City Guide - Attractions
Virginia City is a town rich with history and an interesting array of entertaining, cultural, and educational attractions throughout the year. Whether you feel riding the tracks on the V&T Railroad or watching a performance at Piper’s Opera House, your Virginia City vacation will be a memorable one.
Virginia & Truckee Railroad (May – October)
The Virginia & Truckee Railroad is by far the most famous of all American short line railroads. Born of the 19th century gold and silver strikes, the V&T originally ran from Reno to Carson and Virginia City. Today you can take a 35-minute trip back to the Old West. Running from Virginia City to Gold Hill, riders can take in the spectacular mountain views as the conductor narrates the Comstock’s amazing history as the train chuffs past the famous mines.
Trains run daily from May 23rd to October 31st. The depot is located at F Street and Washington in Virginia City.
International Camel Races (September)
The Camel Races began as a hoax. When first introduced to the American frontier as pack animals, Camels were brought to the Comstock to carry salt and supplies. As Virginia City grew and the V&T Railroad took over the drayage chores for the area, the sometimes disagreeable and smelly animals were turned loose in the hills, eventually disappearing. Then in 1959 a local editor wrote a fictitious account of the city’s “Camel Races,” following it up the next year with an editorial announcement of the upcoming real races. The novelty quickly caught on, and in 1962 Ostrich Races were added to the event. Then in 1987 Virginia City took the competition to its sister city of Alice Springs, Australia, adding “International” to its title.
Today the races are a lively and entertaining September event featuring the famed Camel Race, Emu Races, Ostrich Races, a petting zoo, rides, a moonlight dinner, rodeos and other special events. The races are also great for birthday parties and weddings.
Fourth of July Spectacular
Virginia City features a traditional and patriotic Fourth of July parade that begins promptly at noon. The C Street boardwalks fill with face painters, historical figures, clowns and free give-a-ways for the kids, with the day ending at dusk with a spectacular fireworks show.
International Chili-Cook-Off & Cinco de Mayo Celebration (May)
Our International Chili-Cook-Off attracts great chefs from far and wide that offer delectable tastes of chili. C Street fills with a variety of entertainment for the whole family.
Virginia City Hillclimb
Virginia City’s Hillclimb is held annually and runs from Silver City to Virginia City via Highway 341. Hosted by the Ferrari Club of America Pacific Region and the Northern California Shelby Club, the hillclimb covers 5.2 miles and climbs 1,260 feet as it passes through 21 corners, eventually returning participants down Highway 342.