By Chris Moran
Escape to some of Nevada’s beautiful open areas, explore museum galleries or listen to a ranger talk about astronomy — all virtually. Below are some ways to experience the Silver State during this time of social distancing, and to inspire you for future trips.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers a virtual tour of its Historic Railway Trail, a pedestrian/biking trail following a section of the former railroad that once connected Boulder City to the Hoover Dam. The history and scenery found on this 7.5 mile round-trip route is examined in this video.
The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas has multiple online resources, including an interactive virtual exhibit on Prohibition here. The online exhibit has a game, “Get the Booze to the Stash House,” in which the player drives a car loaded with kegs on a three-lane road, avoiding oil slicks and speed bumps. (I’m not a gamer, and I never made it to the stash house, but I had fun trying.)
Great Basin National Park in Baker is an International Dark Sky Park and is home to ancient bristlecone pines. Learn about those topics through the park’s “Ranger Minutes,” three-minute videos on a variety of park features, including Johnson Lake and Lexington Arch.
Other online visits:
Carson City: Visit Carson City has a website with interactive 360-degree photos of places along the Kit Carson Trail Walking Tour.
Ely: See Ely’s Renaissance Village, 12 small historical houses transformed into mini-museums showcasing the town’s different cultures, in this 360-degree video from Visit Ely Nevada.
Fallon: Explore some Fallon history through the Churchill County Museum virtual exhibit “The Fallon Theatre: A Century of Change.”
Lake Tahoe: Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority (South Lake Tahoe) has a “Get Your Tahoe Fix from a Safe and Social” website with links to videos and other resources, including a virtual ride on the Heavenly Mountain Coaster. Among North Lake Tahoe’s resources: video exploring the geologic history of the lake and a web page on Thunderbird Lodge, the former home of reclusive millionaire George Whittell.
Las Vegas: Cirque du Soleil, which produces multiple shows in Las Vegas and throughout the world, has a website with videos and a VR app, showcasing its productions here and abroad.
Loneliest Road in America: Travel the stretch of U.S. 50 through Nevada, also known as “The Loneliest Road in America,” through this video from Pony Express Territory, the nonprofit group based around the U.S. 50 corridor.
Neon Museum in Las Vegas: Tim Burton’s “Lost Vegas” exhibit was set to be up at the Neon Museum through April. Seeing it in person may no longer be an option, but you can take a virtual visit.
Virginia City: Meet the people and learn about the places in this historic mining town through the “Below the Surface” videos created by Visit Virginia City.
Chris Moran is a public relations specialist at the Nevada Division of Tourism (Travel Nevada) and has lived in Reno since 1996. She is a former editor and writer at the Reno Gazette-Journal, and has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Her hobbies include skiing, hiking, reading, photography, coffee and coffeehouses, and exploring Nevada. Check out her blog at www.ChrisinNevada.wordpress.com.