Just minutes from Carson City, historic Virginia City offers a unique look into the past. Take an easy day trip to board the Silver Line Express and taste the riches of 19th Century Nevada. Enjoy 100-mile views across the mountains and high desert, tour mansions, mines and museums, and ride the V & T railroad along the same routes travelers took more than 100 years ago. Visit shops of all kinds, have a bite to eat or a drink in one of the Old West-style saloons and take in live entertainment.
Virginia City was born in 1859 when Peter O’Reilly and Patrick McLaughlin found gold in Six-Mile Canyon, land also claimed by H.T.P. Comstock. Hundreds of prospectors rushed to the “Comstock Lode” to seek their fortune. James Finney, a miner from Virginia, is said to have called the town “Old Virginny Town.” That name became “Virginia City.”
In its heyday, the 1860s and 70’s, 24-hour silver and gold mining works dotted the mountain. The Comstock Lode made so many millionaires, this was called “the richest place on earth.” Area wealth helped finance the Civil War and paid to build old San Francisco. Mark Twain also began his writing career here.
Today, Virginia City is the nation’s largest National Historic Landmark with 2 million visitors a year. A must-see for any visitor to Northern Nevada, it offers a glimpse of history and a rousing good time.
For more information about activities, special events and lodging, contact the Virginia City Convention & Tourism Authority at:
Virginia City has a full calendar of fun. Here’s a sample of the annual events to help you plan your next trip.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Show off your green at this major celebration, honoring the Comstock’s Irish immigrants. Mountain Oyster Fry. Have a ball at one of the West’s most unusual cooking contests. They say it’s all in the sauce.
Virginia City Grand Prix. Off-road Motorcycle Race. 700+ bikes in one of the West’s major races. Exciting events for experts, novices and spectators!
Cinco de Mayo Chili Cook-off. Hot, spicy and delicious, this event showcases national and international recipes.
4th of July Parade & Fireworks. An all-day patriotic extravaganza from an old-fashioned parade, to music and food throughout town, to spectacular fireworks.
Bluegrass Festival. Kick up your heels to some traditional bluegrass music, performed in every historic saloon in town.
World-famous Camel Races. Laugh all weekend as jockeys hold on for dear life, racing camels, ostriches and emus.
World Championship Outhouse Races. Have a wacky, wonderful time as three-person teams race wildly decorated outhouses down Virginia City’s main street.
Ghost Town. A Fright Fest with safe trick-or-treating on C Sreet and tours of the old cemeteries and haunted buildings.
Christmas on the Comstock. A month-long celebration from The Parade of Lights to Crafts Faire, Gingerbread Social, shopping specials and more.