Reno Travel Guide

Nearby Airports

Write a Review
Popular Travel Destinations

Recently Reviewed Hotels Around Reno

Reno Travel Guide

Reno Local History

It was during the 1850's when people travelling on the Humboldt Trail to California had to cross the Truckee River that some enterprising souls decided to establish river crossings and charge a toll. Myron Lake with more forethought than the others, built a hotel and a saloon. He also decided that several miles of road which led to his crossing was feasible and when the mining boom began in Virginia City, his forethought was well rewarded. His crossing became the busiest and he became rich. This enabled him to buy most of neighbouring land.

Lake offered to donate land for a town if the Central Pacific Railroad would establish a passenger and freight depot. The company agreed and in 1868 a new town was established, after land lots were auctioned off. The town was named after Jesse Reno, a Union general who had been killed during the Civil War.

Reno became the seat of the Washoe County in 1870 and the Virginia & Truckee Railroad linked Reno to the boomtowns of the Comstock Lode in 1872. Reno was a rough railroad town with a population of 4,500 people by 1900 and due to the generosity of some mining magnates it had also got a university.

When the mining boom started to decline and the rest of Nevada stood still, Reno used the vices of the frontier towns such as gambling and prostitution to help its economy grow. These vices became attractions and during prohibition, Reno tolerated the speakeasies. It also became a place were mobsters came to launder their money. If you stayed as a resident for a short six weeks, you could make use of Reno's other major 'industry' the ability to get an easily finalized divorce.

To help diversify the economy the Carson Valley was irrigated for agricultural development and with light industry and warehousing this became possible. However, the regional economy is increasingly becoming dependent on the revenues of gambling and the tourist income.

Reno Attractions

Top Attractions

Casinos North Viginia Str., Reno. Probably the biggest attraction in Reno is the casinos and if you are prepared to loose a little bit or a lot of money these are the places to go to. There are plenty in downtown Reno and some are just for gambling and others have light shows and circus acts. Harrah's, a traditional casino, is one of the biggest and fanciest in Reno. It is one of the best places to watch a lot of people loose a lot of money. Circus Circus is a casino with Vegas-style acts and a gambling arena.

National Automobile Museum For those you are interested in cars this is a must. The exhibits are vehicles which have been perfectly restored and displayed with artefacts from their era. Here you will find cars which are one of a kind, those which have been custom built and experimental ones. There are cars such as the Bucky Fuller's 1934 Dymaxion and the 1961Beatrik Bandit which belonged to Ed Roth. The museum is situated on the south bank of the river and you can take an easy walk downtown.

Wilbur May Centre Rancho San Rafael Park. This centre which includes a museum, arboretum and children's park is commemorated to Wilbur May an adventurer, philanthropist and wealthy traveller who spent the last years of his life in Reno. In the museum you will find exhibits of items that he picked on his travels and about his life. There are also exhibits of the animals that he shot while still alive. The arboretum has an indoor tropical garden and outside gardens which have Great Basin desert plants. The children's fun park has a petting zoo plus a log ride. A day out at the centre will have something that everyone can do and enjoy.

Ponderosa Ranch 100 Ponderosa Ranch Rd, Incline Village This ranch is situated on 600 acres of land and is 35 miles southwest of Reno. Here you will be able to tour the Cartwright Ranch House and during summer enjoy the Hay-wagon Breakfast tour. You will be able to see authentic stage coaches and they also have covered wagons used by the pioneers who settled in the territory. The ranch also has one of the largest Western American displays in the world.

Masquerade Reno's Hottest Upscale Nightclub and Ultra-Lounge. Featuring the Only EAW Avalon Sound system in Nevada (the same system which won San Fran's Ruby Sky top honors), this casual yet upscale club features a full front bar, set to a Mardi Gras theme, and a dance lounge with state of the art sound and lights. Located at 535 East 4th Street, Masquerade features lighted, secure paved parking outside, and Reno's Best DJ's spinning the hottest Hip Pop early and the Best Resident and Guest DJ's from around the World spinning into the early hours of the morning with Nocturnal Bliss, the best After Hours Party on the West Coast. Masquerade. 535 East 4th Street. Reno, NV 89512. 775-284-3663. www.reno-masquerade.com. www.myspace.com/renomasquerade. Tuesday-Saturday. 8PM - Close
submitted by Ken Cline, 05/06/06

Reno Shopping

Clementine's North - A Country Store 3330 Kietzke Ln, Kietzke Centre, Reno. This charming shop is located in the Kietzke Centre sells country-themed items. In the store you will find home accessories, kitchenware, ceramics, mirrors, crystals and much, much more.

Irish Crystal Company 1274 East Plumb Ln, Ste D, Reno. Here you will find some of the best selection of crystal in Reno. They offer crystal from notable makers such as Waterford, Swaroyski and Lladro. They also have a really lovely selection of jewellery and art.

Pipe Dreams 221 Vassar St, Reno This lovely boutique is housed in a charming 1930's bungalow and has a really excellent selection decorative lamps, gift ideas and plenty of arts and crafts.

Meadowwood Mall Viginia St,@McCarran Blvd, Reno. This mall as more than 100 shops including such department stores as Macy's and J C Penney. It is the premier shopping mall in Reno and visitors will be able to find anything from gifts and clothing to travel accessories. The information centre is manned by Reno residents who willingly give information on the surrounding areas.

