Have you ever wondered about the State beyond the City? Las Vegas is a staple feature in our bucket lists and is most definitely still a destination that must be ticked off that list to be believed. But what about the rest of Nevada? You may be surprised! The state is rooted in the Wild West and Gold Rush era of American history and evidence of this past can still be seen today, particularly in the towns of Virgina City and Genoa. The cowboy culture is also still prevalent in both the original and the best 'Sin City's in world; Reno and Las Vegas.
Nevada also has many natural wonders, including Lake Tahoe; a true playground for adults and children alike, seeking that adrenaline rush! Go hiking, biking, bungee jumping or hand gliding or just sunbathe on the lake-shore. The real gem of Nevada though, is Great Basin National Park. The night skies are so clear here that it's one of the premiere places in the world to go star-gazing. Below ground you will find the breath-taking Lehman Caves, a huge marble cave full of stalactite and stalagmite structures, formed over hundreds of thousands of years.
- Salt Lake City
- Great Basin National Park and the Lehman Caves
- The original Sin City, Reno
- Lake Tahoe
- Las Vegas
Salt Lake City
Arrive into Salt Lake City today; made a prime travel destination by the Winter Olympics in 2002. Although the athletes have departed, the revitalisation that was done in preparation for the Games is still very much a part of the area, making a visit a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Salt Lake City is the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and many major tourist attractions focus on LDS history. Yet with its gorgeous setting between the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City is also a prime destination for outdoor sports. In winter, skiing is the most popular sport, but during the remainder of the year, you can enjoy some great hiking, mountain biking and climbing just outside the city.
Today, you will be making your way into the Silver State, Nevada. On your way to Elko, make sure to stop at Utah’s famous Bonneville Salt Flats and visit Wendover for lunch. Elko is in the heart of Cowboy Country. Here you can visit the new California Trails Centre, which presents the history of the Gold Rush, Western Migration, Pioneers and the Donner Party. Next, visit historic downtown Elko to see amazing saddles and leather creations at Capriola’s Saddle Shop. Experience the sights and sounds of the Western Folklife Centre and learn more about cowboy poetry and song. Just outside Elko, you can head to Lamoille Canyon and drive leisurely up the breath-taking twelve-mile canyon road, viewing spectacular vistas, wildlife, flowers, and rushing streams through the glacially carved canyons of the Ruby Mountains. Enjoy dinner at a Basque eatery such as The Star.
Reno, also known as 'The Biggest Little City in the World', was the original sin city where, at the beginning of the 20th Century, it gained national notoriety for being the city people came to for gambling, drinking and divorce. In recent years, it has seen something of a cultural resurgence with shopping, galleries and restaurants popping up all over the city. Enjoy your stay in Reno at world class spas, browsing the extensive selection of shops, from boutiques to outlet stores. Try out the largest outdoor climbing wall in the world, or visit the National Automobile Museum which features some of the most famous cars from Bill Harrah's collection. For a more active day, try the downtown white-water kayak course or if spectator sports are more your thing, stroll the Riverwalk area.
Within easy reach of Reno are Carson City, Nevada’s Capital, Virginia City, a beautiful old Mining Town and Genoa, Nevada’s first settlement. Carson City, the state capital, is only half an hour south of Reno. Highlights along Main Street include the Capitol building, Nevada State Museum and Nevada State Railroad Museum which offers diesel or steam train rides for visitors. Carson City also boasts nine golf courses; whilst nearby Carson Valley is home to vast ranches, antique shops and Victorian homes. Tahoe Ridge Winery, one of Nevada’s four wineries, has a tasting room and a restaurant in Carson Valley – a perfect place to stop for some lunch and wine tasting.
Once a vital mining settlement, Virginia City is a gem of the Old West. Spend an afternoon walking the plank boardwalks, browsing the shops and dimly lit saloons, venturing into an old mine (preserved to its original layout) and ride on the Historic V&T Railroad to experience real history. Genoa was Nevada’s first settlement and a quaint little town, with beautiful scenery and “Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlour” – Genoa Bar and Saloon, which is a key experience. Since 1853, drinks have been served at this bar which has welcomed presidents, actors and famous musicians through the years.
Today drive 50 minutes up the mountains to stunning Lake Tahoe, where you will find picture postcard scenery of sparkling crystal clear water reflecting snow clad mountains. Lake Tahoe is a classic American lakeside resort, with log cabins, tall pine trees, soft, yellow sand beaches and a wealth of activities and water sports to keep you entertained.
The north shore is anchored by the town of incline village, which boasts two golf courses, a ski resort, and two lake front hotels. The town of Stateline is situated on the south shore and is known for its large scale casino resorts, Heavenly mountain resort and Edgewood Tahoe Golf course. From South Lake Tahoe, you can board the M.S. Dixie II or the Tahoe Queen and enjoy a relaxing cruise, taking in the magnificent views of the azure coloured lake and rugged mountains. During the summer, Tahoe is perfect for water and beach activities, hiking and bicycling, whilst the winter months turn Tahoe into a skiers’ paradise, with winter sports such as tobogganing and ice skating to fulfil all preferences.
Drive Tahoe to Ely, and stop for lunch in Eureka, followed by a tour of the 1881 Eureka Opera House, before continuing your journey along the renowned ‘Loneliest Road in America’. The ‘Loneliest Road in America’, aka Highway 50, will take you through some of Nevada’s most scenic landscape and historic towns but most importantly on a unique adventure. If you complete it, you will be awarded a Certificate for surviving the ‘Loneliest Road in America’ (just make sure you receive at least 5 out of 8 stamps from the specified communities in your Survival Guide on route).
Ride the rails this morning on the Nevada Northern Railway, also known as the Ghost Train. Explore the East Ely Railroad Depot museum and home to Nevada’s Official State Locomotive Engine #40. Don’t miss out on a visit to Renaissance Village. These homes, built in 1908 have been restored to portray different ethnic backgrounds to show the diversity of cultures that settled in the area. Follow a detailed map of Ely’s magical outdoor art and you will find masterful works of art from artists around the world who have depicted the history and variety of cultures that shaped this historic mining town. Enjoy dinner at the All Aboard Café and Inn or have dinner in a jail cell at Cell Block Steak House at the Jail House Casino Motel.
Baker & the Great Basin National Park
Depart Ely, and head to nearby Great Basin National Park, where you can hike up to the Bristlecone Pines, the oldest living trees on earth and enjoy a trip to the Lehman Caves where you will be able to marvel at the incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations. After lunch in Delta, visit Topaz, a WWII Japanese American internment camp.
A neon tribute to tinselled affluence, Las Vegas booms 24 hours a day with a heady “get rich quick” atmosphere. The lure of easy money, the whirling wheels and gaming tables, and the numerous plush hotels provide ready entertainment; glitz and escapist fun are supplied in quantity. The MGM Grand has over 5000 rooms and is home to eight restaurants and three showrooms. The New York New York Hotel has its own Statue of Liberty, Park Avenue and Central Park and the Venetian has its own canals that weave through the hotel. As well as the casinos, enjoy theme parks, medieval banquets, musical revues and magic shows.
- 14 nights’ accommodation and room tax.
- International flights from London (please ask if regional airports are required).
- Fully insured compact car hire (larger vehicles are available).
- A detailed and comprehensive travel pack with driving directions and maps.