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Whether you’re trekking through the state on a road trip or spending a few days exploring central or northwestern Nevada, you’ll find a variety of unique and intriguing cultural sites to explore across the region. From live music venues to museums, Nevada offers something for all tastes.
For live music and other special events, head to the Henderson Pavilion, the largest outdoor amphitheater within the Las Vegas metropolitan area. It’s just a few miles from Sin City and hosts a variety of concerts throughout the year. You can watch the Henderson Symphony Orchestra perform here. It’s also a popular destination for conventions, reunions, and other large group events with 2,500 seats and a 18,000 square-foot courtyard.
If you’re traveling with kids or are just curious about natural science and astronomy, spend at least a day exploring the Fleischman Planetarium and Science Center. You’ll find it on the University of Nevada-Reno campus and can learn about the stars and the planets with interactive exhibits. Popular exhibits here include the Gravity Well, Foucault Pendulum and the Spitz SciDome digital projector. Don’t miss the chance to catch a show at the Star Theater.
Plan on spending at least a half day at one of the many museums that showcase artifacts that tell the story of Nevada’s rich history, take you back in time to another era, and give you a chance to see artwork from local and national artists.
The National Atomic Testing Museum is located in the heart of Las Vegas and features the history of the Nevada Test Site from 1951 to present. This is the place to see the Geiger counter and experience an atmospheric nuclear test in the Ground Zero Theater. You can also learn about the Development of the Bomb and Atomic Culture, explore the Area 51 - Myth or Reality exhibit, and attend educational events the museum hosts as a Smithsonian Affiliate.
If you want to learn a little about local culture and legends, head to the Carson Valley Museum in Gardnerville. This museum commemorates the history of Douglas County and northern Nevada so you can take a tour to see the Mustang exhibit and the Washo Room. Don’t miss the Women in History Exhibit and the Main Street Exhibit as you make your way through the site.
Take a tour of the Genoa Courthouse Museum in historic downtown Genoa to learn about the history of this legendary courthouse. Daily tours of this redbrick courthouse are available from May through October.
Discover the rich history of Humboldt County with a trip to the Humboldt Museum in Winnemucca. This museum houses a range of artifacts, including 13,000-year-old Wooly Mammoth bones and a collection of automobiles from 1897 to 1911. You can learn about mining history and see the large collection of maps, paintings, and portraits. The Humboldt Museum Campus is also home to the Episcopal Church and the Richardson-Saunders House.
As you make your way along Las Vegas Boulevard, stop by the LIED Discovery Children’s Museum for hands-on exhibits and family-friendly fun. This museum has more than 23,000 square feet of exhibit space and you can enjoy popular exhibits including the Fantasy Festival and the Solve It! Ancient City experience. The museum is also home to the Growing Up with The Bernestain Bears exhibit.
Take a tour of the Lost City Museum to see a collection of artifacts from Anasazi Indian sites near Lake Mead. The museum is located in Lake Mead and you can see reconstructed Anasazi buildings and a large collection of artifacts.
Go on a guided tour of the Nevada Museum of Art to discover collections including the Robert S. and Dorothy J. Keyser Art of the Greater West Collection. You can even book time with an artist in the Center for Art & Environment or visit the research library on site.
Another must-see destination to visit in Carson City is the Nevada State Museum. You can see the works of Patricia Wallis in the National History Gallery and 20 galleries of Nevada history collections, including the “largest exhibited Columbian mammoth”.
Car lovers of all ages will appreciate a trip to The National Automobile Museum. It’s located in downtown Reno and houses four galleries of collections. Head here to see the Celebrity Auto exhibit and the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame.