10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Nevada at Least Once

Vintage postcard of Nevada
Vintage postcard of Nevada | © Curt Teich & Co. / WikiCommons

From neon city lights to desert hiking trails, belly-busting buffets to haunted hotels, the Silver State has a lot to offer visitors.

The state of Nevada has over 50 million visitors each year. Whether they come to the north or the south, for business or pleasure, there are plenty of places and things to lure them to the state and keep them busy once they’ve arrived. Discover why you should visit the Silver State.

To Admire the Scenery at Cathedral Gorge State Park

Hiking Trail, Park
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Cathedral Gorge State Park | © Frank Kovalchek/Flickr
Cathedral Gorge State Park | © Frank Kovalchek / Flickr
Located in the southeastern part of the state, Cathedral Gorge State Park opened in 1935, but its spiral formations and rocky cliffs took millions of years to form. There are spectacular landscapes and rocky vistas, along with exotic flora and fauna. The park offers abundant hiking trails, as well as picnic and camping areas.

To Stuff yourself at the Bacchanal Buffet

Hotel Restaurant, American, Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, Seafood, Mexican, Dessert, $$$
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Dessert selection at the Bacchanal Buffet, Caesars Palace | © Caesars Entertainment

It’s not Vegas without a trip to the buffet, and the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace is among the city’s most lavish. It’s open for three meals a day and offers items such as oysters, tri-tip, crab legs and rack of lamb, as well as over a dozen new chef’s special dishes each day. A wide range of culinary styles are covered, from sushi to barbecue—and make sure to leave room for dessert.

To Watch the skies at the Reno Air Races

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National Championship Air Races, Reno | © tataquax / Flickr
For a high-flying adrenaline rush, nothing beats the Reno Air Races, known officially as the National Championship Air Races. An annual event happening each September at the Reno-Stead Airport, it includes exhibits, vendors, food and more, but the focus is on the races, stunt pilot demonstrations, historic aircraft and all things on wings.

To Ride the Slotzilla Zip line

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Fremont Street | ©Ray Bouknight\Flickr
Fremont Street | © Ray Bouknight / Flickr
For a whole new view of the Fremont Street Experience, ride the SlotZilla zip line—just make sure you keep your eyes open. The zip line whisks riders down the famous Las Vegas pedestrian mall Fremont Street Experience, past casino marquees and beneath the animated light canopy. Choose between the 77-foot-high (23.4 meters) “Zipline” that flies down two blocks of Fremont Street or the 11-story-high “Zoomline” that stretches for five blocks.

To Get your photo op on in Rhyolite

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Abandoned train station, Rhyolite, Nevada | © Gedstrom / WikiCommons
The Nevada ghost town of Rhyolite may be decrepit, but it still offers plenty of eye candy. The ghost town portion has served as a backdrop for a number of films, with its train station, bank building, miner’s shacks and other glamorously decaying structures. There’s also the nearby International Car Forest of the Last Church, where wildly painted vehicles are planted nose-down in the desert. Either will appeal to both the dedicated art photographer and the occasional selfie snapper.

To See the bright lights at the Neon Museum

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Las Vegas Neon Museum | © Mobilus In Mobili / Flickr

There are plenty of stunning sights and signs at the Neon Museum, but they are best seen after the sun goes down. Once the sky darkens, the museum’s restored signs are flipped on, breathing new life into the Yucca Motel and Liberace Museum. The museum’s Brilliant! exhibit uses modern technology to bring old lights back to life via projection and animation, all synced to a soundtrack of Vegas classics.

To Spend a night in the haunted Silver Queen Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
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Silver Queen Hotel in Virginia City | © Nick Ares / Flickr

Located in historic Virginia City, the Silver Queen Hotel was built in 1876. Along with an oak-bar saloon and rustic wedding chapel, the hotel has 28 rooms, many with high ceilings and claw-foot tubs. The Silver Queen is also reported to be haunted by several ethereal guests, including the ghost of a prostitute who once worked there—rooms 11 and 13 are said to be particularly active.

To Tie the knot at the Little Church of the West

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Little Church of the West 2007 | © Larry D. Moore/WikiCommons
Little Church of the West 2007 | © Larry D. Moore / WikiCommons
The Little Church of the West, constructed in 1941, has been relocated several times before settling in its current home across from Mandalay Bay. Efforts have been made to maintain the building’s character—the pews are original to the building, as are some of the light fixtures. The Little Church of the West has hosted a number of celebrity weddings over the decades, including those of Angelina Jolie and Judy Garland, as well as the “wedding” between future headliners Elvis and Ann-Margret at the end of Viva Las Vegas.

To Take a dip in the Spencer Hot Springs

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Spencer Hot Springs | © Alison Jean Cole / Flickr

The Spencer Hot Springs is one of a number of fascinating attractions along Highway 50, a.k.a. “the Loneliest Road in America.” Hiking trails and camping spots surround the springs. After a long stroll through the majestic scenery, take a dip in one of several springs, which are over 100°F (37.7°C) year-round.

To Cruise the Las Vegas Strip

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Aerial view of Las Vegas strip in Nevada, USA.
Aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip | © lucky-photographer / Alamy Stock Photo
It’s not a trip to Las Vegas without a roll down the dazzle of Las Vegas Boulevard. From the south end marked by the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign to the bright lights of Fremont Street, there’s a lot to see along the Las Vegas Strip, considered a top spot to visit in Nevada. Casinos with their dazzling neon and LED marquees provide eye candy, while the older buildings farther north offer Googie architecture and local history. Take it all in from a car or one of the buses that traverse the Strip.