Ultimate Reno Guide 2023: TOP 10 Things to do in Reno, Nevada
Updated: Aug 6
Reno, Nevada, dubbed "The Biggest Little City in the World," is close to Lake Tahoe and known for its casinos. But there is much more to this charming city than just gambling. Whether you are into arts and culture, the food and cocktail scene, or gaming, Reno has something for everyone. In this Reno guide, I'm sharing 10 recommendations on what to do in Reno, Nevada.
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1. Reno Arch
Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Reno (besides gambling) is the Reno Arch. Located in the heart of downtown Reno, the original arch was built in 1926. The current Reno Arch was re-installed in 1987, with design updates in 2009 and 2018.
Tip: If you are visiting the Reno Arch at night (the best time to see it in all its lit-up glory), be mindful of your surroundings. While Reno is generally considered a safe city, downtown around the arch and casinos are known to be sketchy at night.
2. Art Murals
Reno is home to countless street murals painted by local and international artists. The Insta-worthy murals add splashes of color all around Reno and are super fun to snap a picture with. Alltrails.com provides a handy art map of the murals and street art in Downtown and Midtown Reno.
3. City Plaza
Located in Downtown Reno along the Truckee River, City Plaza is home to a skate park and two former Burning Man sculptures: BELIEVE and The Space Whale. It's also within walking distance of many bars and restaurants in Reno's Downtown district.
4. University Ridge Park
University Ridge Park offers excellent views of the Reno skyline. The easily accessible overlook is about a 10-minute drive from downtown Reno. Just park your car in the designated parking lot and walk right up to the viewpoint, no hike involved. The park features a paved walking trail and a covered picnic area.
5. Downtown Riverwalk
Located along the Truckee River, the easily walkable Riverwalk District features shops, cafes, restaurants, and a public park. It also hosts numerous events such as concerts, art walks, and wine tours.
6. Basecamp Climbing Wall
Located on the side of the Whitney Peak Hotel in downtown Reno is a 164 ft outdoor climbing wall. The wall towers over the Reno Arch and has been named World's Tallest Artificial Climbing Wall in the Guinness Book of World Records. The wall features easy and more challenging routes making it enjoyable for both beginners and experienced climbers.
Reno certainly isn't short on casino options. For a more upscale and modern experience, there's Grand Sierra Resort, Peppermill, and Atlantis. There's also THE ROW in downtown Reno which consists of 3 casinos: Silver Legacy, Circus Circus Reno, and the Eldorado Hotel Casino, all connected by a skywalk. There are also countless smaller casinos all over Reno.
8. Cocktail Scene
Reno's cocktail scene has flourished over the last decade. Downtown and the Midtown district are known for their mix of fun dive bars, craft distilleries, and stylish speakeasies. Here are a few cocktail bar recommendations:
9. Restaurant Scene
One of the best things to do in Reno is, well, eat! Foodies will certainly appreciate Reno's diverse and eclectic restaurant scene. From casual to upscale to quirky to trendy, Reno is home to an array of tasty dining options. Here are three restaurant recommendations:
10. Virginia City
Virginia City, Nevada is a perfect day trip from Reno. Located about 25 miles from Reno, the historic town (rumored to be haunted) will make you feel like you stepped back in time into the 1800s. Some of the best things to do in Virginia City are to stroll along the wooden boardwalk, grab a drink at one of the old-fashioned saloons, take a mine tour, or stay overnight at one of the haunted hotels. If you are lucky you may even see a wild horse or two during your visit.
You might have noticed that I left Lake Tahoe off this list because I really wanted to focus on Reno itself, plus Tahoe is its own separate entity. However, I share lots of guides on Lake Tahoe here on the blog. Here are a few you might enjoy: