on campus. It's also one of the oldest capitol buildings west of the Mississippi River. Today, it's a signature building on the Kit Carson Trail and a still bustling center of government.

Battle Born Hall, Nevada State Capitol

Self-guided tours of the Capitol are available throughout the week. Alongside government chambers and stately artworks, the building is home to the Battle Born Hall on the second floor. This 2,000-square-foot museum showcases the Trailblazing Nevada exhibit, highlighting significant aspects in state history.

The State Capitol is open for walk-in visitors every day of the week, excluding major holidays, from 8am to 5pm. The Capitol and Battle Born Hall are free to visit.

Address: 101 N Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada

Downtown Carson City

The capital city has several unique shopping and dining opportunities. The busiest area of town is the historic district next to the Capitol Complex. Here, the Kit Carson Trail weaves throughout the streets, and several landmark buildings invite window shopping.

From antiques to home goods, fashion, and florists, this downtown area has a bit of everything. Other storefronts include music stores, art galleries, and comic book shops. The entire area is very pedestrian-friendly, and several nearby non-metered parking areas make it easy to ditch the car.

This downtown district also has restaurants catering to all three meals of the day. A few of the local favorites for dinner include The Basil and Garibaldi's Italian Kitchen . Breakfast is best served at places like Mom & Pop's Diner , and Scoups Ice Cream & Soup Bar offers both savory and sweet options.

Nevada State Railroad Museum

The Nevada State Railroad Museum preserves and displays the state's locomotive history. The museum is south of the downtown district and occupies a large building with several railcars and locomotives inside. Also among the museum's collection are photographs and memorabilia.

Many exhibits at the museum relate to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad . This 1869 event transformed access between the coasts, ushering in a new era of trade and migration.

Other exhibits at the museum tell the continuing history of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad , one of the most famous short lines in America. The still-operating V&T rail line spans 22 miles from Carson City to Virginia City and played a vital role during the "Big Bonanza" of 1873. Today, commemorative railroad trips are available up and down the line.

Address: 2180 S Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada

Official site: https://carsonrailroadmuseum.org/

Nevada State Museum

Head to the Nevada State Museum for a deep dive into the Silver State. Here, several artifacts and exhibits relate to the state's geology, history, and continuing story. It's a fun place to visit for some valuable insight and to start the Kit Carson Trail , as the historic walking trail extends in both directions from the museum.

The museum itself is within the historic Carson City Mint , dating back to the late 1800s. Permanent exhibits range in subject matter from native populations to the rocks and minerals that comprise the state's unique landscape. And every exhibit showcases great detail with informative panels and comprehensive replicas.

For more museum attractions, the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada is just across the street. This favorite family attraction is housed within the 1939 Carson City Auditorium , another historic downtown building. This experiential learning museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Address: 600 N Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada

Official site: https://www.carsonnvmuseum.org/

Washoe Lake State Park

This popular state park is on the southeast shore of Washoe Lake, less than a 15-minute drive north of the city. The park caters to several recreation outlets, including hiking, camping, and equestrian activities, and with waterfront access and a boat launch, it's also popular for water sports.

Whatever the activity, brilliant views of the opposing Carson Range backdrop the entire lake. This beautiful view often includes soaring wildlife across the sky, and the trails at the park offer a variety of landscapes, including dunes, beaches, and inland shrubs.

Washoe Lake State Park has 49 campsites available , some accommodating RVs up to 45 feet in length. No hookups are available, and all sites are up for grabs on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the year. Temperatures hit a max during the summer, and a few sites have shade structures to combat the heat.

Official site: http://parks.nv.gov/parks/washoe-lake

Virginia & Truckee Railroad

The Virginia & Truckee Railroad is a historic short line dating back to the 1870s and the "Big Bonanza" in the region. This boom of gold and silver put Virginia City on the map, and the railroad became instrumental for transporting ore and supplies to and from Truckee. By 1872, the line connected to the larger Central Pacific Railroad.

Today, the V&T runs as a heritage line, offering scenic passenger trips from Truckee to Virginia City and back. These narrated tours depart from the Eastgate Depot and include a 3.5-hour layover in Virginia City. The route navigates scenic canyons and tunnels and takes approximately 90 minutes to cover the 22-mile length of the track.

Several other route options are also available. The holiday Polar Express route is perhaps the most popular, often selling out weeks in advance. Other notable rides include a Memorial Day Weekend Train and a Mother's Day Train. V&T Railway also has unique motor-assisted railbike tours available.

Official site: https://vtrailway.com/

Bowers Mansion Regional Park

Bowers Mansion Regional Park is a scenic 13-mile drive north of the city, near the west shore of Washoe Lake. The park features expansive lawn space, different playground areas, and a popular public pool in the summer months. It's also the site of the Historic Bowers Mansion, dating back to 1864 when silver mining was at a boom.

The mansion has been meticulously restored and receives accolades for its 1860s accuracy. Guided tours are available on the weekends and holidays between Memorial Day and the end of October. Tours run every hour during these operating times. There's a small fee to tour the home.

While the mansion tour is enlightening, the surrounding parkland is also a popular place to visit. It's a beautiful outdoor landscaped space with tall trees all around, ideal for a picnic or casual time spent outside. During the week, it's a common gathering spot for playdates and adventure time.

Virginia City

Virginia City, Nevada, home to the 1870s " Big Bonanza " silver and gold boom, is a scenic 15-mile drive from Carson City. This historic mining town is also accessible via a ride on the V&T Railroad heritage line. And while this once "Queen of the Comstock" has long since busted its silver and gold deposits, much of its historic infrastructure remains.

Today, Virginia City is more of a tourist destination than a mining town. A long boardwalk straddles both sides of the main drag of Virginia City, with several colorful storefronts vying for attention. Here, the range of shopping extends from souvenirs to western fashion and includes more than one old-fashioned candy store.

Virginia City is also a hot spot for museums and historical attractions. The Mackay Mansion Museum and Fourth Ward School Museum are two visitor favorites. Another cultural icon worth seeking out is Saint Mary in the Mountains Catholic Church , although it's hard to miss.

Chimney Beach, Lake Tahoe

The western edge of Carson City limits includes Lake Tahoe shoreline. This proximity means residents of the city can reach the iconic blue waters with less than a 20-minute drive from downtown. And this access makes Lake Tahoe a popular outlet to enjoy throughout the year.

Highway 50 heading west out of town is the main access route to Lake Tahoe. This country-spanning highway passes by Spooner Lake , part of Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park . This outdoor space is popular with hiking and boating opportunities. Spooner Lake is also where the road forks to head south or north along Lake Tahoe.

Several beaches span both directions on the shoreline. To the north, places like Chimney Beach and Sand Harbor Beach draw a lot of attention. Secret Cove is also a popular spot, despite its name, and offers a known nudist beach. And heading south on the shoreline is the fastest route to Stateline and South Lake Tahoe.

Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do at Lake Tahoe

Reno Arch

The "Biggest Little City in the World" is a half-hour drive north of Carson City. Reno has long since been a tourist destination, but the city has evolved into a top family destination in the state. Among its many family-friendly tourist attractions are museums, auditoriums, and wildlife sanctuaries.

Neon lights are also a big attraction of Reno, including the iconic Reno Arch on North Virginia Street. This illuminated arch and other lighted signs flash late into the night, offering guidance for the city's several dining and entertainment options.

A few museums in Reno to put on the radar include the National Automobile Museum and the Nevada Museum of Art . The massive National Bowling Stadium is also hard to miss when visiting, with a giant aluminum bowling bowl adorning the side of the building.

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An Underrated Gem: The Ultimate Travel Guide To Carson City & Things To Do

Situated on the shore of Lake Tahoe, the capital city of Nevada, Carson City has a rich history (though it's not one of the oldest cities in Nevada ). From museums that preserve history to sheer vibrancy, Carson City has it all. This city stands out for its scenic beauty, comfortable railroad, late-night gambling, and hiking.

Carson City grew from mining, railroad, and logging to a modern existence in the late 1850s and became the capital of Nevada in 1864. This underrated gem holds homage to its Victorian roots, rich history, and tribal culture even today in its museums. The best museums among the lot are the Nevada State Capital Building and Nevada State Museum, and the city nurtures stories from Native Americans.

Along Lake Tahoe, visitors can find numerous outdoor activities including waterfalls that can be visited and hiked by beginners and advanced-level hikers too. The Kit Carson trail hosts numerous cyclists all year round. The city is also considered a gold mine for adventure enthusiasts. Here is everything to know about the many things to do in Carson City, Nevada.

UPDATE: 2023/08/27 22:37 EST BY LANE VASQUEZ

There's even more to explore in Carson City, Nevada. Discover all the things to do in the area and start planning a trip!

