2021 Reno Visitors Guide
Famously known as the “Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno boasts much to offer its visitors. From acclaimed casinos to intriguing museums to renowned ski resorts, this city is home to a wide range of great attractions, sites of interest and things to do year-round. Whether you visit the city for entertainment, culture or just to get away for the weekend, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time. The city’s variety of attractions and hidden gem destinations make it a truly remarkable place to visit.
Reno Fun Guide
Reno is located in Western Nevada at the foothills of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. Known for its stunning scenery and world-famous casinos, it offers a little bit of something for everyone. The city can be easily accessed by car, train, bus or by the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Taxis, car rental services, and buses make getting around the city very convenient and intuitive.
The city’s premier attraction is its world-class collection of famed casinos. Second, only to fabulous Las Vegas, Reno boasts a staggering array of casinos and entertainment destinations for visitors to explore. The city boasts the famed Reno Nugget, the Eldorado, the Silver Legacy, Circus Circus, and a plethora of other casinos and gaming halls to discover. Known for their glitz, glamour, and wealth of shops, shows, and restaurants, the city’s casinos offer plenty to see and do even for those uninterested in gambling.
Reno cultural attractions
In addition to the spectacle offered by its wide array of casinos, Reno also boasts a surprising offering of cultural attractions such as museums, parks and historic sites to discover. The renowned Nevada Museum of Art, a must-see destination for art lovers, offers a huge collection of artwork from across the world while Idlewild Park and Wingfield Park offer the perfect spots to rest and enjoy some leisure time. Other top attractions in the city include Victorian Square, Rancho San Rafael Park, the Truckee River Arts District, and the restaurants and fine shops of California Avenue.
Finally, Reno boasts an impressive array of ski resorts like Squaw Mountain Resort as well as beautiful forests and parklands nearby. It is also home to some of the finest restaurants, nightlife spots, shops, and galleries in the Western United States.
From famed casinos to renowned ski resorts to a wealth of nightlife and entertainment options, Reno truly does have something for everyone. No matter what you’re interested in, this little city has more than you can even imagine.
Reno Downtown Hotels
Downtown Reno is nothing like the old-timers might recall. With gourmet restaurants, luxury casinos, and a new Discovery Museum for children, the city center is coursing with exuberance, innovation, and opportunities to be amazed. Many of the changes in veneer have to do with redevelopment efforts in recent years by the Downtown Reno Regional Center District, which has focused exclusively on turning a long-suffering downtown into a mini-Vegas again. Not far from downtown is Midtown, a neighborhood between Holcomb Avenue and South Virginia Street that offers quaint eateries, bustling bars, trendy retail establishments and plenty of chances to pass your future home.
The West Street Market, in the downtown Riverwalk area, is another conglomeration of retail and bistros with an eclectic bent. For shows, the Good Luck Macbeth Theater, Knitting Factory, Bruka Theater, Pioneer Underground, Reno Events Center, and Pioneer Center for Performing Arts offer spectacles grand and small, at prices that vary from free to haut couture. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown Reno that are quality hotels at an affordable price. Use our Search box above or click here to see available hotels!
About Downtown Reno
Home to world-famous casinos, pulsing nightlife opportunities, and a wide range of shops, lounges, and restaurants, Downtown Reno is the epicenter of the Biggest Little City in the World. The district is also home to great cultural offerings and scenic parks as well, giving it broad appeal to all visitors. For those who visit Reno any time of the year, Downtown Reno and its wealth of attractions and entertainment options is exactly the right place to be.
Downtown Reno forms the historic core of the city and houses its governmental and commercial centers. A walkable district that’s very easy to navigate, it offers plenty to see and do for all visitors. Downtown Reno can be reached by car, train, bus or plane. Transportation options for the neighborhood include driving, car rentals, bus and taxi.
