26 Best Things to Do in Reno, NV

Top Destinations Sep 22, 2023

Best Things to Do in Reno, NV

Reno, Nevada, often overshadowed by the flashing lights of Las Vegas, offers a multifaceted experience, from the relaxing ambiance of parks and gardens to the exhilarating rush of thrilling amusement parks and rodeo events. This city, nestled in the high desert valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, is a blend of rich history, vibrant culture, exciting adventures, and stunning natural beauty. It opens its arms to a broad spectrum of interests, making it a remarkable destination, whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or a seeker of quiet contemplation. Here, you can experience the tranquil beauty of Idlewild Park's Rose Garden, unravel mysteries in intense escape rooms, witness the thrilling spectacles at the Reno Rodeo, or just stroll through the historical Virginia Street Bridge, absorbing the unique blend of natural and urban elegance that Reno radiates.

Sailing Through Epochs at the National Automobile Museum

Visiting the National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV, is like stepping into a time capsule, making it an idyllic location for couples seeking a unique, romantic experience. The museum, home to over 200 spectacular automobile displays, covers a wide timeline, allowing you and your partner to meander through various eras of automobile history. The immaculate preservation of these cars offers a true representation of each period's aesthetics and technology. The gleaming cars are not just exhibits; they are pieces of art that tell stories of bygone times.

To add a splash of romantic nostalgia, immerse yourselves in the diverse collection ranging from vintage to classic, each vehicle with its unique charm and elegance. Holding hands while wandering through the captivating displays, you and your partner can share stories and create new memories, letting the ambiance of antique luxury be your backdrop. The seamless blend of history, innovation, and design creates an atmosphere ripe for romance and connection, making this museum a must-visit place for couples in Reno.

Source: Travel Nevada

Uncover the Wonders Together at The Discovery Museum

The Discovery Museum in Reno, NV, offers an enchanting journey for couples looking to play scientist for a day. This expansive science museum is packed with a myriad of interactive exhibits, sparking curiosity and wonder, allowing you and your partner to explore the marvels of science together. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of the human body or uncovering the secrets of the universe, each exhibit becomes a shared adventure, deepening your bond.

Creating a potion in the chemistry lab or experimenting with physics phenomena can bring an unexpected twist to your date, filled with laughter and learning. The museum's dynamic environment encourages playful competition and teamwork, igniting a sense of discovery and intimacy. After a day of unraveling scientific mysteries, relax in the museum's serene garden area, reflecting on your newfound knowledge and experiences.

Source: Travel Nevada

A Canvas of Love at the Nevada Museum of Art

The Nevada Museum of Art serves as a romantic sanctuary for art-loving couples, offering a rich tapestry of artworks that span different eras, styles, and mediums. It stands as a testament to the human creative spirit, and visiting it could make for a timeless romantic experience. The museum’s diverse collection allows couples to explore the realms of artistic expression, whether it be contemporary, traditional, or somewhere in between.

Wandering through the serene galleries hand in hand, lovers can lose themselves in the visual narratives, each piece offering a chance for deeper connection and understanding. Sharing interpretations and feelings about the artworks can lead to meaningful conversations, and the museum’s tranquil ambiance is perfect for whispering sweet nothings. After exploring the exhibits, couples can enjoy a romantic meal at the museum’s sophisticated restaurant, ending the day with flavors as rich and varied as the art on display.

Source: Wikipedia

Experience Wild Love at Sierra Nevada Zoological Park

For those seeking romance amidst the wonders of the natural world, the Sierra Nevada Zoological Park in Reno, NV is an ideal destination. This enchanting locale houses a plethora of exotic and native animals, creating a lively and engaging environment for couples to explore their love. Strolling through the park’s scenic trails, you and your partner can experience the thrill of observing the creatures in their carefully crafted habitats, creating moments that will be cherished forever.

Sharing the joy of watching playful lemurs or the awe of witnessing the majestic lions adds a thrilling dimension to your romantic escapade. The zoo's tranquil setting allows for intimate conversations and shared laughter, building a deeper bond as you both marvel at the diversity of life. Finish your visit by enjoying a cozy picnic amidst the lush greenery, enveloped by the harmonious symphony of animal sounds, cementing your wild, romantic adventure in Sierra Nevada Zoological Park.

