Reno is home to a variety of recreation activities both seasonal and year-round. In the summer, Reno locals can boat, fish, water ski and swim in one of the three major bodies of water: Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River, and Pyramid Lake. Winter brings opportunities for skiing-both downhill and cross country, snowboarding and snowshoeing.Dinner: We enjoy a buffet dinner at Harrah's.Evening: Our evening speaker and author tells the fascinating story of the Donner party.Lodging: Harrah's RenoMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The Nevada State Museum is our next stop where you'll have time to explore this unique museum at your leisure. It was originally erected in 1870 as the U.S. Mint, which coined more than $49,000,000 until 1893. The museum hosts about 250,000 visitors each year and has become famous for exhibits such as "The Chinese Experience," "the Dat So La Lee Washoe Indian baskets" and "Coin Press No. 1."
Nevada's wildlife is also featured at the Museum, namely the ubiquitous coyote, elusive mountain lion, majestic golden eagle, bothersome badger and the mischievous black bear. The silver dining service from the USS Nevada battleship, fashioned with silver from the Tonopah mine and gold from Goldfield, is also on display.
Lunch: We eat a delicious lunch at nearby restaurant.Afternoon: Our motor coach heads for historic Virginia City, 12 miles away. Virginia City in its heyday was the most important city in the western United States, a place where you could still find fortune and glory. Gold and silver buried in the mountain at one time attracted people from the world over. Follow in the footsteps of the Bonanza Kings, the mine owners who played an important role in shaping America’s economy.
Step back in time on a guided visit of the 4th Ward School an authentically preserved 1876 Victorian school building. Sit in the same wooden desks as the children and teachers did from 1876 to 1936 and learn about the unique features of this educational institution.
Re-live great moments in theatre in a guided exploration of Piper's Opera House and discover the place where Mark Twain took his pen name and began his writing career.Dinner: We are served a delicious banquet dinner in the hotel meeting room.Evening: Free time to relax after a busy day.Lodging: Harrah's RenoMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Throughout history, Lake Tahoe has been called by many names, including Lake Bigler after the California governor, Bonpland after a French botanist and Mountain Lake, until 1945, when Lake Tahoe became its official name.
Lunch: Time for a delightful lunch at a restaurant on the shores of the lake with a great view of the lake and surrounding mountains.Afternoon: Back on board our motor coach we head for Donner Memorial State Park for a visit to the museum to learn more about the heroic story of the Donner Party. Then follow the old highway over Donner Summit to imagine ourselves as pioneers crossing this formidable Sierra pass.
To reach California from the East, pioneer emigrants had to get their wagons over the Sierra. In 1844, the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party followed the Truckee River up into the mountains. At the head of what is now called Donner Lake, they found a low notch in the mountains and thus became the first overland emigrants to use the pass. The pass received its name, however, from another group of California-bound emigrants. In early November 1846, the Donner Party found the route blocked by snow and was forced to spend the winter on the eastern side of the mountains. Of the 81 emigrants, only 45 survived to reach California; some of them resorted to cannibalism to survive.
Dinner: We return to our Sacramento hotel and relax before dinner. Then we're off to the Delta King for a delicious dinner. The historic Delta King riverboat is a completely renovated, historic 1920’s riverboat that plied the Sacramento River between Sacramento and San Francisco from 1927 to 1940. The Delta King and her sister ship the Delta Queen were the finest paddle wheelers of the day, offering charm, grace, elegance, fine dining and live entertainment. Today, the icon of Sacramento is permanently moored in downtown Old Sacramento.
Lodging: Hyatt Regency SacramentoMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner