Marvellous Nevada sights not to be missed

As a state founded by gold miners and cowboys, built up by casino magnates, and flocked to today by renegade artists and other freedom seekers, ordinary has just never really been on the cards for Nevada.

This list of the weird and wonderful was curated by the Travel Nevada team of experts who have travelled to every corner of the state. It includes historic, man-made, and natural places that have to be visited to be believed, all specifically chosen for 2022.

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The international car forest

This is not your typical lush forest, bursting with green foliage and tall trees. This open-air gallery comprises more than 40 graffitied cars, each a unique masterpiece. No artistic statement is offered so visitors are encouraged to interpret the art in whatever way they please.

Clown Motel

I know exposure therapy works but this creepy motel in Tonopah may not be the best way to conquer your fear of clowns. However, if you don’t have coulrophobia, the largest private collection of clown-themed memorabilia may be a welcome stop on your trip. Whether it sparks joy or makes you shiver, you can’t deny it’s a landmark that makes Nevada unique.

It also sits next to a historic (allegedly haunted) cemetery.

Goldwell open-air museum

This museum holds some of the world’s most distinctive pieces of experiential art. Goldwell boasts seven colossal structures, including a ghostly, life-size version of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper, a 25ft (7.6m) pink woman constructed of cinder blocks; and a gleaming tangle of chrome car accessories.

It’s also open-air, so visitors are encouraged to walk among the art for an up-close look. You could argue it’s more than a museum, it’s an experience to walk through Goldwell.

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Garnet Hill

Garnet Hill is a site internationally known by gem collectors, and people come from all over the world to search for the beautifully rich, dark red garnets buried here. The semi-precious stones were scattered after a volcano erupted 32–40 million years ago, the blast zone reaching one mile in diameter. It offers a fun day out and the chance to uncover some unusual (and free) souvenirs.

Alien Research Centre

The Alien Research Centre is one weird Nevada stop you won’t want to miss. It acts as the gateway to the Extraterrestrial Highway and Area 51 and gleams in the desert sun like an actual spaceship. A two-storey tall alien greets you at the door to welcome you into the gift shop that offers some seriously interesting souvenirs.

It’s also a great place to chat with locals and get the inside scoop on all the alien events.

Fly Geyser

Imagine digging a hole in the middle of the desert and suddenly getting sprayed by hot water as if you hit a pipe. You walk away, only to learn that years later, that hole is still spewing, and is now a 12-foot geyser with a rainbow of coloured rocks surrounding it. That’s essentially how Fly Geyser came to be, and, after more than 100 years since the first ‘pipe’ was hit, people can still come to see this ever-spewing natural fountain in all its beauty.

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Republic of Molossia

Last on our list, but definitely not least, is the independent micronation with some crazy quirks. Molossia has been an official, independent, sovereign country inside of Nevada for more than 40 years. It has an official customs station, a national instrument, and its own postal service. Molossia even has its own bizarre laws, as well as currency that’s tied to the value of cookie dough.

Whether you visit all seven of Nevada’s Weirdest Wonders or just one of them, you’ll be sure to leave with an unusual travel tale and some great photos.

For more Weird Nevada experiences, visit here.

Have you been to Nevada? What’s the weirdest travel experience you’ve ever had? Why not share it in the comments section below?

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Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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