Nevada offers a variety of activities for the visitor, and legalized gambling probably heads the list. Las Vegas is Nevada's largest city, and its neon lights and gaming tables lure millions of visitors each year.
Although the gaming tables are the prime attraction in Las Vegas, there are numerous other attractions in southern Nevada. Nearby Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are two sights that shouldn't be missed. Less than an hour's drive from Las Vegas are Mount Charleston and the Toiyabe National Forest, where visitors may hunt, camp, hike, ski, and climb mountains.
In northern Nevada, Reno is the center for gambling, and it carries on the rich tradition of a wide-open western town. It is also the home of the Nevada State Historical Museum, the William F. Harrah Foundation National Automobile Museum, the Wilbur D. May Museum, and the Mackay School of Mines Museum. In nearby Carson City, you may visit the State Museum, the Capitol, and the Nevada State Railroad Museum. No trip to northern Nevada would be complete without a stop in historic Virginia City, a town which enjoyed great prosperity in the late 1800s following the discovery of the Comstock Lode. Lovely Lake Tahoe, nestled in the mountains and lined by resorts, offers many opportunities for camping and for year-round sports. Tahoe and Eldorado national forests, north and west of the lake, provide many recreational facilities. In eastern Nevada is Great Basin National Park with the Lehman Caves, bristlecone pine forests, and scenic drives.
With 21 state parks, Nevada offers plenty of opportunities for visitors interested in pursuing outdoor activities. History buffs also can visit the state's old mining and ghost towns. The many annual events in Nevada include the South Lake Tahoe Winter Carnival, chariot races in Wells, the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, the Reno Championship Air Races, Pony Express Days in Ely, and the Basque Festival and Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko.