Less than 7 hours from Las Vegas, your family can escape to cooler temperatures and engulf yourself in Nevada’s historic past. There is something for everyone in Virginia City and you’ll leave with new knowledge about Nevada and the mines that made us a state.
The Virginia City Tourism Commission has done an exceptional job of laying out all there is to offer in this fun little town. Planning a trip to Virginia City, Nevada with your family is easy and affordable.
Start you trip by visiting the Virginia City web site and download the Virginia City app too!
- Plan your trip with one of the easy-to-follow itineraries
- Watch the live webcam
- Get some quick facts on Nevada’s history
- Download the Virginia City app on Google Play or Apple Store.
10 Things to Do in Virginia City, Nevada
Based on our trip … but you’ll find lots more!!!
1. Stay at the Silverland Inn and Suites
Enjoy the day on South C Street and then head down the hill to this quaint little property with an indoor pool. Room rates are very reasonable and you’re conveniently located near the local restaurants for dinner after you swim and relax. Suites are available. A small continental breakfast is served.
Pro Tip: Grab a cup of coffee and go hang on near the grassy patch in the morning. Wild mustangs enjoy grazing on the lawn there and while you need to steer clear and give them space to roam, it’s quite the experience to watch them.
2. Ponderosa Mine Tour
One of our family’s favorite experiences in Virginia City, I consider this a must-do on your trip to Virginia City. For $20 your entire family can head down the mine and spend 25 minutes exploring and learning so much. We learned how silver mining helped Nevada become a state, why blue jeans were invented, what it was like to work in those underground conditions, how the Ferris wheel came to be and so much more. (Video coming soon).
The Ponderosa Mine start is located inside the Ponderosa saloon. This family-friendly saloon offers cocktails for adults but even better serves the world-famous Ponderosa dogs and sasparilla that the entire family can enjoy.
The Best and Belcher Mine tour is a 25-minute guided tour featuring over 300 pieces of antique mining equipment on display. See complete underground mine workings – tunnels, crosscuts, drifts, stopes, raises, winzes and shafts. The Ponderosa Mine is located in the Ponderosa Saloon, formerly the Bank of California.www.visitvirginiacitynv.com
3. Ride the Virginia & Truckee Railroad
A real treat for train lovers, the steamer takes your down the railroad with a conductor providing insight on what you see and what used to be in Virginia City.
The scenic railroad was rebuilt in 1974 and operates daily, summertime tours from Virginia City to historic Gold Hill and also offers weekend tours on the new extended route from Carson City to Virginia City using century-old, ornate, open and closed passenger cars- powered by hard-working steam and heritage diesel locomotives. The Virginia & Truckee Railroad is the most famous of all American Short Line railroads. Construction began in 1869 and in the ensuing 74 years, the busy mountain railroad hauled millions of dollars in gold and silver ore from the mines deep below Virginia City. As many as 45 trains a day departed from Virginia City for Gold Hill, Silver City, Carson City and Reno where trains such as the “Lighting Express” connected with the newly constructed transcontinental railroad. The V & T was later extended to Minden, Nevada.www.visitvirginiacitynv.com
4. Piper’s Opera House
With a history dating back to the 1860s, Piper’s Opera House attracted famous stars from the United States and Internationally. It’s listed by the League of Historic Theaters and has been called one of the most significant vintage theaters on the West Coast.
5. Shooting Gallery & Escape Room
Walking down C Street, you’ll find both a shooting gallery and an escape group, both great additions to any Virginia City trip. The shooting gallery is $2 cash per round and is located inside a unique gift shop.
6. Historic Fourth Ward School & Museum
7. Virginia City Outlaws Comedy Wild West Show
The Virginia City Outlaws perform at a western themed outdoor theater, featuring comedy gunfights and stunt shows. Always good for a laugh and fun for the whole family.
8. Virginia City Trolley Tour
A 2-1/2 mile, 20-minute narrated tour of Virginia City on a trolley or tram. Get a brief sneak at the history of Virginia City, Nevada while seeing the landmarks and views the historic town has to offer. A great place to start your day in town!
Dates and hours of operations:
Summer-Hours: 10 am to 4:00 pm, daily
Winter-Hours: 10 am to 2 pm, daily (weather permitting)
Season: Open year-round (weather permitting)
9. Mackay Mansion
The Mackay Mansion is steeped in history, from the mining office which is housed inside to the historic V&T Railroad, which transports you to the rear of the property. In addition, it is rumored to be haunted …. we’ll let you be the judge!
This building was built in 1860 by George Hearst as the headquarters of the Gould & Curry Mining Company Office and later purchased by John Mackay, one of the “Silver Kings.” Between 1860 and 1950, bars of gold bullion were sold directly from the vault. Tour highlights include mining artifacts, original furnishings, Tiffany silver, and great historical anecdotes.
10. The Way it Was Museum
This museum displays the most complete collection of Comstock mining artifacts in the world as well as rare photos, lithographs and maps of the “Bonanza” period.
Free Things to do in Virginia City, Nevada
Gold Hill Hotel
Comstock History Center
Silver Terrace Cemetery
Liberty Engine Company No 1-Comstock Firemen’s Museum
Marshall Mint Museum,
St. Mary in the Mountains Catholic Church & Museum
The Courthouse Slammer & County Museum
Our Favorite Annual Events in Virginia City, Nevada
Statement regarding 2020 event cancellations
Day Out With Thomas, Virginia & Truckee Railroad – Cancelled for 2020
International Camel & Ostrich Races – Cancelled for 2020
Hauntober – the entire month of October
V&T Pumpkin Patch Trains
Christmas on the Comstock – the entire month of December
V&T Candy Cane Express