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Virginia City, Nevada

Historic Piper's Opera House is a main attraction in Virginia City that still hosts performances in a 19th century atmosphere. – Nevada Commission on Tourism

Virginia City, once known as "the richest city in the world" for the wealth of gold and silver mined from the Comstock Lode in the 1800s, is Nevada's largest and best-known historic mining town, federally recognized as a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Strolling along the board sidewalks, stopping at shops, restaurants, museums and saloons in 150-year-old brick buildings, and exploring stately Victorian-era mansions -- some open to the public as museums or B&Bs -- lets the visitor truly "step back in time" in this Old West town at 6,200 feet elevation 26 miles southeast of Reno.

A walking tour through the Silver Terrace cemeteries reveals tombstone tributes to the culturally diverse labor force that produced fortunes for the "Silver Barons" who ran the town. Virginia City's history is entwined with the Sierra Nevada, which provided timber that shored up the mines and routes across the range where the mined treasure was transported to San Francisco.

Directions:

Travel US 395 and take EXIT 57B toward Virginia City/Carson City/So Lake Tahoe. Turn LEFT onto Geiger Grade Rd/NV-341/Virginia City Hwy and follow it 13 miles into Virginia City.