Ultimate Carson Valley Bucket List: 20 Must Do’s

Fathers Day in Genoa

The new year brings with it ‘peak’ opportunities to venture off the beaten path, and lesser-known gems ready to be discovered. Whether you’re looking for a new travel bucket list, or simply want a fun challenge in a place you’ve already visited, we have exactly what you need.

Make this the year of adventure and create your own legendary experience by attempting to complete the Ultimate Carson Valley Bucket List: 20 must do’s.

We’ve put together some must-try bucket list places, experiences, and activities for you to try at least once this year in Carson Valley. Can you do it?

  1. Tour Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park Dangberg Home RanchOnce home to the founder of the Town of Minden, Dangberg Home Ranch is full of stories and artifacts from Nevada’s past. Hear the history of the valley unfold on a guided tour through the ranch house that was built between 1857 and 1917. Visit here for more information on special events, exhibits, tours and more.
  2. Grab a drink at Genoa Bar Outside of the Genoa BarServing since 1853, there’s no surprise that a trip into Nevada’s oldest thirst parlor makes it into the bucket list. Belly up to the bar and hear about the bar’s old wives tales. Featuring a pool table, ghost stories, authentic western memorabilia, and world famous Bloody Mary’s, you won’t go home thirsty.
  3. Shop Main Street Gardnerville Shopping bagsMain Street Gardnerville houses an unassuming collection of independent boutiques, antique shops, and sidewalk galleries. Walk the street, and step into each door. You’ll be attracted to the mix of new locally owned businesses to historic establishments. The street experience is part vintage-finds, part locally-sourced gifts, and part one-of-a-kind stocked items.
  4. Take to the Trails

    Mountain Biker on Trails above Carson Valley

    Photo by First Tracks Productions

    Learn the land firsthand. Hike or bike any of the 54 miles of trails from the Carson Valley Trails Association. This activity is well worth the treat of seeing sweet valley views.

  5. Taste Carson Valley Places to dine in Carson ValleyTime to dine! When it comes time to eat, Carson Valley has plates to satisfy every foodie’s pallet. We have compiled a recommended list of the top 15 places to try during your bucket list adventures. After picking just one, your taste buds will fight to taste them all. Read the list of top places to eat and dine at in Carson Valley.
  6. Take a Wildlife Tour
    Wild horses

    Photo by John T. Humphrey Photography

    Outdoor adventure and wildlife sit at the steps of Carson Valley. Venture out with one of our many skilled, knowledgeable local guides to view everything from wild horses to raptors. Enjoy learning about those who inhabit the valley’s backyard. Visit our website here to select a tour, book a guide and get started.

