There’s a reason why this little town in Nevada is called Lovelock, and it’s not just because of their tradition love-locking. This adorable town on Interstate 80 in northern Nevada was originally founded when a pioneer named George Lovelock was developing mineral and agricultural resources in the area. Lovelock still remains busy as it depends on its tourism, agriculture, and mining industries. The town has a friendly community and a lot of various attractions and things to keep tourists interested. Here are 6 things we’d recommend you try if you’re ever passing through Lovelock, Nevada.
1. Lover's Lock Plaza
First thing on the list definitely has to be Lover’s Lock Plaza. While this visit might not require a lot of your time, it should be a mandatory thing to do on your Lovelock checklist. The tradition of love-locking is believed to have originated from ancient China. Love-locking is the custom of placing a lock on a never-ending chain. As long as your lock remains on the chain, your love will endure.
It’s relatively simple to lock your love at the plaza. Simply purchase a love lock, which is available at participating businesses that have the Lovers Lock posters on them. After you buy a lock, visit Lover’s Lock Plaza! The Plaza is located behind the Historic Pershing County Courthouse at 400 Main Street (worth a quick photo and look around as well). At the Plaza you will find a circle of green metal pillars that has linking chains on them. Place your lock anywhere on the chain and make sure to take some pictures if you feel like it! You can keep the keys or dump them, the choice is yours!
Lover's Lock Plaza
Address: 350 Main St, Lovelock, NV 89419
Website: Lover’s Lock Plaza
2. Lovelock Depot
Lovelock Depot is worth a stop if you’re interested in seeing an old restored train depot that’s still in use today. Built in 1880 in an Eastlake style, Lovelock Depot used to be called the Central Pacific Railroad Depot and acted as the town’s main point of access. The station used to be a regular stop for transcontinental train traffic until it was closed in the early 1990s.
The depot was then moved to a new piece of property and was restored starting from 1998. Nowadays, the depot is leased to private retail businesses and features a variety of little shops for visitors to browse. You can find a sandwich and ice cream shop, gift shops, and other miscellaneous item stores in the depot. It’s a cute building with a lot of character, and it’s worth a look if you’re looking for somewhere to make a brief stop.
Address: 1005 W. Broadway Avenue, Lovelock, NV 89419
Website: Lovelock Depot
3. Rye Patch State Recreation Area
Nature lovers will enjoy Rye Patch State Recreation area, a recreation area off the I80 that is great for camping, fishing, and general outdoor fun. The entire park is well-maintained and makes a great stop for weary travelers that are willing to camp for the night.
Campers especially will enjoy the ease of access in this location. The park has a toilet and bath house so you don’t have to go full-on “wild” during your camping trip. The campgrounds are located in the carved out riverbed below the dam. This makes it a great place to stay as it reduces the noise from the highway and the wind doesn’t get too bothersome. If you want a great camping experience without going far out of your way during your travels near Lovelock, this is the place to be.
Rye Patch State Recreation Area
Address: 2505 Rye Patch Reservoir Road, Lovelock, NV 89419
Website: Rye Patch State Recreation Area
4. Lovelock Cave
The story of Lovelock Cave is an interesting one. The cave itself is considered one of the most important sites of North American archaeology, and for good reason. Before immigrants settled in the region of Lovelock, the area known as the Humboldt Sink was the home of Northern Paiute American Indians. These prehistoric peoples found Lovelock Cave and used it as a sacred place. They stored a huge variety of artifacts in it during the period between 2,000 BC and 1,000 AD.
The cave was originally rediscovered by guano miners (people who use bat feces as fertilizer), and when archaeological digs were made in the area, they found up to 10,000 ancient specimens of human skeletal remains and cultural artifacts in there! With this story in mind, you can take the Lovelock Cave and Backcountry Byway tour to discover the area for yourself. With such a rich history enveloped in this area, it’s hard to say no when you’re setting up your itinerary for Lovelock!
Address: 29 km (18 mi) south east of Lovelock, NV
Website: Lovelock Cave
5. Nanny Jo's
An interesting to-do during your trip in Lovelock is to go shopping around for antiques or collectibles. The best place to go for that is Nanny Jo’s. Opened in 2013, this cute little antique store has a ton of retro and vintage finds for Lovelock residents and visitors alike. If you’re looking for something that stands out from the crowd and is sure to draw eyes on you, you can probably find it here.
The historic building that Nanny Jo’s is located in once belonged to Lovelock’s mercantile company. Within the store, you can find things ranging from cowboy boots, books and home furnishings, to clothing, jewelry, and more. All of the products here practically “scream” Nevada, so give it a shot if you want some parting gifts before you leave!
Address: 977 Cornell Avenue, Lovelock, NV 84919
Website: Nanny Jo’s
6. Cowpoke Cafe
Restaurant choices are pretty small in Lovelock, but luckily they make up for it in quality. Cowpoke Cafe is a great spot to hit up if you want some grub before continuing your trip. They have everything from hamburgers and homemade pies, to ice cream and hoagie rolls made fresh every day. They also have a selection of breakfast items which make it a nice little diner to eat at if you’re looking for breakfast in town.
If you want an authentic diner experience where the service is second to none, Cowpoke Cafe is probably your best bet. You can’t go wrong with the food there and it’s something that every person who is traveling through Lovelock has to try.
Address: 995 Cornell Avenue, Lovelock, NV 89419
Facebook Page: Cowpoke Cafe
Loving Lovelock is easy
There is a wonderful range of things to do in Lovelock. Finding something enjoyable in this small town is easy if you enjoy history and exploring. Lovelock is the perfect place for a weekend trip if you’re ever in Nevada and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
Get Trip101 in your inbox