When people think of gambling and casinos in the United States, they usually think of Las Vegas. As a result, Reno is often overlooked, which is a shame for anyone who travels here and misses out on the best the city has to offer. In addition to the bright lights of the casino here, there are plenty of other things to do, including walks on the city’s mighty Truckee River and visiting museums, galleries, and a zoo. If you venture out of Reno a little, you’ll come to stunning and iconic Lake Tahoe, which is worth a visit in itself, but even within city limits you can expect to find gems like Rose Hill as well as parks, botanical gardens Gardens and Botanical Gardens.
If after all this you want to try your luck, then Reno lives up to its name and is the place to gamble, where you’ll find many iconic casinos like Atlantis and El Dorado. It’s true that these places may not be as glamorous as anything in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, but they’re still packed with games like gaming tables and sportsbooks, and with plenty of dining options and live performances, you’ll never have to leave one Casino if you don’t want to. But if you do, you’ll be rewarded for everything this vibrant and diverse city has to offer.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Reno:
1. Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is technically about 40 miles from Reno, but it remains the area’s biggest attraction. Located between Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is known as one of the most beautiful places in the entire United States, and tourists from all over the world flock here to admire the blue waters of the lake surrounded by majestic mountains.
Around Lake Tahoe, you’ll find beaches and hiking trails where you can paddle on the lake and enjoy typical aquatic pastimes like fishing. Of course, given its fame, if you find yourself in Reno, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to take a short trip to Lake Tahoe at the same time.
2. Rose Mountain Ski Resort
For some stunning views within Reno, look no further than Rose Mountain Ski Resort, just 20 miles from the city’s downtown core. Rose Mountain is over 8,000 feet above sea level, making it the highest resort in the Reno/Tahoe area.
The biggest reason to come to Mount Rose is the abundance of skiing opportunities and the fact that there are runs for skiers of all experience levels, which means it can get very crowded during peak season. However, if you come at other times (such as during the week), you will get a peaceful and peaceful ski paradise.
El Dorado is one of the most famous casinos in Reno and is also known as one of the great places to gamble here if you want to test your luck while in town. Eldorado first opened in the early 1970s, which means it has changed a lot in Reno over the years, and it still has a period charm to this day.
If you want to try your luck, there is everything you need here, including table games, poker tables, slot machines and other activities like sports betting. If you want to take a break and feel hungry, you’ll find more than 10 bars, cafes and restaurants here, so if you don’t want to travel further afield, you don’t even need to venture as it’s all right there.
Even if you don’t count on your luck, there are live concerts and other events here because it’s a cultural icon and some people come here just to soak up the atmosphere.
4. Ace Stadium
For something completely different and away from the casinos, consider visiting Reno’s Aces Ballpark, home to the minor league baseball team, the Reno Aces.
The grounds are surrounded by gorgeous Reno scenery, with towering mountains in the background, and it also sits on the Truckee River, so if you’re in town, it could be a great place to go for a game.
If you can’t watch the game, you can also visit the baseball field, where you can learn about Reno’s sporting history and visit some of the most famous attractions on the field.
In front of the Aces Ballpark you will also find Aceskating, a fully equipped ice skating rink that is open in winter.
5. River Walk
Meandering along the Truckee River in downtown Reno is the River Walk. Here, you’ll find plenty of cultural events, and the area is known for its art galleries and restaurants.
You can explore the Riverwalk on your own or join one of the many guided tours in the area, such as the Wine Walk, where you can visit local galleries and wine shops, and taste some of the best blends in the Reno region.
6. Nevada Museum of Art
First opened to the public in 1931, the Nevada Museum of Art is one of the oldest and most important museums in the region of the United States. The museum was renovated in the early 2000s to reflect a more modern design, and in doing so mimic Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.
In the museum you will find four different areas, each with a different theme, where you will find photographs, paintings, drawings and sculptures. In addition to the actual indoor gallery featuring static and rotating exhibits, you’ll also find sculpture gardens to stroll through.