Top Things To Do in Carson City NV

Carson City has a lot to explore. Whether visitors enjoy all-day hikes, want to sit by the beach and relish a quick picnic, or hope to camp by the shorelines of Lake Tahoe, there is something for everyone here.

1 Take A Self-Guided Bike Tour Around Lake Tahoe

What better way to start a good day than by exploring the shore of Lake Tahoe on a bike ride?

Hop on an e-bike and cruise past breathtaking views and turquoise blue waters of Lake Tahoe; visitors can opt for a round trip or end the tour at Sand Harbor.

  • Price: Starts at $115

Related: 10 Amazing Facts About Lake Tahoe You Probably Didn't Know

2 Traverse The Kit Carson Trail

Cycling is one way to enjoy Carson City, but walking the Kit Carson Trail is another. The 2.5-mile path winds throughout the city's historic district, and visitors can take a self-guided audio tour .

See Victorian-style homes from the 1800s, check out old museums and churches, and stop at tens of different landmarks to learn about the city.

3 Peer At The Sky From Jack C. Davis Observatory

Western Nevada College is home to the Jack C. Davis Observatory , where visitors can use both interior and exterior telescopes to explore the night sky. Visitors are invited to attend "star parties" with educational lectures.

  • Saturday Night Star Parties are free to attend!

4 Embark On A Hot Air Balloon Flight

Fly in a giant hot air balloon over Carson Valley and sink in the breathtaking views of the city's most pristine lakes and mountains.

With good luck, visitors might get a glimpse of the wildlife in the area too. The flight is accompanied by a local guide who will get them well-versed in the surroundings and the history of Carson City.

  • Price: Starts at $300

5 Book A Sand Harbor Helicopter Flight

Fly over Lake Tahoe's most famous beaches with the Sand Harbor Heli ride. The flight takes off from the southern part of Lake Tahoe and flies towards Lake Marlette.

On this flight, visitors can spot some of the secret scenic locations and hidden beaches like Chimney Beach, Skunk Harbor, and more. The breathtaking views are well worth the ticket price.

  • Price : Starts at $280

6 Relax At Carson Hot Springs

Who doesn't enjoy a relaxed spa dip in naturally healing waters? Nevada has its own hot springs in Carson City, where visitors can enjoy the gorgeous views while soaking in the rejuvenating water.

Whether it's a family with kids or a couple looking to spend some quality time in a relaxing natural retreat, Carson Hot Springs is the ultimate spot.

  • Price: Starts at $15

7 Bare It All At Secret Cove Beach

Secret Cove Nude Beach, as the name suggests, is an adult-only beach. It's also surrounded by pristine, turquoise-blue waters. The beach is located on the east shore of Lake Tahoe.

Secret Cove is Lake Tahoe's most photographed cove, thanks to the almost clear shallow waters ( which are great for snorkeling !).

  • Price: Free

Arrive early for the best odds at convenient parking.

8 Learn Something New At Nevada State Museum

This is one of the best museums in the city for history and culture fanatics. The museum exhibits the history of Carson City in creative and experiential ways.

They run group tours, private tours, and also some behind-the-scene special tours.

  • Price: Starts at $10
  • The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM.

9 Try Your Luck At Casino Fandango

Try some luck with gambling and a few games of cards over delicious food and unlimited alcohol at the best Casino in Carson City, Casino Fandango .

For someone who doesn't gamble, the casino also has dining and entertainment options.

10 Refresh At Kings Canyon Waterfalls

Kings Canyon is a 25 feet descending waterfall located just west of Carson City. The waterfall is located in the Kings Canyon National Park which also houses some other waterfalls too.

For visitors and locals who enjoy hiking along the beauty of the valley, this is a gorgeous getaway. The entire trail is one mile long and offers breathtaking views and a pleasant windy breeze. There are many hiking trails around Carson City, but this one steals the show.

11 Check Out The Trains At Nevada State Railroad Museum

Walk back into the history of Nevada's state-of-the-art rail exhibit. Ever wondered how people back in the day traveled by rail? Nevada State Railroad Museum is dedicated to educating visitors about the old-school rail technology that worked on steam and gas engines.

Some of the exhibits are even operated to enlighten visitors with a first-hand experience.

  • The museum is open from Thursday to Monday from 9 AM to 4:30 PM.

12 Bring The Kids To The Children's Museum Of Northern Nevada

Northern Nevada's Children's Museum is a festive museum offering a wide range of activities for children under the age of 14 years. They offer play-based learning experiences that make it a great spot for kids to enjoy some playtime.

13 Bask In The Views At Washoe Lake State Park

This is nestled in a scenic valley that offers eye-candy views of the Sierra Nevada. The park was established in 1977 and is spread across 3,700 acres of land.

The campground offers 49 campsites for single families to enjoy overnight picnics and breathtaking views. Washoe Lake is also pet-friendly as long as they are leashed and well-behaved.

14 Take A Day Trip To Virginia City (And More)

Carson City, Nevada is a convenient jumping-off point for exploring more of Nevada . Namely, it's close to Virginia City (about a 25-minute drive), a destination that's famous for the discovery of silver back in the 1850s.

  • Consider traveling to other mountain towns while in Nevada, too.

15 Best Time To Go To Carson City

The best time to visit Carson City is between the months of June to September. The sun is overhead, making it an excellent season for sunbathing and other outdoor activities.

However, this is the busiest season in Carson City. The hotel prices are usually at their peak, so it is best to make advance bookings.

Lake Tahoe attracts visitors from across the nation and the campgrounds are often fully packed. This makes it an excellent season to meet fellow travelers from around the world.

Related: 5-Day Bucket-List Road Trip Circuit: Explore Nevada

The months of April and May see fewer tourists and decent weather conditions. October and November are a photographer's paradise as Carson City welcomes the fall foliage .

16 Best Ways To Get Around

Flights to Carson City arrive from all over the country, but once you arrive, there are a handful of options for transportation.

The closest airport to Carson City is the Carson City Airport which is only 1.5 miles north of the city center and Reno-Tahoe International Airport which is quite a distance from the city center. However, this is more of a regional airport and has minimum flights flying in.

The city is located at the intersection of two major highways. While Highway 50 extends between the East and West sections of the nation, Highway 395 runs all the way through the US, from Mexico to Canada.

Jump Around Carson (JAC) is the local bus service that runs operations throughout the year. They offer day passes, week passes, and month-long passes at affordable rates.

  • This is one of the easiest ways to travel in and around Carson City.

17 Where To Stay

Carson City has endless hotels and home rental options that fit any budget. From luxury travelers to those with a strict budget, Carson City has everyone covered—and nearby cities offer comfortable accommodations, too.

Hyatt Residence Club Lake Tahoe, High Sierra Lodge (Luxury)

  • Accommodation: Hyatt Residence Club Lake Tahoe
  • Address : 989 Incline Way, Incline Village, NV 89451-9528
  • Amenities: This is a resort property with activities like skiing, swimming, and hiking on outdoor trails
  • Price : Starts at $380

Border House at Crystal Bay Casino (Luxury)

  • Accommodation: Border House at Crystal Bay Casino
  • Address : 14 State Highway 28, Crystal Bay, NV 89402
  • Amenities: Resort-style accommodation on casino grounds, offers nearby golf
  • Price : Starts at $295

Courtyard by Marriott Carson City (mid-range)

  • Accommodation : Courtyard by Marriott Carson City
  • Address : 3870 South Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701
  • Amenities : Nextdoor to Casino Fandango, suites available
  • Price : Starts at $212

Staybridge Suites Carson City (mid-range)

  • Accommodation : Staybridge Suites Carson City
  • Address : 972 Retail Court, Carson City, NV 89706
  • Amenities : Extended stays offered, suites available, social evening reception nights, outdoor courtyard & heated pool
  • Price : Starts at $233

Gold Dust West Carson City (Budget)

Gold Dust offers its guests modern and comfortable hotel rooms at budget-friendly prices. However, this is neither a child-friendly hotel nor a pet-friendly hotel.

Visitors have to be over 21 years of age to be able to stay here. Come and also enjoy mouth-watering food at the Grille restaurant in the hotel.

  • Accommodation: Gold Dust West Carson City
  • Address: 2171 E. William Street, Carson City, NV, 89701
  • Amenities: Outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, seasonal spa, in-house casino, 32-lane USBC bowling center.
  • Price : Starts at $130

Related: 10 Lake Tahoe Cabins That You Should Book This Winter

Hampton Inn And Suites, Carson City (budget)

  • Accommodation: Hampton Inn And Suites
  • Address: 10 Hospitality Way, Carson City, NV 89706
  • Amenities: Blackout curtains, microwave in rooms, pool, fitness center, car rental services, mountain views, and hiking.
  • Price : Starts at $166

18 Where To Eat

Carson City has plenty of eateries for visitors to enjoy between adventures.

This is a creative Thai cuisine restaurant with a welcoming ambiance and an art-adorned space. Each dish is artistically cooked and presented.

