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Nevada’s ‘WildWest’ - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

If you are dreaming of the ultimate summer adventure then head to Nevada. This is a place where opulence meets the stunning, unique, rugged wilderness.

If someone says Nevada you no doubt think about the bright lights of Las Vegas. While there are plenty of reasons to linger in this larger than life metropolis, venture past the city and you’ll discover a wealth of sagebrush plains, mammoth mountains and plentiful parks peppered across the state. It’s a place where those Western movie dreams are brought to life, where those iconic Wild West images of freedom, cowboys and Indians and wealth inducing gold mines come true.

Appearing like a neon mirage from the dusty Nevada desert, Las Vegas is the bright, beating heart of the state. However this celebrated city isn’t just about gambling and excess, there’s culture everywhere, hidden in plain sight. Downtown Las Vegas is drenched in history yet infused with new developments. You can watch a Broadway show, enjoy the ballet or let the soothing sounds of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra wash over you at the Smith Centre for Performing Arts. If the darker side of Vegas catches your attention, you can chart the rise of US gangsters at the Mob Museum. If you want maximum excitement then head to the 160m ‘High Roller’, the world’s tallest observation wheel, from which you’ll have sweeping views of the dazzling Strip below. After a day of exploring, either spend your nights in the non-gaming Mandarin Oriental, which offers omnipresent extravagance, including spacious suites and panoramic floor to ceiling windows. Or head to the Bellagio, just make sure you pay for a room at the front overlooking the famous fountains, one of life’s must do’s.

Beyond the lavishness of Vegas there’s plenty more to discover. ‘Cowboy Country’, as the north is known, is where luxury meets the Wild West. The 1, 544ft high city of Elko though, with its Old West cordiality, is where the real wranglers work and play. Here you can trek up the snow-capped Ruby Mountains, called the ‘Alps of Nevada’. A moderate hike will take you past alpine lakes where white powder still carpets the ground in summer. There are also lots of chances to hunt, fish, boat, and camp in and around Elko, as well as the chance to enjoy the area’s Basque heritage through its cuisine. Then drive on north and discover Jarbidge, a historic mining town in the depths of a wild canyon. Or head east to West Wendover where you can see and touch World War 2 bombers at the Historic Wendover Airfield.

If you want an equine adventure, head to Nevada’s Mustang Monument, an eco-resort and wild horse sanctuary. A magnificent blend of nature and calmness, the reserve supports the 600 wild horses that roam the vast mountain ranges of Wells. You’ll ride, observe and learn about these beautiful creatures by day before embarking on an off-road safari, try your hand at archery and taking calf roping lessons. If you’re still feeling active, then why not hike through 2, 300 sq km of untamed wilderness and discover the Spruce Mountains and Goshute Valley? It’s from here that you can explore the region’s flowing creeks and scenic vistas led by a knowledgeable guide. Combine that with tales of the Wild West and you’re in for a trip of a lifetime. In the evenings, you relax around a campfire back at Mustang Monument and eat gourmet cuisine while hearing fascinating stories about the area. When you’re ready for bed, your luxurious five star tipi awaits. Draped with Native American rugs, this outback chic retreat is where grandeur meets wide west Nevada.

It's not the trip most people think of when you say Las Vegas but it will enthral everybody you tell.

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