If you want to learn more about the artwork on display here, you can take a guided tour, or you can stroll around the museum yourself and admire some of its iconic features, such as the suspended staircase overlooking the skyline of the city.
7. National Automobile Museum
If you’re a fan of all things car-related, consider visiting the National Automobile Museum in Reno.
Here, you’ll find over 200 exhibits covering the history of the automotive industry, including vintage carriages, famous cars, and even racing cars.
One of the most famous pieces here is the Mercury Series 9CM, which dates back to 1949 and was the car that James Dean drove in the movie Rebel for No Reason.
8. Animal Ark
Located on 38 acres north of Reno, Animal Ark prides itself on being a safe haven for animals rather than a zoo or wildlife enclosure.
To that end, Animal Ark rescues animals that can no longer live in the wild, and you’ll find a mix of different species here, including some indigenous to the Reno area.
You can see animals living in this semi-natural habitat, and with dedicated feeding times, visitors will have more opportunities to see some of the furry inhabitants, such as bears.
In addition to seeing the animals, the Ark also tells the story of how they got here and aims to educate visitors about animal conservation and ecology.
9. Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum
If you want to learn all about science, engineering, technology, math, and even art, look no further than the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum.
Known for its series of interactive exhibits designed to educate visitors about science, this discovery museum is perfect for those looking for something to do in Reno other than visiting the famous casinos, ideal if you’re traveling with the family s Choice.
There are rotating and permanent exhibitions with a focus on hands-on learning, with iconic pieces such as a replica of the Truckee River that spans 80 feet.
10. Wilbur D. May Center
For anyone looking to get back to nature, a trip to the Wilbur D. May Center is not to be missed. Located in the peaceful Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, the center consists of museums and botanical gardens.
The museum itself is packed with objects that once belonged to Wilbur D. May, a rancher and prominent figure in the Reno area in the early 20th century.
May was also a prolific traveler, so you’ll find items from all over the world in his collection. In addition to the museum, you’ll find an arboretum and botanical garden here on 12 acres with a variety of flora and fauna from the area.
These include various gardens such as the English Garden, Songbird Garden and Evans Creek, which bisects the Botanic Gardens in the middle.
11. Sierra Leone Wildlife Park
Sierra Leone Wildlife Park, located just north of Reno, first opened in the 1980s, but has grown to become the largest zoo in the entire state of Nevada.
The zoo features a variety of animals from around the world, as well as a showcase of animals native to Reno and the wider Nevada region.
Visitors to the area can expect to find different themed areas based on the fauna such as reptiles, big cats and primates that live here, and there is an aquarium and even a dolphinarium on site.
12. Wilderness Park
One of the most popular parks in the area, Idlewild Park is located on 49 acres and is conveniently located near downtown Reno and along the Truckee River.
The park is known for its iconic features such as the rose garden and decorative duck pond, and for younger visitors, there is a children’s play area.
There’s also a pool for those looking to cool off in the warmer months, and a skate park for anyone looking to practice some skateboarding.
13. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
The Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa is one of Reno’s most recognizable casinos and luxury hotels, built in 1972, making it a standout in the city’s casino scene.
Atlantis’ casino spans over 60,000 square feet and you’ll find a range of games here, including poker tables, blackjack sections, roulette tables and slot machines.
Casinos and hotels are also known for their design aesthetics, and as the name suggests, the buildings are meant to resemble the lost underwater city of Atlantis.
14. Pea Peak
Known as the highest peak located at Peavine Peak, Peavine Peak is one of Reno’s most iconic attractions.
It gets its name from the pea vines that grow here.
Visitors come here for a variety of activities, including exploring the area on off-road vehicles and hiking along designated trails.
15. Fleischmann Planetarium
Opened in the 1960s, the Fleischmann Planetarium is actually located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno’s premier university.
However, the planetarium is open to the public and features a dome theater with daily performances where visitors can learn all about the planets and solar system.
In addition to films about the Milky Way, there is also a stargazing program for the public who want to learn more about the night sky.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Reno, NV (NV)
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