A Symphony of Romance at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts

Nestled in the heart of Reno, the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts is a beacon of culture and elegance, making it a prime location for a romantic night out. This architectural gem, renowned for its geodesic dome, hosts a myriad of performances, ranging from breathtaking ballets to mesmerizing symphonies, allowing you and your partner to be swept away by the magic of the arts. The ambiance inside the theater is electric, filled with the echoes of applause and the harmonious collision of instruments, voices, and movements.

Sharing a performance can transcend the mundane, elevating your connection through shared emotions and experiences. The resonating sounds and powerful narratives unfolding on stage provide a backdrop for romance to blossom, leaving a lasting imprint on your hearts. After the curtain falls, extend your enchanting evening with a stroll under the twinkling city lights, reminiscing about the extraordinary show and the beauty of sharing such moments.

Source: Atlas Obscura

Seize the Moment under the Iconic Reno Arch

The iconic Reno Arch, standing as a symbol of the city’s vibrant spirit, offers couples a fun and relaxed opportunity to create lasting memories. A selfie under the gleaming, colorful lights of the arch is not just a photograph; it’s a snapshot of love and joy shared in the 'Biggest Little City in the World’. This iconic landmark, with its dazzling lights and dynamic energy, creates a lively backdrop for those unforgettable, joyful moments.

Snapping a photo under the arch isn’t just about capturing a beautiful setting; it’s about seizing the essence of your shared journey. The laughter, the kisses, and the whispers shared under the radiant glow of the arch can transform a simple photo into a cherished memory. As you immortalize your Reno experience together, the arch serves as a vibrant reminder of the fun and romance sprinkled throughout your journey, painting your love story with vibrant splashes of color and light.

Source: Travel Nevada

Breathe Love in the Fresh Air at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, a verdant oasis in Reno, NV, provides couples with a romantic and peaceful escape from the urban hustle. This expansive park, adorned with rolling hills, charming ponds, and flourishing gardens, creates an environment where love can truly bloom. Walking hand-in-hand through the myriad of trails, the fresh air and tranquil sounds of nature serve as a refreshing backdrop to your intimate conversations and shared silences.

The lush green surroundings of the park offer numerous secluded spots, perfect for a romantic picnic or a serene moment of reflection. Watching the sun dip below the horizon and paint the sky with hues of pink and orange can be the epitome of romantic simplicity, creating a symphony of colors that mirrors the harmony of your union. This romantic rendezvous amidst nature's beauty promises to be a refreshing and bonding experience, steeped in tranquility and natural splendor.

Discover Love on the Streets: Reno’s Vibrant Street Art Tour

Embarking on a street art tour in Reno is like stepping into a vibrant and dynamic open-air gallery, making it an exciting adventure for couples with a penchant for urban exploration and art. The city’s walls are adorned with a diverse array of murals, each piece telling its own story, filled with colors, shapes, and emotions. Uncovering these hidden gems allows you and your partner to experience the city's cultural pulse, discovering the rich tapestry of creativity that adorns its streets.

Each mural becomes a backdrop to your shared journey, encapsulating the vibrancy and diversity of your experiences. Discussing the different artistic interpretations and expressions can fuel your conversations with passion and insight, creating a deeper connection as you traverse the city's artistic landscapes together. This exploration of urban creativity becomes a journey of shared discovery and enchantment, weaving the colorful threads of street art into the fabric of your romantic tale.

Source: Viator

Experience Floral Splendor at Idlewild Park’s Rose Garden

Reno, known as "The Biggest Little City in the World," offers an array of activities for its visitors, and experiencing the Idlewild Park's Rose Garden is a delightful one. This verdant oasis is adorned with over 200 varieties of roses, blooming in vivid hues, offering a visual and olfactory feast to the visitors. The meticulously maintained garden allows individuals to witness the beauty and elegance of these stunning flowers while absorbing the serene ambiance of the park.

