Rediscovering American cities: Virginia city, NV

February 25, 2017

Some cities in this world get stuck in your mind. Once you bite it, you can never take it out. You want to go there again and again.

One such example is Virginia city. I remember staying in the Reno-Tahoe area for a weekend (Carson city, to be exact), looking for a place to go. Then this city came up as "Virginia city," and some mention that there are saloons and other attributes of a Wild-west feeling. Since I was interested in those things, I decided to go there.

Approaching Virginia City

And here we are. The city is located pretty high in the mountains, so people usually refer to "going up to Virginia city" when discussing going there. Such a landscape is very inspirational for me.

The view up above

Once you are there, where to go? That's quite simple, but let's make a few highlights to make it easy:

St. Mary in the Mountains

Church in the Virginia City

I could only say, "Wow." No matter how religious you are, if you see this in person, you will be blown away by its beauty. Well, at least, I hope so.

Virginia city gun fight shows

I cannot say for sure for winter months, but in summer and autumn, there are many free gun shows going on. The purpose is to imitate how it was back then in Wild West times. So you will hear gunshots and people "shooting" each other with imitational bullets every few minutes. That's too cool to miss out on!

Gun fights in Virginia City

The way it was museum

The way it was museum

This museum allows you to dive deep into the wild west's history and discover its roots. I highly recommend visiting this place.

On your way out of the museum, you will find a guestbook where people are asked how they knew about Virginia city. Most of the responses were "from a relative." And I wrote "Google" there since I found it accidentally on Google Maps. And I'm glad I did.

Silver Terrace Cemetery

Silver Terrace Cemetery

This is the place that many people recommend if you look at review websites including me. This place will blow your mind as well with its uniqueness. You can spend a lot of time there reading tombstone labels and imagining how it was back then.

Gun fight shows. Paid ones this time

Gun fight shows

You already know Wild West is mostly about gun fights and saloons, right? But I highly recommend attending paid gun shows since you will see much more. The story might be familiar, but it doesn't mean you will not enjoy it. So, go ahead and check out "Virginia City Outlaws."

Souvenirs, photos and beyond **


Some people like souvenirs, and some people don't. Probably I don't particularly appreciate it since most of them lie around and collect dust. But still, since the place is unique and you will remember it for a long time, why not make this experience even better? Wild-west stylized photos are an excellent example of how a unique souvenir should look like.

Restaurants and saloons

After a long day in this fascinating Wild West mecca, why not indulge in some nice restaurant or saloon? I don't want to make any specific recommendation because there are multiple options, and it's all within a short walking distance.

Tours around the city

City Tours

There are also Tour buses you can take to learn more about the history of this town.

And while it's considered a Ghost Town, the more proper term would be "semi-ghost" town since there are always visitors there, and you will not feel there like you are alone.

What do I think about this town overall? It's a great place to visit and worth your time. And it's a short drive from Tahoe, Reno, or Carson City.

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Written by Dmitry Yarygin Test Engineer and a Digital Nomad.
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