There’s a lot more to Nevada than roulette wheels and blackjack tables. If you’re willing to venture, the Silver State’s got a whole host of idiosyncratic curiosities. Here’s the pick of Nevada’s quirky places.
Ghost Town of Rhyolite
Ghost town aficionados (yes they exist, the aficionados that is) rate Rhyolite as one of the best in America. The former mining town was abandoned in 1920 after the boom years of the gold rush had long become a distant memory for its inhabitants. Since then, no one has lived there. The derelict town still has its general store, train station and bank. But the most fascinating feature has to be the jail, where visitors can look through the metal bars and imagine themselves in the shoes of the kind of men the good guys ‘took care of’ in all those Westerns you saw growing up.
Rachel, the UFO capital of the world
About 20 years ago, the mining industry the town of Rachel lived on ground to a halt. Coincidentally (of course), around the same time the town – situated 150 miles north of Vegas – garnered a reputation as a great place to spot UFOs. The small town’s population of 100 swells all year round with UFO spotters keen to speculate on the happenings occurring at a local Air Force testing facility. Just how many conspiracy theories have been forged over the famous A’Le’Inn (pronounced “alien”) diner burger we wonder?
Ghosts of the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah
The demise of the gold mining industry sure did give rise to a lot of interesting places in Nevada. Ghosts are said to roam the halls of the Mizpah Hotel, which was once home to hundreds of miners during the gold rush of the early 20th century. Rumor has it a politician died in the hotel before an important election, a fact that his aides hid – a slight that seemingly interrupted his passing to the next world. Nowadays it’s not uncommon to hear him laughing near one of the hotels bathtubs. Quite what’s so funny no one knows. Perhaps he’s tickled by the morbid sense of humor of one of the ghosts of miners past who are also said to haunt the place.
The Genoa Bar
Some of America’s most famous faces have relaxed in the company of a ‘cool one’ at “Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor”. Mark Twain reported on Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt drinking there, Clark Gable visited to play high stakes poker games with the local cattle barons, and the bra hanging from the rafters is said to have been flung there by Raquel Welch – word is seconds before she was wearing it.
Travelers who enjoy a living history lesson can check out well-preserved Army forts dating back to the 1860s at this landmark of national historic importance.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…