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The Baltimore Sun

Virginia City, Nevada

Place: Virginia City, Nevada Why it's a hot ticket in 2009: Reno is an easy and cheap destination for Southern Californians, so it's worth taking a 23-mile detour to visit Virginia City, a Gold Rush-era town that was founded in 1859. This destination also made the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2009 list largely for the 19th century homes that sit on steep slopes, mining-town style. It's a taste of frontier life with false-front Victorian buildings and period saloons. Must-do: See the desk Mark Twain used when he was a reporter for the local newspaper and take a ride on the restored steam engine of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Information: -- Mary Forgione Pictured: Fourth Ward School Museum in Virginia CityNational Trust for Historic Preservation