Park Lane Mall 310 Plumb Ln, at South Virginia St, Reno. This is where the shopper will have a really good time shopping. There are department stores such as Sears and Gottschalk and the visitor will find items such as clothing, jewellery and toys in the mall.

Reno Activities

Wild Island 250 Wild Island, Sparks. This water park situated in Sparks which is just west of Reno offers huge fun for the entire family. Here you will find water slides, a tidal pool, a miniature golf course, bumper cars and much more all set in a tropical atmosphere.

Sierra Safari Zoo 10200 North Virginia Str., Reno. This is the largest zoo in Nevada and is located 8 miles north of downtown Reno. Here you will find more than 200 animals and about 40 different species. You will also be able to enjoy one-on-one contact with the animals. Children and adults alike are sure to enjoy the zoo.

Great Basin Adventure On the river, Reno. This park built in 1927 can be found just east of Virginia Str. There is plenty on offer as a playground, facilities for baseball and volleyball, picnic areas and a lovely rose garden. The gardens are in bloom in the summer and this is the best time to visit.

Reno Parks & Gardens

Wingfield Park Arlington St, between 1st and River Sts, Reno. This is an island park and is located downtown. The park consists of five parks in one East Island, Brick Park, Bennett Park, West Island and Bicentennial Park. The park offers picnic facilities, paths and an amphitheatre plus basketball courts and is situated along the Truckee River. This is a really nice place to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Virginia Lake South Virginia St, Reno. This park situated just north of the Peppermill Hotel is a peaceful place to go to get away from the frantic pace of the city. The park offers picnic facilities, playgrounds and if you really feel up to it a good walking and jogging path. There are also soccer/football fields, fitness area and of course the lake.

Pyramid Lake 208 Capitol Hill, Nixon. This remnant of the prehistoric Great Basin Sea is a real beauty. For the best fishing spot Pyramid Lake is probably the best in the area. Here the fisherman will find Lahontan Cutthroat trout, and Cui-iu fish and ancient species and can only be found here and in Lake Titicaca, Peru. Paiute Indians have made this area their home and they offer guided tours of the fish hatcheries. There are mystical rock formatives around the lake and on the west side look out for the 'Weeping Mother' formation. Hiking and picnic facilities are available and whether you go to explore, fish or just hike in this wonderful place, you are sure to go away satisfied.

Reno Restaurants and Bars

Reno Restaurants

Big Ed's Alley Inn 1036 East 4th St, Reno. If you want to enjoy a big, juicy steak that has been grilled perfectly, in an atmosphere that is laid-back and casual then Big Ed's is definitely the place to go. They also have a superb prime rib on offer from Tuesday to Thursday.

Cactus Creek Bar & Grill Bonanza Casino, 4720 North Virginia St, Reno. This restaurant has palm trees throughout and slanted adobe walls. Visitors will find themselves surrounded by flowing water and a blazing fireplace. The menu offers good Southwestern cuisine with specialities such as fajitas, New Mexico enchiladas and soup of the day is delicious, tasty and hearty. The tequila sundae is recommended for dessert.

Cafe Napa 219 North Centre St, Harrah's Hotel & Casino, Reno. This is Harrah's newest restaurant and is open 24 hours a day. The restaurant has a lovely airy atmosphere and you can choose from good Western entrees to Asian fare. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and the prices are exceptionally reasonable.

The Liberty Belle 4250 South Virginia St, Reno This restaurant dates back from around 1958 and is a pleasant change from all the modern and sleek buildings in Reno. The menu is simple with such favourites as steak, barbeque ribs, fried chicken and different seafood and fish. They also have a collection of vintage slot machines including the 1898 'Liberty Belle'

Reno Bars & Clubs

Bahia Nightclub 432 East 4th St, Reno. Although this is the newest Latin nightclub in Reno it is fast becoming the most popular. If you enjoy good Latin music this is the place as they have anything from salsa to meregue to samba.

The Cube Bar 2707 South Virginia St, Peppermill Hotel & Casino, Reno. This lively new bar is popular with tourist and the locals. They have premium cocktails and the entertainment is really high-energy.

The Garage 2500 East 2nd St, Reno Hilton, Reno. Here you will find live music every night barring Tuesday. The music includes jazz, swing, alternative, blues and country music bands. You can call ahead to find out what shows will be featured.

Reno children's activities

Wild Island 250 Wild Island, Sparks. This water park situated in Sparks which is just west of Reno offers huge fun for the entire family. Here you will find water slides, a tidal pool, a miniature golf course, bumper cars and much more all set in a tropical atmosphere.

Sierra Safari Zoo 10200 North Virginia Str., Reno. This is the largest zoo in Nevada and is located 8 miles north of downtown Reno. Here you will find more than 200 animals and about 40 different species. You will also be able to enjoy one-on-one contact with the animals. Children and adults alike are sure to enjoy the zoo.

Great Basin Adventure On the river, Reno. This park built in 1927 can be found just east of Virginia Str. There is plenty on offer as a playground, facilities for baseball and volleyball, picnic areas and a lovely rose garden. The gardens are in bloom in the summer and this is the best time to visit.

Reno Tours

Looking for organised tours in Reno?

Featured Hotels in Reno

Know a thing or two about Reno ?

Please share your experiences and tips with your fellow travellers.
Your personal details and email address won't be published.

Fields with an * are required. Errors will be indicated in red