The Pacific Ocean never looked more pacific than this.
Most people know that Reno, Las Vegas‘ little brother, was once the gambling capital of the United States until late 60’s.
Most people from the 80’s will also know that the super fun movie Sister Act was filmed here…
And finally, I think most people will know that Reno is where Levi Strauss Jeans got the first fabric for its jeans with copper rivets, thus creating the famous brand.
But I bet, Dear Reader, here I have 9 (just because I didn’t want to give the typical ’10 things…’) things that you don’t know about this cute little city
This is the Bald Rock Dome, located in the Plumas National Forest in California.
Virginia City is truly enchanting… it’s like jumping back in time to the old mining for gold and silver days.
On our trip towards Northern California, Travel Buddy and I stopped at this lovely town as a vivid suggestion of Mr. Ames and His Excellency Kevin Baugh. His Excellency advised us to have a nice burger at the Ponderosa Saloon and then sign up for the Underground Mine Tour.
This is the saloon
Mines and tours are particularly popular here (and there are so many!) because back in the 1850’s Virginia City was riddled with tunnels dug by miners seeking gold and silver.
Back then the Best & Belcher mine was a defunct mine so the owners of the Ponderosa Saloon saw as a possible touristic attraction if they could find a way to reach it from their bar. They then started digging a shaft and tunnels from the bar all the way to the dead mine.
The mine isn’t particularly long and the tour covers only a small portion of it. It is basically what you can expect from a Far West mine, very dark, filled with wooden beams that hang very low (you should always watch out even with your yellow mine hat), humid and fresh.
It is indeed a very cute experience 🙂 worth the 8 dollars. It’s a must-do.
Virginia City, the city where Mark Twain began submitting articles and stories to the Territorial Enterprise, is a beautifully old must-see attraction in Nevada state that is considered to be one the most haunted place of the United States. I am not kidding.
There are at least 23 ghost stories going around, taking place in the clubs.
Some of the ghost stories took place on the famous steam train. The Virginia City steam train still operates and is a modern-day touristic attraction, not only for the tour it does but because of the haunting experience…
Stanito is very fond of good food and spices that enrich flavors. Being Italian and Chilean this becomes a pretty obvious treat.
So when Mr. Ames told her that on our road trip there would be a place called Onion Valley, Stanito’s eyes sparkled of joy.
Onion Valley is located in Northern California in the Plumas County and few miles north of Gibsonville, close to Pilot Peak. The elevation is about 9,000 ft.
The name is curious, it was discovered in 1850 by some 100 visitors who named it after having seen the wild onions carpeting the valley. They came here looking for gold, of course, and only a year later, 1851, the rich diggins increased the population to 1,500 people. They explored the gold but not the onions… so Stanito hoped to find some.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find them this time …
We originally planned a trip to Yosemite which did not turn out to be due to lack of time and love for crowds of tourists.
However, Northern California presented us an equally valuable and impressive canyon off the beaten track
North California as our friend The Velvet Rocket tells us has a number of hidden gems where tourists are hardly seen which is great for those precious moments when you wish you can take pictures without any interruption or screen annoyance 🙂
Location is secret 😉
A must-do picture moment if you pass through Reno, the biggest little gambling city in the world, is the big shiny sign in the middle of the main street.
Reason why Stanito and Travel Buddy stopped here is because of the significance this city had until late 90’s in terms of fun and gambling. Plus, one of Stanito’s favourite movies, Sister Act, was partly filmed here 🙂
Stanito and Travel Buddy are on the road again looking for new untapped spots and adventures starting with California.
As it is fairly common to see them, bears are big part of the memorabilia of California as you find them on restaurant names, souvenirs, posters.
Bears are on street signs
And in welcoming fashion photo poses