Located near the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Carson City is one of the most overlooked towns in the region. Yet, the bustling small city is home to exciting adventures, mouthwatering eats, and a well-established artistic community. If you’re not sure what to do in Carson City, NV during your upcoming trip, everything you need to know is outlined in this guide.
Where to Stay
While there are only around 55,000 residents, Carson City offers an impressive selection of lodging options. From small bed and breakfasts to towering resorts, you’re sure to find something to match your preferences.
Traveling on a tight budget is stressful, but the town offers multiple affordable options. Many of them even maintain prices under $100 per night. A few of the most cost-effective locations include:
- The Carson City Plaza Hotel
- Hardman House Hotel
- Days Inn by Wyndham
- Rodeway Inn
- Super 8 by Wyndham
- Motel 6
The majority of locations are pet-friendly and offer a complimentary breakfast. The Rodeway Inn and Motel 6 also offer on-site pools for guests.
Charming & Quaint
When you want to feel at home while traveling, a small bed-and-breakfast or inn is the way to go. There are three charming options available in Carson City: the Bliss Bungalow, Deer Run Ranch Bed and Breakfast, and St. Charles Residential Hotel. The locally-owned establishments offer a level of comfort and care that keep visitors coming back time and time again. All three are also reasonably priced, so you don’t have to sacrifice your budget to enjoy a stay.
If you prefer a wider range of amenities or simply won big at the casino, treat yourself at one of these higher-end hotels:
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Hampton Inn & Suites
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites
- Gold Dust West
- Wyndham Garden Carson City Max Casino
The Courtyard, Gold Dust West, and Wyndham Garden all conveniently offer eateries on the property, but most options include a complimentary breakfast buffet or a coffee bar. The latter two hotels also boast on-site casinos. Yet, Gold Dust West really takes fun travel to the next level with a 32-lane bowling alley.
What to See
Named after explorer Kit Carson, Carson City’s modern history dates back to the 1840s. To get to the city, start with a glimpse into the past. One of the best ways to delve into its history is with a walking tour. The Kit Carson Trail covers over 60 important spots in the city. The town even offers a self-guided map to help you out, and the trail is fitted with distinctive markers all along the way.
After stepping back in time, take some time to appreciate the city’s diverse culture by supporting the local arts community. The Brewery Arts Center is an excellent place to start. The landmark offers a ballroom, Box Theater, and performance hall, as well as a gift shop. Catch a show or sign up for a class while you’re in town.
What to Do
When it comes to deciding what to do in Carson City, NV, you won’t have any trouble. The area’s beautiful geographic location and thriving community have resulted in an abundance of activities for all ages and interests. Your biggest challenge is fitting them all into your trip.
The Southwest Region of the U.S. is known for its incredible beauty, so it’d be a shame not to experience it for yourself while visiting the area. One of the top attractions is Lake Tahoe, which is only about a 30-minute trip from Carson City. Spend a day hiking the trails, kayaking or soaking up the sun at Sand Harbor beach, or taking in the views from above by hang gliding. On your way back, make a pit stop at Spooner Lake for an unforgettable water-side picnic.
In the opposite direction of Lake Tahoe sits Dayton State Park. A 20-minute journey is all it takes to reach the 160-acre reserve, which features abundant wildlife, breathtaking views, and plenty of opportunities for exploration. Want to unplug and unwind? Immerse yourself in nature by staying overnight—the park allows camping.
Test Your Luck at the Casino
You don’t have to visit Las Vegas just to hit the slots in Nevada. In fact, there are over 15 casinos just in Carson City. Some of the most popular include:
As mentioned above, the Gold Dust West is also a hotel with a bowling alley and restaurants, making it the ideal spot for someone needing to relax and de-stress. However, don’t let those convenient amenities prevent you from exploring all the community has to offer—especially the food.
Try Local Cuisine
Carson City’s culinary scene isn’t featured in glossy magazines or foodie blogs. Yet, it truly is a hidden gem of the Southwest. The eateries in the town won’t bore you with unnecessary frills. Instead, they stick to crafting delicious meals from wholesome ingredients. This quality is particularly apparent at Red’s Old 395 Grill. Here, patrons find everything from spicy chicken pot pie and barbeque to pizza and peach cobbler. The restaurant’s menu is stocked with comfort food sure to please and a selection of over 100 beers. Other spots you won’t want to miss include Shoe Tree Brewing Company and Comma Coffee.
Score Affordable Travel to Nevada
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