The Biggest Little City in the World has a surprising amount of things to do in such a small area. In the space of a day any visitor to Reno can go for a bike along the Truckee River, visit an award-winning museum or climb a mountain. Adults can live it up at any of the casinos or hiking trails in the city and if you have children, you are still in luck: there are zoos, parks and play areas galore. Here are the top 10 things to do in Reno (with a little bit of Lake Tahoe thrown in):
1. Spend an afternoon at the Nevada Museum of Art
This award-winning museum features excellent works of art from world-renowned artists, as well as local and regional artists. Past exhibits have included Artist John James Audubon and The Birds of America, the Baroque World of Fernando Botero and works from Frida Kahlo. This relatively small museum even got Raphael’s masterpiece, the Woman with the Veil, which rarely leaves Italy, Paris, New York and Washington.
2. Discover the Nevada Discovery Museum
The newest edition to downtown Reno might be one of the most fun. The Nevada Discovery Museum features hands-on exhibits of Nevada’s history, weather and science. Both children and adults can explore a petroglyph station, a mine shaft, climb on a cloud or create art inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci.
3. Get a great view from Windy Hill
If you want to see the city from above, visit Audrey Harris Park or Windy Hill on the southwest side of Reno. This viewing area and park has some great views of all of Reno and Sparks, as well as the surrounding mountains.
Get out of the city for a while and go hiking around on or around Mt. Rose. The Tahoe Meadows at the Mt. Rose Summit has an interpretive trail and beautiful views of Lake Tahoe. If you get up early enough, hike to the top of this 9,400 peak which will give you a view of Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake, the reservoirs of Boca and Stampede as well as all of Reno, Sparks and Carson City.
The Truckee River runs through downtown Reno and you can walk or ride along it for several miles from Verdi, west of Reno, to Sparks. Along the way you will see several parks, the Truckee River Whitewater Park, picnic areas and swimming holes.
6. Get wet at the Truckee River Whitewater Park
One of the best things to come to downtown Reno, the Truckee River Whitewater Park is a great place to kayak, canoe, tube or just hang out in the sunny weather.
7. Explore the Big Three (Casinos)
The Circus Circus, Eldorado and Silver Legacy Hotel Casinos are the three big properties downtown that offer great restaurants, bars, spas, pools, arcades and special events. You can walk from one to the other without even stepping outside.
8. Play at Reno Parks
The urban areas of Reno have a large amount of green space. Within just a few blocks of downtown, you have access to hundreds of acres of parks including the huge Rancho San Rafael, Idlewild Park near the river and Oxbow Park with its nature trails and bird sanctuary.
9. Walk through MidTown, CalAve or the Reno Arts District
There are several districts in Reno that a great for walking including the CalAve District near the Nevada Museum of Art where you can visit several shops, restaurants and bars. MidTown has a funky vibe with antique and vintage shops, cafés and tattoo parlors, and the Reno Arts District is just south of downtown with several theaters, art galleries and fun bars and restaurants.
10. Eat Sushi
Reno is the only city (that I know of) where you can get excellent, tasty all-you-can-eat sushi at really great prices. Over the past 10 years or so, sushi restaurants have been popping up all over the city and feature lunch and dinner specials for around $15-$25 per person. Visitors from the Bay Area have been seen coming up to Reno just for a sushi craving when The City can’t provide. Now, that’s something to brag about.
Photo Courtesy of [jimg944/Flickr]