1. Geocaching on the Extraterrestrial Highway
There are millions of geocaches all over the planet. There are probably some near you right now. But with 1,500+ along the Extraterrestrial Highway, those in the know feverishly describe this as one of the largest “power trails” in the world. Even for the most experienced, the route can take days, with teams of people in multiple vehicles following GPS coordinates to locate all the caches.
Aside from the thrill of the hunt, make sure to keep an eye out for roaming cattle chilling in the middle of the road and Joshua trees twisting away into the desert. It doesn’t take long for driving this part of State Route 375 to start to feel like you’re journeying through a Dali painting.
While you’re in the land of Area 51, you should probably stop in for alien-related kitsch at the Alien Research Center and the
2. Playing golf with a frisbee…or your foot
From the Jack Nicklaus-designed
But this is Nevada, a place where alternative experiences are a given. So mix golf with soccer in a game of FootGolf at Carson Valley Golf, or get in a round of disc golf at Reno’s Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. We also like our mini golf to be pretty out there. Glow-in-the-dark Egyptian-themed animations, pneumatics, and interactive props at the
Also in Vegas is the
3. Paddling the Black Rock Canyon
For more adventure, book a
4. Mining your own opals
Something happened about 14 million years ago in Nevada’s Virgin Valley that left the area rife with opals. And at
This is real cowboy country. There’s no paved road for 15 miles, and there’s definitely no cell service. Come pretend to be an old-timey prospector as you dig for gleaming, glassy formations among the dull rock. We don’t want to get your hopes up, but 20-some years ago a Floridian by the name of Kevin Becraft found a $20,000 gem on his first visit here. He comes back to try his luck every summer.
Digging fees are $75 to $190 a day. There’s onsite RV camping, a few cabins and trailers for rent, and spots to pitch a tent. Out here, you’re definitely a long way from the nearest Hilton.
5. Hunting for ghosts in Goodsprings
Nevada’s a state scattered with minerals, silver, gold, and precious gemstones, which means it’s also a state studded with tales of boom-or-bust pursuits…which means it’s also a state full of wicked cool
One of the best is Goodsprings. Half an hour from Las Vegas on the California border, you can join a full-on
For the next part, you’ll be forgiven for humming the Ghostbusters theme as you get equipped with the necessary paranormal “hunting” equipment. Time to explore the abandoned miners’ cabins, buildings, and old cemetery before returning to the saloon. Stick around for the
6. Going on a gold mine tour
The Silver State’s rich with gold. In fact, it’s by far the main gold producer in the country. Free tours of the Newmont Mining Corporation’s mines in Elko, Battle Mountain, and Winnemucca are available every month. Register in advance; they’re popular.
It’s true that you can’t mine your own gold, but you can
7. Learning about Nevada’s nuclear history.
There are many things that make people shrug and say, “Only in Vegas” — like our niche nuclear tourism scene, for example. Visit the
Add on to your “
8. Seeing Reno through its murals
With over 100 murals dotted around
To go beyond museums or studios and into the city’s cool alleys, follow the
9. Visiting an entire district dedicated to craft booze
Fifteen minutes from the Las Vegas Strip,
Join brewing demos and classes at Vegas Brewing Co. Visit