Carson City Travel Guide

Nevada’s capital, Carson City, is 40 minutes south of Reno, nestled between the Sierra Nevadas, Pine Nut mountains and the Great Desert Basin. The backdrop is diverse and scenic, and the town itself a time capsule of the Wild West frontier days. Its elevation of 5,000 feet provides pleasant weather for visitors most of the year, helping to keep it at the top of Nevada’s most visited tourism destinations.

Despite its small town feel, Carson City has plenty of room to move. There is a historic district that reveals its railroad and mining roots, which is best explored via the Blue Line walking tour. The impressive Nevada State Capitol and its surrounding museums offer a change of scene and a cheaper alternative to the casinos. Shops, restaurants and bars are scattered in between the attractions.

Carson City has a very slow feel to it, despite the element of gambling; like Vegas on barbiturates. Visitors who enjoy America’s Wild West heritage will feel right at home, both in the ambiance and the cultural venues on offer. Carson City’s proximity to wonders like Lake Tahoe, Virginia City]] and the Mount Rose Wilderness Area make it the perfect base for exploring this part of Nevada. Best of all, the casino aspect isn’t obnoxiously in your face.


Kit Carson Trail: this 2.5 mile interpretive walking trail cuts right through the heart of Carson City’s historic district and residential areas, providing the best immersion in the town’s colorful heritage.

Stewart Indian Museum: the history, culture and arts of the Native American tribes who once lived in the region are well-presented at this small but informative museum.

Great Basin Art Gallery: Nevada’s best artists, photographers and sculptors are showcased in this excellent gallery, housed in an old stagecoach station. The collection of Native American photographs is considered one of the world’s finest.

Brewery Arts Center: there’s a long history behind this performance arts center which offers both workshops and cultural events. Its 1864 Grand Ballroom is a lovely setting for the plays and concerts which are regularly scheduled.

Railroad Museum: history buffs and railroad enthusiasts will definitely want to stop by at this informative and well-organized museum devoted to the roots of Carson City.

Nevada State Museum: trace the history of the Great Basin Desert through the reconstructed ghost town and mine as well as the museum, housed in the former Carson Mint.