Nevada is the seventh largest state by area in the USA. With that size comes a great deal of open space, varying landscapes, and many small towns dotting the terrain. Full of unique qualities, towns found within ‘The Silver State’ include mountain beauties, historic desert towns, and tiny gems offering something for everyone, from art lovers to history buffs to outdoor enthusiasts. Here is a list of some of the must-visit towns found throughout Nevada.
Located in southeastern Nevada, Caliente is a picturesque town with its roots firmly planted in the railroad industry. What might be considered the centerpiece of the town is the 1923 Caliente Railroad Depot. A beautiful mission-style building, the depot of today houses city offices along with an art gallery and a library. As for outdoor scenery, the town is peppered with lovely cottonwood trees and is near several state parks and other wonderful sites, including Rainbow Canyon and Kershaw-Ryan State Park, making it a great spot for adventurers. The area is also home to hot springs and mineral baths for which Caliente is named.
Ely is another gem on the ‘loneliest road,’ except on the eastern end. Starting out as a stagecoach station and post office on the Pony Express, this history-rich town provides something for every explorer. From the large murals that grace many of the buildings — there’s over 22 murals and sculptures — to unique sites and museums showcasing its early days, learning about Ely’s history is a lot of fun. The Renaissance Village is a definite must-visit with its various small cabins decorated to represent the area’s various early ethnicities, which included Spanish, French, Greek, and Chinese residents. Other attractions include the Ghost Train and numerous recreational opportunities for the outdoor lover.
Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Incline Village is simply a gorgeous gem with beautiful mansions and stunning scenery. In addition to the majestic, forest-covered mountains, the town also has the jewel known as Lake Tahoe — the largest alpine lake in the country — at its front door. A lovely place from which to explore the surrounding area, which includes other great towns in both Nevada and neighboring California, the area has something for everyone. Not only are there delicious eateries and boutiques but also incredible outdoor activities from water sports to great skiing adventures. Events are also plentiful, including the Red, White, and Tahoe Blue Festival celebrating the nation’s independence.
Located in northeastern Nevada near the Idaho border is the charming former mining town known as Jarbidge. Nestled in a canyon, this tiny town finds itself surrounded by breathtaking scenery called the Jarbidge Wilderness Area, which includes 65,000 acres of lush vegetation, lakes, streams, and wildlife. Best explored during the warmer months as winter finds this remote town hard to access, the area offers many recreational activities from hiking to biking to packhorse trips. If visitors can get there during the winter, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are also available. Within the town, visitors will find old miners’ huts and stables along with former brothels plus other highlights like the Jarbidge Community Hall, which was built in 1911 and displays historical items.
Lamoille is a picturesque, small village nestled in the foothills of the Ruby Mountains in northeastern Nevada. Settled in 1865, this ranching community is a lovely place from which to explore the gorgeous outdoors either for adventure seekers or photographers and other artists wishing to capture its beauty. From hiking to fishing to camping, there is something for every outdoor lover, and for the true adrenaline junkie, the Ruby Mountain Heli-Experience provides an incredible winter adventure for skiers. And while the town itself is small, visitors will find eateries, lodging, and charming buildings, including The Little Church of the Crossroads — built in 1905.
A charming Victorian-era town with a rich mining history, Virginia City is a must-visit when touring western Nevada. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this lively town is brimming with historic buildings many of which line C Street and house unique shops, tasty eateries, and other fun attractions. Perfect for strolling by foot, guests can further explore the town’s history by visiting various museums and sites, including the Pipers Opera House, the Mark Twain Museum at the Territorial Enterprise, and The Way It Was Museum, to name but a few. Art lovers will take delight in the St. Mary’s Art Center, a historic 1876 hospital that is now a wonderful art center. Mine tours, a ride on the V&T Railroad plus many events, such as Hauntober, also await guests.
By Marcelina Morfin