Whether you’re an aficionado of poetry or powwows, burlesque or barbecue, Nevada has a festival for you.
The Silver State contains desert heat and mountain snow, austere landscapes and glitzy cities. But it’s more than all the places to go—it’s the many things you can do. Interested in cars? Cooking? Rodeos? Rock ‘n’ roll? Nevada celebrates them all.
Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off
When & Where: End of August–Beginning of September, Sparks
What: For three decades, people have come from across the nation to cook and eat at the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. Two dozen teams cook over 200,000 pounds of ribs. There are awards, concerts, contests, and vendors, but the big attraction is “Rib Village,” where one ticket buys all the ribs you can eat.
Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender
When & where: June, Las Vegas
What: The Burlesque Hall of Fame honors the legends of striptease, many of whom performed in the Golden Age of Las Vegas. The BHoF weekend brings the museum to life with performances by and in tribute to legends of burlesque, as well as exhibits, seminars, and other events. It also celebrates burlesque’s present with the Miss Exotic World pageant, during which the world’s finest teasers compete for the crown.
When & where: End of August–Beginning of September, Black Rock City
What: When summer meets fall, part of the Northern Nevada desert becomes a seven-square-mile (18-square-kilometer) art installation. The Burning Man festival began 30 years ago, and it has grown into a week-long celebration of self-expression—attendees create costumes, camps, and even cars to fit the year’s theme.
When & where: May, Las Vegas
What: Helldorado Days began in 1934 as an effort to draw tourists to Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam. The big events of the weekend are the parade, with its procession of floats, and the rodeo. There’s also a poker run for the motorcyclists, a beer festival for brew lovers, and a “whiskerino” contest for guys who are really into their facial hair.
Hot August Nights
When & where: August, Reno/Sparks
What: Hot August Nights is a week-long celebration of vintage cars and classic rock, with events spread over multiple venues. Cars are in the spotlight with show-n-shines, cruises, races, and, of course, awards. Keeping things going in the evenings are numerous concerts by classic bands, as well as cover and tribute acts.
Laughlin River Run
When & where: April, Laughlin
What: The largest annual motorcycle gathering in the west, the Laughlin River Run has been drawing motorcyclists from across the country for over three decades. Bike shows, poker runs, and the Ms. Laughlin contest are part of the weekend’s events.
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
When & where: End of January–Beginning of February, Elko
What: The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering pays homage to the Western cowboy tradition through story and song. Events focus on poetry, music, and improvisation; there are also workshops to help participants develop their own tales. The Basque culture of Northern Nevada is also celebrated in traditional dance, music, and food.
Pahrump Social Powwow
When & where: November, Pahrump
What: The Pahrump Social Powwow is a multi-day event for both Native Americans and non-Natives. Pahrump is home to Paiute and Shoshone tribes. The powwow opens with an invocation of the spirit, followed by three days of drums and dancing—Buffalo dancers, Aztec dancers, and Hummingbird dancers, all in traditional costume.
When & where: August, Las Vegas
What: Punk T-shirts at the blackjack tables and heavy metal bands by the pool—Psycho Fest takes over the Hard Rock Hotel for four days of unhinged fun. With over 70 bands, along with additional events such as film screenings, art exhibits, and poker tournaments, there’s plenty of trouble to get into.
Viva Las Vegas
When & where: April, Las Vegas
What: A celebration of rockabilly music and culture, Viva Las Vegas has been swinging for over 20 years. The festival brings together old-school icons and new musicians, as well as an astonishing collection of vintage cars. Pool parties, dance lessons, pinup contests—it’s all here.
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meet our Local Insider
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.