This museum is housed in a former US mint building and is really the one reason to go out of your way to visit Carson City. It has excellent displays on the Mint's history and the history of silver mining in Nevada.
Built in 1908, this mansion is amazingly accessible and fits in perfectly with the small town feel of Carson City. Instead of high fences and security guards, its just another house (albiet a pretty big one) in a residential neighborhood.
There is one huge outdoor pool and a rather large round hot tub shaped pool . Inside there are perhaps 10 private mini spa rooms. These are rented for two hour intervals for $15/person list rate and also include use of the outdoor pools.Discounts are available, including discounts for children and seniors There are men and women's shower rooms but I did not notice any lockers.There are massage services available on site. The place is old and rather funky with a very tired look to it.
Natural mineral water comes from 35,000 feet underground and cooled to about 96 - 108 degrees
The outdoor swimming pool temperature is maintained at 98 degrees in the summer and 102 degrees in the winter. Mini Spa room temps are individually controlled.
This Museum preserves the heritage of the Virginia and Truckee (V&T) railway line that was used to ship ore from Virginia City on to Reno where it met the main train lines. During the summer months rides are availble from Carson to Virginia City on some of the historic trains preserved here.
Nevada's state capitol and its other government building are the major structures in Carson city. In fact it would be just a typical american small town if not for these buildings. The capitol building was built in 1870.
I think this is the most impressive building architecturally in Carson City. It is currently known as the Paul Laxalt State Building. But, when it was first built in 1891, it was the Post Office and Federal Building. It functioned as the Post Office for Carson City until 1970. Today it is the home of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, along with Nevada Magazine and several other State Agencies.
The casinos in Carson City are vastly different from the mega resorts you find on the Las Vegas Strip. They are smaller, more "Mom and Pop" type places. All of them cater more to the locals than to tourists. Although there's no need to worry...they'll take your money just as easily as a Carsonite's.
Downtown, the 2 main casinos are the Carson Nugget and Cactus Jacks. The Nugget is the larger of the two. Both places have been around for many years, and it shows. They could use a remodelling, but aside from that, they are nice, hometown casinos.
East on Highway 50 you'll find the Pinyon Plaza Casino. It's more splashy then the Nugget, and is one of the few Carson City casinos to have a hotel.
At the South end of town, on Highway 395, is the newest Casino in Carson City, the Casino Fandango. It's the closest thing Carson City has to a glitzy casino, if you can call miles on Neon glitzy. It's located in a former lumber and hardware store, but has done a nice job of remodelling, and is a good choice if you want to go to a nice casino.
Compared to most US State Capitol Buildings, the Nevada State Capitol is vastly understated. Most State Capitol buildings look like carbon copies of the US Capitol in Washington, DC. There are some notable exceptions, such as Oregon and Nebraska. But, while those building go in an extreme opposite direction, the Nevada State Capitol Building looks like a Capitol building, just on a more modest scale. In fact, driving down Carson Street, if you didn't know the building was there, you would completely miss. It is almost completely hidden by trees in the summertime.
Constructed in 1870, out of town in the sagebrush, the building is a modest structure, two stories high, made of local sandstone, capped with a small white dome. Visitor's today can take a self guided tour of the building and visit the small museum.
A must for Rail fans, the Nevada State Railroad Museum is divided into 3 basic sections. Outside, there is a water tank and the restored Wabuska station. There is also a turntable for the engines and rolling stock, as well as a short circular track that offers train rides during the summer, and on scheduled weekends throughout the year. The Christmas Santa Train is especially popular...and free too!
The main museum building houses most of the restored collection. The pride of the collection is the beautifully restored Inyo. This classic steam engine was built for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad in 1875. It can still get steamed up, and will occasionally be brought out to carry passengers around the track. There are also 2 newer steam trains, the No. 25 and No. 27 that can get steamed up. The museum building also has other rolling stock, such as box cars and a wonderfully restored passenger car, as well as a number of exhibits and displays. The emphasis is definately on the Virginia and Truckee.
Out behind the museum building is the restoration building. It is a great place to see how much work goes into restoring their equiptment. You can see various engines and passenger cars in different stages of decay and restoration.
The Kit Carson Trail is a great introduction to the rich history of Carson City. Even if you're not into history, a walk along the trail through the tree lined neighborhood in Carson City's West End is a very pleasant outing. A painted blue line on the sidewalk leads you past Carson City's prettiest and most historic homes. You can see the home where Mark Twain freeloaded off his brother in the early 1860's. Also, the Ferris House, where George Ferris, the inventor of the Ferris Wheel, grew up. The home where John Wayne filmed his last movie, The Shootist, is also along the blue line. So is the Governor's Mansion, and numerous other mansions, such as the Bliss Mansion and the Ricknel Mansion. There are also numerous Victorian homes, many of which were built in the 1860's and 1870's.
Be sure and pick up a trail brochure with a good map of the blue line. And if you have a walkman, you have the added bonus of Talking Houses. Many of the historic homes have a radio signal where you can listen to a narrative of that particular home.
The Best Western Carson Station Hotel Casino
has been a landmark in Northern Nevada since
1987. Comfortable & affordable, the Carson Station
sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains in
the heart of Carson City, Nevada.
The casino hotel is just steps from the Nevada State
Legislature buildings, the Capital grounds along with
it's historic district.
The Nevada State Capitol building is one of the few capitols that does not incorporate security screening for those who want to look around. Just walk in the front door, and meet the friendly staff! It's a 'working' capitol, reminding me of Wyoming's capitol in Cheyenne.
Now armed with your free map of the historic area, you will be able to follow the Blue Line Trail. Look down on the pavement/footpath/sidewalk (whatever you may call it), and you'll eventually find blue lines painted on it. Follow this line, and it will guide you through the best of the best houses in town! There are many others, of course, but some of them are not on the blue route. Due to lack of time, I regret that I was not able to see all of these magnificent houses. I suppose I had 2 hours here in Carson City, but it wasn't nearly enough time. You could easily spend a day, or even longer, here.
Must be the least ostentatious state capitol building in the U.S. Very small, but very appealing. Built in 1870 it is the second oldest state capitol building west of the Mississippi. The silver cupola rises 120 feet off the ground, but it doesn't look that high in person. The main portion of the two-story building was constructed with sandstone imported from the Nevada state prison quarry. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lake Tahoe is only about a half hour drive from Carson City. It is a lake of unimaginable beauty. Only a portion of it is shown in this photo. But imagine if you will, a circular lake of the deepest blues ringed by 10,000 foot peaks. The air is fresh and the waters are so clear that visibility extends some 65 feet below the surface. Tahoe is a special place. I hope to see more of it on my next trip in May, 2004.