Nevada Travel Guides

Super useful & totally free travel guides, written by locals who love Nevada

View from the Red Rock Canyon during sunrise
Spectacular views of Red Rock Canyon at dawn.

Why We Love Nevada: Nevada is home to one of the most visited cities in the United States, Las Vegas. While Sin City has a reputation for being bright and fabulous, Nevada is also known for its mountain ranges and outdoor activities. Places like Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe are amazing for exploring nature, enjoying nightlife and museums, or simply relaxing near the water. Here, you’ll also find some of the most unique places to eat, drink, and spend the night. No matter how long you stay in Nevada, you will never run out of things to do.

Best of Nevada

🏙️ Destinations

Aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip with lights at night
Las Vegas Strip (photo: Randy Andy / Shutterstock)
  • Las Vegas – From glamorous nightlife to stunning wildlife, the entertainment capital of the world offers so many fun things to do.
  • Lake Tahoe – Home to some of the purest lakes on earth, this small Nevada town makes for a picture-perfect vacation. 
  • Reno – The Biggest Little City in the World is one of the best places in Nevada to go gambling, pub crawling, rafting, and museum exploring.
  • Laughlin – Small town feels and gorgeous, waterfront casinos make this destination one of the most unique day trips from Las Vegas.
  • Carson City – Nevada’s capital city has everything from incredible museums to beautiful hikes and waterfalls.

Things to Do

You might think of Nevada as being a place for gambling and clubbing, but it is an incredible destination for nature lovers, too!

  • Las Vegas Strip – Nevada’s main tourist attraction with 24/7 nightlife, vibrant lights, entertainment, and places to stay for everyone. 
  • Valley of Fire – Hike through incredible red rock formations or take a lovely scenic drive through the state park.
  • Fleischmann Planetarium – Astronomy lovers can’t miss this attraction at the University of Nevada, Reno. There are fascinating daily shows, plus telescopes to view space objects.
  • Incline Village – Unwind and relax near the crystal-clear waters at Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe. 
  • Mount Charleston – Hike, ski, or go on a magical sleigh ride through the beautiful scenery at Mount Charleston.
The Lake Tahoe under the clear blue sky
Stunning scenery at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe.

🗺️ Where to Stay

View of hotels in Nevada from afar with lights during night time
Magnificent hotels on the water in Laughlin, Nevada. (photo: Gregory E. Clifford / Shutterstock)

Nevada has many great areas and cities to explore, and no matter your preferences, there are countless places to stay:

  • Las Vegas Strip – The Strip is known for its immense selection of hotels, most of them within walking distance of each other. 
  • Reno – Downtown Reno is comparable to the Las Vegas Strip, with the addition of outdoor activities like rafting on the Truckee River. 
  • Laughlin – Relax on the beach and enjoy a variety of nightlife and fine dining at this great vacation spot. 
  • Summerlin – Families love Summerlin because of the fun things to do including arcades, bowling, and the Las Vegas Ballpark.
  • Lake Las Vegas – Spend a day on the water kayaking and end the night listening to live entertainment in this small town.

🛎️ Best Hotels

Stay in one of Nevada’s many luxury hotels including resorts, boutiques, and those with and without gambling:

  • The Cosmopolitan – One of the most glamorous hotels in Vegas featuring amazing dining options, hidden bars, and a 44-foot-tall chandelier.
  • Edgewood Tahoe Resort – No matter your party size, stay in this lakefront resort offering spacious villas and suites.
  • Circa – This adults-only hotel on Fremont Street makes for the perfect couple’s getaway.
  • Whitney Peak Hotel – The only non-smoking and non-gaming hotel in Reno is also home to the world’s tallest indoor climbing wall.
  • SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand – The luxurious SKYLOFTS cater to your every need by offering personal staff in every room that you book.
People inside the Chandelier Bar in The Cosmopolitan Hotel
Chandelier Bar inside The Cosmopolitan Hotel. (photo: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock)

🚗 Best Road Trips

The Zion National Park from a tunnel
Zion National Park scenic drive.

See some of the most beautiful sights in the country with these road trips:

  • Red Rock Canyon – One of the greatest day trips from Vegas, this scenic drive takes you throughout the Canyon and features the area’s highlights. 
  • Grand Canyon West – Just two hours away from Las Vegas, you will end up at one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
  • Zion National Park – Take a breathtaking drive with views of waterfalls and mountains.
  • Lake Tahoe – A short drive from Reno, Lake Tahoe allows you to swim, ski, or simply take in the gorgeous views.
  • Big Smoky Valley – Pass through the Toiyabe and Toquima mountains and end your journey in Tonopah.

