Virginia City was born with the discovery of gold in
Alder Gulch in 1863. Largely restored and preserved
as they once stood, Virginia City and neighboring
Nevada City are living examples of the real Old West.
Original buildings, dating from the Territorial days,
are filled with merchandise and implements used when
gold camps flourished in the West. Boardwalks,
mechanical music machines, a penny arcade, antique
automobiles and even a two-story outhouse add to the
Old West atmosphere. Virginia City offers many
opportunities to relive the adventure of gold rush
days, rich with history and lore. Visit the
surrounding towns to get a well-rounded vision of
early pioneer life, and be sure to take in all of the
At the Festival of Times, a celebration of the
Victorian era held in July, enjoy afternoon teas and
a Grand Ball where guests attend in period costume.
Visit the Opera House and catch the Virginia City
Players’ variety productions in the style of
19th-century entertainment or relax with at
Montana’s first brewery, the H. S. Gilbert
Brewery, and enjoy a performance of the Brewery
In Virginia City, you can shop, dine and sleep
without leaving the atmosphere of the 1890s. Dine in
the Wells Fargo Coffee House or the Star Bakery and
bend an elbow in the Bale of Hay Saloon or
Gilbert’s Brewery. Modern, overnight
accommodations in a charming, 19th-century atmosphere
are available. You will find fascinating nuggets of
history and memories to treasure.
Take the train to Nevada City on an authentic
narrow-gauge railroad, the Alder Gulch Short Line.
Travel between the two mining camps on the Alder
Gulch Short Line Railroad. At the Nevada City end of
the line, visit the Alder Gulch Short Line Steam
Railroad Museum with its collection of equipment and
stock from railroading’s gold rush era.
The majestic Madison River Valley, just west of
Virginia City, features some of the world’s
finest trout streams, as well as a beautiful mountain