Art looks good on every state… but in Nevada, it just fits.
Nevada is full of talented traditional artists, with a long list of galleries and museums to show for it. But for some reason, on Highway 95 in Nevada between Las Vegas and Reno, there’s a lot of stuff that’s just plain “far out” — in more ways than one — which is exactly why we dig it.
From our kinetic public sculptures and public art to our automobile museum to our colorful murals oddball objects rising from the high desert floor… out here, there’s art that any enthusiast can relate to. And it’s not just corralled in Nevada’s urban districts. You’ll also encounter eye-catching, camera-hogging pieces adding an exciting layer of flavor to small towns and even natural spaces. All you need is to know where to look.
South of the Biggest Little City are natural wonders, such as Walker Lake, and historic towns.
Tonopah is a great old mining town to explore. Several intriguing murals blanket the town which still brims with taste, especially at the lavish Mizpah Hotel—still swanky after all 110+ years thanks to some masterful preservation and painstaking restoration. Don’t miss the abundantly stocked and period-perfect Tonopah Liquor Company and Tonopah Brewing Company — also the world famous Clown Motel.
Next, check out the Tonopah Historic Mining Park, located on the site of some of the original mining claims that started the rush to Tonopah, making it the “Queen of the Silver Camps.”
Goldfield was once a booming mining community (and one-time biggest city in the state. Today it is a living ghost town. Here you’ll find the International Car Forest of the Last Church, a sprawling artistic junkyard of cars, trucks, vans, and buses tipped on their noses or stacked on top of each other. Each spray-painted junked car serves as an ever-changing canvas for artists and other guest “contributors”—so come prepared to leave your mark!
The small town of Beatty is a stop along U.S. Highway 95 about 120 miles from Las Vegas.
But before you head toward Beatty from Tonopah, cruise through town and veer off U.S. 95 to follow state Route 374 toward Death Valley National Park and follow the signs to Goldwell Open Air Museum, where several surrealist installations guard the entrance to historic Rhyolite Ghost Town.
Originally built in the 1980s by a Belgian art collective, highly photogenic Goldwell is best known for its plaster ghosts (who happen to dig bikes and Last Supper recreations), a 24-foot-tall miner (and his penguin buddy, obviously), a couch that’s easier on the eyes than the back, a towering LEGO-like lady, and way more.
Keep the ghost momentum going, cruise the half-mile onward, and have yourself a wander among the well-preserved ruins of Nevada’s most photographed ghost town, Rhyolite. Check out the train station, the three-story bank building (that thing’s been in movies), and the nation’s oldest and largest bottle house. Stick around for golden hour to catch some incredible sunset snaps or linger into the evening hours for some seriously unmatched astro-timelapses.
This is Nevada, and this is the Free Range Art Highway. VISIT: https://travelnevada.com/discover-your-nevada/
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