| I compiled this list because of the overwhelming sense that so many of the great people who are doing exceptional things here are just not getting the attention they deserve. Because I first presented my list in the November NevadaGram (sign up here) I was tempted to call them the NevadaGrammies until I thought about it a little. So they don’t have a name, and they’re not really awards so much as shout-outs, meaning “Hey everyone, whatever else you do this year, don’t miss this!”
That’s another thing about my list — it looks ahead into 2014 because I want to emphasize that these pleasures lie ahead. “Let’s do this” and “Let’s go there”, instead of “Oh look what we missed.”
These are our personal preferences, no votes on the website, just me and Robin (and Shorty), sharing our faves. And after all these years roaming Nevada in search of its many attractions, excitements, enjoyments, comforts, pleasures and satisfactions, we know what’s good and we know what’s really good.
|The Nevada Travel Network 2014 Person of the Year —
is the person who buys the Owl Club, the Best Western and the Jackson House in Eureka. We don’t know who this will be, but we’re eager to find out.
|Nevada Travel Network’s 2014 Hidden Treasure of the year —
Kershaw-Ryan State Park, . is a small jewel that can seem like your own deluxe campground in a carefully tended garden. Roses and wild grapevines, streamlets and a small waterfall, even a lawn. We hear a lot about haunted places in Nevada, but this place is enchanted. Group use reservations are required but casual visitors are welcome; a dry campground has been developed just outside the entrance. Meticulously tended facilities include toilets, sinks and hot showers.
|Nevada Travel Network 2014 City of the year —
Boulder City. Boulder City was the first planned community in America, and unlike so many Nevada towns that grew up around mining strikes, it was a government reservation where gambling and alcohol were prohibited. There is still no casino gambling allowed, and Boulder City seems almost rural in contrast with Las Vegas, a half-hour away in the next valley over. But it has cosmopolitan overtones of its own, with emphasis on dining and art, which make this little city sparkle.
|Nevada Travel Network 2014 Attraction of the Year —
The Techatticup Mine, El Dorado Canyon is the oldest and richest gold mine in southern Nevada. Between the tour of the underground mine and mill, with the accompanying narrative of the mine’s early history at the head of El Dorado Canyon and the blue water kayak explorations of the Colorado River at its mouth, visitors get a strong taste of 19th century Nevada (even though it was in Arizona then). A unique and memorable experience.
|Nevada Travel Network 2014 Hotel of the Year —
Boulder Dam Hotel, Boulder City. This is one of my favorite hotels because it transcends its rather plain design with the elegance of its interior. This was where the big shots from back east came to stay, and visiting celebrities when it opened in 1933, so even though it resembles a barracks made of cinderblock, it presents itself as a jewel. The spacious lobby is virtually unchanged from those early days. The rooms, named for illustrious guests in years gone by (Shirley Temple, a Prince and Princess from Norway) have been restored to their original appearance and upgraded with free wi-fi. Made-to-order breakfast is served gratis to guests in the restaurant adjoining the lobby. Delightful.
|Nevada Travel Network 2014 Restaurants of the Year —
Cafe Del Rio, South C Street Virginia City. A visionary “Out West” menu is enhanced by local favorites (hints: gospel chicken and apricot-ancho chili cheesecake) to attract a clientele from surrounding urbs and demi-urbs as well as locals from the Comstock. The historic building adds to the experience. Capsule review: friendly, innovative and delicious.
Supermercado Chapala, Main Street Yerington, across from the Court House. This Mexican grocery is a treat for the eyes, with Pi–atas hanging from the ceiling and the meat case like a jeweler’s display but the hidden treasure is way in the back: the tiny (four table) restaurant serving the finest food on the planet (hint: the burritos). Every choice on the menu is a good one.
Khristopher’s Cafe, Carson City. This Italian Restaurant is so far downhill on the south edge of Carson City that it slid all the way into Douglas County. The menu is in Italian, the inspiration behind it is straight from the old country too and the food is beyond good, it’s spectacular.
|Nevada Travel Network 2014 Event of the Year
The Mardi Gratta River Regatta in August is a pleasantly wacky way to have fun on the Colorado River at Laughlin. The event is sponsored by our neighbors on the Arizona side of the river, begins on Saturday morning with the canoe/kayak/standup paddleboard race, wakeboard and wake-skate competitions. The Regatta itself is a magnificent procession of floating objects with human beings aboard (Life vests required), on a 9-mile 3/4-hour river float trip. Inner tubes abound, but decorated rafts and home-made vessels of all types are carried along by the current in a festive and hilarious procession.