Nevada's capital, Carson City is located along the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada, in the Eagle Valley, just east of Lake Tahoe, south of Reno, and north of Douglas County and the Carson Valley communities of Minden, Gardnerville, and Genoa. The Carson River flows through the southeast corner of the city. With a population approaching 65,000, Carson City is a picturesque, evolving destination with central access to the outdoors as well as larger and smaller communities nearby.
From the beginning, Carson City was intended to be Nevada's capital. Its cause was advanced by local fraternal orders and businessmen, chief among them Abraham Curry, who bankrolled and oversaw many of Carson City's early developments. Carson City was once home to an outlet of the US Mint. The collectible "CC" Carson City coins were produced here from 1870-1893.
With several hidden surprises for the history buff, Carson City is a pleasant daytrip from nearby Reno and Lake Tahoe.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
The nearest airport for commercial flights to Carson City is 1 Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO IATA), 30 miles north via Highway 395. Carson City has 2 Carson Airport (CSN IATA), a small regional airport for general aviation with no scheduled commercial services via major airlines.
Carson City can be accessed via US Highway 50 from the east and west, and US Highway 395 from the north and south.
Highway 395 from Reno comes into Carson City just south of Washoe Lake. The divided freeway ends at the junction with Highway 50.
Highway 395 from Bishop comes into Carson City approximately 30 miles north of the Nevada/California border.
Highway 50 from Sacramento and Lake Tahoe comes into Carson City via Spooner Summit.
From the east
Carson City is served weekday mornings and afternoons via Washoe County RTC's commuter express bus service RTC Intercity.
Carson City's transit service is called JAC (for Jump Around Carson). Regular scheduled service operates 6 days a week hourly on 3 routes. RTC Intercity shares a few stops with JAC. JAC connects to Douglas County's transit service, DART. The route setup and schedule frequency of the various bus transit services operating in and around Carson City contribute to a strong recommendation against using public transit as your primary means of getting around in the Carson City area.
Interstate 580 Nevada, known until 2012 as US 395, connects Carson City with Reno and terminates at the junction with US-50.
Carson Street, which is also US 395 business, runs north-south through the city. It is supplemented by Stewart Street, Roop Street, and Saliman Rd providing north-south connectivity through Carson City.
Williams Street is also US-50 as it heads east through Carson City. Highway 50 (as it is mostly referred to locally) is joined by 5th Street to the south and College Parkway on the north carrying traffic eastward and westward to and from Carson Street. The west side of Carson Street is known as Carson City's "West Side" and is served mainly by small neighborhood streets.
Downtown Carson City and the West Side are all easily explored on foot. The Kit Carson Trail, a route of blue lines and bronze medallions on the sidewalk, guides the visitor past a variety of historic and cultural attractions.
- 1 Nevada State Capitol, 101 N Carson St. M-F 8AM-5PM. free.
- 2 Nevada State Museum, 600 N Carson St (Corner of Lincoln Hwy and Robinson St), ☏ , toll-free: . T-Su 08:30-16:30. Housed in the old Carson City mint with exhibits about the mint, Nevada and its people. $8/adult, children free.
- 3 Brewery Arts Center, 449 W King St, ☏ .
- 4 Nevada Governor Mansion, 606 N Mountain St, ☏ . Only open for tours on Nevada day (last Sat of Oct). Built over a hundred years ago.
- 5 Nevada State Railroad Museum, 2180 S Carson St (U.S. Highway 395, at Fairview Dr, near the south end of Carson City), ☏ . Th-M 09:00-16:30. $8/adult, children free.
- 6 Stewart Indian School, 5500 Snyder Ave, ☏ (main), (on-site audio tour).
Carson City is the only Nevada city purchasing open space with a dedicated tax source. Those open spaces are in the process of coming online, however outdoor activity is still available in abundance in the area.
If you win...
Chances are that, if you win it big in Carson City and you are not a U.S. citizen your winnings will be subject to a 30% withholding tax from the Internal Revenue Service. That $10,000 slot winning can dwindle quite quickly if that is taken off the top. Not to worry though you can reclaim your gambling winnings tax through a 1042-S form. You should get this from the casino so don't lose it: it is your starting ticket to getting your gambling winnings back.
- 1 Casino Fandango, 3800 S. Carson St., ☏ .
- 2 Carson Nugget Casino Hotel, ☏ (Casino), toll-free: (Hotel).