The restaurant offers the best Mango and coconut sticky rice as a seasonal special.

  • Address: 311 N Carson St., Carson City, NV 89701

This is one local favorite restaurant that runs also full-house on most days of the week. This is a family-owned American restaurant that offers the best breakfast in town.

Their made-to-order special omelet is an all-time favorite. Another breakfast favorite is the peach and sweet cream pancakes.

  • Address: 308 N Curry St Suite 102, Carson City, NV 89703

LA Bakery has the most delicious menu for sweet and savory delights. They even have vegan and gluten-free options.

  • Address: 1280 N Curry St. Carson City, NV 89703

Related: These Lake Tahoe Hikes Take You To Its Most Scenic Views

19 What To Know When Visiting Carson City

Carson City, Nevada is in a desert climate, so days can get super hot in the summer and equally cold at night. When visiting, be prepared for both extremes, and make sure to keep hydrated while exploring.

Is Carson City worth visiting?

Absolutely. Carson City has everything from outdoor activities to historic sites, museums, art galleries, and theaters. The city is also filled with numerous entertainment options.

Lake Tahoe is the most famous tourist spot in Carson City with a wide range of hikes for both beginner and novice hikers .

20 How To Spend A Perfect Day In Carson City

While seeing all of Carson City inside-out would take about two days, visitors can still cover the major attractions in a day trip. Start off with the Nevada State Museum and the Railroad Museum followed by some delicious lunch at the Fox Brewpub. Don't forget to try out the sweet potato fries with some chipotle mayo on the side.

After a rejuvenating lunch, head to explore the State Capitol Building and walk by the parks and ancient buildings. End the day by trying some luck at Casino Fandango and enjoy a steak dinner and live music.

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Things to Do in Carson City Nevada

The 10 Best Things to Do in Carson City, Nevada

Last Modified: August 23, 2023 //  by  Anda //   17 Comments

Carson City was founded in 1858 and named for the famous frontiersman and scout Christopher “Kit” Carson. By virtue of its location – at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range – Carson City has tons of places to visit and things to do to keep you entertained. 

Statue of Kit Carson in Carson City

From picturesque state parks, historic buildings, and interesting museums, to bustling casinos, and eclectic breweries, you can find just about any kind of entertainment in Nevada’s state capital.

Table of Contents

The Early Years of Carson City 

Carson city – from a mining town to a state capital, 1. step back in time at the nevada railroad museum, 2. visit the nevada state museum, 3. stroll through the carson city capitol complex, 4. visit the nevada state capitol building, 5. visit the governor’s mansion, 6. take a walking tour of the victorian-style homes in carson city, 7. make a stop at carson nugget casino, 8. go shopping for antiques, 9. try some bear at one of the historic breweries, 10. relax in fuji park, where to eat in carson city, best time to visit carson city.

Carson City originated as a stopover for California bound emigrants and white settlers seeking their fortune in the Gold Rush. But instead of gold, in 1859 the prospectors discovered silver in the hills east of Carson City. So much silver, that the area became the largest silver find in world history.

Although the silver mines provided the city’s economic importance in the beginning, Carson City continued to develop as a freight and staging center for the timber harvest in the Lake Tahoe basin as well. The city also had a mint which processed the rich ore found in nearby mines.

carson city nevada visit

During those early years, Nevada’s legislative business was marked by fistfights and and political corruption. Many of those who gained their wealth during the mining boom settled in Carson City and were now trying to maneuver the law to their advantage.

Visiting the Courthouse in Carson City

Nevada obtained statehood status in 1864, but it wasn’t until 1870 that the construction on the state capitol began. The large stone structure with a silver-painted cupola that is today Carson City’s landmark, was completed only in 1872. That same year, a 52-mile railroad linking Carson City to Virginia City came into existence.

But at the end of the 19th century the nearby mines started to decline, so the miners began leaving the area. After World War I the city’s economy continued to deteriorate culminating with the worldwide economic plunge of the Great Depression. 

Carson City in 1930s

By 1930, Carson City’s population was only about 1,500 citizens, about a quarter of what it had been 50 years earlier. Then in 1931 the State of Nevada enacted a law that permitted gambling in the area and divorce. Nevada was now famous for its speedy divorce and simple marriage procedures, so people began flocking back into Carson City. 

Although a paved highway was now passing through town, the locals didn’t get to see much traffic on it. In those days Carson City was America’s smallest state capital.

Today Carson City thrives as a manufacturing center, with a population of over 55,000 people.

Best Things to Do in Carson City

Despite being the State Capital, Carson City is not a big place. You can visit its most important sites in just a few hours. In summer, you can take a horse-drawn carriage that will take you on a tour of the old neighborhoods. The tour originates at the Railroad Museum.

The best way to explore the city is to stroll through its historic neighborhoods. The Visitors Bureau provides an illustrated map with details and locations of many of the historic homes. Some of them have small transmitters that tell their stories.

So here are the best things to do in Carson City, Nevada:

Start your tour at the Nevada Railroad Museum. If you were to visit just one museum in Carson City, it should be this one. It’s really like taking a step back in time, when the steam locomotives were crawling the hills and valleys of the Nevada Northern Railway.

We toured the depot/ museum grounds, which is an operating yard, then went to the engine house to see other steam engines they have. 

Visiting the Nevada Railroad Museum in Carson City

This is the only railroad museum we have ever visited which allows you walk around the shop. We had to stay out of the way of a moving engine. That’s how up-close-and-personal the visit was. A real trip back in time.

Visiting the Railroad Museum in Carson City

The train ride, well, it’s a train ride! We got to ride a historic steam engine locomotive that took us up to the mines that helped build this area back in the day. We chose to sit on the open platform car to hear whistle and the engine working. Choo, choo, choo… black smoke, white smoke… choo, choo, choo! It reminded us a lot about our ride aboard the Mocanita , the last working steam forestry train in Viseul-de-Sus, Romania.

The museum is located at 2180 South Carson Street, in Carson City, and is open between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm. Admission prices are: $8/adults. Children 17 & under are free.

Continue your tour with a visit to the Nevada State Museum. This is a very entertaining and informative place to visit, especially if you have children in your party. The museum focuses on the rich natural and cultural heritage of the state of Nevada. You’ll learn a lot about the local wildlife, see pre-historic bones, and even watch how silver coins were minted.  

Pre-historic skeleton at the Nevada State Museum

There is a large section devoted to rocks, dinosaurs, and ancient mammals and fossilized dinosaurs which have been discovered in the area. There is a section of settlers’ houses and handicrafts and the evolution of modern Nevada.

In the basement the museum has recreated an underground mine. Visitors walks along a long, narrow path built to look as if you are walking between train tracks. On the side, mannequins with real equipment demonstrate each step of the mining process. We’ve spent about 45 min. in this recreated mine. It’s the best mine display we’ve ever visited.

Recreated underground mine at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City

In addition the museum also houses the Carson City Mint. Since there was so much silver being generated by the mining, Nevada petitioned the federal government to finance a mint. In the late 1800s, Carson City minted silver dollars with their CC imprint on them. The press is still operational but only mints commemorative coins now.

Minted coins at the Nevada State Museum

The museum is located at 600 North Carson Street, in Carson City. Opening days are: Wednesday to Saturday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Admission prices: $17 for adults. Children 17 and under are free.

One of the nicest things to do in Carson City is stroll through the beautiful grounds of the Capitol Complex, which is home to the city’s most important legislative and administrative buildings, like the Capitol Building, the County Courthouse, the Supreme Court, and the Nevada State Library and Archives.

Supreme Court in Carson City

The promenade is populated with beautiful statues, trees and lots of green spaces. We came here in winter, but it was a sunny day and very beautiful to walk around.

Visiting the Law Enforcement Memorial in Carson City

There are also two memorials on the grounds. One to the fallen Peace Officers and one to the US Veterans. The Capitol Complex is a very nice place to visit at any time of year.

Visiting the memorials in Carson City

Nevada’s Capitol Building has a very interesting history. When the founders of Carson City laid out the town in 1858, they set aside ten acres – known as the Plaza – in the belief that Carson City would be chosen as the capital of a new government in western Utah Territory. But instead, in 1861 Nevada Territory selected Carson City as its capital.

Visit Nevada State Capitol Building

In 1864 when Nevada became a state, everybody expected that the Plaza will be the home of the new capitol building. However, the Plaza remained empty for almost 10 years, because the constitutional convention made a provision that three legislative sessions had to pass no until a state capitol could be built.

Some people still believed that the capital would be moved to a more central location, but that did not happen. So, in 1869 the Nevada Capitol building was erected, making it the second oldest capitol building west of the Mississippi River.

Statue in the Nevada Capitol Building

Today, the capitol complex in the heart of Carson City provides a picturesque campus setting which includes the State Capitol, Legislative Building, Supreme Court, and State Library and Archives.

Walking tours are available on Saturdays only. However, if you want a guided tours of the State Capitol you have to request it by calling the Education Program at the Nevada State Museum at (775) 687-4810.

The Nevada Governor’s Mansion is the official residence of the Governor of Nevada and his family. The structure was erected in 1909 in a residential neighborhood with typical middle class houses nearby.

Governor's Mansion in Carson City

Unfortunately, the mansion is only open to the public for inside tours on select days and holidays. 

Know as the Kit Carson Trail , this 2.5 mile path through the historic district features stops at the different landmarks in Carson City, including some 1800s Victorian-style homes and churches.

carson city nevada visit

These landmarks are not only beautiful sites to see, but they also tell the story of the capital city’s history. To pick up a printed map, download one here or stop by the Carson City Visitors Center at 716 N. Carson Street.

Located on the main street in Carson City, the Carson Nugget is an iconic hotel and casino that has been serving locals and visitors alike for more than 60 years. The renowned property occupies nearly 30,000 square feet, offering comfortable accommodations, gaming tables and slot machines.

Things to do in Carson City: visit the Carson Nugget Casino

So if you want to try your luck at gambling, you don’t have to travel all the way to Las Vegas ! But in addition to game rooms, the Nugget is also home to the Carson Comedy Club, that features local comedians and many talented artists and performers.

In case you haven’t noticed, Carson City has an abundance of antique stores. Really, there is a ton! I guess any town that has been around for more than 100 years is going to have stores where you’ll find collectibles.

Shopping for antiques in Carson City

And if you like this kind of stuff, you’ll have a blast in downtown Carson City. The main street is packed with antique stores, inviting you in with ads like: “Let’s Make a Deal!” So how can you resist?

There is no shortage of good bear in Nevada. So it comes to no surprise that Carson City is home to some historic breweries, like Shoe Tree Brewing Company, the Fox Brewpub, or the Union.

Union Brewery in Carson City

And since you are already in town, don’t miss the opportunity to try some draft beer in one of these historic places.

If you want to take a stroll in a beautiful green area, visit Fuji Park. The 14-acre park sits next to the Carson City Fairgrounds and Baily Fishing Pond. There is also a creek that passes through the park, bordered by willows and cottonwood trees. 

Visit Fuji Park, one of the things to do in Carson City

We discovered the park because we needed a spot to let our dog burn off some energy before heading back to Tahoe. This park has a little of everything. There are two large dog play areas towards the west side of the park. Additionally, and a large grassed area in-between where they only allow dogs on leashes.

There is a building in the center of the park where they always have events such as auctions, indoor archery, dog training, etc. Fishing is near highway 395, but you will need fishing license for fishing here.

There is a large variety of local and international restaurants in Carson City, from American, to Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Indian, and Thai. There are even a couple of traditional Basque restaurants featuring cuisine from Europe’s Pyrenees Mountains. You can dine in style, at a fine restaurant, or just grab a bite from fast food eatery, or a small bakeries.

Red’s Old 395 Grill

If you are a barbecue fanatic, Red’s Old 395 Grill is a place for you. They serve the best beef brisket in town and other delicious barbecue specialties at very reasonable prices.

Red's Old Grill Restaurant dining room

The setting is also very chic, with a rustic ambiance and many funky wall decorations.

The Fox Brewpub

The Fox Brewpub is an English-style restaurant and brewpub located within the Historic St. Charles Hotel which came into existance in 1862. The restaurant serves an American and Mexican fusion menu with nachos, tacos, chicken wings, burgers, beef stew and other delicious dishes.

The Fox Brewpub dining room

Exploring Carson City will most likely take you about a day if you plan to visit all the museums, the historic area and the cemetery. There are a few souvenir shops and art galleries where you could spend a little time, but otherwise shopping is not out of the ordinary. Just the usual chain stores. 

Duke’s Steak House

Located at Casino Fandango, Duke’s is among Nevada’s premier restaurants and was voted the BEST for Steak in Carson City. We dined here only once, for my birthday, but we absolutely loved the food! The prices were very decent too, considering the quality of the dishes.

Food at Duke's Restaurant in Carson City

Trivia : Carson City was home to many interesting figures including George Ferris, the inventor of the Ferris Wheel. The Ferris Wheel was inspired by a water wheel at Cradlebaugh Bridge on the Carson River.

READ NEXT: 8 Amazingly Beautiful National Parks Near Las Vegas, Nevada

Located in Carson Valley and surrounded by the grandiose Sierra Nevada Mountains, Carson City enjoys some of the most beautiful outdoors in the country.

View of Carson Valley in Winter

The city is also very close to some fun places like the Reno, historic Virginia City, Gardnerville, or Genoa , Nevada’s oldest community.

Weather wise, the summers are hot and arid, but mostly clear. The winters are very cold, snowy, and partly cloudy in Carson City. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 22°F to 89°F and is rarely below 11°F or above 96°F. That means it’s never too cold or too hot to visit Carson City.

Things to do in Carson City

The best time of the year to visit this area is from May through October, when you can take part in a variety of special events and outdoor activities, visit the beaches in Lake Tahoe , or go fishing in the many streams around.

Beach in Lake Tahoe

But the valley doesn’t loose its charm in winter, when instead fishing, golfing and hiking are replaced by winter sports. In fact, we prefer winters in this area when we can go skiing in Lake Tahoe , which is just across the mountain (45 minutes away).

Did I convince you to visit Carson City? I hope so.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please pin it to help others discover the many things to do in Carson City, Nevada’s beautiful capital.

Things to do in Carson City, Nevada

You May Also Like:

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  • Jerome, Arizona – America’s Largest Ghost Town

Anda is an award winning travel writer, avid globetrotter and passionate photographer. She is the voice behind "Travel Notes & Beyond," a collection of stories and travel impressions from her wanderings around the world. When she is not busy writing, traveling, or editing photographs, you can find her hiking in the foothills behind her house together with her husband and their dog.

carson city nevada visit

Reader Interactions

Agness of eTramping

June 26, 2017 at 10:35 am

This really seems like a lovely destination! Excellent ideas and tips, Anda!

Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

March 1, 2017 at 10:25 pm

I’m sorry that you missed out on a day of skiing, but exploring Carson City looks like a rather dandy consolation prize. I would love to peek inside some of those Victorian homes that you photographed. And I love that photo of the rainbow across the field. I may even detect a very faint 2nd rainbow in the photo. You know what they say, you can’t have rainbows without rain.

Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net)

February 27, 2017 at 7:28 am

That picture of the Carson Valley is beautiful! Despite visiting Reno and Lake Tahoe, we’ve never actually stopped in Carson City. Next time in Nevada, we’ll have to fix that! It looks charming, and I love the history. Thanks for opening our eyes!

February 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm

Thank you so much for the tour of Carson City. It looks so charming in your photos! I’m glad you enjoyed your time there. I know the disappointment of bad weather while on vacation. We dealt with a typhoon in Phuket last June for half the week I was there.

Anda Galffy

February 27, 2017 at 9:58 pm

Yea, it’s difficult when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats

February 25, 2017 at 4:57 pm

I have never been to Carson City but I have always been interested in going out to the “gold country” areas of western CA/Nevada. They always looked really cool to me and I tend to really love former mining towns, and Carson City looks like a great place to explore.

February 25, 2017 at 8:51 am

Carson City is very charming to be a capital, don’t you think? And, the Capitol building has to be one of the most interesting I have seen. Thanks for sharing more about this area. I have been wanting to visit Genoa, Carson City and Virginia City or a long time (and the Basque restaurants in the area). #TheWeeklyPostcard

Mary(The World Is A Book)

February 25, 2017 at 7:44 am

I didn’t realize there was so much more to Carson City. Thanks for all the interesting information. We have only passed through on our way to/from Tahoe and Reno and stopped once to eat. We’ll be sure to make an effort to stop longer next time.

February 24, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Love the photos you took on your road trip to Carson city, especially the landscape with the rainbow. Thanks for sharing the silver and timber history of the city.

February 24, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Hi Anda, greetings from Malaysia! Carson City sounds like another city to visit in Nevada, other than Reno. The streets looked empty though, was that early in the day? Great photos, Anda…I stumbled upon the #WeeklyPostcard link on Twitter and that led me to your website which is a great resource and inspiration! Looking forward to read more of your posts 🙂 Cheers!

February 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Hi Kat, welcome to Travel Notes & Beyond and welcome to our blog link up as well. Hope to see you around every week.

Photo(Geo)grapher

February 23, 2017 at 11:28 pm

Carson City looks like a very interesting city to visit.

Rhonda Albom

February 23, 2017 at 1:09 pm

I used to live in Lake Tahoe and made trips out and through Carson City every so often. My trips were more for retail shopping or to other Nevada towns further away. Thanks for showing the parts of Carson City that I never stopped to explore.

February 23, 2017 at 1:34 pm

I know you lived in the area, Rhonda. Don’t you miss California?

February 24, 2017 at 3:13 pm

Not really, just my friends. However, I rarely miss Nevada.

February 22, 2017 at 2:23 am

So many impressive historic buildings! Have they thought about installing a ferris wheel in honour of George Ferris?

February 22, 2017 at 2:31 am

I don’t think they did, Suze. That would be a good idea however.

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carson city nevada visit

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Top 10 Magical Things To Do in Carson City Nevada

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Are you looking to extend your trip along Hwy 395? If so, we have the perfect place – Carson City, Nevada. Continuing on with the cute Americana theme of Hwy 395, Carson City is a bit bigger than the other towns along this beautiful route, but offers a whole lot more. Read on for our list of great things to do in Carson City for a weekend or extended trip to the area.

Jump to a Heading Below

Top 10 Magical Things to Do in Carson City Nevada

This fall I had the opportunity to visit Carson City as an extension of our road trip along Highway 395 in California and along the Eastern Sierras. This is a favorite fall trip of mine to see the leaves changing colors around Bishop , to soak in hot springs as the weather turns colder and after the first snow fall to ski in Mammoth or June Lake. We had never driven further along 395 than to Bodie Ghost Town, so we were excited to see what lay ahead as we crossed the border into Nevada. What we found was a perfect holiday escape with plenty of nature, small town vibes, history and unique fun. 

Go Waterfall Chasing

carson city nevada visit

One of the things we loved most about visiting Carson City Nevada was the abundance of outdoor adventures . One of the top things to do in Carson City has to be visiting local waterfalls. The favorite of the area is King Canyon Waterfall . This is a short walk uphill to a small beautiful waterfall. In the summer, get ready for some water play. In winter, prepare yourself for a winter wonderland scene with beautiful icicles and snowy scenes.

For those that need a bit more of a workout, on your way back down, you can veer off on the Upper Canyon Trail that wraps up the mountain and around the back of the waterfall. It’s beautiful and scenic. During our visit some of the trail was a bit snowy on the side of the mountain away from the sun, but it was still fine to walk through. Use your best judgement on your level of comfort and safety! Regardless of which season you visit, this short nature escape is perfect when you need a little green in your day!

carson city nevada visit

I’m from the South so when I see BBQ I have to try it. In Carson City there is no better place to sample delicious BBQ than Red’s Old 365 Grill . This classic Hwy 395 restaurant serves up everything from BBQ to pizza and burgers, offering something for everyone. However, I highly recommend checking out the BBQ with cornbread and sweet beans. I won’t lie, I ate here several times during our short visit. It is *that* good. Save room for dessert if you can – they are just as good as the main dishes!

For those wanting to socially distance, arrive outside of mealtimes or opt for outdoor seating on the patio with the fire pits. If you do opt to eat inside, the restaurant has put up barriers between the booths and make sure to space guests around to avoid too many people in one area.  

Soak in Hot Springs

Carson City Hot Springs is one of the best things to do in Carson City when it's cold and to rejuvenate your body!

I cannot be in the vicinity of hot springs without giving it a go. We love the natural hot springs near Mammoth along Hwy 395, so I was excited to check out the Carson City Hot Springs while in town. The hot springs consist of piped in super hot spring water into one large pool as well to smaller individual pools in private rooms. The main pool can get busy, so we suggest visiting during the week in the middle of the day if possible.

Due to current COVID restrictions, lockers are not available so either wear your suit in under your clothes or bring very little with you. Also note that towels are $2 extra.

For families, consider bringing a floaty or pool noodle for the kiddos as the pool’s depths go from 3 feet to 6 feet with the lower levels being close to the pipped hot water area. This means the water is hottest and typically most crowded!

My favorite part was hanging out by the “hammer”, the piped hot water spout where you could get a lower back or head massage with the hot water pouring over you. Heavenly!

Do a Carson City Triathlon

OK, I know you didn’t come here to full on exercise, so don’t worry a Carson City triathlon is pure enjoyment. Have a soak in the Carson City Hot Springs , eat some delicious food next door at the cute restaurant Sassafras and then pop over to the Shoe Tree Brewing for a night cap. And there you go, you just completed the Carson City Triathlon! It was my first triathlon, but it was mighty fun!

While at Shoe Tree Brewing Company , try their homemade root beer. It is the best I’ve had and somehow I have turned into a bit of a root beer aficionado of sorts. The local beers (of course!) and special lemonade is also worth stopping in for. 

I was pretty proud of myself for completing my first triathlon. I know you can do it too!

Learn All About Nevada 

A visit to the Nevada State Museum is a great thing to do in Carson City.

Take a Walk on the Kit Carson Trail

carson city nevada visit

Ride the Rails

carson city nevada visit

Back in the old days, this stretch of track was making history with gold and silver mining operations. Now, along your 6 mile route, you can see remnants of this past, search for wild horses as well as get out for a hike on select rides. 

This is a perfect family adventure, although note that if you expect help from your kiddos, they probably need to have long enough legs to reach or be around 10 years old. My son was all over it and pedalled like mad, but his feet just barely reached the pedals while sitting back. For those not sure if they can handle the biking back up the hill, there is a pedal assist function to help smoothen the ride!

Take a Day Trip to Lake Tahoe

carson city nevada visit

Try to visit on a sunny day – the lake presents itself in such a different light! The turquoise waters pop and the massive lake often is perfectly still. In the Fall and winter, the wind can be wild and the water rough, but the beauty is still there, just remember to bring some layers!

On your way to or from Tahoe, make a stop at Summit Lake for a beautiful stroll around the lake. It is an easy 2.5 mile hike around the lake offering views for days, possible bear sightings and lots of birds singing. If you have more time to spend in here, check out our list of epic things to do in Lake Tahoe in all seasons!

Visit the Nevada State Railroad Museum

The Nevada State Railroad Museum is another museum that was on our to do list, but was closed right before our arrival. I’m including it as well so that you can visit for me and let me know how amazing it is!  We heard that this is the place to go for train buffs, with a collection of photos and artifacts from Nevada’s rail history. From the outside we can see actual rail equipment and locomotives! There might also be a train ride during non-COVID times, but that was not on the cards during our visit. 

Go for a Walk in the Park

carson city nevada visit

This is really a beautiful locals walk and a perfect way to get out some wiggles if you have had a long day of visiting museums. PS – Along the way, look out for the bat boxes and see if you can hear them chittering away inside.

Where to Stay in Carson City Nevada

carson city nevada visit

During our visit we stayed at the Wyndham Garden Max Casino . Even though it’s a casino, it’s great for families. The casino was almost always empty during our visit, so we didn’t run into many people as we walked through the lobby area to the elevators. We loved the spacious room, plentiful parking (yes we are from LA!) and convenient location. 

For those interested in COVID protocols, the rooms are not cleaned during your stay unless you request and only once you are out of the room for a minimum of 3 hours. 

Outdoor Dining / Take Out Options in Carson City

carson city nevada visit

Our tips on dining during this time is to eat during off periods if possible. For our family that means dinner at 4:30 (which is pretty normal for us anyway TBH!), breakfast early and lunch on the go. 

These days most restaurants offer take-away and or delivery options, so feel free to try any place you would like! These are just some of the places we explored during our visit. 

  • Red’s Old 365 Grill – Spacious, open feeling indoor dining as well as an outdoor patio with firepit (mostly available on the weekends, but you can always ask!)
  • The Fox Brewpub – Indoor dining with an outdoor patio with firepit. The firepit is only turned on during the evenings, but you can sit outside even when it’s off
  • Old World Coffee Lab – This cute coffee shop is the perfect spot for a hot chocolate or morning coffee with a large outdoor patio and gloriously hot firepit!
  • LA Bakery – Indoor dining with a small outdoor patio in the back and a few outdoor tables in the front. Everyone must order through the line, inside. 
  • The Basil – Indoor dining only at this delicious local Thai restaurant, but they provide excellent take-out options!

So What Do You Think?

Does it surprise you to see all of this great stuff to do in Carson City? Before our visit I didn’t know a ton about Carson City, other than it was where a friend of mine was from and that it was the capital of Nevada. I was surprised at how much fun we had here. For an adults only getaway, you can also venture into the casinos to play the slots and bar hop in the cute downtown area. This is a fun stop for families and adults alike. If you make it up, let us know what you think!

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2 thoughts on “Top 10 Magical Things To Do in Carson City Nevada”

In the segment “Take a Day Trip to Lake Tahoe” it mentions “On your way to or from Tahoe, make a stop at Summit Lake…”. It most likely should be Spooner Lake.

Hi Author, Awesome post. Very helpful information for everyone.Very useful tips.Thanks for your great tips.

