Must-Do Day Trips from Carson City

A Little Lane resident enjoying vacation time away at Lake Tahoe

Carson City, Nevada is a uniquely charming city that is steeped in exciting history and surrounded by vast natural beauty. In addition to the many family-friendly activities available within the city limits, what makes this city even more appealing is its proximity to several must-do day trips. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast or simply looking for a change of scenery, there are several breathtaking destinations within just a short drive of Carson City, which is why many prefer to purchase new homes in Carson City, NV. Here are some of the best day trips that you and your family can take from Carson City, NV:

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a short 20-minute drive to the west from Carson City and it’s a destination that you won’t want to miss. Known for its crystal-clear water, sandy beaches, and breathtaking views, Lake Tahoe is a virtual paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. It straddles the border between California and Nevada and is surrounded by a number of stunning mountain ranges including the Crystal Range, Carson Range and The Desolation Wilderness. There are numerous opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, boating, fishing, or simply relaxing on the beach to take in the stunning scenery.

Virginia City

A quick 30-minute drive to the northeast will land you in Virginia City, a popular historic mining town. This charming town is filled with 19th-century architecture, antique shops, and museums that offer an educational and entertaining glimpse into the past. You can take a ride on the historic Virginia & Truckee Railroad, explore the mines, or simply stroll along the wooden sidewalks and soak up the old-western charm.


Genoa is a small town that is located just south of Carson City. As the first settlement in the Nevada Territory and known as Nevada’s Oldest Town, it has much to offer. Choose from Free Concerts on the Green, the annual Halloween Party & Hayride, and even a Cowboy Christmas Concert. You can take an easy stroll along the main street, visit the Mormon Station State Historic Park or hike in the nearby foothills.

Bodie State Historic Park

Bodie State Historic Park is located just across the California border, and it’s a destination that history buffs will love. This gold-mining ghost town is just a 3-hour drive and open all year round. It’s both a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park. The abandoned town was once a bustling hub of activity, and today it’s preserved in a state of “arrested decay.” You can take a tour of the town, explore the abandoned buildings, and imagine what life was like during the gold rush era. And when the winds blow, you might even hear a ghost or two.

Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake is just short of an hour’s drive and located to the east of Carson City. This lake covers over 125,000 acres, making it one of the biggest natural lakes in the entire state of Nevada. It’s a destination that’s perfect for a day of fishing or boating. This beautiful lake is known for its stunningly clear water, scenic views, and abundant wildlife. You can fish for trout, bass, and catfish, or simply enjoy a relaxing day on the water. While you’re there, make sure to seek out the unusual rock formations, especially the Great Stone Mother, which resembles a hooded Indian woman sitting next to an open basket.


If you’re in the mood for a little bit of city life, head to Reno, which is just a 30-minute drive due north from Carson City. This vibrant city offers a range of activities and attractions, everything from world-class casinos to the stunning Truckee River Walk. You can also enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment here, as well as a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and skiing.

Sand Harbor

If you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind, head to Sand Harbor, located on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe. This beautiful beach is known for its crystal-blue waters and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. You can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and more here, as well as a range of water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding.

Carson City, NV is a unique location not only for all of the events and activities you’ll find to do within the city limits itself, but also because it is surrounded by several amazing destinations that make for great day trips. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, historic allure or simply a change of scenery, there’s something for everyone within a short drive of this unique and charming city.