Train buffs young and old will love this historic train ride! See the historic train yard, mining sites, active brothels, and beautiful scenery along 2 of the most well-preserved shortlines in America. Get robbed, kidnapped, and entertained by the Ghost Riders during your train ride! The Ghost Riders are a group of local horsemen and women ages 10 to 70 who stage train robberies, kidnappings, shootouts, and old west entertainment for the Ghost Train passengers. The Ghost Riders perform old west appearances on or off the train. You never know when they will show up at shotgun weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, corporate parties, parades, fairs, or any other occasion! A great group that's lots of fun!
The several hundred mile plus distances traveled just to get to Ely merit at least a few minutes walk around the old downtown, which is only a few blocks long. There are a few substantial commercial buildings besides the Hotel Nevada worth viewing, as well as some local western antique shops. The considerable collection of history explaining murals are also worth viewing. Saddly, there are also many empty commercial buildings. There's plenty of parking, so even if you have an RV or big rig, you'll find a place to park in an empty lot within the vicinity of the Hotel Nevada.
One place worth stopping in Ely is the Nevada Northern Railroad Museum. They have several nice indoor and outdoor displays along with some unique opportunities including: a Railroad Reality Week where you pay to work for a week on the railroad and you can even rent a locomotive and take it on a 14 mile trip. This museum has been voted one of the best rural places to take kids for the last 4 years in a row.
Ely is the largest city in, and the county seat of, White Pine County. The county courthouse was built in 1908 using the Italianate Style of architecture. It has a couple of nice statues and a nicely landscaped area in front of it. It is situated on a hilltop near the business district.
My favorite thing for relaxing is hiking the hills. I also like to rock hunt. SO the best of both is to head to Garnet Hill and look for garnets. I have found it easier to drive half-way up the hill and at a large empty area, park my car. I then walk down the hillside and slowly make my way up the various water-courses or gullies, looking for black "things" in the dirt. If you go in the early morning, the garnets sparkle in the sun. They look black and can be any size. They often fall out of the rocks and wash down with the rain. (After a rain is the best time to find them when all the dust and dirt are off of them.) My collection ranges from specks to 5 or 6mm garnets. You can find some embedded in the rocks, too. Just enjoy the peace of the place -- eagles and hawks flying overhead, juniper and pinyon pine around you, and almost totally silent. Your thoughts can roam while you crawl around the hillside. Take time to just enjoy the sun on your back and the lack of crowds.
The City Park is well shaded in Ely, NV, being adjacent to the Public Library, Middle School, and old domed county building. There are a few well-kept residences of note near downtown.