With its flashy casinos, cultural centers, and restaurants worthy of a much larger metropolis, Reno lives up to its billing as “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Like a mini-Vegas, it’s filled with neon lights and desert surrounds. Hollywood loves Reno too: it’s been the site of many major movie sets, including Desert Hearts, Kingpin, Sister Act, The Wizard, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Ocean’s Eleven, and The Misfits. Walk through the city’s revitalized downtown during the day and try your luck at the casinos by night—there’s plenty to do in this scenic town at the base of the Sierra Mountains.
Must-Sees in Reno
- Casinos: The pink neon sign of the Eldorado; the midway arcade and gloriously creepy clowns at Circus Circus; and Harrah’s Reno, the first Harrah’s in the world—visit them all as you explore the blackjack, slot, and poker offerings.
- Virginia Street: Reno’s Strip is a dizzying neon cacophony of casino, restaurant, and hotel signs. Check out the iconic Reno Arch, which straddles the street and lights up at night. The place for a souvenir photo.
- National Automobile Museum: Ground zero for car worshippers. More than 200 rare and historic automobiles are on display, including the 1949 Mercury James Dean drove in Rebel Without a Cause.
Outside in Reno
- Idlewild Park: Meander from downtown to this charming park on the Truckee River, where you’ll find a rose garden, duck ponds with fountains, and a small theme park open in the summer.
- Bike the mountains: The area around Reno is open desert surrounded by mountains (read: excellent mountain-biking conditions). The Peavine Peak trail network covers hundreds of miles and is popular with local bikers.
- Wingfield Park: Go tubing on the Truckee River or paddle your way around the kayak park.
Where to Stay
- Grand Sierra Resort: This luxury lakeside resort boasts one of the largest casinos in northern Nevada, plus a manmade beach, pools, and live entertainment.
- Atlantis: A hotel just south of downtown. Features an onsite casino, multiple restaurants, rainbow stripes on its main tower, and two pools.
- Eldorado Hotel Casino: Stay right on Virginia Street (a.k.a. the Reno Strip) when you stay at this classic casino hotel, which features newly remodeled rooms and several restaurants and bars.