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carson city nevada visit

Carson City

Explore Nevada's State Capital

carson city nevada visit

Things to do in Carson City, Nevada

In 1861, the writer Mark Twain added to the notoriety of Carson City by publishing the following description:

“It nestled in the edge of a great plain and was a sufficient number of miles away to look like an assemblage of mere white spots. The mountain summits overlooking it seemed lifted clear out of companionship and consciousness of earthly things.”

Although Mark Twain visited Carson City NV almost 150 years ago in 1861, the city is still considered a town that is dominated by its spectacular setting. The town maintains the charm of its 1860s gold and silver town roots.

Reno to Carson City

A 30-minute drive from Reno, Carson City is its own best attraction, and a leisurely walk through its historic neighborhoods is the best way to get acquainted with this pleasant little city at the base of the Sierra Nevada.

Carson City Outdoor Activities

Less than 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe, Carson City provides various outdoor opportunities including golfing, hiking and biking trails, and four-wheeling. You can experience our State Capitol in many ways. Perhaps by taking a walk along the Carson River or even hiking Kings Canyon Waterfall Trail.

carson city nevada visit

Carson City Shopping

In addition to its historical significance, Carson City is a growing small-town hub of arts and culture with unique shopping and dining experiences. Shops like The Purple Avocado and Due Sorella are locally-owned gift shops that offer one-of-a-kind items for you or that special one in your life. If you are looking for something a little flashier, check out The Jewelry Bench or Fresh Ideas Shop.

Carson City Dining

Once you have shopped until you are about to drop, there are a variety of restaurants and breweries along North Carson Street and around downtown that highlight just how unique Carson City is. Some local dining favorites include The Union and Kei Sushi, but there is no shortage of restaurants to choose from.

carson city nevada visit

Carson City Arts and Culture

Nevada state museum.

The immense production of gold and silver from the Comstock mines prompted the establishment of a branch U.S. Mint in Carson City in 1866. The handsome structure on the northeast corner of Carson Street and Robinson was built of prison-quarried sandstone and produced nearly $50 million in coin of the realm until it closed down in 1933.

Nevada Capitol Building

This solemn old sandstone monument to the 19th century has been earthquake-proofed and renovated throughout, but its Alaskan marbled halls are still decorated with elaborate friezes, and hung with the portraits of former governors, back to “Broadhorn” Bradley and James Nye, the New Yorker whose loyalty to the Union was rewarded with the governorship of the Nevada Territory in 1861. The present governor and other top state officials continue to do the state’s business here, but the original Senate, Assembly and Supreme Court Chambers upstairs are most often used for exhibit space and usually open to visitors.

Nevada State Railroad Museum

This small but satisfying museum is a showplace for what remains of railroading in Carson City. The locomotives, coaches and cars inside the museum building are like jewelry, and the steamers that carry passengers back and forth across the grounds are the real thing.

Nevada Children's Museum

This venerable building was once Carson City’s library, but there’s no shushing inside these days, as toddlers through pre-teens find their way through this welcoming environment. This experience brings play and learning together, inspiring creativity and imagination.

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Family-friendly events happening this week in Carson City

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Looking for a place to take your little ones heading into the second week of July? Look no further! Here is a list of family-friendly (and fun!) activities and events happening this week around Carson City.

  • Multiple Days

Teen Hours in the Digitorium

Come visit the Carson City Library and hang out in a space designed with teens in mind! Monday - Friday 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. All teens welcome!

  • Monday, July 8

Open Game Night at 3 Arrows Games

5pm-9pm: Open game night. Free game library rentals - try out some new games!

Bilingual Bobcats Storytime at the Library

For kids of all ages; Join us for weekly stories, songs and crafts all designed to help Spanish speakers learn English and English speakers learn Spanish. Participants 9 and younger must be accompanied by a caregiver who is at least 13 years old at all times. No registration is required.

Signing Sea Otters Storytime at the Library

For kids of all ages; Join us for weekly stories, songs and crafts all designed to help children and their caregivers learn American Sign Language. Participants 9 and younger must be accompanied by a caregiver who is at least 13 years old at all times. No registration is required.

  • Tuesday, July 9

Dance Dance Revolution Tournament

Come have fun at the Carson City Library Dance-Off! Tues, July 9th from 3-5pm. Special dance skills encouraged.

Kid’s Monster Lab art series at the Brewery Arts Center begins July 9

The Kid’s Monster Lab is for any anyone ages six through thirteen interested in bringing their imagination to life. In this three-week, six-session class, participants will dream up creatures, critters, and monsters to create with their art, their colors, then finally clay and paint.

Muscle Powered hosts two hikes in Carson City this week

On Tuesday, July 9, hike the Clear Creek Connector Trail. Meet at the trailhead on Golf Course Drive off of Highway 50 at 5:30pm.

Open Play at Messy Kids Art School

Includes babe area climbing structures for ages 0-2 and gross motor climbing structures for ages 2-8. Dramatic play town, occasional indoor bouncy house and ball pit, open art studio, caregivers internet lounge and coffee bar. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ages 1 and up $10 with siblings half off after first child.

Baby Bookworms Storytime at the Carson City Library

For children ages 0-24 months; join in for weekly stories, songs and structured free play time from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Clear Creek Bowmen hosting Tuesday Night Shoots now through August at Carson City Archery Range, youth 17 and under are free

Clear Creek Bowmen will be hosting Tuesday Night Shoots from now until August at the Carson City Archery Range, located just East of Eagle Valley Golf Course.

  • Wednesday, July 10

Blacktop Buffet at the Brewery Arts Center

Family friendly summer fun isn’t just for Saturday nights at Brewery Arts Center. Enjoy 10 weeks of street food and musical acts presented by Yates Law P.C. from 5-8 p.m. every Wednesday night from June 26 - August 28, 2024. Each week a variety of food trucks will circle the BAC Performance Hall parking lot and smaller acts will get a chance to play the big stage.

Board Game meetup at 3 Arrows Games

5-9pm: Board Game meetup. Join the Minden board game group for casual play. Bring a game or just jump in!

Grown Up and Guppies at the Carson City Aquatic Center

Head over to the Carson City Aquatics Center every Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. for Grown ups and Guppies. Making the water fun for your guppy is the most important step in preparing for swim lessons. This class is designed to acquaint adult and child wild play activities and to teach very basic fundamental skills. The course is parent-driven, under the supervision of an instructor. No registration required. Class is limited to 12 adult/child pairs on a first-come first served basis. For ages 6 months to 4 years.

Storytime Wednesdays at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada

Join in for weekly storytime with an accompanying craft each Wednesday. Recommended for children ages 1 - 6. All included with museum admission.

Art Studio Craft Classes at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada

Drop-in art studio every Wednesday and Friday from 2 - 4 p.m. Creative art studio projects are included with museum admission. All ages welcome. Additional crafts are available for cost.

Lego Club at the Carson City Library

For elementary school aged children. Build self-led creations through hands-on learning with Lego education materials. No registration is required. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Bedtime Bears Storytime at the Carson City Library

For kids of all ages: Join us every Wednesday night for stories, songs and crafts designed to help kids wind down at the end of the day. From 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • Thursday, July 11

Big Kid Butterflies Storytime at the Carson City Library

For children ages 1 to 5; join for weekly stories, songs and crafts. No registration is required. 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Open STEM Lab Thursdays at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada

The STEM Classroom is open every Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. for funny educational, weekly activities. All included with museum admission. All ages welcome.

Fingerboarding Club at the Carson City Library

Enjoy doing tricks and having fun with miniature skateboards. A table will be set up with a skatepark for an hour of fnigerboarding. Fingerboards will be provided but feel free to bring your own. Open to patrons 14 and up. No registration required. From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Friday, July 12

Star Wars Unlimited set 2 release draft at 3 Arrows Games

6 p.m.:Star Wars Unlimited set 2 Release Draft - Draft cards from 3 packs, build your deck, & then play it out over 3-4 rounds $20 (+tax) will be due the day of the tournament. Prizes!

Carson City Friday Family Fun Days at Mills Park

Each Friday, event goers can find either live music or a community movie in the park along with a selection of food trucks. Kids actives include giant Jenga, giant 4-across, giant velcro kick darts, cornhole, bean bag skee ball, chicken fingers, and a selfie spot.

Open Mic Night at the Zen Den Stage

Every Friday at 6 p.m. head down A to Zen for their Open Mic Night which incudes music, comedy, poetry, magic; you name it! All ages and skill levels welcome!

Summer Movie Night happening Friday at LifeChurch Carson

Join LifeChurch Carson at 1600 Snyder Ave, Carson City, Friday, July 12th at 6pm for our Carson Outdoor Movie Night! Come and enjoy free bounce houses, snow cones, hot dogs, and popcorn before the show. We will be showing Migration Movie starting at 7:30 pm. This is an outdoor event, so please bring your chairs and blankets to bundle up with. This is a fun event for the whole family and we can't wait to see you there! LifeChurch is located at 1600 Snyder Ave, Carson City.

