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Museums in Reno Tahoe

    Explore Northern Nevada's history and culture.

    Want to wander among exhibits at the only accredited art museum in the state of Nevada? The Nevada Museum of Art has you covered. Want to stroll the “streets,” immersed in the sights and sounds of a bygone era as you feast your eyes on more than 200 eye-popping cars? Reno’s National Automobile Museum is the place for you. If science is more your style, you can find hands-on exhibits to delight visitors of all ages at The Discovery Museum. And let’s not forget the diverse history of this region! Virginia City and Carson City both have rich histories to contribute, and they have the museums to prove it. Walk the same wooden streets as Mark Twain on your way to the Fourth Ward School Museum in Virginia City. Or check out some of our state’s most treasured artifacts at the Nevada State Museum in Nevada’s capital, Carson City. Whatever you want to get out of your visit to the Reno Tahoe area, museums are the cultural center to pique your interest and inspire the inner artist, historian or scientist in you!

    Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum

    Pyramid Lake is the most beautiful desert lake in the world. Pyramid Lake is home to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and the world-record Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and Ancient Cui-ui fishes. The Museum & Visitors Center collects, exhibits and preserves the history and culture of the Pyramid Lake and Paiutes and provides a forum for the appreciation, respect and understanding of our Numu Culture. “Ki Nasoomookwatu” Never to be forgotten.

    Exhibits at the multi-purpose museum describe he tribes history and culture and offer insights into why the Paiute people hold the lake and its surrounding landscape so sacred. Other displays at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitors Center focus on Pyramid Lake’s natural history and the many creatures that make the lake their home. The Lake also features a breeding ground for one of the largest colonies of American White Pelicans, which is certified as a National Wildlife Refuge.

    Children's Museum of Northern Nevada

    The Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada believes in the value of play. Children learn the wonder of science, art and everyday life skills as they explore, create and share with others. The CMNN is a play-based learning environment for the whole family to experience together.

    Nevada State Museum

    Welcome to the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, celebrating the state’s natural & cultural history and featuring the historic Carson City Mint.

    Wilbur D. May Museum

    This facility preserves the life and legacy of Wilbur D. May. In addition to his life as an adventurer and world traveler, rancher, artist, pilot, businessman, and Soldier, Wilbur was a committed philanthropist in the community – in particular toward education and well-being for children. The May Center’s museum, arboretum, and botanical gardens are places where Wilbur’s passion lives on, with fun and learning for visitors of all ages.

    Sparks Heritage Museum

    Conveniently located off Interstate-80 in Nevada’s Reno-Tahoe Territory, the Sparks Museum and Cultural Center inspires dynamic connections to Northern Nevada’s unique heritage through creative programs, exhibits and publications.

    Sparks’ proud railroad heritage is apparent in its historic downtown where the museum is located. A vintage steam locomotive, cupola caboose and Pullman executive car are displayed along with a depot replica, the restored one room Glendale Schoolhouse and a monument to the Chinese rail workers. Inside the museum visitors explore 4000 square feet of engaging exhibits. Using artifacts to tell the story, exhibits communicate the rapid changes the region has undergone from ranching and mining to the introduction of the railroad and into modern times, including the significant role the region has played in the Space program.

    The Sparks Museum and Cultural Center’s changing gallery features unique displays focusing on the arts, sciences, history and the rich diversity of the region and its people. A variety of educational programs for adults and families are offered throughout the year.

    Tours of the train and museum are available to the public on Saturdays between 1 and 4 p.m. and are included in the price of admission.

    Nevada State Railroad Museum

    The Nevada State Railroad Museum is a cultural resource dedicated to educating visitors and the community about Nevada railroad history. This mission is accomplished through the collection, preservation and interpretation on significant locomotives, rolling stock, artifacts, photographs and memorabilia directly related to railroads and railroading in Nevada. In addition to static exhibits, select pieces of equipment in the collection are restored and operated throughout the year to demonstrate steam and early gasoline technology and provide visitors with a first-hand experience with railroad history through the sights, sounds and sensations of a train ride.

    Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum

    Stewart Indian School was operated by the federal government from 1890-1980 as a boarding school for Great Basin Native students, located south of Carson City, Nevada. Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum was created and funded by the State of Nevada to tell the stories of the students’ experiences. Guided by the Stewart Cultural Advisory committee of living alumni and relatives, the museum is dedicated to the first Stewart students from Great Basin tribes in 1890, and all students and their families impacted by the Stewart experience. This museum and cultural center is a gathering place for former students and their relatives. It is also a place of healing from the trauma of the federal assimilation policy. The museum includes a contemporary art space called Great Basin Native Artists Gallery; a storytelling room; a research room; and a permanent exhibit about Stewart’s 90-year history, told by the stories of students who attended the school. The Stewart Indian School Trail is a self-guided walking tour of the campus, with 20 stops and audio stories from former students.

    Fourth Ward School Museum

    The Historic Fourth Ward School Museum & Archives is a treasure. As the last school standing of its kind today, the archives at the museum connect the past and are designed to preserve and remember family heritages.

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