genoa nv

Genoa

The town of Genoa—the oldest permanent settlement in Nevada—is a quaint community rich in historical charm. The Genoa Historic District (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) is home to beautiful Victorian buildings that house businesses offering unique gifts, tasty take-away meals perfect for picnics at Mormon Station State Historic Park, and—perhaps most famously—the oldest saloon in the Silver State.

Postcard Perfection at the Edge of the Sierra Nevada

Nevada’s First Settlement

Where is Genoa NV, you wonder? This picturesque town is tucked against the spectacular Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada mountains, just 25 minutes over Kingsbury Grade from South Lake Tahoe and about an hour south of Reno, making it a popular après destination for skiers and beach bums. Genoa, Nevada oozes historic charm with its 1850s ambience, cute little shops, fascinating historical institutions, swanky accommodations, and top-notch food and drink offerings.

Region

Northwestern

Average Temperatures

Summer

90°F

32°C

53°F

12°C

Fall

69°F

21°C

35°F

C

Winter

46°F

C

21°F

-6°C

Spring

67°F

19°C

34°F

C

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History of Genoa, Nevada

Genoa was established in 1851 by Mormon traders. The settlement started attracting newcomers after John Reese and his party built a permanent trading post on what had become the Carson Route of the California Trail, providing critical supplies to exhausted travelers before they crossed the Sierra Nevada mountains. Most of Reese’s men were Mormon, leading to the original name “Mormon Station.” 

When Orson Hyde, an elder in the Mormon Church, was sent to Mormon Station (then located in Utah Territory) to set up a government and define the state line between California and Utah Territory, he renamed Mormon Station. He chose the name “Genoa” in 1855 after the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa, Italy, because he felt that the area had a similar vibe. 

Historic Downtown Genoa
Nevada State Parks
Historic Mormon Station
Nevada State Parks

Be sure to pay homage to local legend Snowshoe Thompson, who carried mail—back and forth, year-round—over the Sierra Nevada between Placerville and Genoa. A statue of Snowshoe Thompson stands in Mormon Station State Historic Park. Famed American writer Mark Twain also spent time in Genoa in his early years, especially at the nearby hot springs, now David Walley’s Resort.

Although a devastating fire in 1910 wiped out some of the town’s original structures, you can still drink in the town’s rich history at the Genoa Courthouse Museum—home to fascinating displays that tell the story of the town, region, and state—or (more literally) at the 1853-established Genoa Bar & Saloon.

River Fork Ranch

Things to Do in Genoa, NV

It’s easy to fill a day here. Shoppers can peruse the wares and collectibles at Dancing Deer. Golfers can play a round at Genoa Lakes Golf Club. Hikers can explore an 800-acre wetland ecosystem at River Fork Ranch Preserve (managed by the Nevada Nature Conservancy, or hit up the Genoa Trail System, where 16 miles of trails delight hikers and mountain bikers—including along the popular Sierra Canyon Trail, which connects to the famed Tahoe Rim Trail. All of these activities are good ways to earn a toast to the day’s adventures with cold drinks—and, occasionally, hot tunes—at Genoa Bar & Saloon.

Mormon Station State Historic Park

History buffs enjoy hoofing it around Genoa’s historic buildings—like Genoa Town Hall, Genoa Community Church, and the Genoa Courthouse Museum—and strolling the grounds of Mormon Station Historic Park. The park features a painstaking reconstruction of the 1851 trading post, the original stockade and wagon shed, a museum with pioneer-era artifacts, a beautiful grassy era with picnic tables and grills, and a reservable group pavilion. 

Nevada spa experience, David Walleys Resort, Hot Springs, Resort Hot Springs, Shopping and Leisure, Nevada leisure activities
David Walley’s Resort

At the end of the day, follow in the wet footprints of centuries worth of passers-through and treat yourself to a soak in one of David Walley’s Resort’s five mineral-rich, hot spring-fed pools — in the same place that Mark Twain once remarked, post-soak, “I now leave without crutch or cane, entirely well, not only relieved from pain but gained in spirit.”

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

While Genoa was named for the Italian city where Christopher Columbus was born, here in Nevada, we pronounce it “Juh-NO-ah.” Don’t ask us how it got that way; we’re just trying to help you avoid sounding like “that guy!”

