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Museums in Nevada
Nevada is home to hundreds of museums that tell the story of the Gold Rush, the mining industry, political events, and World War II among other significant events that shaped the state’s history. Breaking away from the main tourist areas can give you a chance to learn about some of the state’s most noteworthy cities and get a taste of local culture.
From the Atomic Testing Museum with interactive experiences to the Nevada Museum of Art, you’ll find plenty of reasons to break away for a full day of touring and exploring.
When you’re in Vegas, head to the Mob Museum, the Pinball Hall of Fame, or the Discovery Children’s Museum between shopping and gaming activities. You’re sure to learn something new and can enjoy easy access to area restaurants and event venues after your tour.
Reno is home to several cultural attractions that demand at least a day of touring. Spend the day at the Nevada Museum of Art, trek through the gardens at the Wilbur D. May Center, and enjoy exhibits at the Nevada Historical Society.
National Atomic Testing Museum
Located in the heart of Las Vegas, the National Atomic Testing Museum displays the history of the Nevada Test Site active from 1951 to present time. Stroll through the exhibits to see a Geiger counter, and better yet, step into the Ground Zero Theater to watch a simulation of an atmospheric nuclear test.
Other must-sees include the Area 51 - Myth or Reality exhibit, as well as Development of the Bomb and Atomic Culture exhibits. The museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate, and others plenty of educational events native to the Las Vegas metro area.
Carson Valley Museum
Opened in 1995, the Carson Valley Museum in Gardnerville exists to commemorate visitors on the history of Douglas County and northern Nevada. Visitors are encouraged to tour the museum, viewing sites like the Washo Room, as well as the “American’s Living Legends" Mustang exhibit.
Likewise, a walk through the Ag Room and Main Street Exhibit showcase plenty of history all their own. Other must-see exhibits at the Carson Valley Museum include the Women in History Exhibit.
Genoa Courthouse Museum
Located in historic downtown Genoa, the Genoa Courthouse Museum is a prideful attraction found in northern Nevada. The courthouse was built in 1865, and after years of quality use, the Carson Valley Historical Society re-opened the building as an informative museum in 1969.
Genoa can be found just northwest of Gardnerville, conveniently located near urban hubs like Carson City and Reno. Genoa visitors are encouraged to view the historic, redbrick courthouse during a daily tour – open from May until October.
Located in the northern Nevada city of Winnemucca, the Humboldt Museum celebrates the history of Humboldt County with a slew of artifacts and exhibits.
View the 13,000 year-old Wolly Mammoth bones, learn about Sarah Winnemucca, daughter of Chief Winnemucca and stroll past a collection of automobiles dating from 1897 to 1911.
Guests can learn about the area's mining history and view the collection of portraits, maps, and paintings – all commemorating Louis Barbeau, who helped bring mining to the region.
Visitors are encouraged to visit landmarks found on the Humboldt Museum Campus – including the Episcopal Church and the Richardson-Saunders House.
DISCOVERY Children's Museum
Found along historic Las Vegas Boulevard, the DISCOVERY Children's Museum provides educational, hands-on experience for kids and families. The Las Vegas museum has more than 23,000-square-feet of exhibit space showcasing nine on-going exhibits like Fantasy Festival and Solve It! Ancient City.
The Science Education Programs, Early Childhood Programs, and Art Education Programs are additional educational options for the community. The museum features over 100 permanent exhibits including Growing Up With The Berenstain Bears, the Green Village, and Desert Discovery.
Lost City Museum
Housing a large collection of artifacts excavated from Anasazi Indian sites near Lake Mead, the Lost City Museum is a must-see stop southwest of Mesquite.
Once the Hoover Dam was in place, the waters of Lake Mead covered the Pueblo Grande de Nevada – Lost City – sites. The Civilian Conservation Corps conducted the excavation, as well as built the pueblo-revival style adobe brick museum.
Today, archaeological research is still being conducted on the remaining southern Nevada Lost City sites.
The museum offers a host of outreach programs and school tours for visitors, viewing reconstructed Anasazi buildings and plenty of intriguing artifacts.
Nevada Museum of Art
Located in the "Biggest Little City in the World," the Nevada Museum of Art strives to educate the public through tours, programs and classes. Reno visitors can enjoy a guided tour through the museum, viewing collections like the Robert S. and Dorothy J. Keyser Art of the Greater West Collection and many more.
Schedule a time to meet an artist or spend time in the Center for Art & Environment and Research Library – both helped the museum become accredited. The museum is certainly a must-see for northern Nevada travelers – don't miss the Contemporary Collection and the Frank Buck Collection.
Nevada State Museum
Located in the Nevada capital city of Carson City, the Nevada State Museum features a host of regional and worldwide works of art on display.
Must-sees include works by Patricia Wallis in the Natural History Gallery, entitled Smoke and Shadow, and many more.
The museum is housed in the historic Carson City Mint building, housing 20 galleries of Nevada history collections available for viewing to all northern Nevada visitors.
Be sure to view the "largest exhibited Columbian mammoth", the 10,000 year-old artifacts, and the timeline of the history of Nevada.
The National Automobile Museum
Housing a wonderful collection of automobiles, the National Automobile Museum is found south of the Truckee River in downtown Reno.
The 105,000 square foot facility offers self-guided tours of must-sees exhibits like Celebrity Auto, Even in Africa, and many other exhibits on rotation.
Often to as the Harrah Collection, the museum was recently named one of "America's Five Greatest Automobile Museums" by AutoWeek magazine.
The northern Nevada museum houses four galleries – each featuring its own collection – like the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame in gallery four