Having grown up in Atlanta where the landscape is full of rolling hills and greenery, I would have never pictured myself loving the desert so much. You may not know this about Las Vegas, but off the Strip, it’s actually the perfect launching off point to the Great Outdoors.
Did you know there are more hot springs in Nevada than any other state? You can also find brilliant red rocks, twisted bristlecone pines, snow-capped mountains, and crystal-clear waters. The landscape changes so much from top to bottom. To help you explore more of our home state, we put together a list of 101 things to do in Nevada.
Click each link to find out more about each destination or activity.
This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always our own. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.
Last Updated: September 2, 2019
Ultimate Nevada Bucket List - 101 Things to Do in Nevada
Fly a plane in a jet and get hours towards a pilot’s license.
The gardens are dressed to the nines for all the seasons.
- Bellagio Fountains
- Berlin Wall Urinal
You can piss on part of the Berlin wall. Well, at least the men can. It’s in the Main Street Station Hotel men’s bathroom.
Held in late May every year.
Watch the 12.5 million light show on the canopy above.
World’s tallest observation wheel. Happy half hour includes open bar.
Learn about mob history in a fun interactive museum.
- National Atomic Testing Museum
Learn the history of the Nevada Test Site.
Though many of our friends found it disappointing, you won’t find it anywhere else. Just know going in that it’s small and has a strict photography policy.
- Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort
State park with the first building ever built in Las Vegas.
Over 200 old school pinball machines.
Amazing hiking and climbing just 20 minutes from the Strip.
- The Simpsons House
IRL version of the house in the Simpsons.
Most adrenaline pumping activity on the Strip.
- Tule Springs Fossil Beds
Dig for fossils.
If you didn’t ride them in Venice, here’s the next best thing.
- Welcome to Las Vegas sign
Get in line for the quintessential Vegas shot.
- Hand of Faith
With all the glitz and glamor of Vegas, the world’s largest gold nugget is underwhelming but anywhere else it would be huge.
- Alkali Hot Springs
Rustic rock-walled tub hot springs.
- Basin and Range National Monument
BLM that includes Garden and Coal valleys, the Worthington and Seaman Mountains, the Golden Gate and more.
- Beaver Dam State Park
Great camping in solitude. 4×4 recommended.
- Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park
Mining ghost town with the state fossil.
- Big Bovine of the Desert
3000 pound cow next to Longstreet Inn and Casino.
Favorite hidden gem in Nevada with interesting rock formations and slot-type canyons.
- Clown Motel
All your nightmares come true in the town of Tonopah.
- Coffin it Up
Everything coffin-related. By appointment only.
- Complex City
Large sculpture in Hiko, so large it was mistaken for a military project.
Favorite sunset spot is Zabriskie Point.
- Devil’s Hole
National wildlife refuge and detached unit of Death Valley.
- Diana’s Punchbowl
Hot springs too hot to soak in but pretty to look at.
- Echo Canyon
Great for boating and Rving with full hookups.
- Extraterrestrial Highway
Storm Area 51? Can’t wait to see how that unfolds. Meanwhile, you can do this completely legal road trip.
- Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs
Larger hot springs with an established pool.
- Garnet Hill
Gem hunters can dig for garnets.
- Hawthorne Ordnance Museum
A museum devoted to ammo. Only in Nevada.
- International Car Forest of the Last Church
Similar to carhenge.
- Otteson Brothers Turquoise Mine Tour
Mine for turquoise and tons of it.
- Lahontan State Recreation Area
Enjoy 69 miles of shoreline and 10,000 acres of water.
- Lunar Crater
A natural giant crater formed by volcanoes.
- Rainbow Canyon
Includes Kershaw Ryan State Park. Beautiful canyon and rock climbing.
- Rhyolite Ghost Town
Ghost town with open-air sculptures.
- Spring Valley State Park
Popular for boating, swimming, and camping. Also has historic ranches.
- Tonopah Historic Mining Park
The site that started the Tonopah silver rush.
North Central Nevada
- Bailey’s Hot Springs
Soak in one of two historic bathhouses. Good introduction to hot springs.
- Boundary Peak
Highest peak in Nevada.
- Campie’s Lavender Patch
They grow over 40 varieties of lavendar.
- Cave Lake State Park
Great place for fishing since they stock rainbow trout and are home to German brown trout.
- Dayton State Park
Beautiful landscape and gold and silver mining history.
- Fort Churchill State Historic Park
Explore the ruins of Fort Churchill, which was built in 1861 to provide protection for Pony Express mail runs and early settlers.
- Hidden Cave at Grimes Point
An important archaeological site with basalt boulders covered with petroglyphs.
Don’t miss the Bristlecone pines and the Lehman Caves. You can hike Wheeler peak, the second highest peak in Nevada.
- Republic of Molossia
A self-claimed micronation located in Dayton, NV.
- Sand Mountain
You can do all the typical activities like UTVing on these dunes, but what’s unique about these sand dunes is that they sing (up to 105 decibels).
- Spencer Hot Springs
Watch out for wild burrows. Also the more natural pools had some living creatures in it. I didn’t want to look.
