Heading to Las Vegas from Arizona, you cross one of the finest engineering feats in the world, Hoover Dam. Since its dedication in 1935, this landmark hydroelectric power producer has been one of Nevada’s most photographed and visited sites.
Nevada offers visitors a wide range of experiences: from exciting gaming at resort hotels and casinos to snow in the mountain areas. There are memorable dining opportunities, recreation and world-class entertainment.
Visiting the many museums is fascinating and beholding the many desert scenes is unforgettable. There is much more to Nevada than Las Vegas with colorful towns to explore and legends to learn.
Touring Nevada is one way to get in touch with Western history such as a drive along U.S. Highway 50, which parallels the old Pony Express mail route used in the early 1860s. However, when you are coming into the state from Arizona, you would first arrive at one of the finest engineering feats in the world, Hoover Dam. Since its dedication in 1935, this landmark hydroelectric power producer has been one of Nevada’s most photographed and visited sites. The new memorial bridge offers spectacular views previously only seen from a helicopter. While you are here, take time for one of the scheduled tours to explore the dam inside and out. You’ll be amazed.
From Hoover Dam you will probably want to continue on to Las Vegas to spend two or three days. The city began as a dusty railroad stop in the early 1900s and since has become “the city of lights” — it is famous around the world with non-stop flights from Europe daily. Here is a city with non-stop excitement 24 hours of every day. And remember the slogan: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I suggest you throw away the budget and stay in one of the upscale resort hotels. Treat yourself to unbridled luxury. Some of these hotels offer suites only; try one of them. Live like royalty for a couple of days. Perhaps you will be celebrating an anniversary or other special time in your life. This is the place! You will probably spend some hard-earned money on one of the gambling tables and who knows, you may win thousands of dollars. Here’s the place to go crazy for a couple days and nights. Take some time in the hotel’s spa and relax in the luxury of it all. You’ll never forget it. See at least two major shows here and enjoy every minute.
At the close of two or three days of lavish life, you’ll throw away the silver slippers and be normal again.
Why not get back in the car and explore other sights in Nevada?
Head north to Reno — “The Biggest Little City in the World” — with its iconic downtown arch. Leave the car and walk a few blocks southeast to Lake Street near the Truckee River where the original arch resides. Reno offers similar thrills to Vegas, but on a smaller scale. Nice hotels and resorts, more gaming tables and slots and good entertainment at night. The bar scene downtown is a must with all its glitter and Old West feel.
Not far away is Lake Tahoe with its 72 miles of shoreline offering breathtaking views of the entire lake, high mountains and interesting pull-offs around almost every corner. You’ll keep the camera busy the entire time you are in the area. Plan a couple days here in one of the better hotels. In the winter it’s skiing and summer the hotels become fine beach locations next to the lake. It’s fun to rent a bicycle and tour the area or hike the trails through the tall pines. You can also spend several hours on a boat going around the lake. If you canoe, this is the place to get in the exercise. Lake Tahoe is also a good place to simply relax for a time breathing in the mountain air.
At Lake Tahoe is Borges Carriage and Sleigh Rides and they offer horse rides year-round. Phone 800-726-RIDE for details. You may also wish to contact Explore Tahoe: An Urban Trailhead at South Lake Tahoe Basin, (530) 542-4657.
Close by is the Nevada state capital, Carson City. This is a nice, smaller city with museums and friendly people. If the lawmakers are in session, spend an hour or two in the gallery and see how Nevada democracy works.
There are events happening almost every weekend somewhere in the state. For a listing contact the Nevada Commission on Tourism by calling 800-NEVADA-8.
Just about every activity is available in the state, from golfing and other outdoor recreation to visiting cowboy country in the northwestern part of the state to Indian country all over Nevada. There are 25 state parks to visit offering plenty of exciting scenery with rivers to fish and mountains to view.
If you have time, continue west to Yosemite National Park in California and then spend a couple nights in San Francisco. There are many great sights to see here and as long as you are driving, from the City by the Bay head down Highway 101 and stop a night in Santa Barbara. This is a Mediterranean-type city set next to the Pacific Ocean. From here, return home with a night’s rest in Palm Springs first.
You can only do this itinerary by automobile and you will find the roads in good condition and easy to use. Have a safe trip!