Ely is a small town in Eastern Nevada that holds a lot of history from the state’s mining and railway days. The town itself was founded as a stagecoach station along the Pony Express, and the railway there has been preserved as a heritage railway. Other than its interesting history, it also offers beautiful nature for any visitor to explore. Wondering what to do in Ely, Nevada? Then let’s check out the best things to do in Ely, NV.
1. Travel back through time at the Nevada Northern Railway Museum
Steam Locomotive 40, 1910 - Official Locomotive for the State of Nevada and the Ghost Train of Old Ely. Photo by Jeff ScheidPosted by Nevada Northern Railway on Saturday, 6 September 2014
In Ely, you can take a train ride back in time. Nevada Northern Railway Museum is one of the best things to see in Ely, Nevada, and they offer several different regularly scheduled train rides aboard a 1900s-style train. The rides are 90 minutes long, and the museum also offers special night rides and themed rides for different occasions, such as the Polar Express during the wintertime and a haunted ghost train near Halloween. The museum also includes a yard full of shops and several different hands-on adventures. Ticket prices vary depending on what activities you’d like to do, and the museum is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm.
Nevada Northern Railway Museum
Address: 1100 Ave A, Ely, NV 89301
Website: Nevada Northern Railway Museum
2. Learn the history of Ely’s county at the White Pine Public Museum
The White Pine Public Museum in Ely offers great insight into the rich, cultural past of White Pine County, in which Ely resides. The building offers attendees a look at their research and mineral collections, which are from White Pine’s earliest inhabitants - the Shoshone Indians, as well as the population that amassed during the 1800s gold rush. The outside of the museum itself also shows the first mural painted in Ely, which is of an Ely town street, and is titled “4th of July.” The museum is open 10 am to 4 pm every day.
White Pine Public Museum
Address: 2000 Aultman St, Ely, NV 89301
Website: White Pine Public Museum
3. Bring the kids to Steptoe Park
If you’re visiting Ely with kids in tow, Steptoe Park is a great place to let them explore while you take the time to relax. The park features six acres (2.4 hectares) and includes a playground, soccer field, pavilion, and picnic area, and plenty of trees that provide shade. For a fun activity the whole family can enjoy, there’s also a .6 mile (1 km) walking trail - a great way to enjoy outdoor Ely while also getting a little bit of exercise. Visiting Steptoe Park is truly one of the fun things to do around Ely, Nevada.
Address: Avenue I, Ely, NV 89301
4. View the unique Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park
If Steptoe Park didn’t offer enough opportunity for hiking, Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park will surely fulfill your to-do list. In addition to a trail system, the Willow Creek available for fishing, and plenty of camping and picnic space, the park’s namesake and claim to fame are its six large charcoal ovens. They were originally built and used in the 1800s for silver ore that was mined in the area, but have since been retired and only used for touring. The ovens are truly a sight to see, and provide an experience unique to the park. The park is always open, but requires a 7 USD entrance fee.
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park
Address: Ely, NV 89315
5. View more authentic history at the Ely Renaissance Village
The Ely Renaissance Village gives visitors an immersive experience within a village that Ely most likely resembled centuries ago. The village is made up of historic homes that have been restored, and the homes include authentic wood burning stoves, ice boxes, wringer washes and other items that would have been commonplace during older times. The village is especially authentic because each house reflects a different ethnicity, which is representative of the many different types of people that migrated to the area to work in the early 1900s. The different ethnicities include English, Greek, Slovakian, Asian, French and Spanish.
Along with the homes, there is also a miners’ cabin and general store, along with other mock businesses. Hosts at the village will take you on a guided tour for more descriptions of the historic culture and people, and they can answer any questions you might have. The village is open 1 pm to 4 pm on Fridays and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays.
Ely Renaissance Village
Address: 400 Ely Street, NV
Website: Ely Renaissance Village
6. Hunt for real mineral specimens at Garnet Hill
The Garnet Hill recreation area near Ely offers a very unique way to spend the day, reminiscent of the early 1900s when Ely’s population boomed because of those flocking to Nevada for gold. While you may not find any gold at Garnet Hill, you will find dark-colored garnet rocks that contain beautiful garnet gem stones.
You will have to break the garnet rocks open yourself in order to get to the gem stones, but the find will be very worth it, and you’ll be able to head home with a beautiful, free and natural souvenir. Once you’re tired out from hunting gems, you can also stay at the hill and view the open copper pit excavations or have a picnic and use the many barbecue pits.
Address: US-50 Ely, NV 89301
Website: Garnet Hill Recreation Area
7. Try doing some outdoor nature actvities at the Cave Lake State Park
For travelers who enjoy the outdoors, the Cave Lake State Park is the place to see. This topnotch recreational park is 32-acres big and is a reservoir that welcomes guests to go fishing and boating among others. In the summer, guests can go camping, hiking, fishing, and boating with equipment and gear they can rent out. During the colder months, visitors can attempt to go snowmobiling, ice fishing, skating, and even cross-country skiing. The Cave Lake State Park is a must-see when traveling in groups and with children to further explore the beautiful greenery and nature at Cave Lake State Park.
Cave Lake State Park
Address: Ely, NV 89315, P.O, BOX 151761
Website: Cave Lake State Park
Opening hours: 12:00 AM to 12:00 PM (daily)
Price: 5 USD
8. See the wonderful exhibits at East Ely Railroad Depot Museum
Grab the chance to see the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum and see the best and most prolific exhibits and galleries, Established in 1905, this landmark draws guests to see what the railroads were like in the 1900s and then into the Depot museum where guests will feel like they’re time traveling back in time to the where general offices of the railroad are visible and preserved. Just across the Depot museum is the Nevada Northern Railway Foundation which will allow guests to book tours and get a more in-depth look at the shops, and facilities of the historic railroad.
