When people think of Nevada, Las Vegas instantly comes to mind, with its casinos and garish monuments to losing your hard-earned cash. The state has so much more to offer than gambling your earnings away, colorful shows and the famous Strip, including many fascinating museums, helicopter tours, hiking and biking in the state parks, hot air balloon rides and plenty of great retail therapy. Golfers are spoiled for choice for golf courses all over the state too. Scroll below to have a look at our top picks of exciting places to go and things to do in Nevada besides checking out Las Vegas.
1. Visit the Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire State Park is world-renowned for its red Aztec sandstone outcroppings, set in tan and gray limestone. The park also features petroglyphs dating back 2,000 years and ancient, petrified trees. Take a trip to the Visitor Center before hitting the trails to learn about the prehistory and history of the park. There are many well-equipped campsites with barbecue grills and water, perfect for a stay in the park while exploring the many hiking trails.
Valley of Fire State Park
Address: Valley of Fire Highway, Nevada, USA
Opening hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset. 24-hour access to campgrounds.
Price: Entry fee 10 USD
Website: Valley of Fire State Park
2. Have fun in Fremont Street, Las Vegas
Fremont Street is an entertainment street in downtown Las Vegas and while there are casinos, the street has so much more to offer. The street is lined with glittering colorful lights and several attractions. One unusual one is the Slotzilla Zipline Thrill Ride, something you don’t expect to find in the center of a city. There are many Live Music shows held on three stages in the street, including big musical acts. “The Walking Dead” fans will enjoy Fear Attraction, one of the latest things added to the fun. It is a multi-sensory experience with an interactive, 3D motion ride. The Viva Vision light show is spectacular.
Address: Fremont Street, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Website: Fremont Street
One of the best ways to see Las Vegas and its surroundings is in a colorful hot-air balloon. Fly over Red Rock Canyon and the surrounding areas and see aerial views of the Las Vegas Strip without losing your salary! The sunset departure option is popular, as you watch the sun go down behind the city and the lights coming on. A sunrise trip is also pleasant, where you can toast the city with champagne and light snacks.
Las Vegas Hot Air Balloon Ride with Champagne Toast
Duration: 5 to 6 hours
4. Explore the Nevada State Museum in Carson City
The Nevada State Museum in Carson City has many exhibits of artifacts relating to the Hopi and Navajo and Polynesian people, including an ancestral pueblo. Also on display are 21 beautiful travel posters dating back to the period 1945 to 1949. They were gifted to the state on the Merci Train in February 1949 and were commissioned by the Société Nationale Des Chemins De Fer Français and the French National Railways. They were created by various regional artists. The posters include beautiful French landscapes, cultural regions, and historical provinces.
Nevada State Museum
Address: 600 N Carson St, Carson City, Nevada, USA
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years
Price: 8 USD for adults, free for children 17 and under
Website: Nevada State Museum
5. Go biking on the Blue Line Trail
The Blue Line Trail, which is more formally the Kit Carson Trail, allows you to experience Carson City and its beautiful landmarks on foot or by bicycle. It was named the Blue Line Trail for the cobalt painted lines, zigzagging through the sidewalks, past the Governor’s Mansion, 19th-century Victorian homes, and the Nevada State Museum. Stop off and read the plaques on each building to learn more about their history and the founders of Carson City.
The Blue Line Trail
Address: Carson City, Nevada, USA
Website: The Blue Line Trail
6. Stroll along the Carson River
The Carson River is around 131 miles (211 km) in length and passes through Carson City, as well as several Nevada counties. It was named after Kit Carson, the man who guided John C. Fremont’s expedition to the Carson Valley. The section in the city makes for a lovely walk. North American beaver were recently reintroduced into the area lining the Carson River. Outside of town, the river makes for some great fishing.
Address: 5013 Carson River Rd, Carson City, Nevada, USA
Website: Carson River
7. Visit the National Automobile Museum in Reno
Anyone who loves cars will adore the National Car Museum in Reno. Known as the Harrah Collection, there are over 200 beautiful, well-kept cars all located in authentic street scenes for their era, complete with sound. See mock movie theatres, stores, and other interesting props, surrounding the fantastic vehicles. The museum usually has an event or two on the go.
National Automobile Museum
Address: 10 South Lake St, Reno, NV 89501, USA
Opening hours: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Website: National Automobile Museum
8. Tee off at the Washoe County Golf Course
The Washoe Golf Course combines beautiful landscapes with perfectly manicured greens, ideal for a great golf game. The Reno golf layout offers 18 championship holes with varying sets of tees to suit all ages and levels of golf skills. After the game, pop into the clubhouse to meet other players and relax.
Washoe County Golf Course
Address: 2601 Foley Way, Reno, Nevada, USA
Opening hours: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Price: Rates range from 11 USD for a junior player up to 33 USD for an adult golfer
Website: Washoe County Golf Course
9. Wander in the Midtown District Reno
Midtown District Reno offers a great shopping experience, along with many restaurants and bars. Visit a wellness and beauty center along the way or enjoy the various events held in the area. There is also a fascinating art walk with beautiful work on display.
Midtown District Reno
Address: 316 California Ave #45, Reno, NV 89509, USA
Website: Midtown District Reno
Experience the Grand Canyon while comfortably seated in a Eurocopter AS350B2 Jet Helicopter, offering unrestricted panoramic viewing. Pass over the spectacular Hoover Dam and Lake Mead while flying over southern Nevada. Your pilot will give a detailed narration and informative commentary about the magnificent scenery passing below. Enjoy aerial views of the Black Canyon and Bypass Bridge along the way and fly over the Colorado River, viewing geological rock formations that have been there for millions of years.
Grand Canyon Express Helicopter with Bonus Grand Canyon West Landing
Experience the best of Nevada
Have fun exploring this exciting and beautiful state and all it has to offer while enjoying all the things to do in Nevada besides checking out Las Vegas.
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