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101 Things to Do in Nevada Bucket List

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.

101 Things to Do in Nevada State - The Ultimate Nevada Bucket ListPin

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Last Updated: July 7, 2022


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.

  1. Bellagio Fountains

You get a free fountain show. See the times here.

  1. 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.

There are currently 6 shows, and here’s how we rank them.

  1. EDC

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.

Learn the history of the Nevada Test Site at this Smithsonian affiliate museum.

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.

  1. 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.

  1. The Simpsons House

IRL version of the house in the Simpsons.

Most adrenaline pumping activity on the Strip.

  1. Tule Springs Fossil Beds

Dig for fossils.

If you didn’t ride them in Venice, here’s the next best thing at the Venetian (see the guide).

  1. Welcome to Las Vegas sign

Get in line for the quintessential Vegas shot.

  1. 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.

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Central Nevada

  1. Alkali Hot Springs

Rustic rock-walled tub hot springs.

  1. Basin and Range National Monument

BLM that includes Garden and Coal valleys, the Worthington and Seaman Mountains, the Golden Gate and more.

  1. Beaver Dam State Park

Great camping in solitude. 4×4 recommended. 

  1. Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park

Mining ghost town with the state fossil.

  1. 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.

  1. Clown Motel

All your nightmares come true in the town of Tonopah.

  1. Coffin it Up

Everything coffin-related. By appointment only.

  1. Complex City

Large sculpture in Hiko, so large it was mistaken for a military project.

Favorite sunset spot is Zabriskie Point.

  1. Devil’s Hole

National wildlife refuge and detached unit of Death Valley.

  1. Diana’s Punchbowl

Hot springs too hot to soak in but pretty to look at.

  1. Echo Canyon

Great for boating and Rving with full hookups.

Storm Area 51? Can’t wait to see how that unfolds. Meanwhile, you can do this completely legal road trip.

  1. Fish Lake Valley Hot Springs

Larger hot springs with an established pool.

  1. Garnet Hill

Gem hunters can dig for garnets.

  1. Hawthorne Ordnance Museum

A museum devoted to ammo. Only in Nevada.

  1. International Car Forest of the Last Church

Similar to carhenge.

  1. Otteson Brothers Turquoise Mine Tour

Mine for turquoise and tons of it.

  1. Lahontan State Recreation Area

Enjoy 69 miles of shoreline and 10,000 acres of water.

  1. Lunar Crater

A natural giant crater formed by volcanoes.

  1. Rainbow Canyon

Includes Kershaw Ryan State Park. Beautiful canyon and rock climbing.

  1. Rhyolite Ghost Town

Ghost town with open-air sculptures at Goldwell Open Air Museum.

  1. Spring Valley State Park

Popular for boating, swimming, and camping. Also has historic ranches.

  1. Tonopah Historic Mining Park

The site that started the Tonopah silver rush.

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North Central Nevada

  1. Bailey’s Hot Springs

Soak in one of two historic bathhouses. Good introduction to hot springs.

  1. Boundary Peak

Highest peak in Nevada.

  1. Campie’s Lavender Patch

They grow over 40 varieties of lavendar.

  1. Cave Lake State Park

Great place for fishing since they stock rainbow trout and are home to German brown trout.

  1. Cave Lake State Park

Beautiful landscape and gold and silver mining history. 

  1. 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.

  1. Hidden Cave at Grimes Point

An important archaeological site with basalt boulders covered with petroglyphs.

  1. Hot Springs Ranch

Off-grid retreat center and hot springs in the Nevada high desert.

Don’t miss the Bristlecone pines and the Lehman Caves. You can hike Wheeler peak, the second highest peak in Nevada.

  1. Republic of Molossia

A self-claimed micronation located in Dayton, NV.

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).

  1. 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.

  1. Stokes Castle

A three-story stone tower located near Austin, Nevada.

  1. Loneliest Hwy in America

AKA US Route 50. Sure, you will see some cars, but they are few and far between.

  1. Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park

Ovens from the late 1800s. Seems like a great spot for astrophotography if we go back.

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North Nevada - Cowboy Country

  1. 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.

  1. Black Rock Hot Springs

There are 4 well known hot springs here.

  1. 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.

  1. Bog Hot Springs

Very hot natural hot spring located in a ditch.

  1. Dyke Hot Springs

A couple of bathtubs on a hillside.

  1. Elko

Western Folklife Center hosts the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Once unaccessible to the public, but now they run tours.

  1. Jarbridge Wilderness

Go horseback-riding and stay at a ranch.

  1. Kyle Hot Springs

Primitive concreate pool tub and two plastic tubs on private property.