⛰️ Best Mountains

The Mount Charleston covered with snow during winter
Snow covered Mount Charleston.

With Nevada being a desert, there are mountains almost everywhere you look. All of the mountain ranges are worth visiting, but these are some of the best peaks to explore: 

  • Mount Charleston – Visit Mount Charleston for a day of hiking or hitting the slopes, or stay at the Charleston Lodge for a weekend getaway.
  • Black Mountain – This hike is quite strenuous, but the views of Las Vegas, California, and Arizona at the summit are absolutely worthwhile. 
  • Kraft Mountain – Look out for Nevada’s state animal, Bighorn Sheep, on this easy yet awesome hike.
  • Muddy Mountains – Horseback riding and hiking are some of the best things to do in the Muddy Mountain Wilderness Area.
  • Sunrise Mountain– Escape the Las Vegas crowds and admire some of the best sunrise views in town. Plan for a three-hour hike.

⛷️ Best Ski Resorts

The Mount Rose Ski Resort under the clear blue sky
Mount Rose Ski Resort.

In the colder seasons, the mountains in Nevada make for the perfect place to hit the slopes:

  • Diamond Peak Resort – With ski lessons and a variety of terrain, this resort is ideal for both families and professional skiers.
  • Lee Canyon – Just 30 minutes away from the Strip, Lee Canyon has over 20 different ski trails, plus sledding and tubing.
  • Heavenly Ski Resort – On the Nevada state line you will find the state’s largest ski resort, aimed more toward advanced skiers.
  • Mount Rose Ski Resort – This ski resort is budget-friendly and the highest ski resort in Nevada. Mount Rose is great for all levels of skiers. 
  • Elko Snobowl – If you are looking for fewer crowds and cheap ski-lift tickets, Elko Snobowl is the place to go.

♨️ Best Hot Springs

Mountain Views from the Spencer Hot Springs
Beautiful views of the mountains from Spencer Hot Springs.

Nevada has more hot springs than any other state in the United States. Here are some of the best places to soak:

  • Arizona Hot Springs – Visit a three-tiered hot spring, only 30 minutes away from Las Vegas. Go at night for the best chance of avoiding crowds.
  • Gold Strike Hot Springs – The four-mile hike to these hot springs is notoriously challenging, but the result is very rewarding.
  • Spencer Hot Springs – These springs are easily found, and the views are superb while you are there.
  • Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs – Complete with fire pits and natural pools, Fish Lake Valley is very popular, so plan to meet new people.
  • Carson Hot Springs Resort – With 10 private soaking rooms, you are guaranteed privacy. You can also control the water temperature and warm up by the fire pits.

🖼️ Best Museums

View from the inside of the Mob Museum
Inside the famous Mob Museum. (photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

Nevada has a variety of informational and exciting museums, many of which feature interactive exhibits:

  • Neon Museum – Take photos with some of the most iconic neon signs in Las Vegas’ history and learn about their impact on the city.
  • Mob Museum – Immerse yourself into the world of organized crime and take part in unique, interactive exhibits.
  • Madame Tussauds – Get up close and personal with some of your favorite celebrities in wax figure form.
  • National Automobile Museum – Interact with historical vehicles and dress up for photos at one of the top Reno tourist attractions.
  • Nevada Museum of Art – Learn about human interaction with the environment by touring their unique art exhibitions.

Nevada Travel Advice

🗓️ Best Time to Visit

The Nevada desert has harsh winters and summers. However, there are still reasons to visit at any point in the year:

  • 🌼 Spring – Spring is the best time of the year to visit because it is mostly sunny and offers great weather for exploring the outdoors.
  • 🍂 Fall – One of the best times to visit for walking around Nevada’s cities, hiking, and experiencing activities like pumpkin patches and fairs.
  • 🌞 Summer – A good time to visit for swimming, discounted hotels, and activities, or gambling and cooling off indoors. Be sure to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.
  • ❄️ Winter – Go skiing, try sleigh rides, or visit some of the wonderful holiday light experiences. Just make sure you pack for the cold weather.

🚌 Getting In & Around

Renting a vehicle is most recommended when visiting Nevada, as it can be difficult to get around without a car in some cities. But here are some other key ways to get around:

  • ✈️ Airports – The largest airports are Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) and Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO). Others include Boulder City Municipal Airport (BLD) and Elko Regional Airport (EKO).
  • 🚗 Driving – Rental cars are very popular when visiting Nevada, as many destinations are far from each other.
  • 🚇 Public Transit – Public transportation is located in most cities, and tends to be the cheapest way of getting around.
  • 📲 Ride Share – Ride share services are the best option in Las Vegas, as the streets tend to be very chaotic there.
  • 🚴‍♀️ Biking – Bikers often ride in the suburban areas of Vegas or on trails through different mountains like Red Rock Canyon.
  • 🛴 Scooters – Scooters are mainly found in cities like Reno and Elko.
  • 🚶‍♀️ Walking – Walking from place to place in Nevada is not typical, except for certain areas like the Strip or Downtown Reno.

