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Fallon, Nev.: 5 Things We Love

A small Nevada town in the Great Basin offers wildlife, wine, petroglyphs, and farm-fresh eats.  

Vintage tractors set the tone at Churchill Vineyards in Fallon.
Photo caption
Vintage tractors set the tone at Churchill Vineyards in Fallon.

Set in the Great Basin, where rivers flow inland and then evaporate, Fallon is known mainly as a Highway 50 stopover. But this Nevada town that’s home base for navy Top Gun pilots is gaining new fame among foodies, birders, and history mavens. Area code is 775.

1  Inside an updated old home, the Slanted Porch features H5 Ranch porterhouse steaks as well as local lamb and veggies grown in the restaurant’s backyard. Chef Steve Hernandez headlines the Tractors & Truffles farm-to-table event on September 14. 423-4489,

2  At Grimes Point Archaeological Area, petroglyphs of snakes and horned toads adorn boulders where the Paiute hunted wildlife. Churchill County Museum conducts guided tours inside spooky Hidden Cave. 423-3677,

3  Honey and pear flavors brighten the gewürztraminer estate wine at Churchill Vineyards. A fleet of restored John Deere tractors fans out under historic Frey Ranch cottonwoods near a tasting room that’s open by appointment. 423-4000,

4  In the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, American white pelicans herd fish into the shallows to gulp them for dinner. Black-necked stilts nab insects in mudflats, while mallards dabble for nut grass and burrowing owls sneak into empty animal nests. 423-5128,

  It’s kidville at Lattin Farms, where families can prowl their way through a corn maze, ride a cow train, and coo at friendly goats. At the Scarecrow Factory in autumn, kids stuff clothes with straw to frighten off pesky avian noshers. Fresh produce and zingy cantaloupe jam are for sale. 867-3750,

Photography courtesy of Kim Lamb

This article was first published in September 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.