The area lies in close proximity to the city’s wide array of casinos and gaming halls. In addition, it boasts a growing dining scene that offers a diverse range of eateries and restaurants as well as a huge collection of lounges, bars, clubs, sports bars, and other vibrant nightlife spots. Downtown Reno also offers a wide array of shops, galleries and boutiques to explore, including West Street Market.
Downtown Reno is also filled with cultural and leisure options in addition to its superb entertainment opportunities. It holds a wealth of theaters and music venues worth visiting such as the acclaimed Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, the Reno Events Center, the Bruka Theater and the Good Luck Macbeth Theater. Other attractions include the Reno Aces Ballpark and Truckee River Whitewater Park, one of the most unique urban parks in the entire country.
With its world-famous entertainment options, thriving nightlife scene and a surprising array of cultural offerings, Downtown Reno is an exceptional place to visit. The city’s hidden gem, it offers plenty of great things to see and do year-round.
The weather is perhaps best known for attracting all kinds of tourists to Reno and nearby Lake Tahoe at the peak of ski season. Much of Nevada is low desert, making it much warmer than Reno. Reno is much cooler in the weather because of its higher elevation. Unlike the temperature in Las Vegas where it reaches close to 100, summer temperatures in Reno are well between the 80s and 90s. Its coolest month of the year is January with an average high of 44 degrees and an average low of 24. The warmest month is July, with an average high of 84 and an average low of 68 degrees. The precipitation each month usually averages at approximately 1 inch. With more than 300 days of abundant sunshine, there is usually little to no cloud cover.
Reno’s weather is comfortable throughout the year. Travelers flock to Reno each year to take in the scenery, gamble at the casinos, or make the drive to Tahoe to hit the slopes at some of the world’s best ski resorts. Any time of the year is a good time to visit Reno, but depending on the weather, it is best to plan accordingly in the event of any weather-related situations, especially in the winter months. During the winter, temperatures usually dip below freezing, usually during the evening hours. In cooler temperatures, travelers must dress accordingly. Travelers unfamiliar with cold climate should take note of what to expect before traveling to Reno. In the summer months, precipitation or occurrence of thunderstorms are not as frequent.
Due to the warmer desert-like temperatures in the summer, it is important for those taking part in outdoor activities to use the necessary precautions. There is little to no humidity in the summer months. Always wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen in order to protect yourself from the sun. Exposure to the sun is greater at higher elevations. Always plan early and plan ahead for any outdoor activities.
The best times to be outdoors are when the temperatures are cooler, usually in the morning or early evening hours. If you must be outdoors during the day, it is important to remain hydrated at all times. Find shelter with air conditioning if the temperatures are too intense to be outdoors. Those traveling with pets should also exercise similar precautions. All pets must remain hydrated and rest in cooler, shaded places like trees, gazebos, or canopies.
Reno, Nevada is served by the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which is located only 5 miles from downtown Reno. Seven different airlines operate out of the airport. There are eight car rental companies with vehicles located just outside of the baggage claim in the parking lot (Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty). Advantage rental cars are also available off-airport, and a complimentary shuttle is offered to their location. Taxi and limousine service is available, with only a 10-minute ride to all major hotels in the area due to the airport’s convenient location. Paid shuttle service is also available at the airport, and many hotels run complimentary shuttles that pick up along the curb outside of the D doors (north of baggage claim). Bus service is provided between the airport and downtown Reno by the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC). The bus schedule is posted in the baggage claim next to the Regional Information Booth and at the bus stop (located at the north end of the center curb outside of baggage claim).
Reno can also be accessed using rail service. AMTRAK provides daily passenger service to Reno with the California Zephyr train. This train arrives from the Bay Area and Sacramento in the west, and from Salt Lake City and Denver in the East. The Reno AMTRAK station is conveniently located in the heart of downtown at the corner of East Commercial Row and Center Street.
