"The Wild Wild West" Virginia City by Camping_Girl

Virginia City Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 63 photos

An unexpected gem

We stopped in Virginia City and Nevada City in August 2005 on our way back from Disneyland. We thought it would be a good rest stop for an hour or so. Boy, were we wrong! We ended up spending the whole day there!

Virginia City is a real town with original buildings. It is the original capital of Montana, and was founded during the gold rush. You can check out their website at www.virginiacity.com

The buildings are incredible, complete with employees in period costumes. You can take a stagecoach ride or a steam engine train ride. There are a great many gift shops to tour through, as well as 2 jewellery stores selling hand-made jewellery with locally mined gold and silver. We loved the Ellis Gold Exchange - thanks again to Mark for his friendly, expert service both during and after the sale - we'd buy jewellery from you again in a heartbeat! Our kids loved the rock shop, which featured everything from fossils to polished semi-precious stones.

The ice cream shop sells the best home-made ice cream I have ever tasted. The candy shop sells wonderful sweets. You can watch salt water taffy being made through the front window.

The opera house still has performances in the evenings. We stopped into the local pub briefly at the end of our tour. The children are allowed in the pubs in Montana, and ours had a great time playing pool and eating peanuts and throwing the shells on the floor! There are several b&b's in town, as well as a hotel.

If you take the train ride in Virginia City, it goes to Nevada City and back. I wasn't nearly as impressed with Nevada City - you pay a fee to enter the "town", and all of the buildings have been moved here from somewhere else. But the train yard and round house there were very interesting.

While you're in the vicinity of Virginia City you may want to check out the town of Ennis, about a 1/2 hour drive east, as well. We really enjoy the "wild west" look and feel of Ennis. And we always stop at the restaurant downtown on main street (I think its called the Ennis Cafe) for breakfast when we're in town. They have great food, huge portions and really good prices.

The Bale of Hay Saloon

Our kids thought this place was the greatest. After all, they live in Canada, where kids aren't even allowed to look into a tavern window, let alone walk into one!

This pub has a great atmosphere, the staff is friendly and so are the locals. The beer was cold, plentiful and relatively cheap. (for a tourist town) We enjoyed visiting with other tourists from all over the world.

Next time we'll go back without the kids, and take in the entertainment later in the evening!

Shops on Main Street

Here is another pic of some of the buildings on Main Street. This one is the old post office and the candy shop.

If you check out the travelogue section towards the bottom of this page, you will find more pictures of Virginia City.

Thanks for stopping by!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Something for everyone in the family
  • In a nutshell:Great way to spend an afternoon with the kids!
  • Last visit to Virginia City: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated Jan 7, 2008
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Reviews (10)

Comments (5)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    This is really a wonderful looking town, and the buildings seem solid and well preserved. Thank you for the tour and tings to do.

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    Thanks very much for your tips on this place. I will have to visit one day.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Dec 25, 2008 at 8:17 AM

    This place sounds excellent - and I would love to get to Montana! Thanks for sharing such an interesting history and photo opportunity of a town!

  • moiraistyx's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2008 at 5:43 AM

    I love small town America, seems like you've gotten a taste for it as well. That candy store is right up my alley.

  • ellsasha's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2007 at 5:18 AM

    Interesting tips and great photos on your Montana pages. I'll be back. Thank you for the info on Glacier National Park. Ellsasha

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