Sparks Nevada

Sparks Nevada is a city that is fast making a name for itself on the tourism front. A neighbor of popular Reno, this former railroad town has at least one high-rise casino of its own, and its oft-lively Victorian Square district plays host to numerous open-air events throughout the year. These events include the Hometown Farmers Market, which takes up a large portion of Victorian Square every Thursday during the summer season.

Sparks NV is often referred to as a sister city of Reno, and together, the two cities essentially form one larger twin city. In regards to other regional cities, the capital of Nevada, Carson City, lies approximately 30 miles to the south. This makes for a lot of tourism options, and it only gets better when you consider the fact that Lake Tahoe also calls this area home. In Reno, the numerous casinos can fill hours on end, and Carson City offers plenty for the cultural buff. As for Lake Tahoe, the boating, hiking, and skiing opportunities are about as good as can be.

Las Vegas and Reno get most of the attention when it comes to gambling in Nevada, and there is good reason for this. Both cities are home to numerous casino resorts that are of considerable quality. That doesn't mean that Sparks visitors have to plan a side trip if they want to tempt Lady Luck, however. The city is home to a fine casino resort of its own. Known as John Ascuaga's Nugget, this casino resort at 1100 Nugget Avenue offers 24-hour gaming, and visitors can enjoy a variety of industry favorites when it comes to both the table games and the slots. It's not all about the gambling at John Ascuaga's Nugget, however. The dining and entertainment options are quite extensive, and the full-service hotel offers excellent rooms at a very reasonable price.

The fact that Sparks NV tourism is on the rise owes much to the city's events calendar. The pedestrian-only district of Victorian Square sets the stage for most of the local events, such as the Hometown Farmer's Market. Other popular Sparks Nevada events include Hot August Nights and the Best in the West Rib Cook-off. Hot August Nights takes place in August and runs for about a week. The festivities revolve largely around classic car shows, and there are various side parties and concerts to take in. As for the Best in the West Rib Cook-off, it kicks off on Labor Day weekend and runs for about six days. Rib cookers from all over put their talents on display during this tasty event, and you can bet that they attract a healthy amount of hungry visitors.

Sparks Nevada maintains a wonderful parks and recreation system, so visitors can indulge in a variety of fun sporting activities. One of the most popular attractions in terms of outdoor recreation is the Sparks Marina Park. This park at 300 Howard Drive is just a few miles from the Sparks's downtown core and stays open year round. Thanks to the 80-acre lake at Sparks Marina Park, boating, fishing, and swimming are among the most popular activity options. Visitors can also try some windsurfing or scuba diving, and when staying on dry land is the aim, the two-mile walking trail might prove tempting. Volleyball courts, a playground, and a dog park also figure among the Sparks Marina Park amenities.

More than 50 Nevada and California golf courses can be found within an hour's drive of Sparks, so teeing it up for a round or more can be part of the vacation picture. Also worth contemplating during a visit to Sparks NV are the outlet shops that are found at the Legends at Sparks Marina and the fun family activities that can be enjoyed at the Wild Island Family Adventure Park. Among other things, Wild Island features a waterpark and a miniature golf course, and you can find it at 250 Wild Island Ct.

While the JA Nugget can be a great place to stay while visiting Sparks Nevada, it isn't the only lodging option. Both the Sparks hotels and the Reno hotels offer quite a lot in the way of accommodations, with the area chain brands and motels providing the most cost-effective lodging options. Golfers might move the Resort at Red Hawk to the top of their lists when trying to find a place to stay. Found at 6590 North Wingfield Parkway, this predominantly golf-based resort features two championship golf courses. One of the courses was designed by Robert Trent Jones, and the other by Hale Irwin.

Image: Roadsidepictures (flickr)

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