  7. Tour and Tasting at Minden Mill DistillingOutside out Bently Heritage Schedule your tour of this world class distillery, and stay after to taste pure splendor. Historically, the Minden Flour Mill has been a recognizable icon in Carson Valley since it was built here in 1906. The mill and silos are newly open and house a single-malt distillery, signature cocktail bar, and tours. Take a behind the scenes look at the detailed passion that is poured into creating ultra-premium spirits from locally sourced ingredients.
  8. Cook with Sierra Chef Cooking class at Sierra ChefTake a cooking class with Sierra Chef. Ever heard of the Ferris Wheel? Proprietress Cynthia Ferris-Bennett will give you a history lesson and a cooking lesson all at the same time. From bagels to ravioli, don’t leave without tasting her homemade cannoli! Check out her list of classes and wine dinners here.
  9. Attend a ClassicChristmas lights at the park Experience town traditions for yourself and celebrate like a local. Whether you’re here for three days kicking off Christmas, Gardnerville’s Fall Festival, or the many summer concerts and movies in the park, you’ll find a plethora of down-home events to attend. There is always a reason to visit. Find yours on our signature events.
  10. Indulge at the Chocolate ShoppeChocolate pieces Half way through the list, it’s time to treat yo’ self. You’ve earned it. Indulge in a handmade sweet treat from the Chocolate Shoppe. Year-round themes and fun take place in this local spot that are sure to indulge your sweet tooth.
  11. Spend time at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center Troy Wright Museum and Cultural Center The Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center designated the Edwin L. Wiegand Ranching & Agricultural Heritage Exhibit. Spend some time learning more about unique aspects of early life and important stepping stones in Carson Valley’s past.
  12. View the Valley from AboveGlider above Carson Valley It’s time to fly. Try an above ground activity to get a different view of the magnificent landscape that encompasses this valley. Spring is the perfect Sierra Wave ride time. Go 3,000 ft above the ground with SoaringNV in a motorless glider. Looking for an invigorating winter activity? Hop in a Carson Valley winter hot air balloon ride with Balloon Nevada/Lake Tahoe Balloons. Don’t want to stay in the sky? Take the leap with Skydive Lake Tahoe. Book your adventure today and get ready for a thrill in legendary Carson Valley fashion.
  13. Visit Mormon Station State ParkMormon State Park in Genoa Located in downtown Genoa, Mormon Station is the site of Nevada’s first permanent settlement. During your visit to this state park you’ll notice a reconstructed replica trading post of the original that used to stand. Gather on the lush lawns in this always open park with friends and family and enjoy time spent in historic Genoa. You’re sure to catch sight of a herd of the resident Mule deer.
  14. “Honk 4 Berries” at Jacob’s Family Berry Farm Jacobs Berry FarmIn this place you can’t help but feel the history of the farm while you’re out among the berry bushes. You’ll see the beautiful chandelier inside the magnificent 120-year-old barn. During harvest season the farm grows black and red raspberries and blackberries. When you drive onto the property keep an eye out for the fresh berries sign and honk when you arrive, a simple but time honored tradition.
  15. Play a Board Game at Heritage Park GardensChess board at Heritage ParkHeritage Park in Gardnerville has life-sized game boards for chess and checkers players. This playable life-size activity isn’t the only activity this park offers. Be sure to check out the park’s garden, Bocce Ball courts, and walk the labyrinth.
  16. Golf Nine Holes or more

    Photo by Under Par Adventures

    For serious golf players out there, those who enjoy time on the green or wanting to introduce a friend to the game, pick one of our four championship golf courses to play your nine or eighteen holes. With 300 days of sunshine, golf is a year-round activity in Carson Valley. Want to try something different? Discover disc golf or the indoor golf location today. It’s game-on at any of these four golf courses: Carson Valley Golf Course, Genoa Lakes Golf Club, Sunridge Golf and Recreations, and The Ranch Course at Genoa Lakes. (Tip: near the golf course in genoa Nevada, you’ll find the oldest watering hole.)

  17. Soak in the Hot Springs
    Hot spring in winter

    Photo by @Karlee_Photography_115

    This is the place to warm-up, relax, unplug from everyday life, and rejuvenate. Soak in the resort’s five mineral hot spring tubs and delight in the newly remodeled Holiday Inn Club Vacations David Walley’s Resort. Stay for a meal at 1862 Walley’s Saloon, one of our 15 can’t miss dining locations.

  18. Tackle Topaz
    Topaz Lake

    Photo by John & Sharrie Flaherty

    A water enthusiast’s dream, Topaz Lake sets the stage, occupying over 90-acres of shoreline for water sports, boating and fishing. With no limits to what the water at Topaz offers, select any sport for this bucket list adventure! Here are some ideas: angler’s can catch prized rainbow trout, boaters can use the launch ramp making way for water skiers to catch a joy ride, or cruise around with your paddleboard.

  19. Attend a Concert at TJ’s Corral TJs CorralKick-off concert season underneath the valley’s summer sunset. With past performers such as Chris Young, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Ted Nugent, Clint Black, and more, you’ll want to see who hits the stage this round. View the concert lineup here.
  20. Experience Carson Valley Together
    Kids looking at the mountains

    Photo by Chris Dickerson

    Are you roaring to travel with 10 or more of your close friends or associates? Carson Valley takes pride in 22 group facilities. Tie your visit in with any of the other 19 bucket list ideas and you’re well on your way to legendary bingo, experience style. 

Make sure to share your completed list with us by using the hashtag #WhyCV when you post on social.