Virginia City Travel Guide

  • Virginia City
    Virginia City
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Virginia City
    Virginia City
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Virginia City
    Virginia City
    by Jim_Eliason

Virginia City Highlights

  • Pro
    Geoff_Wright profile photo

    Geoff_Wright says…

     If you are near lake Tahoe, just get youursel here! 

  • Con
    BruceDunning profile photo

    BruceDunning says…

     Could get hot here in summer 

  • In a nutshell
    cheap_tourist profile photo

    cheap_tourist says…

     Bonanza Unmasked 

Virginia City Things to Do

  • Silver Terrace Cemetary

    One of the few authentic history attractions of VC without a gift shop built around it. This cemetery sits on the edge of the city.

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  • The Way it was Museum

    Like all VC attractions this is expensive and very small museum that is as much a gift shop/antiques shop as a real history museum but it's the best of the lot

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  • Camel and Ostrich Races

    Believe it or not, you can witness real live races of camels and ostriches in Virginia City. I've watched it myself 4 or five times!The event is held the weekend following Labor Day (September), lasting 3 days.The race alternates between Alice Springs (Australia) and Virginia City (NV, USA). Alice Springs has their races mid-May.History goes that...

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  • The Mackay Mansion

    Once the home of Virginia City's richest man, John Mackay, this house has seen many distinguised visitors. It was built in 1859 by George Hearst, father of William Randolph Hearst. Tours are available. Visiting on a weekday, I even had my own individual tour. The stories are great.Born in Ireland in 1831, John Mackay moved to Virginia City from...

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  • Ponderosa Mine Tour

    This mine sits right underneath the city and is an example of failed mine by a local. It came within a few meters of striking a vein but never returned the investment of the owner

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  • Wild horses

    There are about 1500 wild horses that travel in groups of 2 - 20 animals. These horses have been hunted in the near past for sport by some idiots. The town has a few places where you can donate money towars helping to save the wild horses. Driving back to Reno from Virginia City, we spotted two of them next to the higway. The best time to see them...

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  • Visit the underground mine-get silver...

    Silver was what put this on the map in the 1860's. It was the largest deposit in the world at one time. They kept digging, right under the city, then called Comstock. There are two mine tours, Ponderosa Saloon Mine Tour and Chollar. This was the Saloon one, and really well preserved heritage down under, where for $4 a day, they dug out the passages...

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  • Tour the old antibellum homes

    There is a street just off the main street that had a series of mansions. About 6 are still standing and a couple in renovation for tours. This tour was a nice one that still had the setting just like it was back then. The family has owned and preserved it for these years, and one continues to live here. The other home tour is the Mackey Mansion,...

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  • Way It Was Museum

    Here is a collection of authentic Gold Rush memorabilia, including mining gear, tools, equipment used to assay the silver, a safe, and many other items. This is a good primer on life in this town during the boom years.

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  • Lookee here

    "This here is the main drag, son. Sure, it ain't much now, but beck in dem darn daze..."Some stories never end; others are abandoned, like this building.

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  • St. Mary's in the Mountains

    This Catholic Church was built by "Paddy" Manogue, who ministered to miners and later became archbishop of Sacramento.Nearby is a beautiful, slightly smaller, Episcopal church.

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  • Piper's Opera House

    This theater hosted some of the biggest stars of its day, and is now being rennovated. It is listed by the League of Historic Theaters. Built in the 1880s.

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Virginia City Hotels

Virginia City Restaurants

  • Best Fudge in the world

    In all my travels, this has consistently been my favorite fudge shop. They make it right there in front of you, with only a small glass partition keeping you from taking it right off the slab.They have other sweets, chocolates and goodies, but the fudge is divine!! Any of the 60+ fudge flavors they have on display. Usually rotating ~20 flavors on...

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  • Palace Restaurant / Saloon

    On our day trip to Viginia City, we stopped for lunch at the Palace Restaurant and Saloon on C Street. According to local newspapers of the 1870s, residents were crazy about their oysters, but ....they're no longer on the menu. "Buffalo Burgers" ....Never had them, but we wanted to try something different, and wefound them to be delicious. Served...

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  • Hamburger and Fries!

    I have to say that I never actually visited Solid Muldoon's. I was handed a coupon somewhere along my route, which offered a 10% reduction on meals. They advertised 'Hamburger and Fries' for just $3.50, which seemed good value. Other food was available also.

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Virginia City Nightlife

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    an appetizing thought

    by zrim Written May 18, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the height of the silver rush, it is purported that Virginia City had 110 saloons. Mining is thirsty work and doubly so in the wretched conditions of the high desert. No humidity and summer temperatures easily reach the upper 90s and lower 100s.

