Nevada State: Attractions, History, Interesting Facts, Cities

Nevada is a state that possesses a vibrant and vivid charisma. A glance at the map of the region leaves the uninformed individual bewildered: how can sun-scorched land attract millions of travelers from around the world? But once you visit here, you’ll realize the charm and allure of this place. Amidst numerous casinos and slot machines, you’ll feel the thrill coursing through your veins, and you’ll want to return here again and again, to gamble and to win!

Brief Information about the State

  • State Abbreviation: NV
  • Capital: Carson City (57,344 residents)
  • Largest City in the State: Las Vegas (667,501 residents)
  • State Population: 3.2 million people (ranks 35th in the USA, data as of 2021)
  • State Area: 286,382 square kilometers (ranks 7th in the USA)
  • Official Website: [nv.gov](https://nv.gov/)

Attractions of the State of Gold and Sand

Undoubtedly, the brightest spot on the map of Nevada is Las Vegas – the city of neon casino lights, ostentatious luxury hotels, gangster showdowns, extravagant weddings, and instant divorces. It’s a paradise on earth for nightlife enthusiasts and gamblers. The most “sinful” establishments are located on the central boulevard, each designed to catch the attention of visitors. The Luxor and Treasure Island casinos are considered the most flamboyant.

Typical Nevada landscape
Typical Nevada landscape

But despite all this, the stereotype that Las Vegas is a city of sin is more of a myth than reality. Once you want to look at the city from a different angle, it will gladly show you its other facets. For example, you can choose a tour of the historic Glitter Gulch district, or have a fun time with kids at the amusement park, or admire the unique retro car exhibition at the Imperial Palace Auto Museum, or enjoy the beauty of the Bellagio fountains.

Las-Vegas
Las-Vegas

In the nearby town of Overton, tourists are offered to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the Wild West. The quiet streets of the town seem to transport passersby to the past, allowing them to experience the romance of the cowboys’ turbulent life. But if these impressions are not enough for you, you can always become a guest at the Pueblo archaeological center and continue your imaginary journey through time.

Nevada has earned a reputation as a harsh desert land, but in reality, its natural beauty is beyond praise. Nature lovers will definitely be drawn to Lake Tahoe, the Grand Canyon, and National Parks like the Great Basin, Death Valley, and others. Each of them offers several picturesque hiking trails and campsites, convenient not only in summer but also in winter.

History of the State

Before Europeans arrived on the North American continent, these lands belonged to indigenous tribes. The territory of modern-day Nevada was no exception. Indigenous peoples had their way of life, engaging in hunting, agriculture, crafts, and trading with each other. However, in the 18th century, with the arrival of the Franciscan missionary Francisco Garcés, the tribes were forced to retreat. It turned out they were no longer the owners of the region. The land of their ancestors was declared the property of Spain, later passing to Mexico.

This political setup lasted until 1848. But after the war, by an act of the United States Congress in 1850, the lands near the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the states of Utah and Idaho, were formed into the Utah Territory, which became part of the United States of America.

From that time, Mormons actively began to settle the area, establishing settlements and communities, although people went there more out of desperation than by choice. The soil in the region proved to be unsuitable for agriculture, and living conditions were extremely harsh.

The situation changed in 1859 when deposits of precious metals – gold and silver – were discovered in Nevada. The famous Gold Rush began. Prospectors quickly flooded the region, and one of the settlements, Virginia City, turned into a thirty-thousand-strong metropolis in record time, becoming the “richest city in America.” Among the gold seekers who came to Nevada in search of fortune was Mark Twain, then an aspiring but unknown writer. He later described this period of his life in his autobiographical work, “Roughing It.”

On March 2, 1861, Nevada officially became an independent administrative unit, and another star was added to the flag of the United States. This happened just eight days before the presidential elections and ensured the victory of the Republicans.

Thanks to the development of new mining deposits, the mining industry, infrastructure, and economy continued to grow. The transcontinental railroad was built, and a university was established. And in 1905, Las Vegas, the future beacon of the gambling business, was founded.

The Great Depression struck suddenly: all major deposits were exhausted overnight, and gambling was banned. This period in Nevada’s history was very difficult.

The former glory returned to the state thanks to the construction of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and the legalization of the gambling business in 1931. The chosen development direction in favor of casinos was initially considered a temporary measure, but entertainment became such a successful lure for tourists that it made the state one of the most visited places in the USA.

Interesting Facts about Nevada

1. The name of the state comes from the Spanish word “nevado,” meaning “snow-covered.” According to phonetic rules, the middle syllable should be pronounced elongated, but contrary to norms, locals say it shortly. That’s why it’s easy to spot newcomers.

2. The Nevada Test Site, where the first nuclear bomb in the world was tested, is located here. It is part of the list of attractions in this region, but no tourist has ever been able to get there.

3. The famous Area 51, one of America’s secret military installations, is also located here. It is part of the list of attractions in this region, but no tourist has ever been able to get there.

Area 51
Area 51

4. Anyone wishing to marry in Nevada only needs to find a suitable chapel. The entire ceremony will take no more than 5 minutes.

5. Those couples who, for whatever reason, change their minds can obtain a divorce within 24 hours.

6. There are many ghost towns in the state, mostly abandoned by miners and gold seekers after the resources in the deposits were depleted.

7. Steven Spielberg’s film “Jurassic Park” was shot in Nevada.

Major Cities of Nevada

This is one of the fastest-growing states. The population here is increasing at a colossal rate, not so much due to natural increase, but thanks to immigrants. Therefore, mega cities in the state are not uncommon:

– Las Vegas (≈ 668 thousand people)
– Henderson (341,531 people)
– Reno (266,511 people)
– North Las Vegas (265,224 people)
– Paradise (235,087 people)
– Spring Valley (207,127 people)
– Sunrise Manor (193,781 people)
– Enterprise (171,108 people)
– Sparks (107,060 people)

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