Half Day Activities
Reno Tahoe USA presents a diverse geographic and biological menu of attractions and activities within a close proximity. For instance, in the early fall you might be able to go skiing in the morning and golfing in the afternoon. However, you might want to have a more relaxing, laid-back experience. Most of the activities described here can be done at your leisure, meaning if you would like to make it an all-day affair you might find them even more enjoyable.
Reno Aces Ballpark - The $60 million ballpark is home to the Reno Aces--Triple A Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate and winner of the 2012 Triple A Baseball Championship! Sitting alongside the historic Truckee River, Aces Ballpark sparked the ongoing redevelopment of the Freight House District. The ballpark’s eye-catching architecture, spacious accommodations and signature features, such as a children’s play zone, have brought more than 500,000 baseball fans to Reno. Now, you can be a part of this incredible transformation. From corporate events to private celebrations, this is the ultimate venue for any gathering. Aces Ballpark is also the home of the 2013 Triple A All-Star Game. renoaces.com; for group tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nothing To It! - At Nothing to It! the goal is to share their love of gourmet cooking with you. Their philosophy is to not just provide cooking classes and kitchen products but to teach people how to use those techniques and tools to create wonderful meals to share with family and friends. nothingtoit.com, 775-826-2628
The Basque people are from the Pyrenees mountains region of northern Spain and southern France, and the Sierra Nevada is home to the largest Basque population in the country. A number of restaurants in the area offer their unique cuisine.
JT Bar and Dining Room – Gardnerville – A restaurant steeped in tradition where hearty Basque meals and an authentic experience await you. Come join the Lekumberry family and the friendly J.T. family of staff and you’ll know what it means when they say, “You are a stranger here but once!” gardnervillebasquerestaurant.com, 775-782-2074
Louis’ Basque Corner - Located east of downtown Reno, it's on the ground floor of the old Basque Hotel. In the Basque restaurant tradition, food is served family-style, with seating on benches at long tables. If there is room, another party may end up sharing your table and helping pass around the food. Since the late 1960s, locals and visitors have made Louis’ one of the mainstays of the Northern Nevada culinary mix. louisbasquecorner.com, 775-323-7203
Restaurante Orozko – This restaurant, located in John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks, transports diners to a unique Basque setting where they will be able to taste scrumptious American cuisine with flair of Mediterranean style. Guests have their choice of café and restaurant seating. janugget.com, 775-356-3300
Santa Fe Hotel - The old Santa Fe Hotel is in the shadow of Reno's newer downtown hotels, which makes it within walking distance of just about all of them. It's a family-owned business that's been around for over 50 years. This place is known for a Basque cocktail called Picon Punch. themenupage.com/santafebasque.html, 775-323-1891
Raymond I. Smith Truckee River Walk - Located along the Truckee River at 10 Island Avenue in Reno, this three-block public plaza features native Nevada wildlife reliefs, eight fountains and dynamic landscaping. renoriver.org
Reno Municipal Rose Garden - Established in 1958 and located in Idlewild Park, it is the only rose garden in the state of Nevada certified by the American Rose Society. The one-acre Rose Garden has 200 varieties and over 1,750 total roses. The season begins in early June and lasts until September. Peak months, when the garden is in full bloom, are late June through late August. The Rose Garden was established under the leadership of Fred Galloway, the City of Reno’s horticulturist for more than 25 years. reno.gov/Index.aspx?page=455, 775-334-2270
University of Nevada-Reno Arboretum - The Arboretum is located on the UNR Campus in Reno. Designated an Arboretum by the Nevada Legislature, it is a living collection of plants, trees, shrubs, flowers, ornamentals and native flora with over 60 genera and 200 species. Special areas include the Cherry Blossom Garden, the Benson Gardens, the Main Quad, Albert E. Hilliard Foliage Quad, Jimmie's Garden, the Fleischmann Agriculture Quad, the Merriam A. Brown Rose Garden, the Hettich Garden and Manzanita Lake. unr.edu/arboretum, 775-784-6837
Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden – This garden is located in Rancho San Rafael Park, Reno. The 13-acre arboretum and botanical garden features oak groves, outdoor courtyards, water features, secluded gardens and access to five acres of wetlands. Its primary purpose is education and research and demonstrates how introduced plant species and native plants grow in a high desert environment. washoecounty.us/parks/arboretum/arbor.html, 775-785-4153
