Don’t let anyone tell you that Reno is just about the neon strips, flashing lights and boom-and-bust. Reno (and perhaps Nevada generally) may have made its name on its casinos and entertainment, but there’s much more to the city than glitter and glitz– Reno’s a city with a big heart and plenty of grit. A recent tech boom drawing industry giants like Google, Tesla and Apple, as well as a few tech startups of its own, has helped the “Biggest Little City in the World”
become that much bigger.
Though it’s historically been a tourist hub, there’s more than just attractions for out-of- towners. You’ll find plenty to see, plenty to eat, and many, many things to do in Reno. It doesn’t hurt that the town is only a stone’s throw from San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and Sacramento, either, especially if you’re looking to indulge in a little West Coast living (after all, there’s a reason it’s called the Best Coast). Within Reno’s city limits, too, you’ll find quiet neighborhoods with rolling greens for golfers, nightlife must-sees and no small amount of natural wonders for those who live outdoors. One thing to keep in mind– you’ll need a car for adventuring inside and outside Reno. Before you pack the truck and set off to snap a few pictures under the Reno Arch, here are a few ideas on what the city can offer.
Shop ‘til you drop at Reno’s prime locales, like the scenic Riverwalk District, right in the heart of Reno’s downtown. Scout out antiques from local shops or quirky new finds from Hudson Vintage, or simply spend a day taking in the culture at the Nevada Museum of Art. You’ll find high-end stores a little south of Reno’s heart, at the Summit, an open-air market featuring retailers such as Lululemon and Sephora. But you’ll find luxe stores just as easily deep in Reno’s center, at Meadowood Mall. And you’ll find a bit more of Reno’s quirky attitude at the MidTown District shops, with locales like Junkee Clothing Exchange and the Reno Bead Shop.
Outdoor Living & Recreation
Reno’s proximity to Lake Tahoe makes a perfect pit stop and an even better place to put down roots for the intrepid hiker, biker or swimmer. For something a little out of this world, hike out to the Lunar Crater Volcanic Fields. The natural landmark might make you think twice about where you are, as a series of volcanic eruptions over two million years ago created the landscape we know today. Cinder cones, ash piles, and, of course, the nearly 500-foot crater that gave the park its name. Reno is also home to caves beneath the Great Basin, featuring limestone and marble formations. You’ll find plenty to do driving out to Lake Tahoe, too. Bike down the Peavine Trail for a spectacular view of the city and a wild mountain ride, or the Tahoe Rim Trail for the most seasoned mountain biker. Paddleboard across Lake Tahoe on one of Nevada’s (many, many) sunshine-y days, or simply go for a picnic and fish in nearby scenic Pyramid Lake, or stick
close to home at Kings Beach, on Lake Tahoe’s north shore.
And we’d be remiss to leave out Reno’s rock climbing and hiking destinations. The city’s popular Hunter Creek Trail stays within city limits while offering a view of Reno’s hidden waterfall. For rock climbing, Donner Summit and Eagle Creek Canyon are granite rock faces just a short drive outside of the city, but for those looking to stick around Reno for a boozy brunch can’t go wrong with scaling the tallest climbing wall on the planet, BaseCamp at the Whitney Peak Hotel. Why rush? Nevada’s gorgeous Sierra mountains range will be there all week.
You’ve seen what Reno has to offer during daylight, but what about after midnight? For the night owls among us, there’s plenty to do. Reno’s casinos might the first place you stop on a nightlife tour—gambling and games have been part of the city’s legacy, as one of the first cities to open legal gambling halls—but it almost certainly won’t be your last. Nightclubs like LEX and EDGE will have you dancing ‘til the early morning hours, while theaters and venues like the Grand Theater and The Saint cover music acts from headliners to indie first-timers. And naturally, Reno’s got plenty by way of bars and pubs, such as the historic Little Waldorf Saloon or the upscale cocktail destination Death & Taxes. If you’re a gamer by trade, but not really much of a gambler, you might even be drawn to
the tabletop board game bar, the Glass Die. Just be prepared to spend a whole evening there, as the bar has over 330 board games for patrons to choose from, free of charge.