  1. Paradise Valley Hot Springs

Undeveloped hot spring with a large plastic tub.

  1. Royal Peacock Black Fire Opal Mine

Mine your own precious stones. It’s best known for their black fire opal.

  1. The Rubies

Lamoille Canyon in the Ruby Mountains is great for hiking to alpine lakes and wildflower season.

  1. Safe Haven Wildlife Sanctuary

Wildlife rehabilitative center providing permanent placement for animals in need.

  1. Smith Creek Valley Hot Springs

A large cattle trough, bathtub, and bubbling natural pool.

  1. Soldier Meadows Hot Springs

Keep an eye out for wild burros and coyotes.

  1. Thunder Mountain Monument

A Nevada Historical landmark housing a bunch of art sculptures assembled by Frank Van Zant.

  1. Trego Hot Springs

Soft mud bottomed pool to soak in.

Visiting Fly Geyser in Nevada? Save this pin and check out how to book a tour. The fly geyser in nevada has always been on private property, but the new owners have recently opened it up nature walk tours. Learn what they are doing with the land at fly ranch, get photography tips, and a checklist of other items you should bring. // Local Adventurer #localadventurer #travelnevada #dfmi #nevada #flygeyser #blackrockdesert #desertPin
Want to visit the Fly Geyser in Nevada? Save this pin and click through to find out how to book a rare tour of this beautiful phenomenon. Up until recently, no one was allowed to visit the fly ranch geyser property, but now that Burning Man owns it, you can go on nature walk tours to learn more the beautiful black rock desert, fly geyser tour, art installations, and the hot springs. // Local Adventurer #travelnevada #dfmi #nevada #flygeyser #blackrockdesert #desertPin
Visiting the Fly Geyser in Nevada? Save this pin and click through to find out everything you need to know before visiting. This natural wonder is on private property but you can book tours and do a nature walk. Learn more about this nevada geyser, find out what you should pack, get photography tips, and tips on how to avoid ticks // Local Adventurer #localadventurer #travelnevada #dfmi #nevada #flygeyser #blackrockdesert #desertPin

Northwestern Nevada

  1. Carson City

The capital of Nevada. Relax in Carson Hot Springs, visit the Nevada State Museum, and Nevada State Railroad Museum.

See wild stallions, go on a glider ride in the top spot in the US, or drink at the oldest bar in Nevada.

  1. Lake Tahoe

Enjoy the crystal clear water at one of the most beautiful lakes. Sand Harbor and Lake Tahoe Nevada State Parks are great launching off points.

  1. Mormon Station State Historic Park

Check out the recreation of the original 1851 trading post that was Nevada’s first permanent, non-native settlement.

  1. Pyramid Lake

Popular fishing area and important to the Paiute Indian tribe.

  1. Reno

Attend the Reno Balloon Race, the largest free hot air balloon event. It takes place in early Sept. Visit the National Automobile Museum.

  1. Steamboat Hot Springs

Full-service hot spring and spa.

  1. Virginia City

Named one of the most haunted cities in the US. Don’t miss the ghosts at Washoe Club and the International Camel and Ostrich Races.

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Southern Nevada

  1. Double Negative

One of the largest geographical sculptures in the world.

  1. 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.

America’s largest national recreation area where you can hike, swim, cycle, camp, and fish.

  1. Laughlin Labyrinths

There are 8 of them.

  1. Little Finland

Also known as devil’s Fire and Hobgoblin’s Playground with crazy formations.

  1. Mt Charleston

Great spot to cool off from Vegas summers. Can climb here all summer and ski in the winter.

  1. Muddy Mountains Wilderness

Slot canyons, unique geological forms, and great views of Lake Mead.

  1. Pioneer Saloon

Try the burger and meet some friendly ghosts.

Just outside of Vegas every Oct, they launch tens of thousands of lanterns. See our complete guide to the Rise Festival here.

  1. Sedan Crater

The largest manmade crater.

  1. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Historic ranch house, hiking, and outdoor theatre under the stars.

  1. Whitney Pockets

Cool rock formations and petroglyphs.  Also great for wildflowers in spring. 4×4 recommended.

  1. Wolf Creek Golf Club

Beautiful golf course with large white sand bunkers in the background.

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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.

Epic Road Trips in Nevada

  • Burner Byway
  • Cowboy Corridor
  • Death Valley Rally
  • Extraterrestrial Highway
  • Free-Range Art Highway
  • Great Basin Highway
  • Lake Tahoe Loop
  • Loneliest Road in America
  • Neon to Nature
  • Rubies Route

Best Places to Stay in Nevada

How many of these places have you been to? How many are on your USA bucket list?

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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.

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