I had breakfast in Ely's Hotel Nevada and Gambling Hall 24 hour restaurant. The food (at breakfast and dinner last night) was good , reasonably priced, and service was very friendly and attentive.
Two unique things worth mentioning about Ely, Nevada:
- There is an operating steam train and railway museum - The Nevada Northern Railway Museum (these are a real hit with train buffs and kids),
- There are numerous interesting murals around town.
I had seen posters for "Highway 50 Survival Guides" in some of the local businesses. I picked up one of the passport sized Survival Guides near the hotel registration desk.
The Survival Guides are part of a "Loneliest Road in America" promotion. The Loneliest Road moniker was coined by Life Magazine in a (not completely complimentary) article written about Highway 50 and rural Nevada in July 1986. The State of Nevada subsequently adopted "The Loneliest Road in America" as an official designation for part of US-50.
The Highway 50 Survival Kit promotion involves taking your passport for validation at any of various locations in five different towns along "The Loneliest Road":
You can pick up your Survival Guide at certain locations on the Loneliest Road:
- At the east end at the Hotel Nevada and Gambling Hall, Convention Center, Chamber of Commerce, and other places.
- At the west end at the Fernley Chamber of Commerce (if it is open), and sometimes at the Wigwam Restaurant and Museum where the original Moe is Back.
- If you are planning a trip in advance, it would probably be safest to request a Survival Guide online.
- If you going spur of the moment, you can download a PDF of the Survival Guide (without Validation page, but you could probably have any piece of paper stamped and send it in for your certificate).
Depending on their interests people will have different favorite sights along the Loneliest Road. I think that almost everybody will find Sand Mountain impressive and the old Shoe Tree very interesting (you might regret if you don't bring a pair of shoes to contribute). I like this Shoe Tree, 48 miles east of Fallon even more than the Shoe Tree near Milltown, Indiana.
Trip Advice for Northern Californians: It is about 280 miles from Fernley, NV to Ely, NV. A good 3 night trip from the San Francisco Bay Area is to spend a night in Lake Tahoe or Reno, then go to Ely (and spend the night at The Hotel Nevada), then return spending the night in either Reno or Tahoe.By the time that I reach Reno, I am within 4 hours of home, but I am going to spend two nights at Harrah's because I am craving my favorite noodles at the relatively new Joy Luck Noodle Bar (which replaced the Lucky Noodle Bar and is even better). I am also looking forward to sleeping in a spotless room with comfortable bed and lots of pillows (and I will gamble a bit, too).
It is Saturday night and they only had standard rooms available when I called my Casino Host two days ago. However, this room is definitely the Ritz compared to some places I have stayed in the past month!