Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Gardnerville, NV

  • Published 2022/08/12

Gardnerville is the ideal destination for travelers seeking an idyllic vacation in a small town.

It’s full of history, charming shops, and casinos for lively entertainment.

This town has become a steady source of picturesque mountain scenery close to the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Outdoor opportunities, like hiking and horseback riding, are also popular ventures in Gardnerville.

Established in 1879, the town has come a long way as a tourist destination.

Visit old buildings, pick up berries on a historic farm, and taste distinct cuisines within this cozy town.

You can also do many other activities, so read on to discover the best things to do in Gardnerville, Nevada.

Take a Risk in Sharkey’s Casino

Exterior of Sharkey’s Casino

Gchapel /

Located inside a historic building, Sharkey’s Casino has existed since the 1890s.

The venue used to be a famous saloon, near other local businesses like the drugstore, blacksmith shop, and mortuary.

This historic building thrives as an exciting cafe and casino in Northern Nevada.

It features a rustic, Western country-style décor with wooden furnishings and vintage wall trinkets.

You can place your bets in the sports book area or try your luck with their assortment of colorful slot machines.

Afterward, you can grab a bite at Jackpot Cafe, an on-site restaurant that provides all kinds of meals.

Drop by Sharkey’s Casino along US Highway 395!

Join Community Events at Heritage Park

Heritage Park offers one of the best leisure destinations in town.

This park is a splendid spot for picnics with the family with well-maintained plains and open gardens.

An exciting feature of the park is its life-sized checkers and chess board, offering a fun twist to the beloved game.

Heritage Park also holds a Farmer’s Market every Wednesday.

It’s a great way to try local products and meet people from Gardnerville’s local community.

Aside from the market, other events like movie showings, fun runs, and holiday events often happen in the area.

It’s not just about leisure in Heritage Park; fun events also make up a considerable part of its popularity.

See what this diverse park has to offer at Courthouse Alley.

Hike the Fay-Luther Trail System

The Fay-Luther Trail System is a series of connected loops and trails.

Along Foothill Road, this trail system takes you along the nature-centric side of Gardnerville.

You’ll find pine forests, loose soils, diverse bushes, and all kinds of nature’s wonders along the trails.

Backdrops of the Carson Range, Pine Nut Range, and Carson Valley also add to the hiking experience.

Interpretive signs along the trail will guide and teach you a bit about your natural surroundings.

Learn some trivia about various types of trees, wild plants, and vibrant flowers you pass through the path.

All in all, the Fay-Luther Trail System features a modern level of terrain that all kinds of hikers can enjoy.

For those who enjoy nature, this trail is worth a try!

Ride a Horse at Sheridan Creek Equestrian Center

Established in 2003, Sheridan Creek Equestrian Center offers several types of horseback riding lessons.

Kids, teenagers, and adults can pick from this center’s packages and start their horseback riding adventure.

You can learn in a facilitated indoor arena or experience the outdoors through an equestrian trail tour.

They have trained all their horses well and take good care of them.

If you like, they can also teach you how to take care of horses properly, groom them, and keep them in good shape.

They’ll also provide you with all the necessary tools and equipment so you can safely ride their horses.

Situated along Centerville Lane, this venue offers a fun activity to try in small-town Gardnerville.

Those who have never ridden a horse should try Sheridan Creek Equestrian Center!

Unwind at Carson Valley Golf Course

Golf is a popular sport that lets you unwind and relax amid tranquil, nature-rich locations.

One of the best things about the Carson Valley Golf Course is that it’s affordable.

There’s no need to pay for long-time membership fees.

Even as a budget-friendly course, the well-maintained terrains feature a vast area of verdant plains.

Its terrain may seem simple, but water traps and sand pits make it more challenging to score goals.

Along Riverview Drive, this course hosts friendly golf tournaments and professional lessons from veteran golf players.

Likewise, the course retains pristine, peaceful terrains with stunning backdrops of snow-capped mountains and flowing river streams.

Book a tee time and enjoy endless views at Carson Valley Golf Course.

Make a Bet in Wa She Shu Casino

There’s no doubt that Nevada has its fair share of entertainment casinos.

Wa She Shu Casino is one of Gardnerville’s star casinos, offering over 130 types of games for locals and travelers to enjoy.

A partnership between the Washoe Tribe and the Poarch Creek people of Alabama helped establish this entertainment venue.

You can find the casino at US Highway 395, boasting a simple, cozy feel with an elegant allure.

From bingo and card sharks to sportsbooks and slot machines, there are loads of games to try in Wa She Shu Casino.

They also own a full-service restaurant, serving meals from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to drinks and desserts.

If you’re ever feeling lucky, try your luck at this local casino!

Find Old Artifacts in Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center

Exterior of Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center

Jennifer Cooper, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center is an easy choice of destination if you’re interested in town history.

Built in 1995, the museum stands along the length of Suite B.

It contains an array of well-preserved antiques, traditional-themed artworks, and handmade replicas of old equipment.

You’ll find items that reflect diverse cultures from Native Americans, Basque immigrants, and first settlers of the county.

There are also themed exhibits of important events that affected the area’s growth and development.

Finally, visiting the museum’s quaint gift shop is the perfect way to end your visit.

Take home classic souvenirs like books, postcards, and novelty mugs from the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center!

