Nevadans are intensely proud of our state and heritage. Our intense pride seems odd to newcomers and outsiders. Nevadans love our state on a level that maybe only Texans can understand. Try mispronouncing our state name for a quick demonstration. Being a Nevadan also means that you know that there is more to Nevada than just Reno, Tahoe, and Las Vegas. Not just knowing what exists, but experiencing it first hand. Thanks to long distances, it is hard to truly get out and explore our great state. However, you don’t have travel far to experience Fallon for the adventure, beauty, and community it has to offer.
Fallon, Nevada, is located about an hour east of Reno off Interstate 80. It is an incredible place to experience Nevada off the beaten path and away from the countless tourists populating the Reno-Tahoe area year round. It is also a great place to get a taste of what Nevada has to offer outside of the major tourist destinations. If you aren’t a Nevadan, consider it a great place to get a taste of our culture and heritage.
The Fallon Visitors Authority invited a small group individuals with varying talents and influence to explore the adventure, beauty, and community to be found in Fallon. While I can’t cover every incredible experience in detail, I have highlighted a few of the best experiences you can have in Fallon with your family.
Adventure in Fallon
I am a sucker for adrenaline inducing experiences. I had to look no further than the Fallon Sand Mountain. UTV Addiction provided a few UTVs (Utility Task Vehicle) for our enjoyment and escorted us around the massive sand dunes on a crazy off-road adventure. Imagine riding an off-road vehicle down a sandy beach. Ditch the water for massive sand mountains and a super powerful vehicle. Now imagine the wind and Nevada sun in your face and circling in your UTV around and over steep hills, climbing up to mountain peak for a breathtaking view of a Nevada valley.
That’s a small taste of the experience, but the description still does the experience little justice. You have to get out and do it for yourself. It is off-roading at its best! I even asked the guys running the show and they said their young kids love to ride in the UTVs!
For more adventure, be sure to check out Lahonton Reservoir.
Beauty in Fallon
I am also a sucker for the beauty of Nevada, just look at our Instagram feed! Part of our trip included paddle boarding and kayaking on the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge courtesy of Marina Paddle Fit. While it certainly isn’t paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe, the experience of relaxing on a wildlife sanctuary certainly rose to the occasion to illustrate how beautiful Nevada is. We had a couple hours on this peaceful , serene location all to ourselves. Well, ourselves and tons of wildlife.
For more beauty, swing by Grimes Point to see ancient petroglyphs from over 8,000 years ago. You can also drive down America’s Loneliest Road in America, Highway 50 through the heart of our country and Nevada.
Community in Fallon
A large part of being a Nevadan is being a part of Nevada. Community contributes to the trifecta of what makes Nevada so great. While Fallon has plenty of adventure and beauty to take in, its community is where Fallon truly shines. Our group had the opportunity to quality test the spirits at Nevada’s First Estate Distillery, visit a farm that has been operating over 100 years (no small feat in Nevada), eat tons of locally grown food, and meet some wonderful Fallon residents…all things that every tourist to this small town is able to do as well!
Frey Ranch Estate Distillery
A must-visit on a trip to Fallon is the Frey Ranch Estate Distillery. As Nevada’s first estate distillery, they produce all their spirits from grains grown at Frey Ranch. The grains are mashed, fermented, distilled, filtered, barreled and bottled just feet from where they are harvested. The gin even has a hint of Nevada Sagebrush to top off how incredibly rad their “Ground to Glass” concept is! Owners Colby and Ashley Frey have done a great job building a national spirits brand and are in the process of adding bourbon and rye whiskey to their vodka, absinthe, and gin offerings. Yes, I got to sample both and am looking forward to their release!
For the locally sourced food community that Reno is rapidly developing, Lattin Farms is something you have probably experienced quite often and had no idea. Lattin Farms is a 108 year old organic farm that provides many, if not most, of the amazing local restaurants in Midtown Reno their locally sourced food. Check their website for a calendar of events or schedule a tour. If you get a chance, chat up owner Rick Lattin about the history of his farm before swinging by his store to load up on jams, salsas, and fresh breads.
Courtyard Cafe and Bakery
For that local food you must, no, absolutely need to visit the Courtyard Cafe and Bakery. Owner Deborah Nelson spoiled us greatly with breakfast and lunch during our trip. Talk about home cooking! I can’t say enough about this place, including the pastries! It is right downtown and even if you are driving through to get home to Reno, you can always stop by, grab a meal, and devour some tasty pastries.
Fatherhood in Fallon
I briefly mentioned a few of the folks who make Fallon great in the setting of their businesses, but one theme I felt every conversation came back to was family and specifically fatherhood. Granted, I introduced myself as part of the Reno Dads and who isn’t proud to talk about their family? I’d regret writing about Fallon without tipping my hat to the following folks for sharing their stories with me about their fathers. I do run an organization centered on fatherhood, after all!
My first hat tip goes to the Mayor of Fallon, Ken Tedford. He is a proud father raising wonderful children. He even had to leave our reception early to attend his son’s ceremony for passing the Nevada bar exam! The Director of Tourism Jane Moon told me stories about her father coming to Fallon with the military. He fell in in love with the community and stayed. Farmer Rick Lattin and I discussed family for what seemed like forever. We even found a common point where our old Nevada families crossed paths years ago. And my favorite stories of fatherhood came about when Colby Frey, a great father himself, shared stories of his dad. We asked Colby how he figured out how to design a massive distillery unique to his ranch and operation. He said it came from his father teaching him how to fix things growing up. Simple as that!
Adventure and beauty can be found in Fallon in spades and the community is as great as they come. I had a blast exploring Fallon and learning about its people, history, and heritage. It makes me proud knowing such communities still exist, and even dominate, in Nevada. If you get a chance to explore outside of our wonderful city, consider Fallon for a day trip to see what it is all about. Maybe I will see you at the Fallon Christmas Tree lighting on December 1st. I hear there will be fire works!
FULL DISCLOSURE: Many thanks to the Abbi Agency, the City of Fallon Tourism Authority, and each establishment mentioned for inviting Reno Dads on a two day trip to explore Fallon. The Fallon Tourism Authority and each of the establishments mentioned throughout provided our entertainment and food. As a Native Nevadan, I genuinely love everything this state has to offer and Fallon is no exception.