It’s that time of year again. The temperatures are rising. The tourists are thinning out. Summer is making its approach and for those of us in the Valley who aren’t snowbirds, there’s no alternative except to tough it out. Or is there?
We took a look at the states bordering Arizona and selected our favorite stops. So pull out your frequent flier miles and pack your bags. It’s time for a road trip!
Nevada is well known for its gambling playgrounds Las Vegas and Reno, but there’s more to this state than poker chips and burlesque shows. Not to mention the fact that it can get just as hot in Las Vegas as it does in Phoenix. For cooler temps, head northwest to a little gem called Lake Tahoe. The lake and its surrounding region have plenty to offer, from water fun to golf and shopping to, yes, gambling — there’s something for everyone. Roughly 13 hours by car, this destination can also be reached on nonstop flights out of Phoenix to Reno (prices average $240 round trip).
Black Rock Desert – High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, Gerlach
Home to the longest intact segments of the historic emigrant trails to California and Oregon, featuring wagon ruts and historic inscriptions.
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Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park, Gardnerville
This state park was among the first ranches in Nevada. Founded in 1857, many buildings and original artifacts are on display.
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Downtown Riverwalk, Reno
Enjoy downtown Reno’s Truckee River as you experience boutique shopping, dining, events, galleries and a whitewater park.
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Genoa Bar and Saloon, Genoa
“Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor” has been serving patrons since 1853, and has hosted presidents, actors and famous musicians. View genuine artifacts that have remained untouched for more than 150 years.
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Heavenly Flyer and Heavenly Gondola, South Lake Tahoe
If you’re looking for thrills, be sure to catch a ride on the Heavenly Flyer, an elevated zip line cable ride from the top of Tamarack Express to the top of the Gondola. If you’d rather take in the scenery at a slower pace, the Heavenly Gondola provides a 12-minute ride up the mountainside.
Liberty Engine Company #1 State Fireman Museum, Virginia City
For those with children who dream of being a fire fighter, this museum is a must see where they can view firefighting equipment from the 19th century.
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Mine Tours, Virginia City
Explore historic gold and silver mines where settlers in the 1800s endured multiple hardships in their search for a dream. Mines available to tour include Collar Mine and Ponderosa Mine.
Piper’s Opera House, Virginia City
Built in 1885, this member of the National Register of Historic Places hosts numerous events throughout the year.
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Tahoe Rim Trail, Lake Tahoe
Enjoy the lake and its surrounding scenery without getting wet by following this 165-mile loop around Lake Tahoe. Recreation activities include mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking.
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Tour of the Carson Valley, Genoa
Choose between an 11-mile, 20-mile and 44-mile course that follows former pioneer, Pony Express, stagecoach and emigrant wagon roadways. After the ride, enjoy a barbecue and ice cream social. June 26.
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Truckee River Whitewater Park, Reno
Features 11 pools for kayak adventures, as well as a kayak racing course.
Vikingsholm Castle, South Lake Tahoe (California)
Built as a summer home in 1929, this “castle” was modeled after architecture found in Scandinavia. The grounds are open year round, but the home is only open for tours during the summer.
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Virginia & Truckee Railroad, Virginia City
Climb aboard a steam train for a 35-minute narrated ride through the historic Comstock mining region on this short line railroad.
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Stay tuned for the rest of this Summer Getaways series.
Next stop? New Mexico!