National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection), Reno – This museum displays over 220 antique, vintage and classic cars, many of which came from gaming magnate William F. Harrah's famous collection. The collection's stars include the 1907 Thomas Flyer, winner of the 1908 New York to Paris race. Other vehicles appear in rotation on the museum's "streets" and in four galleries. automuseum.org, 775-333-9300
Nevada Discovery Museum, Reno - Kids: those fearless little life-artists, those wide-eyed detectives of wonder, those incandescent improvisers who seize even the smallest objects and ideas and transform them into epic expressions of wow. The Nevada Discovery Museum believes in them. That's why they built a life laboratory just for them. The Nevada Discovery Museum is an exuberant place for kids to experience the amazements of our region while forging lasting friendships with nature, science, art and society. nvdm.org, 775-786-1000
Nevada Museum of Art, Reno - Divided into five focus areas, the permanent collection of the Nevada Museum of Art, consists of over 1,900 works of art organized around the general themes of land and environment. NMA is the only nationally accredited museum in the state and also features traveling exhibitions. 775-329-3333 nevadaart.org
Wilbur D. May Museum, Reno - The museum features the accumulated trinkets and treasures from more than 30 trips and safaris the eccentric son of a department store magnate made in the 1920s and 1930s. Since May rarely collected just one of anything, cases are crammed with T'ang Dynasty animals and African masks, hundreds of Oriental miniatures and dozens of pistols and rifles. Gobelin tapestries and Navajo rugs are among objects decorating the walls. washoecounty.us/parks/mc_home, 775-785-5961
Native American Activities
Annual Tribal events – Pow Wows are the Native American people’s way of meeting together, to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships and making new ones. This is a time-tested method to renew Native American culture and preserve the rich heritage of American Indians. Several Festivals and Pow Wows are held in and around Reno Tahoe and many other events are located around the state, most of which are open to the public. nevadaindianterritory.com
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum & Visitors Center – Located 30 miles north of Reno. Find fascinating historical material and information about native inhabitants, the Paiute Indian Tribe. Exhibits at the multi-purpose museum describe the tribe’s history and culture and offer insight into why the Paiute people hold the lake and its surrounding landscape so sacred. Other displays focus on Pyramid Lake’s natural history and the many creatures that make the lake their home. Tours can be arranged. pyramidlake.us, 775-574-1088
Stewart Indian School Trail, Carson City - Stewart Indian School was a boarding school established to train and educate Indian children with the goal of assimilation. The school was operational between 1890 and 1980. Self-guided tours available and guided tours on request. stewartindianschool.com, 775-687-8333
Riverwalk District Wine Walk - Every third Saturday of the month from 2:00pm to 5:00pm the Riverwalk Merchants Association hosts the popular Wine Walk along the Truckee River and neighboring streets in downtown Reno. Visit a participating Riverwalk District merchant on Wine Walk day to get a map. For a $20 fee and valid photo ID, you’ll receive a wine glass and an ID bracelet that allows you to sample wine at any participating merchant.
Legends at Sparks Marina, Sparks – The Legends at Sparks Marina offers outlet shopping, dining and entertainment in a large complex next to a 77-acre lake surrounded by walking paths, trees and sandy beaches. experiencelegends.com
The Summit, Reno - Located at the south end of Reno at Mt. Rose Highway, The Summit is an open-air lifestyle shopping center with more than 70 shops, specialty retailers, salons and restaurants to satisfy any palate. Its many courtyards feature fountains, paths and fire pits to gather around on cool evenings, seasonal features such as live music during summer evenings and sleigh rides on wintry days. thesummitonline.com
Meadowood Mall, Reno - Meadowood Mall is a longtime favorite and is located right in the middle of Reno. Shoppers will be delighted with more than 100 stores, specialty retailers, salons and restaurants to explore in a conveniently located indoor environment. simon.com/mall/meadowood-mall
The Reno Tahoe area has a wide variety of antique and collectible stores. Spend a few hours or an entire day exploring some of the great shops listed below. You'll never know what rare treasures of days gone by you'll discover. Three great stores in Reno are Virginia Street Antique Mall, Antiques and Treasures and Somewhere In Time.
