Nestled in the northwestern part of the state, just a short jaunt from both Lake Tahoe and Reno, is Nevada’s proud state capital, Carson City. The city, built on the cornerstones of mining, logging and the mighty railroad, was named for frontiersman Christopher “Kit” Carson, who scouted the area for John C. Fremont in the mid 1840s. And while the city has all the modern amenities a state capital could hope for, its roots are evident nearly everywhere you look.
Carson City does a fine job of mixing shopping, dining, culture and nightlife while still maintaining its old-fashioned charm. Part of that can be credited to the grand structures gracing the downtown corridor – the buildings house shops, restaurants and museums, not to mention the original capitol building erected in 1870 and the later additions, which include the Legislative Building, Supreme Court, State Library and Archives, all set in a beautiful campus setting. Visitors to picturesque downtown Carson City can visit the park-like grounds of the capitol, take a train ride at the Nevada State Railroad Museum or learn about Nevada’s more ancient history at the Nevada State Museum, formerly a U.S. mint. The Blue Line Trail is a self-guided year-round walk visitor can take to see some of the most historic spots in the city (download a map of the trail).
Then there are the many events. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the monthly Wine Walk, a refreshing amble through the downtown shops and restaurants, while the annual Kit Carson Ghost Walk is a perfect way to learn about the historic homes and their ghostly inhabitants. And since Nevada is one of the few states to celebrate its admission to the Union, Carson City’s annual Nevada Day festivities (held on or around October 31) are always good fun. Beloved events include a parade, an 1864 Grand Ball, the longest-beard contest and the World Championship Rock Drilling Contest.
The city’s location on the eastern side of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada also provides unlimited year-round outdoor recreation opportunities such as fishing, boating, hiking, biking, golf, and a plethora of snow sports. In the winter, Carson City is the perfect place to stay while exploring the nearby ski terrain. There are 18 ski resorts within 35 miles of the capital, including the world-renowned Heavenly Mountain Resort. And in the warmer months, the region has the Divine Nine, a group of nine golf courses that include Genoa Lakes Golf Club, Eagle Valley Golf Course and Silver Oak Golf Club. Each course offers a little something different, but they all take advantage of the thin high-altitude air, which offers little resistance to the ball as it soars from the tee to the pin.