Reno often plays second fiddle to Las Vegas, but there is much more to the “biggest little city in the world” than meets the eye. If you travel off the beaten path, you’ll find stunning natural beauty, budget-friendly restaurants and fun outdoor adventures for the whole family.
Our guide to hidden gems around Reno will ensure you skip the lines and traffic and head straight for relaxation.
Marlette Lake, Reno’s Best Kept Secret
If it weren’t for Lake Tahoe, Marlette Lake would be the obvious go-to destination in Reno. But lucky for you the breathtaking views of Spooner Country, 20 minutes from Heavenly Village, are never too crowded. Hike or bike there and extend your outdoor excursion on the connected Tahoe Rim and Flume Trails.
Fine Dining at Louis Basque Corner
Opened in 1967, Louis Basque Corner is one of the premiere Basque restaurants in the country. As the famous Picon Punch flows, taste the Spanish and French influences and indulge in fish and various meats cooked over hot coals. After your meal, you’ll understand their motto: “To us, you’re one of the family.”
Explore Galena Creek Regional Park
Nestled on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Galena Creek Regional Park hosts a variety of fun activities year-round. Hike along the Galena, Jones and White’s Creeks, or grab some fishing poles at Galena Fish Hatchery and cast out a line on Marilyn’s Pond. During the winter the park hosts snowshoeing along relaxed routes as well as a more intense 9-mile loop.
Take a Dip at Chimney Beach
One of three hidden beaches along the eastern side of Lake Tahoe, Chimney Beach boasts what many locals regard as the best hike in Reno with beautiful white sands and calm, deep blue water.
Two and a half miles south of Sand Harbor, parking is limited near the two entrances so be sure to get there early and stake out your spot. The rocky coastline is absolutely picturesque, as the name Chimney Beach comes from the inevitable photo you’ll take there and hang on your mantle once you’re home.
Craft Cocktails at Death and Taxes
With fresh, delicious cocktails made from seasonal ingredients, Death and Taxes is the premiere speakeasy in Reno. The skillful, inventive bartenders and sophisticated atmosphere made Death and Taxes a staple for locals and visitors alike. While it is a perfect date spot, the bar also offers group deals on bartending classes, wine tastings, pairings and other event offerings to book ahead of time.
Spooky Fun at the Bat Bridge
Ride your bike four miles from downtown Reno to the S. McCarran Boulevard bridge over the Truckee River during the summer for free nightly entertainment: a 40,000-strong bat colony which flies from the bridge around sunset. While it isn’t the largest bat colony in Nevada, the large rocks and close proximity to the city make it one of the most entertaining shows in town.
Vintage Cars and More at the National Automobile Museum
If you are a fan of vintage cars get ready, because the National Automobile Museum is the place for you. Created from the private collection of William F Harrah, the museum opened in 1989 with over 200 classic cars from the 1912 Rambler 73-400 Cross Country from the movie Titanic to Elvis Presley’s 1973 Cadillac Eldorado. It’s no wonder the museum has been hailed as one of the greatest in the country by Car Collector Magazine and AutoWeek.
Art and Nature Meet at the Reno Playa Art Park
With murals and sculptures throughout the city, it is no secret that Reno loves and supports their local artists. Reno also hosts the yearly Burning Man Festival late each summer, which includes a variety of mind-bending statues from local and international artists. The Reno Playa Art Park carries this spirit year-round with pieces from the previous year’s Burning Man on display to enjoy in case you can’t make it to the playa.
Amazing Mexican Food at Tortas Ebenezer
A true hole-in-the-wall gem, Tortas Ebenezer serves up some of the best Mexican food this side of the border including their namesake; locally acclaimed tortas many locals consider the best in the city. Finish your meal off with a cool aqua fresca and you’ll see why locals keep coming back for more.
Family-Friendly Adventures at the Truckee River Whitewater Park
Grab a paddle and hit the water with beginner and intermediate whitewater-rafting trips along the class 2 and 3 rapids of the Truckee River. Children seven years or old can join in on the fun, so strap the family in and explore the three-hour Boca or Verdi runs which launch twice a day in the morning and afternoon.
Many may think of Reno as the little sibling of Los Vegas, but the “biggest little city in the world” has a charm all its own. Whether you are looking for a romantic night out or somewhere to bring the whole family, Reno is full of stunning surprises.