Being a filmmaker, I’ve been very fortunate to plan my projects in areas of the country that I would love to see. Often, I get to places I never even knew about, but then after spending a few days there, I can’t wait to find a reason to go back.
One film project that took me completely around the United States two full times (that’s no exaggeration either) had me in two of the most amazing areas of the country that were just incredible. The two that I kept coming up with excuses to go back to were Livingston, Montana and Carson Valley, Nevada.
There was something special about both these bucolic areas that took you back and made you forget the hustle of life. Just stepping outside of your hotel room into the street and when looking in either direction, you’re eyes are met with breathtaking mountain views.
We actually went three times to Carson Valley in three months; it was that spectacular. Being able to see it in the fall and winter was quite a vision to behold, as you can see from the above picture.
There’s something about the rugged outdoor environment there that put me into such a relaxed state. For anyone who loves being in the great outdoors or is just looking for a different type of adventure, this is the vacation place for you. Plus, it’s not too far from Lake Tahoe or Reno.
What’s great is that if you like a fully scheduled vacation, they’ve got that for you. If you’re someone, like myself, who just loves to go out and explore, you’re covered there too.
In this one incredible valley, you can do everything from checking out wild horses, go on a whitewater thrill tour, check out amazing trails, golf, go on glider rides or just hit one of their legendary bars and restaurants. If you’re a big ski person, they’ve got off-piste powder trails.
That’s just naming a tiny fraction of what you can do there off the top of my head.
The Great Topaz Lake
If you love getting in the water, Topaz Lake will be your spot, Who doesn’t love a Wet Hot American Summer? Or, at least, some fun wet adventures. The lake is just stunning, and it’s nestled just between the towering Sierra Nevada mountains and the Great Basin.
You feel like you’ve gone back in time, and you’ll actually find yourself not worrying if you missed that viral tweet of the day.
At Topaz Lake you can do everything from fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding and camping lakeside.
Genoa, the Great Sightseeing Part Of Carson Valley, NV
I cannot resist any tour that has the words ‘Historic Ghost’ in it, and Genoa has one that won’t leave you feeling wanting. I’m a tough customer with ghost tours, so it was a nice surprise to learn so much of this area’s rich history.
You get to learn about historic figures such as the Mormon Settlers, the Pony Express riders and one interesting fellow by the name of Snowshoe Thompson aka “Mailman of the Sierra.” With a name like Snowshoe, you know which century he lived in.
It’s about a two-mile walking tour that takes you in some really great old buildings (one that actually creeped me out), and of course, what ghost tour is complete without a visit to the local cemetery?
Casino, You Say
Who needs the Roulette wheels of Reno when you’ve got the beautiful cozy Carson Valley Inn & Casino in Minden? Start your day poolside, eat an amazing dinner, check out a live outdoor concert, then decide how lucky you’re feeling before venturing to the casino.
With such beautiful surroundings, you may find yourself not venturing too far off the hotel grounds.
During the day a must place to check out is the Dangberg Home Ranch. It’s a classic ranch from back in time and one of the top attractions in the area.
One of my favorite things to do is riding in a glider just for the pure adrenaline junkie feel. This is such a beautiful area, you must see it from above.
Just those few things are what have kept me coming back to Carson Valley, Nevada so many times, and the team here is trying to devise our next film project to include another trip there. You can check out more reasons to visit Carson Valley at their YouTube Page right here.
If the adventurer in you has that travel itch already beginning after reading this, check out the Carson Valley blog to see what they’ve got coming up. If you’re a big one on schedules, check out their tourism page here to see just how much you can pack into a weekend getaway or even a weeklong trip.
This article was sponsored by Visit Carson Valley NV, but I didn’t need that to share my feelings of how wonderful a place it is to visit.