Best Nevada Attraction (2017)


A vast state dominated by diverse, dramatic landscapes, Nevada is difficult to define. On the one hand, you have much of the population clustered in the southwest corner in the glitzy, glamorous and sprawling city of Las Vegas. On the other hand, you find untouched wilderness – alpine forests, high deserts and spectacular red rocks – that make you feel worlds away from civilization.

  • Nevada Museum of Art

    Nevada Museum of Art

    The award-winning Nevada Museum of Art, situated just south of downtown Reno, displays a permanent collection of 2,000 pieces divided into four themed sections, Altered Landscape Photography, Art of the Greater West, Contemporary Art and The Work Ethic. The outdoor grounds of the museum house several pieces from the Burning Man festival.
    Photo courtesy of Kaitlin Godbey/TravelNevada

  • The Neon Museum

    The Neon Museum
    Las Vegas

    The modernization of Las Vegas has led to the decommissioning of many an iconic neon sign. The Neon Museum was founded in 1996 to collect and preserve these cultural relics. Visitors can see the Neon Boneyard – filled with more than 200 historic signs – on an hour-long guided tour.
    Photo courtesy of Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada

  • Lake Tahoe

    Lake Tahoe

    Lake Tahoe marks the Cali-Nevada border and is known equally for its wilderness and outdoor adventures as for its nightlife, parties and entertainment, especially on the Nevada side. It's the biggest alpine lake in North America and one of the nation’s deepest.
    Photo courtesy of Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada

  • Cathedral Gorge State Park

    Cathedral Gorge State Park

    A Pliocene-era landscape of carved cliffs and slot canyons awaits in Cathedral Gorge State Park, situated in a narrow valley in Southeastern Nevada. Popular with photographers, the park is also a walkers's paradise, with numerous trails winding through the clay formations.
    Photo courtesy of Nevada State Parks

  • Valley of Fire State Park

    Valley of Fire State Park

    Located in the Mojave Desert northeast of Las Vegas, Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest and largest unit in the Nevada state park system. It's also one of the most popular, thanks to its magnificent red sandstone formations and 3,000-year-old petroglyphs. The springtime desert bloom is spectacular, and lucky visitors might spot the rare desert tortoise that calls the park home.
    Photo courtesy of Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada

  • Lake Mead

    Lake Mead
    Boulder City

    Year-round outdoor adventure is on the menu at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Southern Nevada. These 1.5 million acres, shared with Arizona, feature bodies of water perfect for water sports, including kayaking, boating, sunbathing and sport fishing. Hiking trails wind through the surrounding desert scenery, leading to places inaccessible by car or boat.
    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo by Andrew Cattoir

  • The Strip

    The Strip
    Las Vegas

    There's something fundamentally "American" about the dream of hitting the jackpot in Vegas – a dream that's funded some of the nation's biggest hotels and casinos along the stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as The Strip. In fact, many visitors to Nevada probably never leave this one iconic road.
    Photo courtesy of Ryan Jerz / Travel Nevada

  • Hoover Dam

    Hoover Dam
    Boulder City

    Situated about 30 miles east of Las Vegas on the border with Arizona, Hoover Dam is considered one of the greatest engineering marvels of the 20th century. Nearly a million visitors tour the dam annually for the chance to see the dam up close and even stand on one of the 30-foot pipes where water rushes underfoot to the generators.
    Photo courtesy of Ryan Jerz / Travel Nevada

  • Virginia City

    Virginia City

    Virginia City's history dates back more than 150 years to 1859, when a large silver deposit was discovered. Today, visitors enjoy one of the largest historical districts in the country, complete with a wooden boardwalk and 19th century architecture. Experiences in town include grabbing a drink at the Buckets of Blood Saloon, hopping a ride on the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, panning for gold or catching a show at Piper's Opera House, built in 1885.
    Photo courtesy of Virginia City

  • Great Basin National Park

    Great Basin National Park

    Nevada's largest national park, Great Basin, encompasses a diverse region of caves, foothills and soaring peaks. Among the wealth of experiences open to visitors are the chance to tour Lehman Caves, hike empty backcountry trails, stargaze with some of the darkest skies in the country or drive toward the 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak.
    Photo courtesy of Sydney Martinez / Travel Nevada

We asked USA TODAY 10Best readers to vote for their favorite state attractions, and the results are in. 

The top 10 winners in the category Best Nevada Attraction are as follows: 

  1. Nevada Museum of Art - Reno
  2. The Neon Museum - Las Vegas
  3. Lake Tahoe
  4. Cathedral Gorge State Park - Panaca
  5. Valley of Fire State Park - Overton
  6. Lake Mead - Boulder City
  7. The Strip - Las Vegas
  8. Hoover Dam - Boulder City
  9. Virginia City
  10. Great Basin National Park - Baker

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Laura Lawson ViscontiTerrisa Meeks and Christina Nellemann were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in the state.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions!

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AlertThe Experts

Laura Lawson Visconti

Laura Lawson Visconti

Laura Lawson Visconti

Terrisa Meeks

Terrisa Meeks

Terrisa Meeks

Christina Nellemann

Christina Nellemann

Christina Nellemann