My hometown, Reno, Nevada, was recently put on blast by EscapeHere.com as one of the “10 Worst Cities to Visit in the United States.” Now, I wouldn’t exactly call Reno a travel destination, but there are many fun attractions, activities, and all around merriment to be had in The Biggest Little City. If you get a chance, check out The Biggest Little City Movement, which is a collection of Renoites stories and shared love of our biggest little city. Below is my list of top ten activities and attractions that are a MUST when visiting Reno, or even if you’re a Reno local.
1. Reno Aces Ballpark
The minor league baseball team, The Reno Aces, are a hometown favorite to many. If you want to catch a $1 hotdog on Sundays with your kids, or $2 beer specials on Thursdays with your friends, Reno Aceball is always a fun, relaxing summertime activity,
2. Reno River Wine Walk/Pub Crawls
Now I don’t want to portray Reno as a major drinking town as Time Magazine boasts in their article about America’s Drunkest Cities, but man do us Renoites know how to party! Every month, on the 3rd Saturday, the Reno River Walk presents a Wine Walk, filled with classy sips of wine and lots of walking to burn those calories. There are also many crawls that Reno is known for, the Zombie Crawl in October and the Santa Crawl in December are always highly attended.
Another favorite bar event of mine is Soul Night, happening the first Friday of each month. Each month, The Lincoln Lounge dusts off their oldies records and has a backyard party, lasting often to the wee hours of the morning. No bumping and grinding allowed!
3. River Float
While I have never floated the river (I can’t swim!), many friends of mine tell me how much fun it is to take a blow-up mattress to the top of the river, and float on down. Bring your sunscreen and water shoes, it’s going to be a long hike back up to your car!
4. Fleishmann Planetarium
How awesome was the planetarium when you took your 4th grade field trip there? Well guess what, STILL AWESOME! Plus, every Friday and Saturday night at 8pm, there is a Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon Light Show! Check out all the different shows they have here.
Although this list is about Reno, I couldn’t leave out our neighbors at Tahoe, just an hour drive away! In the summer time, Lake Tahoe is great for camping, water sports, swimming, or just hanging out on the beach with friends. There are also several amazing hiking trails. The winter is when I am there the most, with 7 world-class ski resorts. A trip to Tahoe is always a great mini-vacation, right in Reno’s backyard.
Artown only comes around once a year, but I needed to add it because it is the most event-packed, culturally exciting month. Each July, artists of all media come together for events all around Reno. Whether it’s an outdoor movie and concert at Wingfield Park, an Art Walk down Midtown, children’s crafts and painting lessons, or a concert given by the Reno Municipal Band, there is never a dull moment at Reno Artown.
7. Small Business
If you haven’t been to Midtown, you haven’t caught on to the true essence of the Reno experience, which is small local owned businesses and restaurants with quirky and fun characteristics all their own. My favorite is a new restaurant that just popped up called Great Full Gardens.
8. Food Truck Fridays
The first and third Friday of every month, the downtown Citicenter hosts an event called Food Truck Friday. Food trucks have hit the Reno scene in a big way, and this bi-monthly event brings all of Reno’s favorite food trucks together to create a delicious taste test of all the food trucks. You won’t want to miss this!
9. Sparks/Reno Events Season
Reno/Sparks is host to so many annual events, that really make our community what it is. Working in event planning, I can tell you that these events are what give The Biggest Little City it’s special charm, and a big reason why I have yet to leave my beautiful exciting town. Here are SOME of the hundreds of events put on each year:
June 20 – June 26
July 12 – August 25
Hot August Nights
August 6 – August 11
I have been coming to Hot August Nights ever since I can remember, as my dad is a huge classic car enthusiast. I can’t even count the number of poodle skirts I have shoved in my closet from this fun blast from the past event!
Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off
August 28 – September 2
Of course I couldn’t leave out the Nugget’s original and widely attended event! Hope you’re all ready, I’ve been working on this one all summer!
August 26 – September 2
I’ve never been, but I hope to go one day. I hear it’s an experience you won’t want to miss!
September 6 – September 8
Reno Air Races
September 11 – September 15
September 25 – September 29
10. My Breathtaking Little City
Reno has been given a bad rep in many different areas, but if you take a minute to look at the scenery and take it all in, you’ll realize how beautiful my town truly is. It’s a city, it’s a cowboy town, it’s everything you’d ever want in one small town, one big little city.