Don’t have to leave Silver State for great vacations

Spring is upon us, school soon will be out and the time has come for many families in central Nevada to begin making plans for summer vacations.

For years I have found the pages of Nevada Magazine, an official state publication, to be the source of great getaway ideas. The May/June 2015 edition has plenty to offer in that regard.

Of local interest is an article on Tonopah under “Tour Around Nevada.” But since most of us don’t like to vacation at home, here are some other suggestions from the magazine.

Another article features “Family Summer Vacations” and the inside of the cover is devoted to Nevada Silver Trails, a swath of rural Nevada from east to west, just below Reno and just above Las Vegas. For details visit

Another way to glean vacation ideas is to take a look at the magazine’s advertisers, virtually all designed toward outings for residents and visitors alike.

Boulder City is advertised as “a world away for a day” and features a spectacular photo of the iconic dam and relatively-new highway bypass.

“Our version of postcard perfect” is aimed at the Carson Valley.

Fallon is touted as “eventful Nevada” and “everyday family fun—just down the road.”

The Safe Haven Rescue Zoo might be worth a look. Located on 320 acres east of Reno, it is billed as “an accredited wildlife sanctuary,” features a tiger in the ad and is available seven days a week by appointment.

One can “let off some steam” with a ride on the V &T Railroad from Carson City to Virginia City or Virginia City to Gold Hill.

Although not a destination per se, the Reno Rodeo is advertised for June 18-27.

You can “experience the unexpected” in Elko this summer, “a land of adventure, full of life and leisure, beckoning visitors to slow down and enjoy a taste of the historic West.”

“Only in Ely” you can experience the “fears, tears and beers mountain bike race” June 13.

“There’s more than meets the eye” in Winnemucca with featured events including the “Run-A-Mucca” motorcycle rally May 22-24 and a Basque festival June 13 and 14.

Virginia City beckons you to “step back in time.”

“Epic and engaging tales of adventure are around every curve” at the National Automobile Museum in Reno.

One can “get in touch with western history at the California Trail Interpretive Center” in Elko.

Take your pick — Beatty is “a step back into the old west,” “360 degrees of adventure” and/or a center for “ghost towns and gunfighters.”

The state advises you to “get your free travel guide now at

“Nevada makes an unforgettable impression on its visitors. It comes from the kind of wide open experiences you’ll find only in the Silver State. Come, explore. And take home far more than you came with.”

By the way, that great ad featuring a bicyclist on a trail high above Lake Tahoe is a full page opposite the opening photos and text of the Tonopah feature.

In the midst of the local feature is an ad urging all to visit “Jim Marsh’s properties and experience rural Nevada hospitality.” Mentioned are the Tonopah Station, Banc Club, Humbug Flats and Bug Bar locally, the Santa Fe Saloon and Motel in Goldfield, Manhattan Bar and Motel, Banc Club in Pioche, Longstreet Inn at Amargosa Valley and the Skyline Casino in Henderson.

The inside of the back cover says Ely is “a sign of good times to come” with a locomotive steaming across the advertisement’s top joined by the famous “Hwy. 50 – The Loneliest Road in America” sign. Visitors can make Ely “another stop along the trail” and “experience the great outdoors, art and touchable history.”

The ad’s bottom portion promotes the entire “Pony Express Territory” with notations for Fernley, Dayton, Fallon, Austin, Eureka, Ely and Great Basin National Park.

All in all, quite an assortment of inviting places, events and themes to fill any family’s summer vacation days. And one is not limited to the summertime issue of the magazine as year-round it features articles and advertisers which offer ideas for an extended trip or a day or two getaway.

Another bonus I find in these Nevada destinations is that it takes a lot less gas to get to “Run-A-Mucca” than it does to visit San Diego. And generally you cannot beat the prices of lodging and dining in the Silver State when compared with other “premier” destinations outside our border.

I like to give a plug every now and then to Nevada Magazine because of its high quality and usefulness in planning trips near home. And thus, if this comes across as a PR plug for our state’s fine travel publication, so be it.

Bill Roberts’ family was the long-time owner and operator of the Tonopah Times-Bonanza &Goldfield News, where he is currently a reporter and columnist.