Virginia City, Nevada

Perhaps no other area best symbolizes the Comstock region than Virginia City, Nev. Nestled high in the mountains and only minutes from Reno and Lake Tahoe, V.C. is the quintessential portrait of the rugged Old West, complete with ramshackle boardwalks, historical storefronts and a bonanza of interesting sites to explore.

A byproduct of the Comstock Lode, Virginia City sprouted into a blossoming metropolis with more than 30,000 residents during its glory days. Today, it’s recognized as the largest federally designated historical landmark in the U.S.

Scores of tourists flock here each year to take in the town. Famous sites – and there are too many to feature here – include Piper’s Opera House, the Mackay Mansion and the Bucket of Blood Saloon, not to mention the Fourth Ward School and St. Mary’s in the Mountains Catholic Church.

You literally can spend hours walking up and down the streets here, absorbing the scenery and history. Old mines still scar the surrounding hilltops, a testament to the city’s rowdy days of riches, a time when the allure of gold and silver beckoned dreamers from all around to strike their claims and try their luck.

Virginia City is an important link to a past that helped define the character of Nevada and the Old West. Through sheer determination and rugged self-reliance, ordinary people amassed great fortunes. The story of the Comstock – and of Virginia City – is the quintessential story of the American Dream.

So if you have an avid interest in history and a passion for exploring the Old West, Virginia City is definitely worth a visit. Perhaps no other place so transports you with its spellbinding scenery, its historical buildings and its rustic ambiance.