Top 11 Attractions and Places to Visit in Nevada
Nevada’s beautiful landscapes are often overshadowed by the glitz and brilliance of its largest city, Las Vegas.
While this is a city you won’t want to miss, Nevada is a state full of incredible natural attractions, scenic drives, small towns, and excellent opportunities for outdoor activities.
National parks and recreation areas provide excellent terrain for hiking, biking, climbing, horseback riding, and fishing.
You can also find ski hills in the high mountains. If you’re not up for that level of activity, you can enjoy the sights from the comfort of your car.
To find the best places to visit, you sometimes need to venture beyond cities and towns and get lost in Nevada’s stunning natural areas. Plan your trip with our list of the top attractions in Nevada.
- Las Vegas
Considered the most entertainment in the world at two and a half miles, the Las Vegas Strip sparkles and sparkles with massive resorts, hotels, theaters, restaurants, and gardens.
This famous stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard, running from the Mandalay Bay Hotel to the Treasure Island Hotel, is what most visitors come to the city to see and experience.
This is where huge resorts such as Paris, New York, New York, The Bellagio, The Venetian, and Caesar’s Palace are located.
Illuminated at night, The Strip appears as one of the brightest spots on Earth when viewed from space.
Fremont Street in Old City Las Vegas is also worth a visit. Adorned with a canopy of LED lights, the evening light show here, known as the Fremont Street Experience, is a must-see if you have time.
Las Vegas is one of the best places to visit in America for a quick, action-packed getaway.
Flights from across the country offer easy access, making it a top destination for everything from a girls’ getaway to a wedding weekend.
Families can also find hotels that cater to people traveling with children or pet-friendly hotels.
If you want to see more than just the city, you can escape to nature on some beautiful hiking trails near Las Vegas or enjoy a day trip to nearby Death Valley National Park or Valley of Fire State Park.
- Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam was a marvel of modern engineering built during the Great Depression as a way to provide jobs.
The 726-foot-high dam holds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, and provides hydroelectric power to much of Nevada, Arizona, and California.
Built on the Nevada and Arizona state line, the dam is only a 45-minute drive from the center of Las Vegas or a short helicopter flight.
You can walk over the dam for dizzying-inducing shore views or look out over Lake Mead. Tours of the Hoover Dam Power Plant are also available; sometimes, they can only be purchased at the dam. (Places to Visit in Nevada)
Official Site: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/
- Lake Tahoe
The bright blue waters of Lake Tahoe, often surrounded by snow-capped mountains, are one of Nevada’s most beautiful destinations.
This 22-mile-long freshwater lake, high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the Nevada and California border, is a popular year-round destination.
In the summer, most visitors come here to enjoy the beautiful beaches, hit some spectacular hiking trails, or camp out at one of the area’s many campgrounds.
In the winter, families and powder hunters from all over America come here to hit the slopes at the ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area. You can enjoy the scenery on the scenic drive along the lake any time of year.
The many cities around the lake provide suitable bases for exploring the area. Lake Tahoe is about a three-hour drive from San Francisco and five hours from Yosemite National Park.
From Reno, you can reach the north end of the lake in about 45 minutes. (Places to Visit in Nevada)
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
On the shores of Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, Lake Mead National Recreation Area boasts some spectacular scenery. It offers convenient access points and various services to enjoy the lake and surroundings.
This sprawling area of nearly 1.5 million acres offers opportunities for beach going, boating, hiking, camping, and more on the beach and in the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The most popular section is the Boulder Basin on Lake Mead, north of Hoover Dam. Boulder Beach is a popular spot for swimming or setting up a lawn chair on a hot day. Campgrounds in this area provide a beautiful setting for both tents and RVs.
Also in the area is the historic railroad, where travelers can walk along the old railway bed and through old tunnels.
If you’re looking for information, stop by the Allen Bible Visitor Center in this area, about 40 minutes from Las Vegas. (Places to Visit in Nevada)
Official Site: https://www.nps.gov/lake/index.htm
- Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is one of the most attractive natural areas in the state. Dramatic rock formations and sweeping views of colored stone waves make up some of Nevada’s most dynamic landscapes. Just an hour’s drive northeast of Las Vegas, it’s worth a visit.
