At the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, you’ll find the storied city of Reno. Once a mining and railroad hub, these days, you’ll find plenty of Nevada sunshine, modern art, outdoor activities (rock-climbing, hiking, biking), a buzzy brew scene and naturally, some ole’ fashioned gambling.
Let’s start with some visuals. In Midtown, you’ll discover over 70 street murals in the alleyways (the artist Erik Burke is responsible for over half the works). Later, explore the Will Bruder-designed Nevada Museum of Art, a contemporary black-zinc building inspired by the nearby Black Rock Desert. Inside, you’ll find landscape photography and modern works (you can also enroll in art classes and local programming). Later, view the colorful pieces at Bicentennial Sculpture Park and take a quiet stroll along the peaceful alpine-fed Truckee River.
Parks & More Parks
And now for some nature. A short drive from downtown Reno, you’ll find the vast 580-acre Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. Hit the trails and enjoy A-plus views of Reno’s cityscape from above. Here you’ll also find the lush expanse of the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens (don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers!). Downtown? Stroll the riverwalk or simply find a patch of green at Wingfield Park and watch the kayakers paddle along the Truckee River. Twenty minutes outside of town town, spread your legs at Galena Creek Recreation Area where a network of trails ranges from high desert to deep forest.
Rock Climbing & Bowling
Looking for something outside of the usual? Both novice and experienced climbers head to the world’s tallest (164-ft) artificial rock wall. Here you’ll look down on the famed Reno Arch and out onto the shiny casino marquees. There’s also a speed wall and harness-free indoor bouldering for advanced climbers. Of course, you don’t have to be a bowling aficionado to appreciate the National Bowling Stadium which touts a large, flashy bowling ball from its building (make sure to nab a selfie). Afterwards stop by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame to brush up on your history.
Beers, Coffee & Baked Goods
Reno loves its suds and so should you. Start at Revision Brewing Co, a lively spot with casual picnic tables and a vast IPA selection. Housed in a historic train station, The Depot serves brews alongside a gastro-flared menu of burgers, pasta and tacos. Nearby, you’ll find Lead Dog (stouts and Iagers), 10 Torr Distilling (canned Gin + Tonic), Pigeon Head (German-style pilsner) and IMBiB Custom Brews (barrel-aged sours). For your java fix, linger over flat whites at Hub Coffee Roasters; drop by Old World Coffee Lab for hand-brewed joe or visit Pangolin Cafe for Turkish teas and Americanos. Still thirsty? Nab an iced coffee inside the airy Perenn Bakery – and don’t miss the flaky-fresh danishes, croissants and artisanal breads.
Day Trip to the Wild West
For a step back into time, head to the old mining town of Virgina City. Established in 1859, you’ll find Old West Victorian touches: wooden sidewalks, churches, shops and museums. You can even sip a beer inside one of the old-timey saloons or buy a brim from a custom hat maker. Later, hop aboard a vintage steam locomotive and tour the old silver and gold mines. Or scare yourself silly and take a ghost tour.
Kimpton’s new 270-room hotel, centrally located in Downtown Reno will open in late 2024.