👉 Tips & Things to Know

  • 💵 – Use Cash – With all the gambling in Nevada, bringing only cash will help prevent you from emptying your bank accounts.
  • ☁️ – Check the Weather – Nevada’s weather tends to be on the extreme sides of hot or cold, so check the weather forecast while packing your bags. 
  • 🌿 – Leave the Marijuana Here – Although weed is legal in Nevada, it is not legal to take it out of the state. 
  • ✔️ – Plan Ahead – Once you get to Nevada, the number of things to do is overwhelming. Planning ensures you get to do everything you want and more.
  • ​​👛 – Remember to Tip – Of course, tipping is a common courtesy, but it can also help you get certain things like upgraded rooms or sold-out show tickets.

🧳 What to Pack

  • 👟 – Comfortable Shoes – No matter where you go in Nevada, you will probably do a lot of walking so be sure to bring comfortable shoes.
  • 🕶️ – Sunglasses – The desert sun is very bright and damaging, so be sure to bring sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • 💵 – Cash – With all the places to gamble in Nevada, cash is a great thing to bring because ATM fees can get quite expensive.
  • 🧴 – Sunscreen – Even on cloudy days where the sun is not out, it is still extremely hot and easy to get sunburnt.
  • 🗺️ – Maps – When hiking, reception can be sketchy so bring your paper maps to ensure that you don’t get lost on the trail.

🤓 Facts & Info

  • Population – 3.2 million people
  • Capital – Carson City
  • Largest Metro Areas – Reno, North Las Vegas – Spring Valley – Sunrise Manor – Paradise, Sparks, Carson City   
  • Time Zone – Pacific Time (UTC -8 / UTC -7 during daylight savings)
  • Airports – Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO), North Las Vegas Airport (VGT), Elko Regional Airport (EKO)
  • Colleges & Universities – University of Nevada-Reno, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Nevada State College, College of Southern  Nevada
  • Nickname – Battle Born State, Silver State, Sagebrush State
  • Demonym – Nevadan
  • USPS Abbreviation – NV
  • Governor – Joe Lombardo (Republican)
  • CountryUnited States of America

💵 Costs & Budgeting

  • MERIC Cost of Living State Rank – 32nd most affordable 
  • 3 Star Hotel Room – $100-250/night
  • 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $150-300/night
  • Rental Car – $26-50/day
  • Public Transit Ticket – $3-6
  • Take Out Meal for Two – $30-50
  • Sit Down Dinner for Two – $50-150
  • Draft Beer – $7-10

FAQs About Visiting Nevada

Is Nevada safe for tourists?

Nevada is typically safe for tourists as long as you stay in well-known and populated areas. The largest safety concern for tourists in Nevada is the desert heat, so be sure to stay hydrated and dress according to the weather.

What is the number one tourist attraction in Nevada?

The number one tourist attraction in Nevada is the Las Vegas Strip. The glamour and constant nightlife are what draw people to the Strip because it is an endless amount of fun.

What is the best month to go to Nevada?

The best month to go to Nevada is March because it offers the best weather of the year. It makes for the perfect time to go hiking, swimming, or wandering through the cities. Spring also has plenty of lovely scenery due to all the plants blooming.

What is Nevada known for?

Nevada is known for its expansive desert and energetic nightlife. Gambling is also very popular in Nevada, and casinos can be found in almost any Nevada city.

What is there to do in Nevada besides Las Vegas?

There are many things to do in Nevada besides Las Vegas, including Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Laughlin. All of these cities have similar nightlife aspects to Las Vegas, but with the addition of many outdoor activities to enjoy.

Meet Our Nevada Travel Expert

Isabelle Pavese

Isabelle Pavese is a Las Vegas-based writer who loves to travel and explore new places. She tries to take at least two trips a year to places she has never been before. Some of her favorite cities in the world include Rome and San Francisco. Isabelle loves all things food-related and is on a mission to find the best restaurants in Las Vegas!

👉 Read Isabelle’s Articles

📰 Nevada Travel Guides

If you are looking for a more extensive list of things to do or explore while in Nevada, be sure to check out our other Nevada Travel Guides below:

🗺️ Nevada Map