It's hard to miss the Thunderbird Motel—it has a big, lit-up sign featuring a bird opening its electric blue and crimson wings over the front entrance. Located in the small Nevada town of Elko, this quaint roadside inn welcomes guests with comfortable rooms and good old-fashioned western hospitality.
Walk to local attractions such as downtown restaurants and the Historic Commercial Casino.
Escape the heat with a dip in the outdoor pool (opens May 30).
In-room amenities: refrigerators and microwaves
Relax with a book in the comfortable lobby, where coffee is always brewing.
Elko, Nevada: Gold Mining, Western Life, and the Ruby Mountains
Most of the gold mined in Nevada comes from just outside of Elko, the capital of Nevada's gold belt and the self-appointed "Best Small Town in America." One of the most popular tourist activities here is exploring the hundreds of abandoned mining camps in the area.
If you're looking to strike it rich without breaking a sweat, try your luck at the Historic Commercial Casino, which has been in operation since 1869. Elko is also home to the Western Folklife Center, an organization dedicated to preserving the traditions of life in the American West. A 30-minute drive will take you to the Ruby Mountains, where you can set out on hiking trails leading to waterfalls and creeks in a scenic valley.
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