With its beautiful Riverwalk District, downtown whitewater kayak park, popular events and easy access to unlimited outdoor adventure, the bustling city of Reno has come a long way from its mid-1800s beginning. Originally a small community known as Lakes Crossing that popped up to serve westward travelers, the town enjoyed growth from railroad extensions, legalized casino gambling, liberal divorce laws and, eventually, economic diversification beyond gaming. That means that today, Reno has a lot going on for locals and visitors alike.
Downtown Reno, formerly filled with casinos and tourist shops, enjoyed a renaissance of sorts over the past few years. The casinos are still there, but so are chic condominiums and apartments that come with stylish downtown living. Markets, coffeehouses, lounges, tasty restaurants, a movie theater, brewery and various shops line what’s known as the Truckee River Arts District, culminating with the heart of this urban renaissance – the Riverwalk District. There’s also the Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield Park, host of the annual Reno River Festival, the nation’s leading whitewater event. And anchoring the other end of the Arts District is CalAve, running a section of California Avenue and brimming with hip cocktail bars, restaurants, boutiques and more. Just a few blocks east is the new Freight House District, an entertainment complex at the Aces Ballpark with bars and restaurants. Also downtown, visit the Nevada Museum of Art and the National Automobile Museum.
Just west of downtown Reno in Verdi, is Cabela’s, one of the world’s foremost outfitters and an ideal spot to gear up before hitting the great outdoors. Within an hour’s drive of town, there are 18 ski resorts, the picturesque state capital, thousands of mountain biking and hiking trails, numerous golf resorts, scenic Pyramid Lake, and the truly spectacular Lake Tahoe.
Did we mention Reno’s events? There are food, art and jazz festivals, outdoor expos, fun runs, marathons and bicycle races, Hot August Nights, Artown and Street Vibrations, just for starters. The events list is long and varied, and there really is something for everyone. The fact is, the Biggest Little City has really grown up, and there’s no better place to have a little fun.