Reno’s downtown, highlighted by the Truckee River Whitewater Park and Riverwalk District, continues to be revamped and now includes a wine walk and beer crawl to help fill two Saturday afternoons nearly every month. Reno is growing, and it shows. Craft breweries, distilleries, boutique shops, and unique restaurants have all found a new home in The Biggest Little City. And Reno’s events are better than ever. When the big events hit the city, such as Hot August Nights (classic cars), Street Vibrations (motorcycles) and the National Championship Air Races (planes), Reno Tahoe rises to a whole new level of fun. With celebrity-chef restaurants – try Charlie Palmer’s Steakhouse and Fin Fish at Grand Sierra Resort – great shopping areas, such as The Summit and Cabela’s outdoor store, world-renowned events, and a blossoming downtown district, Reno is one of northwestern Nevada’s most diverse destinations.
Reno’s close neighbor, Sparks, claims the largest Scheels outdoor superstore in the world. Did we mention the outdoors? Aside from its proximity to the largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe, Reno is just a hop, skip, and a jump from world-class skiing, high desert camping, and hiking. There are tons of ski areas to check out in the winter and lots of exploring to be had in the summer. Reno is close to the Tahoe rim trail and tons of state parks and makes a great home base for urban and outdoor adventurers alike.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Then there’s Lake Tahoe, more than 70 miles of majestic shoreline with recreation opportunities galore in and around the clear, blue body of water. Bordering two states, Lake Tahoe is in Nevada and California, depending on which side of the lake you’re on. North Lake Tahoe is in Nevada, and South Lake Tahoe is in California.
South Lake Tahoe has all the casinos, world-class acts and nightlife Nevada is known for, while all around the lake outdoor activities abound hiking, biking, golfing, and water sports in the warm months, and world-class skiing (downhill and cross country), snowboarding, and snowshoeing in the winter. Every summer, Incline Village on the north side of the lake hosts the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival on the beaches of Sand Harbor against the unparalleled Lake Tahoe sunset. Hey, the stats don’t lie – Lake Tahoe was the number-one destination booked by travelers on Orbitz.com in a recent six-month period, and TripAdvisor ranked it the number-one U.S. destination in 2008.
Virginia City & Carson Valley, Short Drive from Reno Tahoe
The Reno Tahoe area is a place where the modern mixes with the old-timey. There’s the Reno-Sparks area, which gives off more of a modern, budding-city feel. Then, just a short drive away, there are more old-timey western towns. Each one has something different to offer, and each has its own personality, history, and character. If history is what you're after, be sure to visit Virginia City, with a main street seemingly out of the 1800s.
Carson Valley’s quaint towns of Genoa, Minden and Gardnerville are ripe with Nevada nostalgia, like the Genoa Bar and Saloon, Nevada’s oldest watering hole. In Carson City, the state capital, the Kit Carson Trail historical walking tour is available, and the city is home to the Nevada State Museum, along with landmarks such as the Carson Mint at the Nevada State Museum and the silver-domed State Capitol.
Pyramid Lake, Northwestern Nevada’s Hidden Gem
In addition to Lake Tahoe, Nevada has Pyramid Lake. Just north of Reno, this lake is one of Nevada’s liquid gems. Completely within the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation, the lake is the largest remnant of the ancient glacial Lake Lahontan.
Aside from the stunning pyramid-shaped rock formation jutting out of the lake, visitors will find some of the best fishing in Nevada with 20-pound native Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and will be assuredly impressed with Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to one of the largest colonies of American White Pelicans in the nation.