What To See in Nevada: 7 Must-Visit Attractions
When you’re planning to visit the Sagebrush State, you have to make sure you see all the must-visit attractions. Nevada is full of fun and adventure, and it is one of the most beautiful states you can visit on vacation.
If you know you’re going to Nevada, be sure to add these seven must-visit attractions to your itinerary. After you pick up your rental car, you won’t want to waste a minute of your stay in Nevada because there’s so much to see and do and experience while you’re there.
1. Las Vegas
Carson City may be the capital city of Nevada, but no city in the state is more well-known than Las Vegas. If you can make only one trip to Nevada, then you have to visit the Entertainment Capital of the World.
You could spend your entire vacation Las Vegas and not experience everything it has to offer.
Las Vegas, of course, offers a wide selection of casinos to choose from if you like high stakes activities that make you feel like you’re living on the edge. America’s City of Lights has plenty of lights to catch your eye with its fun and exciting nightlife. Las Vegas is known for its artist residencies featuring beloved performers that you can only see there, like Gwen Stefani, Usher, and Bruno Mars.
There are also spas, museums, fine dining, yoga studios, and just about anything you could want to do on vacation.
2. Ghost Towns
If you want a vacation that will haunt your memories forever, Nevada has just the attractions for you. The state was once home to several boomtowns and is known as the “Silver State” because it first gained popularity during the Nevada mineral rush of the 19th century.
Unfortunately, the desert landscape couldn’t sustain all the towns that popped up over the years. Whole towns were abandoned and left behind when the inhabitants chased different dreams. The result was the creation of ghost towns around the state that consisted of abandoned homes, schools, stores, mines, and more.
The ghost towns offer a glimpse into the past that hasn’t been disturbed much since. Without any modern touches along the way, the ghost towns are cool and sometimes creepy places to visit and explore.
Here are the nine Nevada ghost towns open to visitors:
- Gold Point
- Pine Grove
The typical modern conveniences you find in “living” towns aren’t available in ghost towns. Pack your car with all the essentials, make sure you have a full tank. Choose a car that can handle a variety of terrains because some of the coolest ghost towns in Nevada aren’t easy to get to.
3. Valley of Fire
The Valley of Fire is a state park located about an hour’s drive northeast of Las Vegas. When you arrive, you’ll be driving your rental car on one of the most scenic roads in Nevada. The incredible viewpoints throughout the Valley of Fire will take your breath away as you experience the epic landscape.
As you take in the 40,000 acres of beauty consisting of bright red outcrops amongst the tan and gray sandstone, you’ll be thankful for the natural beauty. The Valley of Fire truly is a destination that rivals the Grand Canyon — and it (usually) isn’t as crowded!
To fully enjoy this must-visit destination, you should bring food and water. Plan to get out in nature and dress accordingly with the proper footwear. You’ll capture breathtaking photos that you’ll always treasure from your Nevada trip.
4. Red Rocks Canyon
Nevada’s first National Conservation Area was Red Rocks Canyon, and it’s just 17 miles west of Las Vegas. You can go from the bright lights of the Vegas Strip to the peace and tranquillity of nature in a short, scenic drive.
In addition to the beautiful 13-mile drive through Red Rocks Canyon, you can stop off for a hike or sightsee various plants and wildlife and Native American petroglyphs.
You can also enjoy a nice picnic. Just be sure to bring water, food, and a good pair of shoes so you can fully appreciate your time at Red Rocks Canyon.
5. Great Basin National Park
You have to appreciate things in life from different angles. In Nevada, when you go to the Great Basin National Park, you can appreciate the beauty the state has to offer from its tallest peaks.
Located near Nevada’s border with Utah, this national park contains a mountainous route known as Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, and it leads you to Wheeler Peak. At its summit, Wheeler Peak’s elevation is 13,065 feet. That’s almost 2.5 miles up, and it’s the state’s second-highest peak.
Besides taking a beautiful drive and getting a bird’s eye view of the South Snake mountains, you can go hiking, camping, or fishing in this national park.
6. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is a beautiful destination to visit while in Nevada. This large freshwater lake and its mesmerizing beauty will make you want to come back again.
The lake sits on the border of California and Nevada. Residents from both states travel far and wide to this glittering destination for its rejuvenating atmosphere.
Lake Tahoe has beautiful beaches, the Sierra Mountains, and an entrance to the Tahoe Rim Trail for gorgeous long-distance hiking.
Lake Tahoe is also one of the cleanest freshwater lakes in the world. Simply enjoying its pure beauty and a hot cup of coffee is sure to be a life-changing experience, and as one of the world’s 20 oldest lakes, you’ll feel a connection as you’re walking the same path of people thousands of years before you.
7. Area 51
Who doesn’t love visiting a highly classified United States Air Force facility while you’re on vacation? On a dry lake bed, the secrecy of this protected no-fly zone was destined to lead to myths and legends.
Built in 1955 as a facility for the United States Air Force, conspiracy theorists have included Area 51 in their theories about aliens, UFOs, and the government.
Area 51 is in the Nevada Test and Training Range, and its existence wasn’t confirmed until 2013. The 38,400-acre area is used for ballistics testing and training, but you’ll enjoy speculating what else goes on there.
This popular destination for fans of UFOs and alien lore is a quick day trip from Las Vegas, so you can easily say you’ve been there and done that.
Nevada is one of the most gorgeous places to visit in the United States. The Sagebrush State offers a little something for everyone. From aliens to entertainment, ghost towns to casinos, and deserts to lakes, you’re sure to find a little piece of Nevada that touches you and makes your trip a memorable one.
Valley of Fire State Park | State Parks
Red Rock Canyon | Las Vegas, Nevada
Inspiring Stewards, Preserving the Trail | tahoerimtrail.org