It’s not often I write about travel, even though it is hands-down one of my all-time favorite things to do! Summertime especially puts me in the mood to get out in the great outdoors, for some raw, historic adventures. Being a Utahn, Nevada is right next door and a quick jaunt. While often times Nevada is known mainly for its gambling and nightlife, and of course – Vegas! – there are actually many really beautiful, scenic places to visit, especially in the summer! One of my favorite Nevada locations being Carson Valley!
Sure, sure, you still can, of course, gamble here and there are certainly a few great casinos, bars and clubs to visit, but you’re missing out if you don’t check out some of the other great adventures to be had in Carson Valley!
5 Top Activities to do in Carson Valley Nevada:
1. A Relaxing Weekend at Topaz Lake. I’m a water girl for sure, so I make sure my summer consists of plenty of awesome wet adventures! The stunning oasis of Topaz Lake, located just south of Gardnerville, and nestled between the arid Great Basin and towering, Sierra Nevada, is a water sports lover’s destination. Known for fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding (yes, please!) and camping, there are no doubt, plenty of fun things to do to stay entertained here!
A little history on Topaz Lake: Jedediah Smith was the first non-native to traverse the Sierra Nevada, and in spring of 1827, his route took him southeast through Monitor Pass and east past Topaz Lake. Now a man-made reservoir, Topaz Lake was once a remnant of a prehistoric sea.
2. A Relaxing Day Sightseeing in Genoa. Genoa is full of history and with its growing culture, you can find fabulous fun entertainment here, as well as plenty of the arts, and fantastic yummy eats too! Visit the local Mormon Station and Court House Museums to learn about the history of this beautiful little town.
Originally established in 1851, the first recorded settlement in Nevada was named Mormon Station, then renamed Genoa in 1855 after the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. Genoa was the eastern terminus of frontier mailman John “Snowshoe” Thompson’s route from 1856-1876. Thompson was the first man to ski the Tahoe backcountry and the same peaks that make up some of their world-famous ski resorts; Heavenly Mountain Resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and Kirkwood Mountain Resort.
3. Shopping and Some Fun Nightlife in Minden. Ok, I’m in Nevada, I’ve still got to play the tables! I hear roulette calling my name now! A fun evening and stay in one of the beautiful rooms at the Carson Valley Inn & Casino, is sure to delight any traveler! Spend the evening dining, attending a live outdoor concert, free nightly entertainment, or try your luck at the slots, followed by a relaxing day lounging by the pool! While you’re here, also be sure to take a tour of the Dangberg Home Ranch to get a taste of the life of an early ranching family, as well as spend a relaxing afternoon at Minden Park and Esmeralda Avenue.