The RTC is Reno’s public transportation provider, and the agency operates RTC Ride, RTC Intercity, RTC Access and RTC Sierra Spirit. RTC Ride is RTC’s public transit bus system, which provides a fleet of 70 buses on 26 routes throughout Reno. There are nearly 1,200 bus stops in the service area. The fare options include single-day, 24-hour, 10-ride, 7-day and 31-day passes. RTC Intercity provides commuter bus service between Reno and Carson City from Monday through Friday. Riders may purchase either a one-way cash fare or a 10-ride RTC Intercity pass. RTC Access is a paratransit service that operates on demand for individuals who meet the criteria of the Americans with Disabilities Act. RTC Sierra Spirit is a free bus service that operates from the University of Nevada to Reno and back. The service normally operates from 7 AM to 7 PM daily but is often extended for special events.
Reno is situated at the junction of Interstates 80 and 580 and is well connected by highway to northern California and Salt Lake City.
Animal Ark was founded in 1981 as a place for injured wild animals that could not be released back into their natural environment. Most of the animals here are from North America. However, there are some big cats here as well. One of the highlights at Animal Ark is the chance to see the regularly scheduled Cheetah Runs. Cheetahs run flat out as fast as they can chasing a mechanical lure. In addition to its rescue activities, Animal Ark also seeks to educate the public about the needs of wildlife. Animal Ark is open on a limited schedule in winter. They are open every day except Monday from March 30 through November 3.
Reno’s National Automobile Museum
Reno’s National Automobile Museum is considered by many to be one of the finest auto museums in the United States. The museum is divided into four galleries that display cars from the 1890s to the modern period. In addition to the many cars on display, the museum has exhibits of car-related art and artifacts. Some of the cars in the museum’s collection include a Stutz Series B Bearcat, a 1958 Edsel Citation and a 1900 Packard B Runabout. The National Automobile Museum is open each day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Nevada Art Museum
The Nevada Art Museum was founded in 1931, and it is considered to be the premier art museum in the state of Nevada. Two of the museum’s focus areas are contemporary art and the art of the western United States. The contemporary collection features work by Chris Drury and Dennis Oppenheim. The western art collection contains work by Minerva Pierce as well as Native American artists. The Nevada Art Museum is closed on Monday, Tuesday and national holidays.
Nevada Historical Society Museum.
Those interested in the history of the state of Nevada will learn a lot at the Nevada Historical Society Museum. The museum houses over 15,000 artifacts related to the state’s history including Native American pottery. Other exhibits in the museum detail the importance of gambling in the state’s history and the importance of the federal government to the state’s economy. Several special exhibits are held throughout the year. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday.
Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center
The Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center is located at the University of Nevada-Reno. The planetarium shows movies about space, and other subjects, throughout the year in its domed theatre. There are exhibits at the planetarium about the Moon, various planets and meteors. There is also a display of astronomical art. This center is open every day of the week.
Enjoy all of the great dining options that Reno provides to its visitors. You’ll find so many great restaurant choices that dining in Reno will be a real treat. Whether you prefer fine dining or casual dining you will be able to find it in Reno.
The River Room
The River Room will start you out with crab and salmon cakes, soups, salads or a cheese platter. You can follow that with a great entree such as the fish of the day which will be market-fresh, a ribeye cooked to your perfection, Mahi Mahi, grilled pork chop and so much more. Enjoy a lobster baked potato with your meal to make it even more delicious. They also offer a kids menu upon request.
4th St. Bistro
4th St. Bistro is also a great choice for dining in Reno; their menu offers appetizers that are sure to please such as oysters on the half shell in a champagne sauce and Artisan cheese trays and more. You can also enjoy great salad and soup choices. For your entree you can choose from seared porcini dusted sea scallops, pan-roasted arctic char and crispy leg of duck confit. For sides, you’ll find golden Yukon mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash and couscous. For dessert try the Pumpkin Pie Crème Brule or the Lemon Sponge Pudding Soufflé. They also have a great wine list or you can enjoy a drink from the bar.
Jasmine will please your Asian hunger with all of your favorites such as Kung Pao Shrimp, Wonton Soup, Peking duck and Mongolian Beef. You can also choose great American dishes such as Steamed salmon, black pepper lamb and seared pork chop. Enjoy shrimp Chow Mein as well as your favorite pan-fried noodles to make your dining experience great.
