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Recreation and Attractions

There’s so much to do and so much to see!

Carson City and the surrounding area offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities and welcome visitors with close to 2,000 sleeping rooms at more than 30 hotels/motels, and more lodging facilities are being planned. Accommodations range from cozy budget properties to upscale historical bed and breakfast facilities, plus several recreational vehicle parks.

The Carson City Parks and Recreation Department developed a master plan to assure that current and future generations will have wonderful open spaces to enjoy. In 1996, the voters of Carson City looked to the future and passed Question 18 to add 1/8 of 1 percent to the sales tax to fund parks, the Aquatic Center, the Edmond Sports Complex and more. There is a concerted effort by the city to purchase land to remain as open spaces. Mills Park is home to many festivals and other outdoor activities and Fuji Park is a popular spot for dogs to roam with their masters. Future plans extend to offering white water rafting along certain portions of the Carson River.  The Parks Department maintains and oversees 40 parks and facilities for the enjoyment of our residents and guests.  

Carson City Activity Guide

Carson City Multi-Use Routes Map

Carson City and Douglas County Social Distancing Trail Guide 

Carson River Aquatic Trail Map

Park System Map

Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic many of our local events have been either cancelled or postponed until further notice. 

Arts and Culture

Award-winning local theater and music groups perform at the Brewery Arts Center and the Bob Boldrick Theater at the community center. The all-volunteer Carson City Symphony has served the community since 1984 and performs five concerts annually.  The Symphony sponsors the Strings in School Program, teaching young students to play string instruments.  775-883-4154

The Mile High Jazz Band performs regularly at local venues and coordinates the annual summer Jazz Festival. The highly successful Friday’s on Third Street and Saturdays at the Mall brings a variety of musicians to downtown during the summer.

The Nevada Artists Association operates a well-run gallery for local artists. 775-882-6411

The Reno Chamber Orchestra's mission is to create intimate, inspirational musical experiences by engaging the community through vibrant music making by the Chamber Orchestra and chamber ensembles. 775-348-9413 

Casinos

We’re a 24-hour city. One cannot think of Nevada without thinking of gambling and casinos, and you can be certain that Carson City and the surrounding areas have their share of 24-hour gaming. We may not be as glitzy as Las Vegas, but we have every bit the excitement. From casinos preferred by the locals (who know the best odds) to our newer casinos, the gaming industry will not disappoint. Most of the casinos offer great dining, buffets and entertainment sure to please. Our casinos are smaller and friendly and a great asset to our economy. 

Dining

New restaurants continue to open to add to the dining mix.  Dining Guide

Click here for a list of local restaurants that offer take out and delivery. 

 

Historical Attractions

The Nevada State Museum is by far the most interesting museum in the state offering a glimpse into our colorful history. The new schedule is Wednesday through Saturday, 8:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Social distancing and masks required. Debit or credit card payment only for admissions and for store sales. Coin Press will be operating Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm. Museum store will open July 1. Debit or Credit card payments only. Groups larger than 10 are not allowed unless pre-arranged. For information on arranging tours for larger groups, contact Museum Education at 775 687 4810 ext. 237.

The Nevada State Railroad Museum houses steam locomotives and restored coaches from the Virginia & Truckee, America’s richest short-line railroad.  The new schedule is Friday through Monday, 9 AM to 4:30 PM. Social distancing and masks required. The main museum will be open, and the annex will have scheduled tours. Group visits must be pre-arranged by contacting Museum Education at 775 687 6953 ext 233.

The Nevada State Capitol, completed in 1871, is an easily recognized landmark in the center of downtown with its silver-colored cupola dome. Not currently open to the public: The second floor museum provides a glimpse into the “way it was.” On display in the rotunda is the statue of Sarah Winnemucca, Washoe Paiute activist and educator. 

The Roberts House Park, the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada, and the state’s largest historical home district are all located in Carson City. 

Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum in Carson City tells the stories and experiences of students who attended the school from 1890-1980.  Open Monday - Friday 10 - 5 pm. Stewart Indian School was operated by the federal government for 90 years to forcefully educate Native American children. This assimilation policy impacted thousands of Native students not only from the Great Basin tribal nations, but over 200 tribes in the west. A self-guided cellphone audio tour is available to explore the historic campus. This walking tour allows guests to view the spectacular stone buildings flanked by the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, and to learn from alumni about their experiences at the boarding school.
 