Idlewild Park’s Rose Garden is a sanctuary for both locals and tourists seeking tranquility and a respite from city noise. This place is not just a garden; it’s a living canvas displaying nature’s vibrant palette, where each rose varietal tells its unique story through its color, texture, and fragrance. Visitors can stroll through the garden, learn about different rose species, and indulge in the therapeutic benefits of being surrounded by floral beauty.

Besides the rose garden, Idlewild Park offers an array of recreational opportunities, such as hiking, picnicking, and playing sports, making it a versatile location for all age groups. Enjoying a leisurely picnic amid the enchanting aroma of blooming roses can make your Reno experience unforgettable.

Discover the Cosmic Wonders at Fleischmann Planetarium

The Fleischmann Planetarium is another gem in Reno, NV, where the curious and the starry-eyed can embark on an exciting journey through the cosmos. This planetarium serves as a public science education facility, utilizing advanced technologies to project breathtaking astronomical displays and provide fascinating insights into our universe's mysteries.

Visitors can experience immersive sky shows, explore dynamic exhibits, and learn about celestial bodies, space exploration, and astronomical phenomena. The dome theater offers a spectacular immersive experience, projecting high-quality visuals of the stars, planets, and other celestial wonders, making visitors feel as if they are traversing through the cosmos.

The Fleischmann Planetarium not only serves as an educational hub but also as an entertainment destination. With its engaging and informative shows, it draws a diverse crowd, from science enthusiasts to families seeking unique entertainment. The innovative displays and presentations at the planetarium are designed to instill a sense of wonder and curiosity about the universe and inspire future generations of astronomers, scientists, and dreamers.

Source: Travel Nevada

Experience Sky Magic during The Great Reno Balloon Race

The Great Reno Balloon Race is one of the most anticipated events in Reno, offering spectators a kaleidoscopic view of the skies as they are adorned with vibrantly colored hot air balloons. It is a majestic sight as these colorful behemoths ascend into the dawn skies, dancing amidst the clouds, creating a mesmerizing tableau against the backdrop of the rising sun.

Held annually in September, The Great Reno Balloon Race attracts tens of thousands of visitors who gather to witness this spectacular event and partake in the myriad activities offered. This is not just a visual feast; it is an experience enriched with a variety of entertainment options, food vendors, and family-friendly activities. Walking amidst these gentle giants of the sky as they prepare for lift-off offers an exhilarating experience, allowing you to feel the pulse of the event.

Revel in Dynamic Events at Wingfield Park

Wingfield Park, located in the heart of Reno, serves as a vibrant hub for a plethora of events, activities, and open-air performances, providing a lively space for locals and visitors alike. It’s a green sanctuary amidst the urban landscape, where the Truckee River adds to its scenic charm, offering opportunities for water activities like kayaking and tubing.

Catching an event at Wingfield Park is a must-do while visiting Reno. The park's amphitheater regularly hosts music concerts, theater performances, and film screenings, drawing a diverse crowd and creating an eclectic and inclusive atmosphere. Whether it’s a jazz concert under the stars or a lively festival celebrating arts and culture, Wingfield Park guarantees a unique and enriching experience.

The park's versatile environment accommodates all sorts of recreational activities. Visitors can bask in the sun, savor food from local vendors during events, and immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere of the park. A stroll along the river or simply lounging on the grass can be as refreshing as attending a high-energy event.

Source: Living New Deal

Witness Blooming Marvels at the Wilbur D. May Center

Reno, with its varied attractions, invites visitors to the Wilbur D. May Center, a multi-faceted facility combining a museum, arboretum, and botanical garden. It’s a place where nature’s vibrant expressions and human creativity intertwine, creating a medley of enriching experiences. Here, witnessing the flowers bloom is not just a visual delight but an exploration into the wonders of botany and horticulture.

The botanical garden is a haven for plant lovers, featuring a diverse range of plant species, each coming to life in its blooming season. The well-manicured landscapes, artistic arrangements, and themed gardens provide a kaleidoscopic view of the flora, inviting visitors to delve deeper into the botanical world. Whether you are a keen gardener, a nature enthusiast, or someone looking for serene beauty, the flourishing environment of the Wilbur D. May Center provides solace and inspiration.