    Today, the thirsty tourist can grab a beer or better yet a whiskey at the Bucket of Blood, though I doubt that the establishment is still in the hands of McBride and Sons.

    Given the fact that Virginia City is in Nevada, the thirsty tourist can also gamble to his or her heart's content at the Bucket of Blood.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Casino and Gambling
    • Beer Tasting

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Virginia City Transportation

  • You'll need your own car!

    I'm pretty sure you'll need your own transport to reach Virginia City. There may be tour buses, but I never saw any! Once you get there, the parking is free. Park on the right side, just as you enter the town. You can also park down by St Mary's Church.Virginia City is 23 miles from Reno. South on Hwy 395 for 10 miles, left on Hwy 341 for 13...

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  • Virginia City lies in extreme...

    Virginia City lies in extreme western Nevada at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, just south of Reno and Interstate 80. It lies along scenic route SR 341 between U.S. Route 50 in Carson and U.S. 395.

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  • Virginia City is about 45...

    Virginia City is about 45 minutes from Reno. Your best bet getting there is a car. I don't know of any buses that will take tourists there.THe city itself is rather small so you should be able to walk almost anywhere in town.

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Virginia City Shopping

  • Bookworms Will Love This Little...

    Visiting this bookstore will help provide some insight into the life of Samuel Clemens. It was here in Virginia City that Clemens adopted the pen name Mark Twain. He lived in Virginia City in the 1860's sometime for nearly two years working as a reporter for the Territorial Enterprise. The place also has all kinds of old memorabilia to look at, and...

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  • Buy your Silver in Virginia City

    Jewelery shop. What made it so special? Well, courtesy of the internet, I had had orders from Mary that she would like a pair of earrings. It so happened that the Renaissance Jewelry Shop was almost the last shop in town, on my way out. And, in the window, I saw some delightful silver drop pendant earrings. So in I went, and the friendly staff...

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  • Virginia City Hotels

    7 Hotels in Virginia City

    66 Reviews and Opinions

Virginia City Warnings and Dangers

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    As the sign says: beware of attack wife

    by zrim Written May 18, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The locals are fond of putting placards on the buildings that have some sort of whimsical turn of a phrase. An example at the Sugarloaf Mountain Motel: "Cable TV, Free Coffee, Indoor Plumbing". ANd this one, always a favorite of the biker crowd: "Beware of Attack Wife".

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

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Virginia City Tourist Traps

  • Have Your Fortune Told

    "We can help you with all your problems, have your fortune told!" I have nothing against fortune-tellers. This isn't the only place that you'll find in Virginia City these days whose goal is to part visitors from the contents of their wallet. I'd be willing to bet that is what life was like in the 1860's in Virginia City too. Virginia City was one...

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  • Drop A Quarter In the "Juke Box"

    Since it only cost a quarter, it isn't a bad "tourist trap". It's just one of those things that seems kind of touristy. This piano is at the Mark Twain Bookstore. The signs says, "Grandpa played ME while guzzling his brew; This box was the forerunner of the 'JUKE BOX'". It actually doesn't sound all that bad, but the songs were as out of date as...

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Virginia City Off The Beaten Path

  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo
    Reno, seen from the scenic overlook

    by Tom_Fields Written Nov 3, 2005

    The road from Reno to Virginia City is very scenic. Of particular interest is the scenic overlook on the right, where one can see all of Reno off in the distance.

    From downtown Reno, take Highway 395 (called South Virginia St) south. It turns onto a four-lane highway just south of the city. Follow it to the Highway 341 turnoff, toward Virginia City. On the right, heading up into the mountains, is a vista marked by a small sign. It's well worth stopping to see.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Photography

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Virginia City Favorites

  • Meet the Locals

    Virginia City is very much there for tourists. Whithout tourists, there would be no town! I was so impressed by the way everyone was so friendly, and had time to chat to you. There was no 'hard sell', to go and see the wildwest show, or anything else. I felt that I was just being left alone to enjoy whatever it was I wanted to see. Here's...

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  • 'The Way it Was'

    Again, if you have the time, go and see the 'The Way it Was' museum. You will find it at the far end of town, on the right-hand side. There is an admission fee, but even if you don't want to go in, it's worth standing a while just to look at the old equipment, etc, displayed just inside the fence.

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  • Go and see this Church!

    As you walk along the boardwalks, you will probably hear the misical chimes of Saint Mary's Church even before you see it. And, when you do see it, it's a beautiful sight. 'Saint Mary's in the Mountains', to give it it's full title, was built in 1868. It burned down in 1875 and was rebuilt the following year. I just didn't have time to go in, but...

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