Virginia City, United States
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clock-o7 hours (Approx.)
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Overview

Go back in time to the old Wild West on this tour from South Lake Tahoe to Virginia City, Nevada, including a train ride on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. With a guide, you’ll start your day trip by minibus, driving along part of the Pony Express. When you reach Virginia City, a National Historic Landmark District, take a 6.5-mile round-trip train ride before enjoying free time in town to explore at your leisure, perhaps visiting museums or a historical saloon. 
  • Day trip from Lake Tahoe to Virginia City, Nevada
  • Travel along part of the Pony Express trail to Nevada’s oldest city
  • Take a ride on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad
  • Picture yourself in the mining days of the 1800s as you stroll down the Main Street historic district
  • Visit museums and historic mansions, if you wish (own expense)
  • Learn about the region’s geology, history and wildlife from a knowledgeable guide
Your day trip begins as you depart South Lake Tahoe with your driver/guide by minibus, with seats that recline and large windows that provide views of the mountain scenery during the approximate 90-minute drive across the state line to Virginia City, Nevada.
During the drive, which passes through Carson City, Nevada’s state capital, listen to commentary from your guide about the area’s local animal life, plant life, geology and mining history during the days of the Wild West. Travel along a portion of the old Pony Express, the route from the 1860s that transported mail across the United States, before arriving in Virginia City, which began when the country’s first major silver deposit was discovered.
Hop off the minibus at the Virginia & Truckee Railroad station for your 6.5-mile (10.5-km) round-trip train ride that takes you to the town of Gold Hill and back. During the journey, learn about the history of the railroad, which dates back to 1869. After your train ride, you have about 2.5 hours of free time in Virginia City to spend at your leisure. Explore the historic district, listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, and admire 19th-century buildings that line Main Street like the opera house and historical saloons. Perhaps check out a museum or two, such as the Firemen’s Museum or Mark Twain Museum, or have lunch at a local eatery. (All entrance fees, food and drinks are at your own expense.)
At the end of your free time, re-board the minibus for the return drive to South Lake Tahoe, where your day trip ends.

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

4.5
45 Reviews
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t
, Oct 2017

Great Bus driver - told all about what we saw. Great Train conductor. Relaxing, delightful.

M
, Oct 2017

The tour was interesting and the tour guide was very knowledgeable about the South Lake Tahoe area and the history surrounding it. The train ride in Virginia City was only 35 minutes and the train volunteer talked about the mines and the overall history of Virginia City. All in all the tour was relaxing and fun. We had 2-1/2 hours to eat lunch, shop and explore Virginia City on our own before boarding the tour van back to South Lake Tahoe. I would highly recommend this tour for anyone new to the area and first time visitors.

A
, Sep 2017

Guide on bus was !Train ride was very short. Would have enjoyed more information on what to see in Virginia City, rather than being dropped in shopping area.

S
, Sep 2017

Enjoyed going back in time and visiting what it would have been like during the Gold Rush days. Virginia City is small quaint western town with several good restaurants and lots of unique shopping stores. Also enjoyed hearing the history of the area from Lake Tahoe to Virginia City. The train ride is short but gives you the true flavor of the past which was very enjoyable. Visited Carson City and saw some historical sites there as well. I would recommend this trip to anyone visiting the area.

H
, Sep 2017

This was a fun tour to do. Our driver/guide was knowledgeable in the history of the area from the time we left South Lake Tahoe until we arrived at Virginia City and then back again. The short train ride had great views of the mining areas and we even saw a few wild Mustang horses roaming the terrain. Virginia City takes you back in time with the wood planked sidewalks and all the saloons and other historical buildings. If you've never been before it is a day trip to enjoy and if you have been, go again!

J
, Jul 2017

Very enjoyable. Informative info both on the ride to Virginia City and also on the train ride.

V
, Jun 2017

This was a mixed bag. Our driver took us a roundabout way to Viriginia City. He stated it was not the most direct route. It was twisty with a lot of road construction. It was a bit warm on the bus, but he stated out loud he didn't think we needed any air conditioning on the way out so made it hard to ask for him to turn it on. Several of our group felt pretty car sick. The ride back on the direct route with the A/C on was fine. The train ride was nice and loved that we had almost 3 hours in the city. Been on these types before where we get maybe 60 minutes and no time to see anything. We had time to eat, shop and tour the church and the old school. Would have liked the extra half hour we wasted taking the long route too.

P
, Jun 2017

Bus ride was interesting and informative but, despite the photo, don't expect a steam train ride - we had a small diesel loco.

s
, Oct 2016

My husband loved Bonanza tv show. So I booked this trip. Train ride was interesting but the seats were too hard. I was taught a lot of trivia from our coach driver. Interesting trip.

D
, Oct 2016

It was everything I'd thought it would be and more. The bus driver was fantastic and it was one of the most informative and fun trips that I have ever taken.


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