Besides the floral beauty, the center’s museum enriches the minds of the visitors with its eclectic collection of artifacts, reflecting the adventurous spirit of Wilbur D. May. When in Reno, taking a leisurely stroll through the lush landscapes of the Wilbur D. May Center offers a breath of fresh air and a glimpse into the harmonious dance of colors and scents of blooming flowers.

Embrace Winter Adventure at Mt. Rose

For those seeking winter thrills, Mt. Rose is the place to be when visiting Reno. Located in close proximity to the city, Mt. Rose beckons snow enthusiasts with its pristine slopes, panoramic views, and exciting winter sports opportunities. With its impressive elevation, it promises abundant snowfall and longer skiing seasons, making it a favorite destination for skiers and snowboarders.

Hitting the slopes at Mt. Rose is not just about speed and adrenaline; it’s about experiencing the exhilarating freedom as you glide down the snow-clad mountains, with the cool wind against your face and the vast sky above. The resort offers slopes catering to different skill levels, ensuring that everyone from novices to experts finds their perfect trail.

For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, the scenic beauty of Mt. Rose provides a serene backdrop for snowshoeing and winter hikes. The crisp mountain air coupled with the tranquil surroundings make for a rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Explore the Rustic Beauty of Bartley Ranch Regional Park

Bartley Ranch Regional Park in Reno, Nevada, is a captivating blend of rustic charm and recreational diversity, inviting visitors to explore its scenic landscapes and partake in various activities. Wandering around this park reveals picturesque trails, historic ranch buildings, and the serene ambiance of untamed nature. Whether you are an avid hiker, a history buff, or someone seeking solitude, the park offers an experience to suit your preference.

The walking and hiking trails within Bartley Ranch Regional Park are paths to tranquility, leading visitors through lush landscapes and offering glimpses of local wildlife. The trails cater to varying fitness levels, allowing everyone to enjoy the beauty of the park at their own pace. Alongside its natural allure, the park’s historic structures narrate tales of the region’s past, providing insight into the ranching heritage of the area.

Source: Washoe County

Experience the Thrill at Greater Nevada Field

Greater Nevada Field, the heartbeat of Reno's sporting scene, buzzes with energy and excitement, especially during the baseball season. It serves as the home ground for the Reno Aces, and watching a baseball game here is a thrilling experience, enveloped in cheers, anticipation, and the spirit of competition.

This stadium is not just a field; it’s a realm where sport, entertainment, and community spirit converge, creating a vibrant atmosphere. Witnessing a baseball game here is to be part of the pulse of the city, to share the highs and lows of the game with fellow supporters, and to feel the rush of adrenaline with every swing and hit.

Besides baseball, Greater Nevada Field also hosts soccer matches, concerts, and various events, offering diverse entertainment options to the people of Reno and its visitors. The field is surrounded by a plethora of eateries and shops, adding to the overall experience.

Traverse the Historic Virginia Street Bridge

Crossing over the Virginia Street Bridge is more than just a passage; it’s a journey through the rich tapestry of Reno’s history. This iconic bridge, serving as a symbol of the city’s heritage, connects the bustling streets of Reno and provides a vantage point to view the flowing Truckee River below. Walking across this historic structure offers a sense of nostalgia coupled with views of the evolving urban landscape.

The Virginia Street Bridge has witnessed the transformation of Reno over the years and stands as a testament to the city’s resilience and progress. While traversing the bridge, one can marvel at the architectural elegance of the structure and absorb the panoramic views of the surrounding cityscape and the serene river. It's a place where history, architecture, and nature converge to provide a unique and enriching experience.

Source: Rgj

Experience Riverside Elegance on the Truckee Riverwalk

The Truckee Riverwalk in Reno is a picturesque trail inviting visitors to stretch their legs while experiencing the beauty of the Truckee River and the vibrancy of downtown Reno. This serene walkway offers a refreshing contrast to the bustling city life, with its tranquil landscapes, flowing water, and artistic installations. It's a place where leisure, nature, and urban elegance intertwine, creating a delightful experience for walkers, joggers, and explorers alike.

