The city of Sparks, Nevada—Reno’s next-door neighbor—attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year for the meat-tacular Best in the West Nugget Cook-Off, the automobile extravaganza that is Hot August Nights, and big-time biker bashes during Street Vibrations. It’s also home to the Reno-Tahoe area’s premier shopping mall (including plenty of brand-name outlets) and the flagship location of award-winning Great Basin Brewing Company.

It’s Happening Here

Sparks, Nevada

The city of Sparks, Nevada is an easygoing town right next door to Reno, but this community of about 100,000 residents certainly knows when to turn up the fun. Originally a swathe of Truckee Meadows ranch lands, Sparks rocks its railroad heritage with its nickname, “Rail City,” and draws visitors with wild annual events, recreation along the Truckee River, and prime shopping, as the outlet capital of Washoe County. Sparks hotels offer magnificent views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and are a great base of operations for your next northern Nevada getaway.


All Seasons



Sparks Museum & Cultural Center

Sparks Museum & Cultural Center

Sparks History & Culture

Sparks, named for Nevada Governor John Sparks, sprang up in 1904 as the site of a major, new Southern Pacific Railroad switch yard, earning it the nickname “Rail City.” In the 1950s, while Reno rose to casino town fame, Sparks remained a quieter neighbor. Get a close-up glimpse of the region’s history and heritage at the Sparks Museum & Cultural Center, where you’ll be greeted by local icon Last Chance Joe, the colorful 32-foot-tall miner dude who stands tall above downtown Sparks.

Things To Do In Sparks, NV

Hot Ribs, Hot Rods, Hot Deals, and More

Sparks knows how to draw itself a crowd. Every Labor Day, Victorian Avenue closes to traffic for hundreds of thousands of barbecue buffs to mow down more than 240,000 pounds of ribs at the famous Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off, one of the biggest grilling competitions in the nation. Thousands of classic cars, hot rods, and vintage vehicles of all stripes cruise the streets during Hot August Nights, while thousands of bikers gear up for the Spring and Fall Rallies of Street Vibrations.

Outlets at Legends Shopping Mall

Fishermen spin for trout, catfish, and even bass at the Sparks Marina, chase wild browns and rainbows in the Truckee River, and head up to nearby Pyramid Lake to cast flies from submerged ladders for the rare and massive, salmon-sized Lahontan cutthroat trout, Nevada’s official state fish. During holiday season, visitors find plenty of family fun during the annual Hometown Christmas parade and festivities. 

Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off

Shoppers swoop in from all over and easily fill full days scoring bargains throughout the 51 brand-name stores at The Outlets at Legends Shopping Mall, including Levi’s, Banana Republic, H&M, and Forever 21, between taking in an Imax movie, chowing down at more than a dozen restaurants, and exploring the gargantuan SCHEEL’S sporting good store, complete with an aquarium, hall of wax presidents, and even a Ferris wheel.

Sparks Marina

Sparks Restaurants

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a dark time when you couldn’t find fresh, delicious craft brew in every town in America. Downtown Sparks was a rare place that you could, thanks to Great Basin Brewing Company, who opened their Sparks ale house back in 1993 and has been serving up award-winning ales—including their flagship “Icky,” short for “ichthyosaur,” in honor of Nevada’s official state fossil—juicy burgers, and their famous beer cheese soup ever since.

Western Village Inn & Casino

Better reserve ahead if you’re after a meal at Reno locals’ annually highest-rated and aptly named steakhouse, The Steak House at Western Village Inn & Casino, home to USDA Certified Angus bone-in ribeyes, cowboy-toppinged tomahawk cuts, top-notch surf dishes, and some of the best martinis around. If you can’t get in, “down-home cooking” awaits at M&M’s Southern Café, Siu Korean BBQ offers traditional tabletop grilled delights, and Mexican-influenced breakfasts abound at the small classic diner counters at Carlillo’s Cocina.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Two words, pal: RIB VILLAGE. Veteran scarfers at the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off know the best bang for your buck is to bring your buds and book a table in the VIP section, where all-you-can-eat access to every vendor’s goods—plus unlimited beverages to wash it all down—await.

Sparks Hotels & Casinos

When you get to Sparks, it’s impossible to miss the two towers of the Nugget Casino Resort rising high above Victorian Square. What began as a small coffee shop in 1955 is now a local landmark offering 1,600 sleek rooms and suites with stunning mountain views, a spectacular year-round indoor atrium pool (and more of those huge, amazing views), lively gaming floor and sports book, and a suite of restaurants adored by visitors and locals alike—especially Anthony’s Chophouse for fine steaks and the Oyster Bar for pan roasts, seafood, and a killer happy hour.

Western Village Inn & Casino
Nugget Casino Resort

The Western Village Inn & Casino, on the shores of the picturesque Sparks Marina, offers 147 ample rooms and suites, plenty of games and a happening sports book bar, four bars and lounges, and four popular restaurants, including that incredible steakhouse. More Sparks casino action can be had at Rail City Casino, home to the popular Rail City Ale House, and at Baldini’s Casino, where gametime specials delight hungry sports fans.


Whether you’re pilin’ up bones at the rib cook-off, knocking back Ickys, or lounging by the pool, tag your pics with #TravelNevada so we can share them here and help make your Sparks memories fly!

New Beer Release Today! 
Cloud Cuddles Northeast-Style Hazy IPA 
Notes: mango, pineapple and tangerine
Featuring Mosaic, Galaxy and Samba hops and @meccagrade malted barley and white wheat. 

#newbeer #revisionbrewing #labelart by @mschlosky
Your #SeafoodBoil is here until 9p. You can even get it to-go. 

See you soon! 

Our Sparks location is a great spot to social distance and enjoy some cold, refreshing drinks. Come grab some beer to take home as we gear up for the week ahead!  Both locations are open and ready to serve. We'll see you soon! 🍻
“ Last Chance Joe” as he stands today in Sparks, Nevada.  Back in the day, he stood in an alcove outside of John Ascuaga’s Nugget, facing west. He’s been moved down the street and faces east. When I visited the Nugget, I thought he was gone for good, but there he was.

This is a memory of my time working at that casino. I even had one of my dealers aprons embroidered with “Last Chance Joe.” (Although, my main one was “Sad Eye Joe.“)

🚙.🛣.⛰.⚒. 🎰 
🚙.🛣.⛰. ⚒.🎰.
🚗.🛣.🏔. ⚒.🎰.
🚙.🛣.⛰. ⚒.🎰.
🚗.🛣.🏔. ⚒.🎰.

(July 28, 2020)

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#⚒ #cartoonman #monument #museum #LastChanceCafe
#epichigh #escape Come and enjoy  Free Hot Sakes 🍶 with your AYCE sushi 🍣 @thajointsushi 🤤🤤
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Available on tap and in cans at the Sparks location and will be at the Reno location shortly!! 
This may be the juiciest hazy to date and is easy drinkin’🍻
30 IBU 
$15.99 for a 4pck of 16oz cans 
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Single, double or triple, how do you take your burger? The Island Burger at Island Grill is customizable with an option to add bacon, a fried egg, sautéed onions and mushrooms and more! 

Open Thursday - Sunday at 11am.
Are you one of the lucky ones to get the day off work for Nevada Day? Stop by Copper Cat Studio and start your holiday shopping! Copper Cat Studio is a great place to shop, supporting over 20 local artisans in a quiet and safe environment. We are here today Friday and tomorrow Saturday 11am-3pm.
Visit the studio gift shop Tuesdays 11-6pm, Wednesdays-Thursdays 11-4pm, Friday-Saturdays 11-3pm or by appointment. Copper Cat Studio, 300 Kresge Lane in Sparks behind Woody's Grille.
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What's more fun than visiting a classic drive-in? Stay socially distanced and enjoy a great movie the old fashioned way! Founded in 1950, the West Wind is a family company committed to keeping the American Drive-In experience alive. ⁠
The best part? The El Rancho drive-in is only a four-minute drive from Green Pines Apartments. Who's ready for a movie and popcorn? 🚘🍿⁠
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