Peg’s Glorified Ham and Eggs
Peg’s Glorified Ham and Eggs offer a great breakfast and lunch in a casual atmosphere. For breakfast, you can choose eggs, pancakes, waffles, omelets and your favorite breakfast meats whether it’s ham, bacon or sausage. You’ll also find Eggs Benedict on the menu as well as creamed gravy for your biscuits. For lunch, you might choose to have the deli sandwiches such as the Rueben, Club or Turkey Delight. You can also enjoy a burger with your choice of toppings. If you’re in the mood for Mexican have the chili, salmon tacos or the burrito. A basket of sliders may be your choice or you might choose a soup or salad as your meal choice.
Hot August Nights
Vintage cars, live music and nostalgic 1950s and 1960s memorabilia rock Reno every August in the country’s largest classic car festival. The mega-event kicks off in South Lake Tahoe, then takes over downtown Reno, a variety of local casinos and spreads out to neighboring Sparks, all in the spirit of celebrating classic cars, rock ‘n roll and drag racing. Registration for the classic car show is limited to 6,000 cars, but tens of thousands of people attend the raucous event each year. Adults and children alike will delight in the event’s sock hop, “show ‘n shines,” controlled cruises, live concerts and abundant refreshments.
The area’s reputation as a haven for all things motorized extends beyond the Hot August Nights car event to other festivals such as the Street Vibrations Spring Rally. The rally happens each June in nearby Sparks and features motorcycles galore, live entertainment, poker runs, motorcycle games and competition ride-in shows.
For nearly 90 years, cowboys and cowgirls of all ages have relished the fun and competition of the Reno Rodeo. More than 140,000 people and 400 volunteers converge in Reno for the 10-day event that is touted as the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West.” Each year, the rodeo receives more than 1,000 professional athlete applications for the event’s nine performances. Team roping, a parade, a children’s rodeo, a drill team competition and a businessman steer decorating event are just a few of the activities offered at the event sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Festivities begin with the exciting Xtreme Bulls tour.
For those who prefer more active events, Reno has plenty to offer. At the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Relay Run Adventure teams of 12 runners trek a 178-mile course that runs from Tahoe to Reno and back again.
Kayakers and other outdoor adventurers enjoy the annual Reno River Adventure each June and include live entertainment and competitions in slalom kayaking, freestyle and “boatercross.”
Other active Reno events include the Reno 500 off-road race, Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, the U.S. Open of Watercross, Triple-A All-Star Game, Reno Air Race and Tour de Nez-Vada.
Celebrating the Arts
Artown is Reno’s preeminent art event lasting the entire month of July. At more than 100 venues around Reno, Sparks, Lake Tahoe and Virginia City, music, dance, visual arts and theatrical performances take center stage. In all, nearly 500 events are held during Artown, including workshops, performances, and tours. It is considered one of the nation’s most extensive art festivals.
Family Fun near Downtown Reno
There is much happening in the Reno area that is perfect for families. With much emphasis placed on casinos in Reno, one often overlooks all the fun that can be had, especially outdoors. Majestic mountains, wide lakes and blooming desert nearby offer an array of adventure.
Mt. Rose, minutes from Reno, is part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and offers top-notch skiing. Shuttles leave from major hotels, including Circus Circus, the Eldorado and Silver Legacy. Snowboard and ski lessons are given as part of a youth program, and Rosebuds Children’s Camp has classes specifically for kids under 11. Rentals, lessons and lift tickets can all be purchased at the resort; vacation ski packages that combine Reno and Mt. Rose can often be found.
From family walks along the Truckee River in town to moderate hikes in the surrounding mountains, a great way to enjoy family time is to take advantage of all of Reno’s hiking opportunities. Hunter Creek Canyon, a moderate hike, offers streams and rocks to cross. Hidden Valley hikers pass through the shrubbery of the desert and pines, another moderate hike. Callahan Ranch Road, in Reno, offers an easy hike that climbs up Steamboat Hills. This hike offers spectacular views of Mt. Rose, Reno, and Washoe Lake.