- Stokes Castle
A three-story stone tower located near Austin, Nevada.
- Loneliest Hwy in America
AKA US Route 50. Sure, you will see some cars, but they are few and far between.
- Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park
Ovens from the late 1800s. Seems like a great spot for astrophotography if we go back.
Northern Nevada - Cowboy Country
- Bishop Creek Hot Springs
Also known as the 12 Mile Hot Springs, there is a primitive concrete pool 40 meet long and 3 feet deep.
- Black Rock Hot Springs
There are 4 well known hot springs here.
- Burning Man
A festival all about experimenting with art and community. Their ten principles: radical inclusion, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy, and leave no trace
- Bog Hot Springs
Very hot natural hot spring located in a ditch.
- Dyke Hot Springs
A couple of bathtubs on a hillside.
Western Folklife Center hosts the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Once unaccessible to the public, but now they run tours.
- Jarbridge Wilderness
Go horseback-riding and stay at a ranch.
- Kyle Hot Springs
Primitive concreate pool tub and two plastic tubs on private property.
- Paradise Valley Hot Springs
Undeveloped hot spring with a large plastic tub.
- Royal Peacock Black Fire Opal Mine
Mine your own precious stones. It’s best known for their black fire opal.
- The Rubies
Lamoille Canyon in the Ruby Mountains is great for hiking to alpine lakes and wildflower season.
- Safe Haven Wildlife Sanctuary
Wildlife rehabilitative center providing permanent placement for animals in need.
- Smith Creek Valley Hot Springs
A large cattle trough, bathtub, and bubbling natural pool.
- Soldier Meadows Hot Springs
Keep an eye out for wild burros and coyotes.
- Thunder Mountain Monument
A Nevada Historical landmark housing a bunch of art sculptures assembed by Frank Van Zant.
- Trego Hot Springs
Soft mud bottomed pool to soak in.
- Carson Hot Springs Resort
Recharge at authentic bathhouses.
- Lake Tahoe
Enjoy the crystal clear water at one of the most beautiful lakes.
- Mormon Station State Historic Park
Check out the recreation of the original 1851 trading post that was Nevada’s first permanent, non-native settlement.
- National Automobile Museum
Historic automobiles from the late 19th century and throughout the 20th.
- Pyramid Lake
Popular fishing area and important to the Paiute Indian tribe.
- Reno Balloon Race
The largest free hot air balloon event. It takes place in early Sept.
- Steamboat Hot Springs
Full-service hot spring and spa.
- Virginia City
Named one of the most haunted cities in the US.
- Double Negative
One of the largest geographical sculptures in the world.
- Gold Butte National Monument
Remote and rugged area with red sandstone, canyons, and mountains.
Our favorite hot springs hike with fun scrambling and rope sections.
The most famous dam in the U.S.
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area
America’s largest national recreation area where you can hike, swim, cycle, camp, and fish.
- Laughlin Labyrinths
There are 8 of them.
- Little Finland
Also known as devil’s Fire and Hobgoblin’s Playground with crazy formations.
- Mt Charleston
Great spot to cool off from Vegas summers. Can climb here all summer and ski in the winter.
- Muddy Mountains Wilderness
Slot canyons, unique geological forms, and great views of Lake Mead.
- Pioneer Saloon
Try the burger and meet some friendly ghosts.
- Rise Festival
Just outside of Vegas every Oct, they launch tens of thousands of lanterns.
- Sedan Crater
The largest manmade crater.
- Seven Magic Mountains
- Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
Historic ranch house, hiking, and outdoor theatre under the stars.
- Whitney Pockets
Cool rock formations and petroglyphs. Also great for wildflowers in spring. 4×4 recommended
- Wolf Creek Golf Club
Beautiful golf course with large white sand bunkers in the background.
101 Places to Visit in Nevada Map
Essential Tips foR Nevada First Time Visitors
- When to Visit: Although there are parts of the state that are cooler in the summer, for the most part, it’s hot. Fall through spring is a great time to visit for milder weather. With that said, there are places like Great Basin National Park that is harder to access in the winter so plan accordingly.
- Airports: The McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and Reno-Tahoe International Airport are by far the largest airports in the state. Vegas is a good launching point for southern Nevada, SoCal, Death Valley, and Southern Utah. Reno is a good airport for the Northern half of the state and Lake Tahoe.
- How to Get Around: Nevada is a driving state with limited options for public transportation. If you’re planning outdoor adventures, pick up something with 4 wheel drive and higher clearance. Click here for the best prices on rental cars.
- Parking is easy to find. If you’re in the city or on the Strip, you’ll have to pay for parking in most places. Otherwise, free parking is easy to find for the rest of the state.
- Pack plenty of sunscreen and water on your adventures. The sun is no joke and will give you a beating.
- Dress in layers. Temperatures will drop in the evenings plus when it’s really hot, most indoor spots blast their AC.
What to Pack / Favorite Travel Gear
How many of these places have you been to? How many are on your USA bucket list?
Did you enjoy this post? Pin it for later
SEE MORE CITY BUCKET LISTS
“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.