- 3 Gold Dust West Carson City, toll-free: . Slots and sports book, no tables. Also has a 32-lane bowling center.
- 4 Bodines Casino, 5650 S Carson St, ☏ .
- 5 Eagle Valley Golf Course, 3999 Centennial Park Dr, ☏ . 6:30am-8:30pm.
- 6 Empire Ranch Golf Course, 1875 Fair Way, ☏ .
- 7 Silver Oak Golf Club, 1251 Country Club Dr, ☏ . Exciting golf course in the hills surrounding Lake Tahoe.
- 8 Mills Park (Highway 50 & Roop Street). Summer kiddie train, events pavilion.
- 9 Fuji Park, 601 Old Clear Creek Rd (South Carson Street and Clear Creek Road, near the Douglas County Line). Playground, stream.
- 10 Washoe Lake State Park, ☏ . 24 hrs. Day use $5/vehicle.
Carson City is not known for its shopping. You should be able to find any general merchandise you require along Carson Street or Highway 50. Downtown Carson City just near the capitol complex features a variety of small shops.
- 1 El Charro Avitia, 4389 S. Carson St, ☏ . Very good Mexican food.
- 2 Cracker Box Diner, 402 E William St, ☏ . 6AM-2PM. American breakfast open til 2PM.
- 3 Adele's, 1112 North Carson St. A local institution of fine dining and a place to be seen.
- San Rafael Coffee Company (Coffee, Espresso Drinks, Pastries), 711 South Carson Street #3 (Main Street and 8th), ☏ . 6AM-6PM. Serves hand roasted coffee, espresso drinks and pastries.
- 4 The Fox Brew Pub, 310 S Carson St (Southern end of town), ☏ . Summer hours 9AM, Winter hours: Su-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM. Old English-style pub that makes their own microbrews. Mid level pricing.
- 5 Comma Coffee, 312 S Carson St, ☏ . Coffee shop that has a unique atmosphere with knickknacks, books, and artwork everywhere in a historic building with courtyard. Live music, jam sessions, and a monthly open mic. They serve breakfast, soups, sandwiches, organic coffee, Italian and French sodas.
- 1 Wyndham Garden Max Casino (formerly Best Western Carson Station Hotel/Casino), 900 S Carson St, ☏ , toll-free: (reservations), fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
- Best Western Pinon Plaza Resort, 2171 US Highway 50 E, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
- Best Western Trailside Inn, 1300 N Carson St, ☏ , fax: .
- 2 Courtyard Carson City, 3870 S Carson St, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Courtyard by Marriott Carson City is next door to Casino Fandango and Galaxy Cineplex.
- 3 Days Inn, 3103 North Carson St., ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
- 4 Hardman House Inn & Suites, 917 North Carson St (downtown, north of the State House), ☏ , fax: . Check-out: 11AM. Clean, friendly, and reasonably priced, this hotel in the downtown is a bit more expensive than its immediate neighbors, but is in excellent condition and offers amenities such as free wireless internet, continental breakfast, cookies and wine (!) at reception, and covered parking.
- 5 Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 4055 N. Carson St, ☏ .
- 6 Motel 6, 2749 S Carson St, ☏ , fax: .
- Lake Tahoe. Just over Spooner Summit at the south end of town, via Highway 50 West (completely different road than the popular "Highway 50" Williams Street), is Lake Tahoe. Carson City is a direct route to South Lake Tahoe and the Stateline casino area, as well as Heavenly ski area and the rest of what Lake Tahoe has to offer.
- Nevada Outback. The other way on Highway 50 East, Williams Street, you find the Nevada outback. This region of basins and ranges is perhaps best explored via Highway 50. Overnight trips work best for anything beyond Sand Mountain, which lies outside Fallon. Other things to see along the Highway 50 corridor include Fort Churchill State Park, Lahontan Reservoir, and the historic diametric opposite central Nevada mining towns of Austin and Eureka.
- Carson Valley. South along 395, the Carson Valley is home to Genoa, Nevada's oldest settlement (established as Mormon Station in 1851), as well as the towns of Minden and Gardnerville. Gardnerville is home to some Basque food and downtown Minden is quaint and picturesque. Kingsbury Grade climbs the Sierra west of Carson Valley to Lake Tahoe, and is the Nevada side entrance to Heavenly Ski Resort.
|Routes through Carson City|
|to Alturas ← Reno ←||N S||→ ends → Minden → Bishop|
|Sacramento ← Stateline ←||W E||→ Silver Springs → Ely|