Cabela’s, Verdi - Do you have a hunter or outdoor enthusiast to shop for? Cabela's stores are known as premier shopping and tourism destinations, drawing visitors from hundreds of miles away to indulge in a unique shopping experience that celebrates nature and the lifestyle of the outdoor enthusiast. Reno's 125,000-square-foot, large-format destination store is located near the Boomtown Hotel Casino on I-80 near the California border. cabelas.com/retail-stores-reno.shtml, 775-829-4100
Patagonia Outlet Store, Reno - Nature lovers know the Patagonia Company for quality clothing and gear, and a socially conscious business model. Reno is home to Patagonia's main distribution center as well as a Patagonia outlet store where shoppers can find deals on everything from fishing waders to skiing jackets. Another point of interest: the 171,000-square-foot building received Gold Level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). patagonia.com/us/patagonia-outlet-reno-8550-white-fir-street-reno-nevada-89523, 775-746-6878
Animal Ark, Reno - A non-profit organization, wildlife sanctuary and education center, their mission is to inspire environmental stewardship through wildlife education and entertainment. Since 1981, Animal Ark has provided a safe haven for injured, abandoned and otherwise non-releasable wildlife. They educate tens-of-thousands of children and adults each year about ecological principles and wildlife by providing special programming events and educational tours. Animal Ark is open to the public six days a week and offers special events each month. animalark.org, 775-970-3111
Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center, Reno - As a public science education facility specializing in atmospheric and space science and related fields, its goal is to increase interest, awareness and understanding of these disciplines by offering quality programs and experiences tailored to all ages and education levels. planetarium.unr.nevada.edu, 775-784-4812
Nevada Discovery Museum, Reno - The Museum aims to provoke new aspirations and collaborations among children, parents and educators. It is a place of open eyes, minds and horizons. Discovery provides hands-on exhibits and programs that focus on the arts, sciences and humanities. Great entertainment for youth ages two to early teen and their families. nvdm.org, 775-786-1000
UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, Incline Village, Lake Tahoe - Experience lively demonstrations of the Lake Tahoe Basin’s environment and find out what you can do to keep Tahoe Blue. Discover how fun science can be with guided tours, group and student tours, hands-on activities and a monthly lecture series. The Center is recommended for children 8 and up. terc.ucdavis.edu, 775-881-7560
Ultimate Rush Thrill Park, Reno - Take the most thrilling aspects of hang-gliding, the most perilous moments of bungee jumping and the adrenaline inducement of sky diving; combine these elements with a fall from a 185-foot tower and you have the once-in-a-lifetime experience called the Ultimate Rush, the Grand Sierra Resort’s family park. The park also offers miniature golf, a racing oval and road course for go-kart fun along with bumper cars and other family friendly fair. grandsierraresort.com/amenities/all-ages-fun/ultimate-rush-thrill-park, 775-786-7005
Wild Island Family Adventure Park, Sparks - With a water park, go-karts, mini-golf, bowling, birthday parties and group parties, there is something fun for everyone. During the summer months, Wild Island’s water park has everything from daredevil slides to the kiddy areas for a more tame adventure. Take a dip in the wave pool or float the afternoon away on an inner tube. If miniature golf is your thing, Wild Island’s links are some of the best in the region, with holes that are both challenging and fun. Grab the putter and enjoy a round. wildisland.com, 775-359-2927
Walking Tours of Old Reno
All the below tours have been developed by The Historic Reno Preservation Society. The Historical Society can also create new walking or guided bus tours (using the group bus) for special interest groups. historicreno.org, 775-747-4478
Beyond the Arches - Witness downtown Reno as it has reinvented itself for 150 years. This tour links the Downtown Reno Arches with stories of the forces that shaped the town: railroad and mining; immigrants; as a notorious divorce and gambling mecca, and now as a livable cultural hub. Walk in the footsteps of Bill Harrah, Myron Lake, Baby Face Nelson, Frederic DeLongchamps and others.
Bricks and Stones – Enjoy a walk in the vernacular Humboldt and Lander Streets Neighborhood. Discover the architectural treasure trove of this area, a mix of bungalows, Tudor and mission revivals and cottage styles.
DeLongchamps Downtown Architecture - Go behind the scenes on some of downtown’s most notable buildings designed by Reno’s most celebrated architect, Frederic DeLongchamps. Visits to the interiors of the historic courthouse, the Downtown Post Office and the Vachina Apartments on California Avenue, along with several artists’ lofts at the Riverside are the tour’s highlights.
DeLongchamps Residential Architecture - This walk takes you on a neighborhood tour of many noteworthy homes, large and small, designed by Reno’s notable architect. Also hear about his life and what made him so unique to this area.
El Reno Apartment Homes - Visit the original site of these charming and unique homes, and view seven of them at their new locations. Other examples of the Sierra Vista Addition architecture will also be seen.
Ethnic Reno, East Side - Some call Lake Street “Paradise Lost,” but we will recreate the vibrant neighborhood of Chinatown, Little Italy and Basque Life in Reno.
Historic State Hospital - Visit the site of Nevada’s first state hospital (originally the Nevada Insane Asylum) at Galetti Way and Glendale Avenue in Sparks, one of the state’s oldest institutions. The tour includes a look at the remaining Frederic DeLongchamps’ buildings, a walk through the 106-year–old (approximately) “Stone House” and a visit to the newly re-dedicated hospital cemetery.
Fourth Ward School Museum, Virginia City - Abandoned to the elements, the Fourth Ward School seemed doomed until it was resurrected in 1986, 50 years after the school closed its doors. fourthwardschool.org, 775-847-0975
Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City - This museum home to an extraordinary collection of railroad equipment, artifacts and related exhibits which portray how the railroad helped transform the USA in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. museums.nevadaculture.org, 775-687-6953
Virginia City – 25 minutes southeast of Reno is the historic mining boomtown of Virginia City. It provides unique insights into the spirit of the Old West. The town is steeped with gold rush lore and packed with history that turned pioneers into millionaires. Many tour opportunities available include mine tours, trolley tours, steam engine rides, stagecoach rides and the historic Piper’s Opera House. visitvirginiacitynv.com
Virginia &Truckee Railroad – Scheduled rides available aboard restored railcars in Carson City and Virginia City. virginiatruckee.com, 775-847-0380