East Ely Railroad Depot Museum
Address: 1100 Ave A Ely, NV 89301 US
Website: East Ely Railroad Depot Museum
Opening hours: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Mondays to Fridays; 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Saturdays to Sundays
Price: free admission for museum members;
9. Appreciate local art at Ely Art Bank
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Ely Art Bank is definitely a must-visit when in Ely, Nevada. This impressive piece of history has been a long-standing icon of Ely even after it was converted from a bank into a well-curated museum. Featuring works from local artists, visiting this significant establishment is something you just have to do when in the area. Show your support to the local community by purchasing any of their superbly made crafts, and bring home a piece of Ely, Nevada with you.
Ely Art Bank
Address:399 E Aultman St, Ely, NV 89301, United States
Website: Ely Art Bank
Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed from Sun - Thu)
10. Explore the rugged road of Ely on an ATV with Eastern Nevada Adventures
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
If you’re up for a day of adventure, then why not try out some of the most thrilling activities in The Silver State. Go off-roading on ATVs or 4WDs. Drive around the awesome landscape of Nevada and discover it in the most adrenaline-pumping way. Whether you’re traveling solo or with family or friends, this activity is truly memorable. Don’t forget to bring some snacks, water, and sunscreen so you can fully appreciate the beauty of the picturesque desert.
Eastern Nevada Adventures
Address: 1095 Aultman St, Ely, NV
Website: Eastern Nevada Adventures
11. Enjoy popcorn and a movie at Central Theatre
Have a relaxing and laid-back day. Why not enjoy a movie date or night out? Take your family, significant other, or friends to Central Theatre. Catch a popular or interesting film together. This unique, historical theatre is beautifully preserved with its stunning Art Deco design, neon lights, and impressive architecture. Built in the 1940s, this iconic piece of history still proudly stands today. Make sure to catch a film in one of the swankiest theatres in Nevada while feeling like you’ve stepped back in time.
Address: 145 W 15th St, Ely, NV 89301, United States
Website: Central Theatre
12. Shop for unique pieces at Garnet Mercantile
Garnet Mercantile is a local shop in Ely Nevada with great significance. You’ll find gorgeous copper bowls, garnet jewelry, and well-crafted vintage goods on your visit to this one-of-a-kind store - you’re sure to find something unique to bring home. What’s even better is that purchasing from Garnet Mercantile means you’re supporting local - and there’s nothing better than keeping this quaint city in Nevada thriving. Be sure to drop by this awesome shop for exceptionally unique purchases.
Address: 363 E Aultman St, Ely, NV 89301, United States
Website: Garnet Mercantile
Opening hours: Fri: 10am - 7pm; Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 10am - 2pm (closed from Mon - Thu)
13. Enjoy a delicious meal at Nardi's Home Style Restaurant
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
There’s nothing better than home-style cooking. Enjoy a filling and sumptuous meal before going out to explore Ely. Nardi’s Home Style Restaurant is the perfect place for breakfast or brunch. They serve various breakfast options that are not only a hit with the locals but also the visitors as well. This highly regarded restaurant is simply a must-visit when in the area. Start your mornings in Ely with the most important meal of the day at Nardi’s Home Style Restaurant - you’re sure to satisfy your tastebuds and leave with a full belly.
Nardi's Home Style Restaurant
Address: 1204 E Aultman St, Ely, NV 89301, United States
Website: Nardi’s Home Style Restaurant
Opening hours: Fri - Mon: 7am - 2pm (closed from Tue - Thu)
14. Go bowling at Sunset Lanes Inc.
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Looking for an indoor, yet competitive option while in Ely? If so, then go bowling at Sunset Lanes Inc. Take a break from all the exploring and compete with your family and friends. With over three decades in the business, this thriving bowling alley is a well-established hang-out spot for both locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re a pro at the sport or a novice, you’ll surely appreciate Sunset Lane’s authentic, well-maintained floors and inviting ambiance. If you feel rather peckish after a round of fun bowling, the place also offers some snacks and drinks for you to munch on.
Sunset Lanes Inc.
Address: 1240 E Aultman St, Ely, NV 89301, United States
Opening hours: Tue & Sat: 4pm - 11pm; Wed - Thu: 5pm - 10pm; Fri: 5pm - 11pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
15. Enjoy a drink at Shooter's Bar & Grill
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
End your day in Ely with a bang. Enjoy some drinks and party the night away. With Shooter’s Bar & Grill, you’re sure to have amazing booze, cocktails, and drinks coupled with some of the best pub food in Ely. Make sure to drop by and try their specialties. They serve classic American dishes like steak and burgers. They are also open for lunch in case you’re craving hearty pub food. With more than 30 years under their belt, this place has always been a community favorite and is a must-visit if you find yourself in Ely, Nevada.
Shooter's Bar & Grill
Address: 714 E Aultman St #2501, Ely, NV 89301, United States
Website: Shooter’s Bar & Grill
Opening hours: 2pm - 2am (daily)
Ely offers a unique, historical getaway
Ely is the place to visit if you’re looking for a unique trip full of history and nature. The town’s mining and railroad history mean it was developed with vibrant cultural diversity and contains a number of historical landmarks, such as the old train and interesting charcoal ovens. There are also so a number of great attractions near Ely, Nevada. Since there’s so much to do, it’s a prime spot for solo travelers as well as families. These things to do in Ely, NV will definitely keep you occupied!
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