Wandering along the Riverwalk, one encounters a myriad of sights, sounds, and sensations. The gentle murmur of the river, the lush greenery, and the array of shops, cafes, and art galleries lining the path create a harmonious blend of natural and urban elements. The trail provides ample opportunities to relax by the riverside, delve into local art, or savor culinary delights from nearby eateries.

The Truckee Riverwalk is more than just a pathway; it’s a living, breathing space where the city’s pulse can be felt in its most refined form. So, while in Reno, embrace the elegance of the Truckee Riverwalk, and let the riverside charm and urban sophistication of the area enrich your senses and create lasting memories.

Experience Aerial Mastery at the Reno Air Racing Association’s Races

The Reno Air Racing Association hosts a spectacular event where the sky roars with the power and precision of Thunderbirds, showcasing aerial mastery and high-speed competition. Here, visitors can witness a dynamic display of aviation prowess as pilots maneuver their aircraft through challenging courses, vying for the coveted title. The air races offer a thrilling spectacle, combining speed, skill, and the raw power of flying machines.

Hearing the Thunderbirds roar and watching them slice through the skies is an experience packed with adrenaline, excitement, and respect for the daring pilots and their magnificent machines. The event is not just about the races; it’s a celebration of aviation, featuring static displays, aerobatic performances, and aviation-related exhibits, providing a comprehensive insight into the world of flight.

The atmosphere at the Reno Air Racing Association’s races is electric, with the crowd’s anticipation and excitement mingling with the roaring engines and the rushing wind. For those seeking an immersive and exhilarating aerial experience, hearing the Thunderbirds roar at these races is a must when in Reno.

Source: Reno Air Racing Association’s Races

Discover Prehistoric Wonders at the Keck Museum

The W. M. Keck Earth Science and Mineral Engineering Museum, commonly known as the Keck Museum, is a treasure trove of geological and paleontological wonders located in Reno. Visitors entering this museum are transported back in time, where they can explore the remnants and fossils of creatures from bygone eras and delve into the mysteries of the Earth’s past.

The collection at the Keck Museum is diverse and intriguing, featuring fossils, minerals, rocks, and historical artifacts, each piece narrating a tale from the Earth’s ancient chapters. Visitors can marvel at the intricate details of the fossils, visualize the prehistoric landscapes where these creatures roamed, and gain insights into the evolutionary journey of life on Earth.

The Keck Museum offers a unique and enlightening experience for all ages, combining education, exploration, and a touch of wonder. Whether you are a curious mind, a budding paleontologist, or someone with a penchant for natural history, exploring the fossils and artifacts at the Keck Museum opens doors to the fascinating worlds that once existed and enriches the understanding of our planet’s heritage.

Experience Aquatic Adventure at Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake, with its sparkling azure waters and stunning landscapes, is a premier destination near Reno for water enthusiasts. Here, the thrill of jet skiing beckons adventure seekers to glide through the waves and experience the lake's beauty at high speed. The vast expanse of the lake, surrounded by picturesque scenery, provides the perfect setting for an exhilarating jet ski experience.

Zooming through the waters of Pyramid Lake offers a blend of adrenaline, freedom, and awe. The wind rushes against your face, the water sprays around you, and the panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings unfold in a dynamic dance of natural beauty. This aquatic adventure is not just about speed and thrill; it’s about connecting with the elemental forces of water and air and feeling the pulsating energy of the lake.

For those seeking a refreshing and thrilling escapade, jet skiing at Pyramid Lake is a must-do activity when visiting Reno. The experience leaves you with a sense of exhilaration and a deeper appreciation for the captivating allure of this magnificent lake.

Source: Atlas Obscura

Explore Nature’s Artistry along Galena Creek Trail

Nestled within the pristine landscapes near Reno, the Galena Creek Trail offers nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts a gateway to the serene and beautiful world of Galena Creek Regional Park. The trail winds through diverse ecosystems, showcasing the rich flora and fauna of the region and the harmonious interplay of nature's elements.

