Nevada's Top Ten Attractions

Nevada is famous for the “mother lode” discovery, also known as the Comstock Lode of silver. It’s the richest deposit ever found in the United States, earning Nevada the nickname Silver State. There’s a lot more to the 36th state to join the Union, which you can learn about below.

Nevada’s Top Ten Attractions

From gambling and nightlife to National Parks and ghost towns, Nevada has it all. And for a desert, it has some pretty lush landscapes to contrast its red rocks and cacti.

Best Places to Visit in Nevada

Whether you’re looking for a resort getaway or some time to hike, bike, and boat, consider one of the following destinations for your next trip.

Cathedral Gorge State Park

In eastern Nevada, you’ll find Cathedral Gorge State Park, which was established in 1935. It is home to naturally formed hoodoos, which are tall, thin spires of rock reaching from the Earth to the sky. They’re a product of erosion, and it’s fascinating to walk the trails of this park and see the different layers of Earth before you.

The 2,000 acres of land in Cathedral Gorge originally belonged to the Anasazi, Fremont, and Southern Paiute Indigenous people.

There are looping trails for novice hikers and more advanced trails for the experienced. In addition to hiking, there’s desert wildlife to look for, including hares, foxes, and lizards. Entrance fees vary depending on resident vs non-resident status, but it’s very affordable to bike, camp, or hike in Cathedral Gorge.

  • Day entrance - $5 resident vehicle, $10 non-resident

  • Camping - $15 resident vehicle per night, $20 non-resident vehicle per night

  • Bike entrance - $2 per bike

This Nevada State Park is open year-round but can experience extremes in temperatures. Always be prepared for high summer temperatures and cold winters. Pets are permitted but must be leashed at all times.

Great Basin National Park

Near the border of Nevada and Utah, Great Basin National Park is a must-see part of the state. It’s a protected area spanning 80,000 acres and is home to some of the oldest known trees in the world.

Before colonization, the Great Basin was home to Goshute, Paiute, Ute, Washoe, and Western Shoshone Indigenous peoples.

This National Park offers hiking, cave tours, camping, and beautiful views of the starry night sky. Some of Great Basin closes in the winter due to snow, but many attractions are still accessible. There’s no entrance fee for Great Basin, but National Parks passes are required to enter the park. If you have a fourth-grader, look into the National Parks Pass issued to your student for free. Otherwise, there are several pass options available:

  • Annual Pass - $80

  • Senior Pass - Lifetime $80, Annual $20

  • Access Pass - Free for US citizens/residents with permanent disabilities

  • Military Pass - Free for current US military members, veterans, and their dependents

Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam originally brought jobs to Nevada, and now it brings tourists. This stunning engineering feat stands 726 feet tall and keeps Lake Mead at bay. The dam is located on the border of Nevada and Arizona, it generates hydroelectric power that services Nevada, Arizona, and even California. 

In the past, tours of the dam and the power plant have been offered by the Bureau of Reclamation. However, be sure to check for closures due to extenuating circumstances or planned maintenance. As of September 2021, the Hoover Dam hours of operation and tours are affected by scheduled roadwork.

When available, tour prices range from $10 to $30 and tickets must be purchased at the Dam. the tours usually run from 9 - 5 daily, and you can choose between guided or self-guided tours.

Lake Mead

Speaking of Lake Mead, did you know it’s part of a National Recreation area that also includes Lake Mohave? Spanning about 1.5 million acres, it’s the ideal spot for water play as well as camping and hiking. Plus, it’s located just minutes outside Las Vegas

North of Hoover Dam is Boulder Basin, which is a great place for swimming, tent camping, and RV parking. 

Lake Tahoe

About an hour outside of Reno is Lake Tahoe. Is there anything more stunning than blue water surrounded by towering pines, nestled at the base of the mountains? In the Sierra Nevadas, Tahoe is a popular area for hiking, camping, and water sports.

In winter, visit one of the snowy ski resorts in and near Tahoe with world-famous slopes spanning miles of mountains.

  • Heavenly Ski Resort

  • Homewood Mountain Resort

  • Kirkwood Ski resort

  • Mount Rose

  • Northstar California

  • Sierra-at-Tahoe

  • Sugar Bowl Ski Resort

  • Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Las Vegas

Flanked by Mandalay Bay Hotel and one end and Treasure Island Hotel at the other, the Las Vegas strip is one of the most iconic vacation destinations in Nevada. But even if you’re not traveling for the casinos and entertainment, Vegas makes a great spot for a vacation. In addition to The Strip, there are lots of other attractions worth experiencing.

  • Freemont Street - Historic downtown of Vegas, now open to pedestrian traffic only

  • Gondola Rides - Thanks to the Italian-themed Venetian hotel, you can take a gondola ride in Vegas!

  • Helicopter Tours - See Vegas from above with a scheduled aerial tour

  • High Roller Ferris Wheel - Speaking of seeing the city from the sky, take a 30-minute ride on the Ferris Wheel at the end of Linq Lane.

  • Mount Charleston - Yes, you can ski in the desert!

  • The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement - Learn more about the mob activity that built the city of Las Vegas

  • The Neon Museum - Even if you want to stay away from the glitz of The Strip, you can still learn about the neon that makes the city glow.

Whether you gamble or not, staying in one of Vegas’ many hotels can put you close to all the city has to offer. From Virgin Hotels to iconic staples such as Caesar’s Palace, there’s a room for every budget.

Red Rock Canyon 

Outside of Vegas is this National Conservation Area of Nevada. It boasts beautiful red rocks, a scenic drive, canyons for hiking and climbing, and trails for mountain biking. There are 26 total trails at Red Rock, and various entry fees for vehicles and pedestrians.

  • Car day pass - $15

  • Motorcycle day pass - $10

  • Bike/pedestrian day pass - $5


The Biggest Little city in the world, Reno is the second-largest city in Nevada. Like its big sibling Las Vegas, Reno is home to a variety of attractions for travelers.

  • National Championship Air Races

  • The Great Reno Balloon Race

  • Hot August Nights Car Convention

  • National Automobile Museum

There are over 20 casinos in Reno, offering thousands of slot machines, game tables, and sportsbooks.

  • Nugget Casino Resort  

  • Grand Sierra Resort and Casino

  • Atlantis Casino Resort

  • Circus Circus Reno

  • Eldorado Hotel & Casino

  • Silver Legacy Resort Casino

  • Peppermill Resort Spa Casino


Tonopah is an old mining town in Nevada. It draws in tourists thanks to its stunning stargazing. There’s actually a stargazing park in this little town where guests are welcome to use their telescopes to view the sky, or simply lay back and drink it all in with the naked eye.

Situated between Reno and Vegas, Tonopah is beautiful year-round and offers tours of old mining facilities, the cemetery, and off-road exploration of the historical 100 acres that comprise the town.

Valley of Fire State Park

Another State Park worth visiting in Nevada is Valley of Fire. Visitors can hike, camp, and explore 40,000 acres of Aztec sandstone, limestone, and petrified trees that are thousands of years old. There are also historical petroglyphs in the park and an annual spear competition.

Valley of Fire is open year-round, and the entrance fee is $10 for resident vehicles, $15 for non-resident. Camping ranges from $20-$25 per night and is available for both tent and RV camping with hookups.