Genoa, Nevada Food & Drink

Let’s start with the star of this show. Established in 1853, the famous Genoa Bar & Saloon has welcomed its fair share of celebrities, actors, musicians, and even presidents throughout its long history. The authentically old-school saloon is adorned, floor-to-ceiling, with original paintings, photos, and fascinating 19th-century ephemera. You can get just about anything you want from the full bar, but their famous Bloody Marys are always a hit—especially if you show up on a day when a live band is rocking out on the open-air patio.

Genoa Country Store
Genoa Bar & Saloon

The Genoa Country Store has delicious deli sandwiches and locally churned ice cream. Both joints offer great choices for a picnic at Mormon Station State Historic Park. Genoa Station Bar & Grille is a local favorite for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while the 1862 Restaurant & Saloon at David Walley’s Resort serves up fancier fare, like filet mignon and prime rib, along with plenty of hearty burgers and sandwiches.

White House Inn Genoa

Places to Stay in Genoa

If you’re looking to make a night of it, Genoa NV’s lodging options don’t disappoint. The Genoa Country Inn, situated in the heart of town, has 11 rooms and is a popular weekend getaway destination even for locals. About a block away, the White House Inn Genoa is a relaxing country home with four unique rooms and a resident herd of deer who seem to love posing for pics. 

Meanwhile, just a few minutes south, David Walley’s Resort is an upscale retreat with studio suites to multi-room cabins, two-bedroom villas, and three-bedroom cottages—all on the same property where you’ll find the hearty 1862 Restaurant & Saloon and, of course, the on-site hot springs and pool facilities. 

Genoa, Nevada Events

Swing through in late September for the town of Genoa, Nevada’s biggest bash, the Genoa Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Faire. The event started in 1919 when volunteers got together to raise money for streetlights by selling candy at a dance; the practice continued to pay the electric bills for generations. In 1970 a crafts fair was added, and now the Candy Dance Arts and Crafts Faire draws thousands, closing down the streets for an entire weekend.

Genoa Western Heritage Days
Genoa Candy Dance Arts & Crafts Faire

Meanwhile, in January, Eagles & Agriculture celebrates Carson Valley’s rich farming and ranching history, while offering tours to spot bald eagles and other birds of prey who descend on the valley during the winter calving season.

And each April, hundreds of revelers flock to the historic district for three days of cowboy poetry, real-deal western music, and family entertainment during Genoa Western Heritage Days.

#TravelNevada

Whether you’re clinking cold ones at Nevada’s oldest “thirst parlor,” soaking in historic hot springs, or otherwise living it up in Genoa, tag your snaps with #TravelNevada so we can follow and share your adventure!

Old Fashion Dining 🍽☕️🥐

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Wow wow wow. I truly had a great experience at The Pink House!! Yes, the restaurant is literally a house. The inside is filled with unique dining locations and history about the house! I went for lunch and got a whole corner of the house all to myself. (Nevada allows 25% indoor dining capacity with a reservation). The waiter was incredibly helpful & made the experiences that much better. 

The menu is full of light sandwiches, soups, salads, charcuterie boards, and speciality drinks. I started my meal with the cauliflower soup. The soup was delicious, very light & creamy. For my entree I ordered the chipotle turkey club sandwich. The spicy chipotle sauce, pesto butter on the bread, and the quality turkey made the sandwich exceptional. It also comes with a side salad. Lastly, I had to get dessert. Initially I was leaning towards the chocolate mousse dish, but I found out they were making a new batch. My waiter then recommend I try the seasonal egg nog semifreddo. So I did! A semifreddo is an Italian dessert that is semi-frozen making it very similar to a frozen mousse. Packed with flavor and spices it wasn’t hard to finish. (See food highlight for pics!)

The Pink House creates a homey feeling with comfort food and delicious drinks. The staff is friendly and helpful. I was so pleased with my visit I am very excited to share this gem with my friends in the future. 