If you’re only interested in a scenic drive, the roads through the park provide great landscape views. However, hiking trails are one of the best ways to experience the park.
These hikes are usually short and easy but take you through incredible scenery, including slot canyons, rock walls covered in petroglyphs, old filming locations, and other spectacular sites. You are also likely to see some wildlife.
Camping is popular in Valley of Fire, and the campgrounds are strategically placed in beautiful settings among rock formations. (Places to Visit in Nevada)
Official Site: http://parks.nv.gov/parks/valley-of-fire-state-park/
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Located just outside Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is one of Nevada’s most popular hiking areas.
The massive red rock formations atop the Mojave Desert are the most attractive feature, but the area covers various sites and geological formations. A look at Box Canyon, the mountains, and the Keystone Thrust are some of the highlights.
A 13-mile scenic drive through the park offers a look at some of the sites, but hiking trails in Red Rock Canyon provide the best access to all the major sites.
Rock climbing, road biking, mountain biking, horse riding, picnicking and wildlife watching are popular activities here.
The conservation area has a developed campground with primitive facilities. (Places to Visit in Nevada)
Official Site: http://www.redrockcanyonlv.org
Reno is the second largest city in Nevada after Las Vegas in terms of population, but it is still relatively small and is home to only about 250,000 residents. However, for a small town, it has surprising attractions and events for tourists.
Renault also hosts the National Championship Air Race, the Great Renault Balloon Race, the Hot August Nights Car Conference, and several other popular annual events. Reno is also home to the National Automobile Museum and many other fascinating museums.
Lake Tahoe is less than an hour away if you have time for a day trip or excursion. (Places to Visit in Nevada)
Great Basin National Park
In east-central Nevada, near the border with the state of Utah, Great Basin National Park protects approximately 80,000 acres of basin and range landscape. The park is dominated by the 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak and is below Lehman Caves.
It also protects the Bristlecone Pines, which are about 5,000 years old. The park offers several developed camping sites and a wide range of backpacking opportunities.
Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, like Baker Creek Road, is a must – but not in winter. The park is located next to the vast Highland Ridge Wilderness Area. (Places to Visit in Nevada)
Official Site: http://www.nps.gov/grba/index.htm
This pop-up town in the desert is a community-based, annual event held in the Black Rock Desert, about three hours north of Reno.
This unique event focuses on art and self-expression in many forms, and attendees are expected to be involved rather than just spectators. The people and the sharing environment and community are what create the experience.
Held in late August and early September, Burning Man began in 1986 and has grown significantly over the years. Today, thousands of people attend. Attendance levels are capped each year, and tickets are sold out.
Burning Man Festival purchased Fly Geyser Ranch in 2016. There is a fly geyser on this property. (Places to Visit in Nevada)
Official Site: https://burningman.org/
Lamoille Canyon is located in the heart of Nevada’s Ruby Mountains in Elko Country. Lamoille Canyon Road is an officially designated National Forest road that runs around the base of the 11,387-foot Ruby Dome.
The road climbs into a spectacular 8,800-foot-high canyon carved by glaciers long ago. During the summer, alpine meadows burst with wildflowers.
The area is also known for its waterfalls and wildlife, with wild sheep, mountain goats, and a variety of birdlife flocking to the hills and grasslands.
The lower area of Lamoille Canyon is open year-round, but the upper part remains buried under ice for several months in winter.
Apart from scenic drives, popular things to do here include camping, fishing, hiking, and heli-skiing in winter. (Places to Visit in Nevada)
Like its neighbor to the west, California, Nevada is one of the few places where you can ski downhill in the morning and sit by the pool in the afternoon. Perhaps the most accessible place to try it is in Las Vegas.
You can transition from the hot, dry desert floor to a winter wonderland on the 11,916-foot-high Mount Charleston at Lee Canyon Ski Resort in less than an hour.
You’ll find a fun resort with 26 runs and three lifts here. The resort receives an astonishing 11 feet of snow annually and is a great place to try skiing in Nevada.
However, Mount Charleston isn’t all about the snow. In summer, it is a pleasant escape from the heat of the valley floor below.
You’ll find excellent hiking trails, waterfalls, and the wonderful McWilliams Campground among tall pine trees.
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