50 States in 50 Days: Nevada – Escape to the Incredible

Posted by: Luke Schtele, Deputy Press Attaché

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The iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign
The iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign

When the world thinks of Nevada, they usually think of Las Vegas! Not only is Las Vegas Nevada’s largest city, the metropolitan area has almost 2 million people, but it is also the fourth most visited city in the United States, with over 39 million visitors per year! Las Vegas does not bill itself as the “Entertainment Capital of the World” for no reason. The city’s tolerance for all kinds of entertainment earned it the nickname, Sin City. The city proudly owns this moniker, and in fact, adopted as the official travel and tourism slogan, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.” Walking into a casino in Sin City you are overwhelmed by the sounds of the slot machines, the bright lights of the casino floor, the shuffling of cards, and the wild celebrations or hushed breaths of winners and the hopeful.  This is just part of the Las Vegas casino experience. Gone are the days when Vegas was just gambling. Today’s casinos are destinations in and of themselves. The famous Strip is a 4-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard lined with fifteen of the 25 largest hotels in the world! You can never get too big or over the top in Las Vegas. Some of the world’s most iconic cities, stories, and moments in history have been reinvented and recreated along the Strip. You can stroll through Paris, New York-New York, Monte Carlo, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Excalibur, or The VenetianThe Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino has its own beach and shark reef where visitors can go dive with 30 different kinds of the exotic creatures! From the top of the Luxor, a pyramid-shaped Egyptian-themed resort, shines the brightest light in the world up into the sky above. Visitors driving in from miles away can see the light as they enter the Las Vegas Valley.

The southern portion of the Las Vegas Strip by night with Project CityCenter construction on the bottom right (Note the Eiffel Tower replica on near left)
The southern portion of the Las Vegas Strip by night with Project CityCenter construction on the bottom right
(Note the Eiffel Tower replica on near left)

Las Vegas is famed for its concerts, shows, and sporting events. Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Liberace, Sammy Davis Jr., Wayne Newton, Elton John, Cher, Bette Midler, Celine Dion, all graced the stage in Vegas at one time. Today Las Vegas is also known for Cirque du Soleil and Broadway shows. Some of the best car racing, boxing, and competitive poker can be found in Sin City. Volodymyr and Vitaliy Klitschko have both fought and won in the famous rings of Las Vegas.

Nevada is much more than the bright lights, round-the-clock entertainment, and fun of Las Vegas.  My favorite things about Nevada, and the West in general, are the wide-open spaces and outdoor recreation possibilities. Just 45 minutes south of Las Vegas is Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. This modern-engineering marvel was built during the Great Depression on the Colorado River and now offers boating and other water sports in the desert rock canyon. Great Basin National Parkhas some of the best hiking and most interesting natural history in Nevada. Five thousand year old bristlecone pine trees, older than any other single living organism, grow in contorted and twisted patterns in inhospitable rocky terrain in the shadow of the park’s 13,065 foot (3980m) Wheeler Peak.

Hoover Dam 2011 panoramic view from the Arizona side showing the penstock towers, the Nevada-side spillway entrance and the Mike O'Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, also known as the Hoover Dam Bypass
Hoover Dam 2011 panoramic view from the Arizona side showing the penstock towers, the Nevada-side spillway entrance and the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, also known as the Hoover Dam Bypass

Across the state, on the border with California, is Lake Tahoe, North America’s largest alpine lake, the second deepest lake in the United States, and the 26th largest fresh water lake in the world. World-class ski resortssurround the lake and after a long day on the slopes, visitors can relax in Reno, “The Biggest Little City in the World.”

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe
Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

Pack your bags and come to Nevada for the neon lights of Las Vegas and Reno or the silence of the Wild West’s ghost towns.

Downtown Reno, including the city's famous arch over Virginia Street at night.
Downtown Reno, including the city’s famous arch over Virginia Street at night.
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11 thoughts on “50 States in 50 Days: Nevada – Escape to the Incredible

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