The whole family will enjoy biking around Reno, on trails such as the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway. Because the city of Reno itself is quite flat, biking around town provides an easy and fun experience for the whole family. Bikes can be rented and information can be obtained regarding trails; numerous bike shops can be found within Reno. Several shops are on Virginia Street.
Although a fishing license is needed for those over 12 years old, there are many places around Reno that are great for kids. Virginia Lake Park, Rancho San Rafael Park Pond, Sparks Marina and more are fun for all. A Free Fishing Day happens yearly, and no license is needed.
The Great Reno Balloon Race
As the largest free hot air balloon race in the country, these family-friendly events offer fun, spectacular sights, excitement and colorful shapes of balloons.
Each morning, balloons ascend en masse from Rancho San Rafael Park; this is a unique family event to be enjoyed together.
The Reno Air Races and Air Show
Acrobatic airplanes, aircraft displays, races, historic planes and food, drinks, and excitement make this an event for everyone. Souvenirs are also sold, and there is fun for all at this fabulous show.
Shopping near Downtown Reno
The Legends at Sparks Mania
The first place to look for shopping in Reno is The Legends at Sparks Mania. You can find just about anything you would ever want to buy in this gigantic shopping supercenter. It’s almost like its own little city within Reno. There are mechanical bulls, fountains, outdoor fireplaces, sculptures, and plenty more to see in addition to the incredible selections of smaller shops. You can definitely buy an entire new wardrobe of clothing comprised of clothing from several different shops all in one trip. This one is worth a look for sure.
The Summit is almost like an outdoor mall in Reno. It’s a very unique place that you won’t find anywhere else. There are more than 70 shops for you to browse whenever you want, as well as beauty salons, good dining, and specialty retailers. There is even fire pits located outside the shopping center for you to gather around with friends. There’s always something interesting going on at The Summit. You’ll have to stop by the next time you’re in Reno to get a glimpse of this shopping paradise.
The Meadowood Mall is one of the most highly-respected shopping centers in Reno, and there are plenty of reasons for that. The place seems like it was designed to accommodate a wonderful afternoon of shopping for your whole family. The kids enjoy the sights and sounds as much as they do the play places and people in costumes. There’s even a sports grill nearby once you’ve worked up an appetite from shopping. You’ll find plenty of nice things to buy and look at when you come here.
Scheels Sporting Goods Store
Scheels Sporting Goods Store is heaven on earth for sports enthusiasts. They have everything from golf supplies to hunting accessories and everything in between those. If it has to do with sports, there’s a good chance they have it for sale. They also have plenty of athletic and casual footwear for women and men. They even have some clothing that you might find at a department store. You don’t want to miss out on Scheels Sporting Goods Store when you’re in Reno. It is easily one of the largest stores of its type. If you have an athlete that you need to shop for, this is the place to go.
Clay Nichols is one final shopping destination that all Reno visitors should check out when they’re in town. There are plenty of home decor items to browse when you want to kill some time. The beautiful art on display in the store is also for sale, and you can own unique pieces of art if you like. Rare jewelry is also available to purchase here. You could surprise someone back home with a nice watch or a pair of earrings.
Map of Hotels in Reno
- Reno Tahoe Airport – Find hotels near Sparks & Huffaker Hills
- Reno Downtown – Find hotels near West University & Sparks
- University of Nevada – Find hotels near Rancho San Rafael Park & Downtown
- Sierra Safari Zoo – Find hotels near Poeville & Sun Valley
- River Walk – Find hotels near Barbara Bennett Park & Downtown s
- National Automobile Museum – Find hotels near Wingfield Park & Brodhead Memorial Park s
- Rancho San Rafael Park – Find hotels near University of Nevada & West University s