Reno Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, places to visit, food to try, and more in Reno, Nevada. Plan your trip and explore the city's culturally significant attractions, natural wonders, and outdoor adventures.

Reno, Nevada, is a vibrant city that offers a unique mix of outdoor adventure, culture, and entertainment. Located in Western Nevada, the city has something for everyone, whether you are a history buff, an adrenaline junkie, or just looking to relax and enjoy the stunning landscapes. In this comprehensive travel guide, we will explore the top attractions, hiking and biking routes, best things to do, where to stay, and much more.

Introduction to Reno

Reno is often referred to as “The Biggest Little City in the World,” with a population of just under 250,000 people. The city is famous for its casinos and gambling, as well as its proximity to Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. Reno has a rich history, dating back to the mid-1800s, when it was a small mining town. Today, it is a bustling city with a thriving art scene, delicious cuisine, and plenty of outdoor activities.

List of Places to Visit in Reno

Reno offers a wide range of activities and attractions that will keep you entertained for days. Here are some of our top picks:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • The National Automobile Museum: This museum features over 200 classic cars on display, including vintage muscle cars, race cars, and celebrity vehicles.
  • The Nevada Museum of Art: This museum is not only a showcase of contemporary art but also features rotating exhibits that explore Nevada’s diverse art and cultural history.
  • The Nevada State Museum: Learn about the state’s geology, archaeology, and Native American history in this fascinating museum.
  • The Wilbur D. May Center: This museum is dedicated to showcasing the art and artifacts collected by businessman, rancher, philanthropist, and world traveler Wilbur D. May.

Natural Attractions of Reno: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Mount Rose summit: Take a scenic drive and discover the breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings from the summit, the highest point in Reno.
  • The Truckee River: This clear, cold river runs through the heart of Reno, offering visitors opportunities to fish, kayak, or walk the scenic Riverwalk path.
  • Lake Tahoe: Head to the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe, located just a short drive from Reno, for some of the best boating, swimming, and hiking in the area.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Reno

Reno is surrounded by incredible mountains and trails, offering bikers and hikers a wide variety of options from leisurely strolls to challenging climbs. Here are some of our favorite routes:

  • The Hunter Creek Trail: This trail is perfect for those who want to explore the area’s alpine forests and canyons. The trail is about 5.4 miles long, and hikers can enjoy views of the city along the way.
  • The Galena Creek Trail: This 10-mile trail is perfect for biking or hiking but requires a moderate level of skill and fitness. The route features picturesque views of the Truckee Meadows and the Sierra Nevada mountains.
  • The Keystone Canyon Trail: This hike is located just outside of Reno and offers incredible views of the Verdi Range. At 2.6 miles, the hike is short but has steep sections and is best suited for experienced hikers.

Best Things to Do in Reno: Activities and Tours

No matter what your interests are, Reno has plenty of activities and tours to keep you entertained. Here are some must-try experiences:

  • Take a hot air balloon ride over the city and surrounding mountains.
  • Visit the Circus Circus casino and enjoy the thrilling rides and games.
  • Check out the Riverwalk district for great restaurants and bars, live music, and shopping.
  • Take a guided tour of the area’s most famous landmarks and attractions, including the Lake Tahoe area and the Virginia City historic district.

Week-Long Itinerary for Reno

If you have a week to spend in Reno, here is a sample itinerary to help you make the most of your time:

Day Activity
1 Explore the Downtown area, including the infamous “Reno Arch.”
2 Visit the National Automobile Museum and tour the city’s top casinos.
3 Take a day trip to Lake Tahoe and enjoy hiking, boating, or swimming.
4 Discover Reno’s art scene by visiting the Nevada Museum of Art and taking a walking tour of the city’s murals.
5 Enjoy outdoor activities, such as biking or hiking, on one of the area’s scenic trails.
6 Take a guided tour of the city’s most famous landmarks, including Virginia City and the Truckee River.
7 Relax and enjoy a day of shopping and dining in the Riverwalk district.