#thepinkhouse #genoa #genoanevada #dining #nevada #nevadarestaurants #genoarestaurant #carsonvalley #gardnerville #gardnervillenv #mindennv #oldesttowninnevada #food #pink #pinkhouse
Hiked Genoa Canyon Waterfall trail. Perfect spring hike. #hikenevada
Genoa Nevada 😍Image by Troy Wright Photography. #travelblogger #traveladdict #travelpgotography #travelbug #igtravel #travelphoto #carsonvalleynevada #beautifuldestinations #justgoshoot #earthfocus #tahoe #laketahoe #renotaho #earthporn #america #shotz_times #wondersofourplanet #travelnevada #tahoemagazine #renotahoe #photooftheday📷 #earthporn #getawayrenotahoe #yourshotphotographer #fineartforsale #tengah #tenga #renotahoe #once_upon_the_earth #whycv #nevadamagazine
Signs of Spring in the hills above Genoa. #cvta #carsonvalleytrailsassociation #carsonvalleytrails #travelnevada #visitcarsonvalley #hikeafterwork
Back at it! ⛳️🏌🏻‍♀️
Hole 11 at Genoa Lakes (Lakes Course) is one of my favorites! The views aren’t too bad either. 

#genoalakesgolfcourse #golf #golfswing #womenwhogolf #golfladies #golfbabes #womensgolfday #womensgolf #golfgirls #travelnevada #thatnevadalife #beautifulgolfcourses #golfislife
After an exhausting day of hiking around Lake Tahoe we journeyed to Nevada’s oldest thirst parlor for much-needed adult refreshments. The fabled watering hole, Genoa Bar & Saloon, is not so much a dive as it is a relic. Don’t let that make you believe its best days are over. 
 
Legends from Mark Twain to Johnny Cash & US presidents like Ulysses S. Grant & Teddy Roosevelt have passed through its doors, but the centuries-old bar is still in its prime. The good times continue to roll, evident by a biker couple conducting their annual renewal of vows on top of the historic bar top with an audience of regulars. The top hat wearing, beard sporting gentleman wasted no time reaching up his beautiful bride’s dress & finding her girdle. 
 
I would understand the temptation owners Willy & Cindy Webb might have wanting to preserve the bars history to the point of ruining it. Luckily, they have not adopted a look, but don’t touch mentality, nor have they locked away its best attributes. Thankfully the bar oozes with authenticity & antiquity. It’s not hard for locals to spot outsiders like myself gawking at artifacts clinging to the walls or dangling from deer antlers like the mega babe of the 70’s Raquel Welch’s leopard print bra. I also made a point to take a deep gaze into their diamond dusted Scottish mirror from 1840 that was transported via covered wagon. If only that mirror could talk... 
 
Within minutes of our arrival, we were greeted by an old timer. He was so comfortable in his seat that I assumed he owned the place. He didn’t. That’s just how the regulars act. My new buddy was bedecked in a cowboy hat & a sleeveless Tee that proclaimed, “Freedom Isn’t Free”. We pulled up a chair, bought him a few drinks, & got acquainted. 
 
After a six pack of High Life’s, a game of pool, multiple trips to the jukebox, delightful conversation & witnessing everlasting love, it was time to say goodbye. On that lovely summer day, I got to observe a place that was truly alive & full of stories to prove it. I wait with anticipation for the cold winter evening when I return. The wood stove will be burning & I'll pull up a chair next to another local to harken a few more classic tales.
Fall colors and clear, blue skies.

#nvstateparks #genoanv #genoa #history #nevada #carsonvalley #statepark #historicpark #fall #fallcolors
Located just south of Reno in the Carson Valley, and tucked up against the Eastern Sierra Nevada on US 395 in Nevada, historic Genoa is worth even a brief stopover.

Read more 👉 https://t.co/GcqIgDhJaE

 @travelnevada @carsonvalleynv

 #HistoricGenoa #CarsonValley #US395 https://t.co/Hvjw1NbVqm
GENOA, NV is the oldest permanent settlement within the state of Nevada! It's one of the cutest little towns! Established as a trading post in 1851 to serve the wagon trains as a resting place between the open desert and the granite barricade of the Sierra Nevada. 🌎
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#travel #traveling #traveler #travelinggram #travelusa #travelgram #travelnevada #traveladdict #traveloften #Nevada #smalltowngirl #smalltownamerica #smalltown #roadtrip #instagood #instadaily #pictureoftheday #igdaily #potd
Adventures aren’t always measured by apps and gadgets. Sometimes they arrive in a glass served by a salty barkeep and raised in the company of folks who know better than to order a malbec. Welcome to the oldest, quirkiest, most memorable saloon you’ll ever set foot in, the ideal venue for embellishing a day of exploits in the great outdoors. Carson Valley, life served with a generous twist of raw. 

📍 genoabar 
#WhyCV #CarsonValley #Genoa #GenoaNV #CarsonVallleyNV #thatnevadalife #nevadahistory #happyhour
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