On the shore of Lake Tahoe, the capital of Nevada is lauded for its scenic beauty, skiing, boating, hiking, gambling and its restored railroad.
Carson City was built on mining, logging and the railroad. It rose up from the Eagle Valley floor in the late 1850s, becoming the state capital of Nevada in 1864. Today, the modern city honors its past with museums and historic homes as well as providing plenty of casino action and a wealth of outdoor activities.
Start your exploration of the city on the Kit Carson Trail. The 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) sidewalk path is named after the famous explorer who mapped the west. It covers more than 60 landmarks including 19th-century mansions, courthouses and churches. A painted blue line and bronze medallions embedded in the pavement mark the route.
Stop by the Nevada State Museum, formerly a branch of the U.S. Mint. Step inside the Carson Brewing Company where Tahoe Beer was made. Visit the Sears-Ferris House, the childhood home of George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., who later invented the Ferris Wheel.
The railroad played a key part in opening up Carson City. Take a ride on the restored V & T Railroad. The line was built to transport gold and silver ore from Virginia City’s mines to refining mills in Carson City. As you travel along the tracks watch for mine relics, exposed silver ore veins and wildlife. Leave time to explore the 19th century railroad cars and locomotives at the Nevada State Railway Museum.
Carson City is located in Eagle Valley in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and is a magnet for outdoor adventure types. Strap on a pair of skis and swoop down the slopes of Mount Rose. Go hiking, biking and boating through Washoe Lake State Park’s 8,053 acres (3,258 hectares) of wilderness. Climb some of the more than 50 peaks that are close to the city. Enjoy a boating trip across Lake Tahoe, North America’s largest alpine lake, and kayak through the 13-mile (21-kilometer) Carson River Aquatic Trail.
Like much of Nevada, Carson City has been synonymous with gambling since its frontier days. Try your luck at the tables, poker rooms and slots of its numerous casinos.