DAY 1. WELCOME TO FABULOUS LAS VEGAS
Bandita, in March 2022 the road trip to Nevada was set up with my great friend Gess We flew with a direct flight from Aeroméxico and decided to stay three nights in Las Vegas and then continue with our itinerary throughout the state.
We were joined by another talented friend Gama and between the three of us we rented a van. For the rental of the vehicle I highly recommend them AutoRenta.
As a temporary home we chose the Virgin Hotel; that like almost every hotel in Las Vegas has a casino on the ground floor. The interior design is modern and colorful, and I loved the room, I even tried the mattress in the style of Alan around the World.
We were ravenously hungry, so we had a few slices of pizza at Pizza Forte, one of the hotel’s restaurants, and with a full belly and a happy heart, we drove half an hour to a sculpture installation in the middle of the desert.
Seven Magic Mountains is the work of Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, there is no entrance fee and we arrived just before sunset, so the light was wonderful.
We were there admiring the colossal rocks in balance, and when night fell we returned to the city, we drove quickly through the illuminated Strip in the van and we went to see an incredible show: Illuminate in Theatre.
The combination of lights, music and dance is extraordinary. It’s very cool! Back at the hotel I slept without dinner, fatigue was stronger than fat.
DAY 2. MAFIOSOS AND NEONS
We had breakfast at The Kitchen at Commons Club restaurant in the hotel – a classic “gringo” combo (with love) eggs, bacon and pancakes – and we went downtown to see a very particular museum: it’s called The Mob Museum and it is a very interesting journey through the history of prohibition in the United States, the mafia, gambling and money laundering in casinos, and organized crime – in general.
Later we walked a few blocks to the restaurant in the old heart of the city and after a red velvet Chicken sandwich we went to see my favorite museum in Las Vegas: The Neon Museum
This place is a cemetery of monumental canopies and illuminated signs that once crowned casinos, hotels and bars in the city, and now lie inert in this fabulous museum. Spectacular!
Finally, in the late evening, we went on a gastronomic tour of three prestigious restaurants in the city. The tour is called Lip Smacking Foodie and the places and the food -the net- complied fully and well.
Finally to lower the swallow, we walked along the Strip amazed by the lights-insomnia of the buildings and of course the aquatic show of the Bellagio. Las Vegas don’t sleep, but I do, and with pleasure hahaha
DAY 3. SPEAKEASIES AND ALIENS
Have you woken up and taken a few seconds to remember where you are? Well, that happened to me. We decided to get up super early and go to the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. Nobody was there! Remember that early traveler tip hahaha.
After having breakfast at The Original Pancake House and having a long after-dinner conversation, we went to visit Area 15. a gigantic entertainment and art center, with impressive sculptures and cutting-edge technology.
Inside is Omega Mart , what looks like a simple supermarket, reveals a place of mystery with alien products, secret passageways and a whole world or worlds inside, with puzzles to decipher. I had never known such a place, it is super captivating.
At the end of our extraterrestrial feat we went to the Arts District to eat at a little Italian corner in the city Esthers Kitchen where we ate home-baked bread, delicious pasta and unforgettable wine.
In the evening we returned to The Mob Museum because we discovered that there is a Speakeasy in the basement! You know these hidden bars – born in the prohibition era – with an incredible atmosphere.
We had a few drinks and then we went to the Fremont Street Experience, with the longest LED screen in the world as they say. The site is almost chaotic – in a good way – with light shows, music concerts and lots of pedestrian fun.
Finally, we end the night at the oldest bar in Las Vegas, the Atomic Bar.
Photo: Atomic Bar
DAY 4. GHOSTS OF THE DESERT
A beautiful sunrise wanted to say goodbye to Las Vegaswe said goodbye to the hotel, put our bags in the truck and headed to a new destination on the Free-Range Art Highway.
The roads here are a dream – framed by rocky mountains and some snow capped mountains – and seem endlessly straight. After about two hours of walking we arrived at Beatty, we tried an award-winning chili at Happy Burro Chili & Beer and drive 10 minutes to the famous -and somewhat spooky- Goldwell Open Air Museum.
His most famous work – which looks like white dementors – is inspired by the “Davincian” Last Supper, but has several sculptures sprinkled by the desert. Nearby is the ghost town of #Rhyolite -which had a mining boom at the beginning of the 20th century- and now only tells its story of mystery through its abandoned houses.
Another hour and a half of driving took us to the small town of Goldfield to its car forest: The International Car Forest of the Last Church. -which is actually a vertical car graveyard, with a Mad Max-style apocalyptic vibe.
Near there our final destination of the day, Tonopah, we toured its Mining Park, we learned the history of the city’s silver rush, its rise, and what this meant for the town and the entire state.
We finally checked into his dingy @mizpahhotel -they say it is haunted- its ancient atmosphere causes chills but charm at the same time hahaha.
