Most people have the unfortunate misconception of Nevada being a bleak, boring wasteland of nothing. A flyover state. While we’ve got the spellbindingly cool ‘Loneliest Road in America,’ some of the most monumentally scenic byways are right in our backyard, undoubtedly making your trip to Hot August Nights a memorable one. If you’ve just got a few hours to part with this hypnotic car show, or an entire day, these killer options will most definitely get your blood pumping and divvy up a good time. Now ramble on…
Savory Roasts and Exceptional Alpine Byways
Before you can really dive into this grand excursion, kickstart the day by swinging by Hub Coffee Roasters on your way out of town. Just a few blocks west of downtown Reno, this Battle Born coffee shop will deliver much, much more character while dishing up hand crafted breakfast pastries and savory roasts than any chain would. [Resist the urge for the chains, and get some culture my friends!!] This super cute historic river walk neighborhood is a great place to slide into the day, and an impeccable scene to show off your vintage ride in a classic Reno ‘hood.
Now that you’ve fueled up, jump on I-580 S taking the Mount Rose Highway exit on the south end of town. Word to the wise, if can put the top down, put the top down. This windy alpine route wraps you around each corner, climbing up the side of Mount Rose, dropping you into Incline Village at Lake Tahoe. If you’re interested in pushing your car to the limit ripping around each hairpin turn, or are after more of a relaxing cruise, this route presents the potential for both, while effortlessly serving up some pretty spectacular sights.
After hundreds of times of seeing it with my own two eyes, there is nothing quite like the indescribable first glimpse of Big Blue…it’s easy to forget just how spectacular this jaw-dropping wonder is, and photos don’t even begin to make a dent in capturing her enchanting beauty. Check out another local favorite by grabbing lunch at T’s Rotisserie, or do what you do best and keep the rubber on the road, drinking in those unparalleled sights. You can cruise around Incline Village and the North Shore heading back the way you came, or check out more Hot August Nights action at Stateline by continuing further south and onto Highway 50. Bottom line: if you have been to the Lake I recommend going again, and if you haven’t been to the Lake I suggest you do yourself a favor and get here quick fast and in a hurry. Time spent here is an obvious slam dunk and a day well spent.
A Different Sort of History Lesson in Jacks Valley
If you haven’t got quite as much time on your hands but nonetheless want to check out some majorly beautiful byways and grab some suds at Nevada’s Oldest [and quirkiest] Bar, opt for an outing on Jacks Valley Road. Just south of Carson City, hang a Rosco on to this stunning route, just before the Target and Home Depot. Right out of a Bob Ross creation [say it with me, happy little birds], not many places exude this caliber of enamoring serenity. From the main highway, this meandering path into Genoa is only about 8 miles….8 godlike miles mind you. Although named after the lovely Italian mecca, remember, we have a different way of doing things in these parts…The town is pronounced Ja-NOAH, versus the traditional Geno-ah.
With antique shops, restaurants, and trading posts overflowing with homemade goods, it’s no challenge spending hours upon hours in this almost sickeningly charming town. Nevada’s Oldest Bar, is of course the front runner among most other options in town and the mothership of old west bars. Originally constructed in 1853, you can lose yourself in the mesmerizing history of these walls. An original red oil lamp, the Diamond Dust Mirror transported from Scotland via wagon, Raquel Welch’s bra and even Willie Nelson’s hat are just a few artifacts among many. Six U.S. Presidents have frequented the bar, along with countless actors and musicians, like John Wayne and Johnny Cash. A Bloody Mary is a solid choice, as is their Genoa Bar Beer on tap.
Depending on how long you engaged in your Nevada ‘history lesson,’ either head back the way you came, or continue your trek further south to Minden and Gardnerville for an unforgettable Basque meal at JT’s Basque Bar & Dining Room. Whether you have time to make a few hours out of it, or dive in with an entire day spent in endearing Carson Valley, any excursion in these parts is certainly time well spent!