Gardnerville Nevada, and its sister town of Minden, are terrific road trip destinations. There are many cities near Lake Tahoe, including these two, that are worth a look during any Tahoe vacation. If you want a taste of the history of this area, look no further than Gardnerville and Minden Nevada. Located in the Carson Valley, southeast of Stateline, these two towns have a very different history, but grew together as time went on. Today, these towns are known for being located along three of the most scenic highways in the west. To relax in a sleepy Nevada town, spend a night or two in Minden hotels before continuing on to the beauty of Lake Tahoe.
Gardnerville Nevada was founded in the 1860s as a farm town. It developed as a new home for the agricultural population, instead of the established town of Genoa at the food of the Sierra Mountains. Minden Nevada was settled later, in 1905, as a result of the railroad. Minden has a different look than Gardnerville—it is much more orderly with its street grids and lovely central park. Over the years, a variety of influences changed the character of these towns. Casino workers from Lake Tahoe who couldn’t afford the expensive prices of the lake moved here, and Minden hotels opened to serve the sheepherders in the region.
Today, these Minden hotels are one of the biggest attractions to the quiet area. The Carson Valley Inn is located at the intersection of three of the most beautiful highways in the west. This Inn and restaurants make Minden Nevada a convenient place to stop for a night or two if you are exploring the area. The Carson Valley Inn isn’t your typical sleepy inn either; it is a modern hotel with a casino and gourmet restaurant. As a result of these amenities, the Carson Valley Inn has earned a reputation as one of the best places (both strategically and for comfort) to spend a night in the area.
Hotels in Gardnerville have also developed a reputation. Basque hotels and restaurants are located in Gardnerville Nevada and have transported traditions that once served the sheepherders at the base of the Pyrenees. The concept works brilliantly in Gardnerville, where these hotels became known for being affordable and for serving delicious hearty meals. They are often family-run and the first servings each evening go to the people who are renting a room. Over time, these restaurants became attractions in themselves. If you’re looking for hearty, homemade food in a no-fuss environment, check out the Basque restaurants at the south end of town.
The most famous attraction in town is Sharkey’s a well-known, small Nevada town casino. The Adaven Hotel is a recently refurbished inn with seven suites. If you’re looking for a little exercise or are traveling with kids, check out Lampe Park, located south of town, where a playground and tennis courts are located. Two restaurants in town have a reputation for excellent food: The J-T and The Overland. Beyond great food, these restaurants are also known for local specialty cocktails. Skip your regular beer and try a Picon Punch. For a taste of old Nevada, check out these restaurants and the towns of Gardnerville and Minden. It’s a terrific way to add some history to your trip to Lake Tahoe.
Image: Town of Gardnerville