Destination and travel stories covering Nevada’s urban areas, such as Las Vegas, Reno, and Carson City. Topics include new developments and interesting attractions in the bigger towns and cities.
Plan Your Vacation Back in Time
Nevada is home to many distinct opportunities, but there’s one that sets itself apart from the other myriad reasons to visit. In the small eastern town of Ely, you can take a vacation back in time. The Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark reveals what it was like to live in Nevada a century ago. The museum offers touchable history that can completely immerse you in the past. Time appears to have stopped at the museum; it’s as if the workers went to lunch and never came back.
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Pinball Hall of Fame
Two miles east of the Las Vegas Strip, there’s a place one can hear the clink of coins along with the bells and whistles of machines eager for play. These sweet sounding chimes and buzzers aren’t from slot machines however—no, in this place the patrons are dropping their change for just amusement purposes and, perhaps, for a chance to relive a bit of adolescent nostalgia. The game of choice is pinball and even though it’s been on the endangered species list of arcade games for the past 20 years, one would never know it at the Pinball Hall of Fame.
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Battle Born Bookstores
Remnants of treasure hunts punctuate Nevada’s arid landscape. The state’s ghost towns—oblique wooden structures, crumbling under the weight of history—stand as a testament to lodes of ore. While the Silver State’s eponymous cache may be less accessible nowadays, there’s a more abundant treasure waiting to be discovered in Nevada: books.
Narrative nuggets—hardcover, paperback, used, new, sold for millions or fifty cents—lie waiting to be unearthed in bookstores throughout Nevada. In neon-lit cities and sleepy, rural towns, each shop offers a different experience, collection, and prize to carry home.
Las Vegas History Finds its Way Home
Just off Las Vegas Boulevard—in the shadow of the Stratosphere—are a number of neighborhoods serving as a reminder of the past. The homes are distinctive in design, built just after World War II as the city transformed from a dusty old town with a handful of hotels to the bright neon and glitter of post-war Las Vegas.
Through the Lens: Midtown Mural Tour
When we’re young, many of us play with a jack-in-the-box; with just a little persistence, we are continually delighted by the surprise that pops up. Reno’s Midtown Mural Tour is a bit like that; the payoff is worth the small effort required to see the beautiful, evocative, and generous murals sprinkled in this newly energized segment of the Biggest Little City.
Gold and Silver Pawn Shop
Not all reality TV stars are the same. While some become household names because of bad behavior or their dating or fashion choices, others become famous for being genuinely entertaining. Rick Harrison falls into the latter category. He is the owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, which his father Richard—“The Old Man”—opened in 1988. He is also the star of HISTORY’S incredibly popular reality show “Pawn Stars,” based around the shop and its customers. The show launched in 2009, and life changed forever for Rick and his family. The unlikely star seems amused by his place in the spotlight.
Do as the Pahrumpians Do
Pahrump: the only city in Nevada that will turn you into James Bond after a single visit. OK…while that statement is mostly a silly hyperbole, there is a bit of truth to it. When I first watched the original James Bond actor Sean Connery make his great jetpack escape in 1965’s “Thunderball,” I knew I wanted to fly like that someday. And when I found out this futuristic technology is available to the average Joe in Pahrump, I was all in. Plus, with two amazing wineries in town, what better way to get grounded after a jetpack flight than a glass of wine—or possibly a good martini (shaken, not stirred)?
Do I have your attention yet, 007?
Like a Rolling Stone
I must admit that I knew very little about Boulder City before visiting—an inexcusable realization considering the town’s importance to United States and Nevada history. Boulder City was once at the heart of one of the most impressive feats of human engineering in the history of mankind, and I’ve never been there—that had to change. And, unsurprisingly, it didn’t take a fortnight in this southern Nevada town to really grasp why people flock there.
Boulder City’s tapestry ties its historical relevance with new-age hipness. A renowned hotel sits just seconds away from a modern brewpub; flowerboxes and statues line the streets of the downtown district that boasts a medley of diners and antique shops. The town is also the only other in Nevada to not allow casino gaming besides Panaca, which sets it even further from the ordinary.
Downtown Container Park
Before they happen upon the outdoor dining tables or quirky play area made of a maze of slides, visitors to Downtown Container Park in Las Vegas are greeted by the Mantis—a 40-foot-long, fire-breathing art project that debuted at Burning Man two years ago. The Mantis may have been born in the desert of Black Rock City in Northern Nevada, but its permanent home is in downtown Las Vegas.
Live, Laughlin, Love
Located roughly 90 miles south of Las Vegas lies an underrated Nevada treasure. Touting a scenic riverwalk, crystal-clear waters, and nearby petroglyphs strewn across the red rock countryside, Laughlin truly stands out as a Nevada town worth visiting. A popular destination for snowbirds hoping to escape frigid temperatures during the winter season, Laughlin provides a sunny escape year-round.
This on-Strip standard of confinement is being reimagined and redefined with the introduction of The LINQ, an open-air retail, dining, and entertainment district anchored by the world’s tallest observation (Ferris) wheel—known as the High Roller. A Caesars Entertainment project, The LINQ is located between The Quad Resort & Casino and Flamingo Las Vegas.