The Virginia & Truckee Railroad Carson City-Virginia City Sisters in History Route 24-mile Roundtrip Steam and Diesel Trains run Memorial Day through October each year. Please note: the long line has cancelled their trains for the season, however, you can enjoy the Historic steam train ride from Virginia City to Gold Hill and back. The 35 minute ride operates Friday, Saturday & Sunday through October and has several shaded outdoor cars for cooler temperatures and social distancing, for more information go to www.virginiatruckee.com.  

The Historic Kit Carson Trail is considered one of the top attractions in Carson City by the America Automobile Association, the Historic Kit Carson Trail provides a glimpse into the history of this city, known as the true heart of Nevada, for it is in this city the history of Nevada was born and history continues to be made.

Parks, Recration, Sports and Youth Programs

The Carson City Parks and Recreation Department is an important component of the quality of life in Carson City and accommodates kids, adults and even dogs in their effort to provide recreational and fitness activities. The Olympic-size indoor pool the Aquatic Center is home to the Carson City Tigersharks swim team. In the south end of the city, Edmonds Park offers four girls softball fields, nine soccer fields, one multi-purpose football/soccer field, and a BMX track. Mills Park offers skateboarders a site to hone their skills. Many sports leagues are offered through the Parks and Recreation Department, including men’s and youth basketball, Little League/T-Ball, Babe Ruth, girl’s softball, Pop Warner Football, Flag Football, AYSO Soccer, High Desert Soccer, inline hockey, tennis, and more.  Since we are so close to the very best skiing, the Parks Department offers a junior ski/snowboard program at Diamond Peak.

The Parks and Recreation Department also maintains great before and after school programs and summer camps for school age children. The Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada provides a home away from home in a new state-of-the-art building featuring computer labs, a gym and so much more. Even the dogs are not left out when it comes to the parks department. Offered are obedience classes and parks that allow dogs to roam freely.

Carson City’s northern Nevada location offers easy access to year-round sporting and recreational opportunities. America’s greatest concentration of world-class ski resorts is located within an easy 30- to 90-minute drive and offers a variety of alpine and cross-country terrain. For those who enjoy college sports, the University of Nevada is home to several great teams. Every golfer will enjoy the challenging and affordable play offered at these local golf courses.

 

Shopping and Restaurants

Shoppers can find treasures while browsing through the eclectic mix of specialty shops, antique stores, and places to eat and drink in the historical “old” downtown district, or visit the wide selection of retail shopping centers in the area offering major department stores, retail chains, and dining establishments. From funky to sophisticated, Carson City restaurant fare offers a wide range of tasty American and ethnic cuisine. You will find the most popular chain establishments, as well as great local restaurants that reflect the taste and feel of the area. Retail Shops. Follow Shop Carson City First on Facebook or Twitter.

 

From May to October, there’s so much to do

Memorial Day is the kick-off for the many events that take place through the summer and fall, ending with the traditional Nevada Day parade the last Saturday in October. While there are many events right here in Carson City, the region offers great diverse events as well making for a full calendar. The highlights below don’t even begin to cover the many events taking place all year long.

 

Annual Highlights: many of our local events have been either cancelled or postponed until further notice. 

May

RSVP Spring Carnival (cancelled for 2020)

WNMTC Spring Musical (cancelled for 2020)

V&T Railway and Virginia & Truckee Railroad (cancelled for 2020)

June

Stewart Pow Wow  (cancelled for 2020)

Epic Rides (cancelled for 2020)

Carson City Airport Open House (cancelled for 2020)

July

4th of July RSVP Fireworks and Carnival (cancelled for 2020)

Taste of Downtown (cancelled for 2020)

Carson City Fair (cancelled for 2020)

August

Jazz and Beyond (rescheduling many of the events)

Capital City BrewFest  (cancelled for 2020)

September

Extreme Motor Officer Training Challenge

Street Vibrations (cancelled for 2020)

October

Kit Carson Trail Ghost Walk (cancelled for 2020)

Nevada Day Treasure Hunt

RSVP Nevada Day Carnival & Celebration (cancelled for 2020)

Nevada Day Parade  (cancelled for 2020)

November

WNMTC Fall Musical  (cancelled for 2020)

Polar Express Trains (cancelled for 2020)

December 

Silver & Snowflake Festival of Lights 

Carson City Symphony Holiday Treat Concert