It’s Impossible To Drive Through This Delightful Nevada Town Without Stopping
If you love visiting town’s that embrace and love their historical side, coupled with astounding scenic outdoor spaces, then Gardnerville is the perfect spot for you. The town’s charming old fashioned architecture makes a beautiful postcard picture under the towering mountain backdrop.
The central road through the town of Gardernville is US route 395. The town population was 5,656 during the last census count in 2010.
US 395 in Downtown Gardnerville
Gardnerville began in the late 1800’s as a spot for miners to feed their horse teams on their way back and forth to the mines. It eventually grew into a center of commerce, with hotels, saloons and shops.
The town’s first large group of immigrants came from Denmark and there’s a strong Danish influence in the town’s history and architecture.
The Arendt Jensen House, built in 1910, was the home of a well-known Danish merchant. The home at one point was a Bed and Breakfast but is now closed, but you can still view the impressive “Denver Square” architecture from the outside. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The other major immigrant group in Gardernville’s history are the Basques. Many came to Gardnerville in the early 1900’s to become sheepherders, and eventually opened several inns and restaurants.
Taking a stroll along the main street in Gardnerville gives you a sense of the history of the town. The charming old fashioned buildings are well preserved and thriving businesses.
A favorite local spot is Sharkey’s Casino, which was recently remodeled on the inside.
The casino was built in the 1890’s and was bought in 1971 by Milos “Sharkey” Begovich, a big name in Northern Nevada gaming and a Nevada history enthusiast. The casino has many historical items on display.
The casino has several historical old slot machines inside, as well as more modern gaming options.
Stop in to Sharkey’s for a meal – they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and they’re known for their prime rib. Sharkey’s is located at 1440 US Highway 395 North.
Another local favorite is the J.T. Basque Bar and Dining Room.
The building was first constructed in the 1870’s in Virginia City and moved to Gardnerville in 1895.
This family-run business has lots of old Western charm. There are cowboy hats and historical photos all over the walls, as well as dollar bills on the ceiling, which are collected annually for charity.
As its name implies, J.T. serves Basque dishes like rabbit, lamb, sweetbreads, tongue stew, sheepherder’s bread, as well as more “general” fare such as steaks, chicken, pasta, and soups. Meals are served “family style” in the Basque tradition.
J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room is located at 1426 Highway 395 North.
After a delicious meal, you can stroll down to the Chocolate Shoppe. The shop makes all their chocolate on site and they have a deliciously wide selection of truffles, toffees, brittles, and chocolates.
The Chocolate Shoppe is located at 1363 U.S. Highway 395 North, #7.
Wink’s Silver Strike Lanes is a local fun spot. Not only can you enjoy bowling at the lanes, there’s also a full bar and restaurant, as well as video games, pool and darts, plus Friday and Saturday night Karaoke.
Wink’s is located at 1281 Kimerling Road.
Lampe Park is a 32-acre park that will please outdoor lovers who visit Gardnerville. There are plenty of spots to picnic and you can enjoy a walk along Willow Creek with the ducks and geese.
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the outdoor beauty of the area, try Sheridan Creek Equestrian Center. You can sign up for a one hour trail ride around the 100 acre ranch and take in the amazing view of the mountains and Job’s Peak.
The ranch is located at 551 Centerville Lane.