Hiking the Galena Creek Trail is like walking through a living canvas painted with lush greens, vibrant wildflowers, crystal-clear streams, and the subtle artistry of nature. The trail provides varying levels of difficulty, accommodating both casual walkers and seasoned hikers, allowing everyone to experience the rejuvenating embrace of nature at their own pace.

The harmonious sounds of the rustling leaves, the babbling creek, and the singing birds accompany hikers, enhancing the sensory experience of the journey. Each step along the trail brings a new perspective, a different shade of nature’s palette, and a deeper connection to the natural world.

Discover Architectural Grace at Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral

The Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno is not only a place of worship but also a monument representing architectural elegance and spiritual serenity. Stepping inside this cathedral is like entering a realm where architectural grandeur meets divine tranquility, offering a reflective and enriching experience to visitors of all backgrounds.

The intricate design, the artful stained glass, and the serene ambiance of the cathedral narrate stories of faith, hope, and divine grace. Whether one is seeking spiritual connection, architectural appreciation, or a moment of peace, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral provides a sanctuary for the soul. The quiet nooks, the soft light filtering through the stained glass, and the gentle whispers of prayer create a harmonious symphony of silence and reverence.

Visiting Reno becomes more fulfilling by experiencing the beauty and tranquility of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral. It’s a space where the temporal and the eternal converge, leaving visitors with lingering reflections on the divine and the human spirit.

Source: Wikoff Design Studio

Embrace Adrenaline at Ultimate Rush Speed & Thrill Park

Ultimate Rush Speed & Thrill Park in Reno is where adrenaline seekers find their haven. This amusement park is a treasure trove of thrilling rides and high-speed attractions, promising to get your heart racing and your spirit soaring. Here, adventure and excitement intertwine, creating a playground for those who crave the rush of speed and the exhilaration of heights.

Getting your heart rate up at this thrill park means experiencing a diverse range of attractions, from sky-high bungee jumps to fast-paced go-kart races. Each ride is a new adventure, a different way to challenge your senses and defy your fears. The park’s atmosphere is charged with anticipation, screams of excitement, and the infectious joy of untethered fun.

For those visiting Reno with a thirst for thrill and a passion for speed, the Ultimate Rush Speed & Thrill Park is a must-visit destination. It’s a place where the mundane is left behind, and the extraordinary becomes the norm, gifting visitors with moments of pure, uninhibited joy.

Unravel Mysteries in Reno's Escape Rooms

Venturing into one of Reno's intriguing escape rooms is a plunge into worlds filled with puzzles, mysteries, and adrenaline. Here, you're not just a spectator but a key player, using your wits and problem-solving skills to decipher clues, unlock secrets, and navigate your way out of seemingly insurmountable situations.

Every escape room in Reno offers a unique thematic experience, transporting participants to different realms, be it a haunted mansion, a high-security prison, or a hidden treasure island. The rooms are designed to challenge your intellect, creativity, and team collaboration, providing an exhilarating blend of tension, excitement, and accomplishment.

Source: World of Escape

Experience Western Excitement at the Reno Rodeo Association

The Reno Rodeo Association brings the authentic spirit of the West to life, offering a taste of rugged excitement and cowboy tradition through its thrilling rodeo events. Here, the action is raw, the competition fierce, and the atmosphere electrifying, as cowboys and cowgirls showcase their skills in various rodeo disciplines.

Getting in on the action at the Reno Rodeo means witnessing a spectacular display of agility, strength, and courage, as participants ride, rope, and wrestle, competing for glory in the rodeo arena. The crowd’s cheers, the dust in the air, and the heart-pounding events create a vibrant spectacle that reflects the essence of western heritage and cowboy culture.

Conclusion

Exploring Reno reveals a city that is much more than its renowned casinos and entertainment venues. It is a place where diverse experiences converge, offering visitors a taste of its multi-layered essence. From the tranquil and reflective atmospheres of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral and Wilbur D. May Center to the adrenaline-packed excitement of the Ultimate Rush Speed & Thrill Park and the Reno Air Racing Association’s races, Reno promises something for every inclination.

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Emily Carter

With over 10 years of experience, Emily has extensive experience planning bespoke tours across the United States and Canada, specializing in eco-tourism and adventure travel.