Food and Drink Scene of Reno

Reno offers a wide range of culinary options, from casual eateries to fine dining experiences. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Basque cuisine: Reno has a strong Basque culture, and the cuisine is definitely worth trying. Some recommended dishes include lamb chops, paella, and picon punch.
  • The Awful Awful burger: This classic burger can be found at the Little Nugget Diner in downtown Reno. It’s a massive double cheeseburger that is sure to satisfy your hunger.
  • Fresh seafood: Reno is not known for its seafood, but the nearby Lake Tahoe area has some fantastic seafood restaurants.

Local Beverages

  • Picon punch: This cocktail is served in most Basque restaurants in the city and is made with Amer Picon, a French aperitif, lemon, and grenadine.
  • Craft beer: Reno has many craft breweries, including Great Basin Brewing Company and Lead Dog Brewing that offer unique, local brews.
  • Wine: Take a tour of the nearby wineries that offer award-winning vintages.

Where to Stay in Reno: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Reno has a wide variety of accommodation options, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to high-end luxury hotels. Some recommendations include:

  • The Whitney Peak Hotel: This hotel is located in downtown Reno and features modern rooms, excellent dining options, and fantastic views of the city.
  • The Circus Circus Reno Hotel & Casino: This classic hotel is perfect for those who love a little bit of Vegas-style entertainment.
  • The Morris Burner Hostel: This hostel is perfect for budget travelers, and it offers a laid-back atmosphere and fun events.

What to Buy in Reno: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Reno has plenty of souvenir shops and local stores that offer unique products representing the area’s culture and beauty. Here are some recommended items:

  • Handmade jewelry and art from local artisans.
  • A bottle of locally produced wine or beer.
  • A piece of Basque-style clothing or a woven blanket from a local shop.

Local Culture and Customs of Reno

Reno is known for its friendliness towards visitors, and its residents are proud of its unique culture. Here are some things to know before you visit:

  • Respect the area’s Basque culture and traditions
  • Plan ahead for the weather as it can change rapidly, especially in the winter months.
  • Enjoy the nightlife as Reno is one of the few cities that allows open containers of alcohol on its streets.

Best Time to Visit Reno

Reno can be visited throughout the year, but the best time to visit depends on your interests. For those looking to bike and hike outside, summertime is the perfect season to visit. During the winter months, December and January, head to the nearby ski resorts.

Do’s and Don’ts of Reno


  • Enjoy the outdoors and take advantage of the scenic hiking and biking trails.
  • Visit the Lake Tahoe area and enjoy the natural beauty.
  • Try the local Basque cuisine and culture.


  • Drink and drive.
  • Litter or damage public property.
  • Disrespect the local culture and customs.

Safety and Health

Safety in Reno

Reno is generally a safe city to visit. However, it’s always best to take some precautions such as:

  • Keep an eye on your belongings at all times, especially in crowded areas and casinos.
  • Avoid walking alone at night.

Health in Reno

Citizens in Reno adhere to safety guidelines to prevent the spread of pathogens like the Covid19 pandemic. These guidelines may change at any time.

Getting to Reno: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Reno

  • Reno-Tahoe International Airport- the city’s primary airport that serves major airlines’ commercial flights.
  • Truckee Tahoe Airport - an airport that serves for general aviation.

Bus Stations Near Reno

  • Greyhound Bus Station - located in downtown Reno, this station offers several daily bus lines to destinations across the country.

Other Options

  • Train: The Amtrak train station is located in nearby Sparks and offers service between the two cities and Sacramento.
  • Car Rental: Car rental services are offered near the airports and downtown area.

How to Get Around in Reno

Reno is an easy city to get around, with plenty of public transportation options, including buses, taxis, and ride-hail services like Uber and Lyft. Some visitors prefer renting a car for convenience.

Where to Go Next from Reno: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Lake Tahoe: Located just a short drive from Reno, Lake Tahoe is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Carson City: The state’s capital city is just a short drive from Reno and offers a range of attractions, including museums and historic sites.
  • Virginia City: Visit this charming historic town 20 miles southwest of Reno that has preserved its Wild West history.


Reno, Nevada, is a fantastic destination with something to offer every kind of traveler. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, or just a fun getaway, Reno is a city that will keep you entertained. From the best places to visit to must-try food and drink, this travel guide will help you plan your trip and make the most of your time in the Biggest Little City in the World.