Nevada’s “Must-See Must-Do” 2017

David W. Toll at TuscororaMust See Must Do 2017 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. As always, this list reflects our personal preferences — lots of nominations on the website but no votes — just Robin and me (and Jones). Enter your nominations at our Facebook page or in the Comments at the bottom of this page.Please treat yourself to these wonders, excitements, pleasures, comforts and satisfactions in 2016.

Person of the Year – 2017

Ron Hendricks, at your service in Wells

Ron “Binky” Hendricks, Wells Chamber of Commerce/Trail of the 49ers Museum Ron grew up in Wells where he was High school Salutatorian when he graduated in 1964. Ron moved to Reno in 1968 to work in banking, and later, when he helped start the Hand to Hand foundation in Reno, offering counseling and other help to people with AIDS he was named Reno Citizen of the Year.

After returning to Wells he volunteered for the Wells Chamber/Trail 49 museum and is now the office manager for both. He welcomes visitors and gives a tour, explaining why the pioneers paused in Wells.

Wells Chamber of Commerce and Trail of the ’49ers Museum.

He goes out of his way to keep a full stock of brochures and booklets helpful to visitors and he shops the internet to stock the small bookstore.

Says Chamber president Yvonne Stuart: “Every town would be lucky to have a guy like Ron, always willing to help out. Anyone who calls the Chamber will find a pleasant warm voice answering the phone. Our Chamber/Museum would not be the same without Ron.”

Efficiency and a cheerful attitude, assisting carload after carload of visitors, making a positive difference day in and day out — the award doesn’t come with tights and a cape, but it should.

City of the Year – 2017

2017 Nevada Must See-Must Do City of the Year - Black Rock City

The ‘Official Nevada State Fossil’ emerges from the playa dust

Black Rock City — Smaller than Sparks, bigger than Carson City, it’s the tenth largest city in Nevada* for one week of the year, the week of Burning Man that ends on Labor Day Weekend. The Man is designed and built for the occasion as free-spirited people arrive from around the world in cars and RVs containing everything needful: there’s nothing to buy here but coffee and ice. Once settled, it is a dream made real: everyone fantastic, everything an astonishment. And then the Man burns and the city vanishes utterly for another year. Splendid!
*Fourth largest outside the Las Vegas Valley

Hidden Treasure of the Year – 2017

Tonopah Historic Mining Park

Tonopah Historic Mining Park and Central Nevada Museum —

Hints of Tonopah’s rich history are plainly visible to anyone who drives through town on US 95, but visit the 100+ acre Tonopah Historic Mining Park on the hillside behind the Mizpah Hotel and those hints become facts. Visitors wander among three intact mines dating back to the early years of the 20th century. Walk the Burro Tunnel into the mountain to gaze down 500 feet into the workings.

Central Nevada Museum

For nearly 50 years, the Nevada State Mining Championships have been held here on Memorial Day weekend as part of Jim Butler Days. Contests include double and single jack drilling, individual and team mucking, both women and men competing.

There’s more to see at the Central Nevada Museum on the south (uphill) side of town: Outside, a pioneer village has been made of structures rescued from early 20th Century mining towns nearby; inside are document and photo.archives.

Event of the Year – 2017

Yes, that’s a bicycle and it’s burning up the highway.Nevada Must See-Must Do 2017 Event of the YearThe World Human-Powered Speed Challenge — Battle Mountain is world-famous (in a small way) for hosting the most prestigious event in the world of speed bicycling each September. In the 16 years beginning in 2000 the world Human Powered Vehcle speed record has been broken eight times on Highway 305 about 15 miles south of town and this competition has become the de facto World Championship event of the year. Todd Reichert of Canada broke his own record (86.65 mph, set last year) with a speed of 88.26 mph in 2016. One day not far off, when all the factors are benign, a human being from Japan or Canada or somewhere else in the world will achieve 90 mph on a bicycle — in Battle Mountain.

Attraction of the Year – 2017

Nevada Must See-Must Do 2017 Attraction of the Yeargondolas carryHeavenly Valley is an enormous year-around playground more than 9,000 feet above sea level. It’s accessible by gondola from just west of the Nevada-California state line at the south shore of Lake Tahoe. They send passengers floating rapidly upward, somewhere between heaven and earth to pop over the summit and down into the little valley. Large areas are devoted to learners, Lifts for experienced skiers climb the slopes east, west and south. and there’s an innertube slope with a half dozen lanes. Everyone is having fun. An immense Lodge serves food and drink to the multitudes into the night.

Hotel of the Year – 2017

Nevada Must See-Must Do 2017 Hotel of the Year
The Whitney Peak Hotel — Going Up! In a town where you generally know what to expect, Reno’s Whitney Peak Hotel delivers the unexpected: ultra modern rooms, Warholesque meeting and convention space and instead of gambling tables and slot machines, a full floor of exercise equipment and rock climbing walls. For a real challenge, there is a 180’ climbing structure attached to the building in full view of the iconic Reno Arch. Go big or go back inside.
Allergy-aware eats are available on each floor’s spacious meeting and relaxing area. The 1,000-seat Cargo Concert Hall features top local and touring talent within the indie rock, pop and alternative fusion genres.

Restaurants of the Year – 2017

Kings Diner, Yerington Nevada On Yerington’s south side; take Bridge Street west from Main and travel through time into the 1950s at King’s Diner. Not because of the posters and photos that comprise the decor, but because of the food — the reuben sandwich with fries should be on a poster, and the chocolate malt takes you right back to high school. Best of all is the vibe, the friendly, painstaking and generous attitude that prevails throughout.


labakery2-200x133A block off Carson Street, The cosmopolitan LA Bakery, Carson City offers a wide selection of Mediterranean lunch and dinner items, including gluten free, vegetarian and vegan offerings. Daily specials and homemade soups as well as a complete selection of specialty pastries, pies, cakes. And if you are really looking for happiness, cups made of milk chocolate filled with chocolate mousse are almost always in the glass case of delight.


Logo: BJ Bull Pasties & Pies, Elko NevadaBJ Bull, Elko – 208 Idaho Street – 775-738-0606 Paul Dunbar was a bus driver when the inspiration struck him: pies! His beef and cabbage hand pies were an immediate success in Elko, even popular with visitors who took them home frozen. New owners added to the menu, first with a Holiday Pasty made with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce, then with a Chili Verde pasty, there’s even a Nathan’s Hot Dog pasty, with onions and pepperoncini; side dishes, fruit pies and other desserts available too. Good and different.