  • Saturday, July 13

Dinosaurs of Today at the Carson City Library

Learn about and interact with the dinosaurs of today! Ebony & Ivory Reptiles will be at the Carson City Library on July 13 at 1pm to inform participants about various reptiles. All ages welcome. Each participant must sign a waiver (available on the day of the event).

Time to Escape: Escape Room at the Carson City Library

Can you solve all of the clues and escape the room before the time runs out? Be sure to sign up for one of our available slots to test your skills and see if your team can escape! Registration is required, teams up to 8 people.

Van Goat - Levitt Amp Free Summer Concert July 13

Van Goat’s loud, heavy surf-rock contrasts with swing and jazz; country with groove-centered funk, making for a dynamic and lively listening experience.

Learn Marvel Crisis Protocol at 3 Arrows Games

Starting at 1 p.m. members of Sierra Gaming Guild will be in store playing/teaching Marvel Crisis Protocol. Come play and/or learn to play!

Carson City Farmers Market returns June 8 with even more vendors at Mills Park

The market returns from June 8 to September 28 between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Mills Park.

Chess Club for all ages at the Carson City Library

Stop by and play chess, or learn to play chess, at the Carson City Library every Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. All skill levels are welcome.

USS Nevada 110th anniversary self-guided scavenger hunt

Find all nine artifacts in our scavenger hunt honoring the 110th anniversary of the christening of the battleship USS Nevada (BB-36). Your self-guided exploration begins with four artifacts found at the Nevada State Museum and will take you through our galleries, and down the street to the five artifacts located at the Nevada State Capitol, ending at Battle Born Hall. Admission is $10 for adults, members and children ages 17 and under are free.

Free Movie Night hosted by the Dwelling Church at Boys and Girls Club

The Dwelling Church is hosting its first ever FREE community Movie Night! We will have some fun activities beforehand and then a movie on the big screen once the sun goes down. We will also have complementary refreshments and treats to go along with the movie. Movie Night will be suitable for ALL AGES. It will take place on the big baseball field at the Boys & Girls Club in Carson City, so bring a blanket or lawn chairs to get comfy… There will even be a Kona Shaved Ice truck FOR PURCHASE. Hope to see you there!

  • Sunday, July 14

Minden Board Game Group - Carson Branch

Carson City Library in the Digitorium Sundays from noon to 3:30 p.m. All ages welcome, no registration required!

On Sunday, July 14, hike the Foothill trail and the V&T. Meet behind the Tahoe Carson Cancer Center by the Foothill Garden Greenhouse at 6 a.m. (Yes, 6 a.m.!)

Did we miss any? Send any family-friendly event information to [email protected] , or comment below!

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Wild Wild West: 13 Old West Towns To Visit In Nevada

  • Nevada is home to well-preserved old west towns from the 19th century, offering visitors a chance to experience the authentic past.
  • The towns mentioned in the article, such as Carson City and Winnemucca, have fascinating histories and attractions that showcase their wild west heritage.
  • Outdoor recreation opportunities, historic buildings, museums, and mine tours are just some of the activities visitors can enjoy in these Nevada mining towns.

The state of Nevada is home to some of the most well-preserved and captivating oldest-founded towns from the 19th century, offering visitors an authentic glimpse into the past. From the iconic Virginia City to the lesser-known treasures of Eureka and Tonopah, these towns are brimming with history, culture, and adventure. This article lists some of the best old west towns to visit in Nevada, highlighting their fascinating stories, must-see attractions, and hidden gems. So saddle up, put on a Stetson, and get ready to explore the incredible Nevada mining towns.

UPDATE: 2023/10/20 01:49 EST BY NICOLE HANSEN

Can't Get Enough of the Wild West?

Nearly every town in Nevada has ties to the Old West. This list has been updated with even more Nevada towns with history tied to the lawless days of the Wild West. With unique artifacts, colorful history, and one-of-a-kind buildings, these towns are well worth exploring. Get ready to dust off those boots!

Related: 10 Most Beautiful Small Towns In Nevada You Should Visit

Carson City

The capital of Nevada, Carson City, has a number of unique activities for visitors today to enjoy. Before it became the hub of this western state, however, Carson City was a classic Wild West town. In fact, Carson City was named one of the Top True Western towns in Nevada back in 2020.

Carson City is one of several towns in Nevada where the west is still wild, with the Nevada State Museum offering mine tours to help visitors get a feel for work life in the Old West. Additionally, the classic Bank Saloon, built in 1899, is the longest continuously operating bar in Carson City and serves a variety of drinks that hail from its 130-year-old history.

  • Things to Do in Carson City: Nevada State Museum, Bank Saloon, Vasefinder Museum , Hiking Trails

Related: 10 Most Beautiful Towns That Are Easily Visited From Carson City

The only incorporated city in Humboldt County, Winnemucca, has done an exceptional job preserving the artifacts of the Nevada Wild West. The free-to-visit Humboldt Museum , in particular, holds the artifacts found in the Lovelock Caves, and the museum itself is a historic church that was converted into a museum.

Winnemucca also has a Visitors Center , which has exhibits highlighting the different industries that once fueled the town. The center also explores the pioneer history of the area, as well as the Native Americans that pre-dated the western wild west feel of this small Nevada town.

  • Things to Do in Winnemucca: Humboldt Museum, Winnemucca Visitors Center, Winnemucca Sand Dunes, Winnemucca Canyon Trail, Water Canyon

Lovelock is a bit of a "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" sort of town, usually relegated to a simple pit stop on an epic cross-country I-80 road trip . For those who take the time to look around, however, the feel and taste of the Old West will quickly become apparent.

Lovelock landed on the map when 11 duck decoys were found in a nearby cave . The earliest of such artifacts of their kind, these decoys are a nod to the simple hunting and farming life that once dominated the area. Today, a number of the local restaurants continue to follow this old-west theme, keeping the town's history alive and well.

  • Things to Do in Lovelock: Marzen House Museum , Lovelock Cave Backcountry Byway , Rye Patch State Recreation Area

Virginia City

Located in Storey County, Virginia City is a historic town in Nevada with plenty to do and see (it's also one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the west, founded in the 1850s as a silver mining town during the Comstock Lode boom). The town offers visitors a chance to explore its incredible architecture and museums, including the historic district, which features over 60 buildings and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The notable museums in the city include the Virginia & Truckee Railroad Museum and Comstock History Center.

One of the most popular attractions in Virginia City is the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, a historic train that runs between Virginia City and Carson City. Other popular activities in the town include visiting the historic saloons, the annual Camel Races, and the mine tours.

  • Things to Do in Virginia City: Virginia & Truckee Railroad , Tour Historic Saloons, Watch a Camel Race, Take a Mine Tour

Situated in a picturesque valley surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains , Genoa is a town founded in 1851 and is considered the oldest permanent settlement in Nevada. Today, it's a popular destination for outdoor recreation and sightseeing.

One of the most notable attractions in Genoa is the Mormon Station State Historical Park, and several historic buildings, including the Genoa Courthouse Museum, Dake House, and the Genoa Bar, which has been in operation since 1853 and is considered to be the oldest "thirst parlor" in Nevada. Besides its historic attractions, the town is a popular destination for outdoor recreation, including biking, hiking, fishing, boating, camping, and other activities in nearby Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

  • Things to Do in Genoa: Mormon Station State Historical Park, Genoa Courthouse Museum , Dake House, Genoa Bar, Day trip to Lake Tahoe

Founded in the 1860s, Austin is a small town located in Lander County, Nevada. The town is a popular destination for visitors for its historic buildings and architecture, including the International Hotel, which was built in 1863 and is now a museum showcasing the history of the Old West.

Other notable attractions in the town include Stokes Castle, a four-story stone tower built in 1897. In addition to its historic attractions, the town is a great destination for outdoor recreation, offering opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, boating, and camping near the Reese River.

  • Things to Do in Austin: Stokes Castle, Hiking, Biking, Fishing, Boating, International Hotel Museum

Related: 10 Vacation Spots In Nevada That Won’t Break The Bank

Eureka is a small town in Eureka County, Nevada, founded in 1864 as a silver mining town during the Comstock Lode boom. The town is a popular destination for visitors looking to explore the Old West. The notable attractions of the town are its historic buildings, including the Eureka Opera House, which was built in 1880 and is now used for community events and performances.

Visitors to Eureka can also explore the Eureka Sentinel Museum, which exhibits the history of the town and its mining industry. The museum also includes exhibits on the local Native American tribes, the early pioneers, and the town's mining and railroad history. In addition to its historical attractions, Eureka is a great destination for outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, and camping.