Roll a Strike in Wink’s Silver Strike Lanes

Along Kimmerly Road, you’ll find a venue for the classic sport, bowling.

Wink’s Silver Strike Lanes feature various amenities to cater to many people’s preferences in bowling.

Enjoy private rooms, standard public lanes, and vibrant disco bowling on Saturday nights.

Wink’s Silver Strike Lanes has a fully stocked bar, lounge, and snack stall.

Refreshing drinks and tasty meals should complement the entire gaming experience.

It’s a great way to spend time and bond with family, friends, or other social groups!

Treat your people to this classic activity and knock down some pins!

Try the Amenities at Ranchos Aspen Park

Right off the streets of Muir and Lyell, Ranchos Aspen Park is a 17-acre venue for several types of activities.

This park is home to baseball fields, sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, and a soccer field, perfect for those into dynamic sports.

You can also bring kids because the place has two types of structured playgrounds.

Pavilions, picnic tables, and BBQ grills make it possible to have a pleasant meal outdoors.

If you’re unsure where to go in Gardnerville, this peaceful park is a safe place to visit.

Whether you come for leisure or sports, Ranchos Aspen Park has your back!

Pick Some Berries at Jacobs Family Berry Barn

Jacobs Family Berry Barn takes the meaning of fresh fruits to another level.

Primarily a wedding venue, this beautifully restored barn transforms into a paradise of berries from July to October.

First built in the 1800s, the farm underwent restoration in 2002, preserving much of its old rustic charm.

During certain months, they’ll open the gardens that contain over 1000 types of berry plants.

You can pick berries, often blackberries or raspberries.

Roam through abundant plants and take home vibrant and sweet berries!

Other than those fruits, Jacobs Family Berry Barn also sells homemade honey and jam.

Taste the Meals in JT Basque Bar and Dining Room

JT Basque Bar and Dining Room may look like a simple restaurant from the outside, but don’t let its looks fool you.

Inside, the bar has kept its old-style allure, reminiscent of esteemed Victorian architecture.

You’ll see intricately patterned wallpapers, carpeted floors, and many wall decorations.

The building has a rich history.

Built in 1896, the JT Basque Bar and Dining Room has existed for more than 100 years.

It once acted as a hotel, a saloon, a dining hall.

Today, it is a fully stocked bar.

Aside from history and decor, this restaurant also prioritizes the quality of its meals using locally sourced and organic ingredients.

With all these in mind, it’s no surprise that JT Basque Bar & Dining Room has become a local favorite.

Feast and drink like a local at this historic bar!

See the Flowers at Jobs Peak Ranch Trailhead

You can find an outdoor adventure in Gardnerville at Five Creek Road.

The place is the Jobs Peak Ranch Trailhead.

When you go there, you’ll find the beginning of elevated terrain, close to a residential area.

It provides a plethora of vibrant native plants and flora and a backdrop of stunning mountains.

Jobs Peak Ranch Trailhead becomes particularly beautiful in the fall, as plants turn into shades of mellow hues.

It’s a hidden gem of nature, the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts.

If you’re searching for a haven away from the noise, head to Jobs Peak Ranch Trailhead and immerse in the feel of nature!

Explore Buffalo Creek Art Center

When it comes to art, the Buffalo Creek Art Center is the go-to place in town.

Located at Jones Lane, this local center showcases a seamless blend of pure nature and artificial craftworks.

Sculptures, wooden pavilions, and ponds make the outdoor landscape a picturesque vision.

You can explore a nature trail, pass by waterfalls, and explore abundant orchards in Buffalo Creek Art Center.

Likewise, you can find local artworks from town residents amidst the broad location.

All these amenities result from a non-profit organization’s hard work and vision of an art center that can foster peace and relaxation.

They only allow visitors through appointments, so make sure to book a reservation.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Have a Picnic at Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park

Exterior of the house at Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park

Jon Roanhaus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Raising livestock was once a sizable part of Nevada’s history.

Dangberg Home Ranch Historical Park is a home/museum that tells the story of the Dangbergs, a prominent family involved in the livestock business.

Browse the artifacts, photographs, and documents that paint a picture of people’s lives in the 19th century.

You’ll also see vintage furnishings, tools, and decor, carefully preserved for history.

They also allow guests to have picnics on the lawns of the Dangberg Home Ranch Historical Park.

If you’d like to learn about this part of history, you can find this park in Minden, Nevada, about ten minutes from Gardnerville.

Beat the Heat at the Carson Valley Swim Center

You can find the Carson Valley Swim Center in Minden, less than ten minutes from Gardnerville.

This aquatics facility offers various swimming activities that the family can enjoy.

From swimming lessons, water aerobics, and CPR classes, the Carson Valley Swim Center presents guests with a chance to have fun and learn valuable life skills.

Various slides and diving boards add a fun twist to the swimming activities.

They also have a fitness center and a rock-climbing wall if you don’t want to swim.

It’s the perfect place to visit during the summer!

Pack your swimsuits and drop by the Carson Valley Swim Center if you’re ever in town.

Final Thoughts

Gardnerville offers a welcomed break from modernity.

With old-style buildings and rustic shops, a stroll along its main streets can bring a sense of nostalgia.

The best things to do in Gardnerville comprise calming activities and fun adventures with the family.

Give this charming town in Nevada a chance!

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