Pahrump, Nevada

With its close proximity to Death Valley National Park, Mt. Charleston, the Spring Mountains, and the Nopah Mountains, Pahrump is no slouch when it comes to outdoor adventure. But visitors to this city, less than an hour north of Las Vegas, will find just as much to do in town as out.

Racing fans will thrill to the Pahrump Valley Speedway, a quarter-mile stock car dirt track that’s as family-friendly as it gets. Then there’s the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, with performance driving schools and a 3.5-mile road course filled with long straight-aways, banked corners, blind drops and more. For the coffee-lover, the Pahrump Valley Roasters, the largest specialty coffee roaster in southern, Nevada, is a great place for tours and tastings. The Pahrump Valley Winery offers award-winning wines to sample and annual grape stomps, concerts and dancing to enjoy. There are luxurious golf courses, parks and museums, and of course, no shortage of gaming, dining and lodging choices. The extreme sports lover will find adrenaline-pumping trails in the region’s high-desert terrain, while history buffs can explore several ghost towns in the area. Nearby Amargosa Valley has 20,000 acres of wetlands, and Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge provides sanctuary to plants and animals found nowhere else.

Pahrump is also known for its many annual events, like the Wild West Extravaganza, an amazing Western celebration straight out of the 1880s. A boomtown tent city replica hosts hoedowns, fiddle contests and barbeques, and there are also Pony Express trail rides. The three-day Social Powwow features tribal dancers in native dress, while the beloved Pahrump Fair & Festival has been a tradition for nearly 50 years. Each year, the event grows, with more vendors, more concerts, a bigger carnival, a parade, new beer garden, chili cook-off, horse show tournament, rodeo and more.