Before bed we walked a few meters to Tonopah Brewing Company for dinner and to try the local beer – it was Saint Patrick’s Day by the way, so everything was perfect.
DAY 5. A SERIES OF LUCKY EVENTS
I spent an uneventful dark night at the @mizpahhotel and we went down to breakfast at their charming cafeteria.
Several hours on the road awaited us, but before that we stopped on the outskirts of Tonopah to see another unique hotel – for some comical and for others terrifying: The Clown Motel. With hundreds of clowns everywhere guarding the place, would you stay here little band?
Four hours of long road led us between arid deserts and snowy mountains, to a majestic lake, and that only meant one thing; we had reached south lake tahoe.
We had booked a panoramic cable car tour and a kayak tour, but both were canceled due to strong winds in the city, so we had to improvise. After grabbing some lunch downtown we drove up the mountain to the Eagle Falls trailhead, the view was spectacular and we really wanted to do it but there was a lot of snow and we didn’t have the right clothes so we gave up and stood at the entrance playing with the snow and taking photos.
Then we headed to El Dorado Beach, a beach -cold as the wind- as Luis Miguel would say hahaha. We sat on a pier to wait for the sunset and then we saw two crazy people launching their sleds at full speed trying to reach the lake.
Sometimes trips don’t go as planned, but if you let yourself go, everything may turn out even better than expected.
DAY 6. THE RICHEST PLACE IN THE WORLD
There’s no better wake-up call than a blushing sky at sunrise, made even more special by the icy horizon of South Lake Tahoe.
We went down to have breakfast at the hotel restaurant. @harveystahoewe bought some cinnamon rolls at Cinnabon and headed to our next destination.
The trip took more than 1 hour, it seemed like 150 years because we arrived at a city with the face of a town and a departure from the time of the North American gold rush: @virginiacity.
There is a main street framed by old wooden houses that evokes the Old West, and all that was missing was a ball of straw rolling past – estepicursor or “chamiza” as GESS calls it, to decorate this labyrinth of solitude.
We went to pick up our tickets for the activities at the Visitor Center and first of all, we went to a “saloon” – The Bucket of Blood- to have a beer. Our next stop was one of the most haunted houses in the country The Old Washoe Club, spiritually inhabited by ghosts of miners and a woman in a blue dress.
The tour is interesting for believers of the paranormal and also for skeptics like me -ask for the live guide Justin. Then we went to the Chollar Mine to know an old mine.
There Bill – who has been a miner for more than 30 years – told us about the history of gold in these lands, and how, due to its high concentration in a few miles of land, Virginia City became the “richest place in the world” mid 19th century.
In the afternoon we checked into a hotel that looked like the one of the psychotic Norman Bates, but which is actually a charming hotel with a super friendly host.
Nearby we had a delicious dinner at The Cider Factor restaurant, and finished the night at the Silver Dollar Saloon, the only basement bar in the city. They had such a varied jukebox that ranged from Bob Dylan, to Dua Lipa and even Juan Gabriel. And between beers and whiskeys, we lost control a bit. It was a crazy night and an unforgettable Monday over a hell of gold and under a sky of snowy stars.
DAY 7. THE BIGGEST SMALL CITY IN THE WORLD
One more day in Nevada. We had breakfast in Virginia City and drove to our last stop, Reno.. We dropped our bags at our hotel, the Pepper Mill. and the first thing we visited was the magnificent Nevada Museum of Art .
This cultural center has beautiful architecture, with a panoramic terrace “The experience of a museum begins with the building itself”; and its exhibitions Wow! I fell in love To begin with, a room dedicated to the ceramic work of Pablo Picasso -I loved it; a rich display of #JeanLaMarr a “Native-American” artist who extols her ancestral culture, through indigenous iconography, but also contrasting it with the imposition of the “dominant American culture” I adored!
And then downstairs I bumped into another American artist Judy Chicago I would love for her to be my grandmother- transgressor, feminist and a real badass old lady famous for her installations of fireworks and smoke bombs.
Then we continue our cultural tour through the streets of Reno, in what is known as the Midtown Mural Tour. There is a tour on Google Maps that you can follow -it’s like an urban art hunt- the net is that they are very cool.
Already thirsty, we move on to another local brewery 10 Torr Distilling and Brewing this time I tried a Brown Ale instead of my favorite IPA, and we walked along the river – in the River Walk District – to a highly recommended restaurant, The Shore. where -as apostles- we pamper ourselves with our last supper.
The next day, we went to the airport early, checked our bags, and headed back to Mexico. The road trip through Nevada far exceeded my expectations; Nevada is not just Vegas, it has a whole world of deserts, mountains, golden legends and ghosts to share.
For more information about the destination visit https://travelnevada.com/ and for car rental AutoRenta
See you soon Bandit!
Your comments are really important