  • Things to Do in Eureka: Eureka Opera House , Eureka Sentinel Museum , Hiking, Biking, Camping

Founded in 1900, Tonopah is a small town in Nye County, Nevada, known as the "Queen of the Silver Camps." Today, the town is a popular destination for visitors to have a glimpse of the history of the Old West. The town has been carefully preserved, with many of its historic buildings still in good condition, including the Mizpah Hotel, which was built in 1907 and is now a boutique hotel and casino.

Visitors to Tonopah can also explore the town's Historic Mining Park, a museum, and an outdoor exhibit showcasing the town's mining history. Besides its historic attractions, the town also features a variety of recreational activities, hiking, biking, camping, and boating and fishing on nearby Walker Lake.

  • Things to Do in Tonopah: Tour Historic Buildings, Mizpah Hotel, Historic Mining Park, Central Nevada Museum , Hiking, Biking, Camping, Boating, Fishing

Goldfield is a small living ghost town in Esmeralda County, Nevada , and was known as the "Greatest Gold Camp in the World" during the Comstock Lode boom. The town is now a popular destination for visitors looking to explore the history of the Old West, featuring carefully preserved historic buildings, including the Goldfield Hotel, built in 1908. It is now a museum and tourist attraction.

As one of the top Old West towns in Nevada to visit, travelers can also explore the Goldfield Historical Society Museum, which exhibits the history of the town and its mining industry. Besides its various attractions, the town is a great destination for outdoor recreation, with surrounding mountains offering opportunities for hiking, biking, and camping.

  • Things to Do in Goldfield: Goldfield Hotel , Goldfield Historical Society Museum , Hiking, Biking, Camping

Related: 13 Beautiful Towns In Nevada You Need To See For Yourself

Silver City

Silver City is one of the best Old West towns in Nevada to visit; it's a fascinating ghost town in Lyon County, Nevada, near the city of Dayton. Founded in 1859 as a silver mining town, it was once one of the largest and richest towns in the state. Today, the town is a popular destination for visitors with well-preserved historic buildings, including the St. Mary's Art Center, built in 1876 as a Catholic Church. It is now an arts center and gallery.

Visitors to Silver City can also explore the nearby Silver City Cemetery, a cemetery offering a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the locals during the late 19th century. In addition to its historic attractions, the town is a great destination for outdoor recreation, with nearby Carson River providing opportunities for fishing and kayaking.

  • Things to Do in Silver City: Silver City Cemetery, St. Mary's Art Center, Tour Downtown, Fishing, Kayaking, Hiking

Elko is a city-like town in northeastern Nevada, near the Ruby Mountains and the Humboldt River. It is the largest town in the region and serves as a commercial, cultural, and transportation hub for the surrounding area. Today, the town is known for its thriving arts and culture scene, featuring several galleries, theaters, and museums, celebrating the region's cowboy and ranching heritage.

Elko is also home to several historic sites, including the Sherman Station Visitor's Center and the Northeastern Nevada Museum, which features exhibits on the region's natural and cultural history. Besides all the various attractions, the town is a great destination for outdoor recreation, with the nearby Ruby Mountains offering hiking, camping, and skiing opportunities.

  • Things to Do in Elko: Sherman Station Visitors Center , Northeastern Nevada Museum , Hiking, Camping, Skiing, Western Folklife Center

Pioche is a historic town in eastern Nevada, near the Nevada-Utah border, a popular tourist destination with carefully preserved historic buildings, including the Lincoln County Courthouse, which was built in 1872 and now houses a museum offering a glimpse into the town's rich history.

Visitors to the town can also explore the nearby Million Dollar Courthouse, which served as the county courthouse until 1972, featuring a museum showcasing the town's mining and law enforcement history. In addition to its historical attractions, Pioche is a great destination for outdoor recreation, with nearby Echo Canyon Reservoir providing opportunities for fishing and boating.

  • Things to Do in Pioche: Tour Downtown, Million Dollar Courthouse, Fishing, Boating, Hiking

Related: Nelson Gold Mines: Discover The Oldest & Richest Southern Nevada Wild West Just Out Las Vegas

Situated in the Toiyabe Range, Belmont is among the best towns to visit in Nevada , known for its well-preserved historic buildings offering visitors a glimpse into the history of the Old West. Some of the notable attractions in the town include the Belmont Courthouse, built in 1876 and now a museum, and Belmont Mill, once a major center for silver processing in the region, telling stories about the town's mining history. In addition to its historical attractions, Belmont is a great destination for outdoor recreation, offering hiking and camping opportunities.

  • Things to Do in Belmont: Tour Historic Buildings, Belmont Courthouse, Belmont Mill, Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Biking

Wild Wild West: 13 Old West Towns To Visit In Nevada

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    There are many family-friendly activities in Carson City, ranging from interactive exhibits at the museums, riding the train to visit a historic city, children's theaters, exploring the outdoors and more. Carson City is the heart and history of Nevada, learn more about how to explore the capital city with your family today.

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    Request a Visitors Guide. Need us to mail you a hard copy of the pocket size brochure or any other materials? Let us know what you need below. I consent to having this website store my submitted information so they can respond to my inquiry. All inquiries will abide by all GDPR regulations. Your information will not be shared outside of Visit ...

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    10. Carson City Triathlon. Drink, dine, and dip to participate in the Carson City Triathlon. Visit Carson City challenges visitors to visit Shoe Tree Brewing Company, grab a beverage, eat lunch or dinner at Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint, and take a dip at Carson Hot Springs. (All three share a parking lot.)

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    Highlights of the Silver State. This is a very nice museum that gives a good overview of Nevada's natural and cultural history. There are exhibits on geology, wildlife, Native Americans, mining, and Nevada history, all of which are well done. Well worth a stop in Carson City. Review of: Nevada State Museum.

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    2 Traverse The Kit Carson Trail. Aneta Waberska / Shutterstock. Historic downtown of Carson City, Nevada, USA. Cycling is one way to enjoy Carson City, but walking the Kit Carson Trail is another. The 2.5-mile path winds throughout the city's historic district, and visitors can take a self-guided audio tour .

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    1. Nevada State Museum. 442. Natural History Museums. This museum focuses on the rich natural and cultural heritage of the "Silver State." Visit to learn about local wildlife, see the bones of pre-historic creatures found in the area and the Ichthyosaur…. See way to experience (1) 2. Nevada State Railroad Museum.

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    Carson City Outdoor Activities. Less than 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe, Carson City provides various outdoor opportunities including golfing, hiking and biking trails, and four-wheeling. You can experience our State Capitol in many ways. Perhaps by taking a walk along the Carson River or even hiking Kings Canyon Waterfall Trail.

  18. Carson City's Top 10 Historic Destinations

    Just 20 minutes from Carson City, visit one of Nevada's original mining towns. Silver City was once filled with life and silver— one of the reasons Nevada is known as the "Silver State."

  19. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Carson City

    15. Waterfalls. By RollTideRollAZ. Very short hike to the waterfall, less than a third of a mile. 8. Visit Carson City. 36. Visitor Centres. Carson City, NV sits in the center of one of the most scenic and historic areas in the country, making it a perfect starting point for your NV experience.

  20. Family-friendly events happening this week in Carson City

    Come visit the Carson City Library and hang out in a space designed with teens in mind! Monday - Friday 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. ... who will present "Old Washoe City: A Nevada Ghost Town Hiding in ...

  21. Visitors Center & Visit Carson City Offices

    Welcome to Carson City, NV. Stop by our Visitor Center for tourist/visitor information, local and state maps, your Loneliest Highway stamp, and local gifts. We're here to help guide your Carson City experience. Address: 716 N Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701. Phone: (775) 687-7410. Open Monday-Friday | 9am-5pm & Saturday 10am-2pm.

  22. Wild Wild West: 13 Old West Towns To Visit In Nevada

    The capital of Nevada, Carson City, has a number of unique activities for visitors today to enjoy. Before it became the hub of this western state, however, Carson City was a classic Wild West town.

  23. The 10 Best Things to Do in Carson City

    Park staff was very friendly and helpful. 11. Governor's Mansion. 60. Historic Sites. This Neoclassical 1909 mansion is located in the heart of Carson City's historic district. See ways to experience (2) 12. Capitol Complex.

  24. Nevada State Museum

    Location 600 North Carson Street Carson City, Nevada 89701 775-687-4810. Museum Hours The museum is now open Tuesday - Sunday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., ... For more information, visit carsonnvmuseum.org. Learn More about the historic Carson City Mint. Explore . Nevada's Historic Capital; Things to Do; Places to Stay;

  25. Carson City to Canada Quest

    On top of experiencing the adventure of a lifetime, Visit Carson City will provide $5,000 to each solo hiker completing this challenge. When will the quest take place? The start date for the Carson City to Canada Quest is set for Summer 2025. Please note that the exact date will vary depending on weather conditions and snowpack in the mountains.