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Carson City, the capital of Nevada, is a thriving commercial center that mainly draws in tourists with its gaming industry. While often considered the milder version of its wilder, larger cousin - Las Vegas - you may be surprised to find that Carson City has a lot more to offer than gambling and entertainment. Book your Carson City car rental in advance with Enjoy Travel for a seamless trip.
Guide to Carson City
Carson City proper is situated between Eagle Valley and the Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It is perched along the eponymous Carson River.
Climate in Carson City
The city’s climate is generally dry bordering on arid. Summer runs from June to September, and winter starts in November and lasts until February. Much of the city’s rainfall occurs in the winter, making summer the best time for outdoor activities.
The city gets its name from the Carson River, which in turn was named after Kit Carson, the 19th-century scout who discovered it.
Things to do in Carson City
Indulge in lakeside activities
The clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe are perfect for boating and jet skiing. It is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the United States and just an hour’s drive from Carson City. The trails around the lake also make for great hikes and bike rides. If you visit in the winter, the surrounding mountains transform into popular ski spots. Another nearby lake to check out is Washoe Lake, which is smaller than Lake Tahoe but offers the same range of activities.
Learn about state history
To learn about the city’s history, beginning with its establishment in the Old West, head to Nevada State Museum. Here, you will find a vast collection of artifacts, fossils, rocks, and valuable minerals. The museum’s most famous exhibit is the Carson City Coin Mint from the late 1800s.
Explore railroad history
Up until the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, it took over 6 months to travel from one end of the US to the other. The railroad drastically shortened this period to a single week. Learn more about how this became possible at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, which displays a multitude of photographs, artifacts, and static locomotive models. The museum occasionally hosts shows to demonstrate how early gasoline and steam engines worked.
Eating out in Carson City
Looking for something exotic? Head to JT Basque Restaurant, which serves the best of Basque cooking from the Pyrenees to Carson City. Founded by the Lekumberry family, the restaurant is known for signature dishes such as its Basque chicken and sirloin steaks. If you’re into gaming, have a go at the Slotworld Casino and then grab a chicken fried steak at Betsy’s Cafe. Fans of traditional Mexican cuisine will love Juan’s Mexican Grill, which claims to serve the best chicken tacos and tostada in town. For some good old-fashioned wood-fired cooking, try Red’s Old 395 Grill, with its exquisite smoked meats.
Carson City Transport
If you want to reach Carson City by air, fly to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO). From there, it’s a 30-mile journey by taxi or shuttle.
Carson City’s local transport is operated by Jump Around Carson (JAC), which offers cheap and extensive coverage. If you’re traveling with a group, you may prefer to rent a car instead. Some of the most popular car rental agencies in Carson City include Enterprise and Hertz.