Sparks Heritage Museum Nevada

A Local’s Guide: Museums for Exploring Arts, Culture and Science

Abbey Kay is a local blogger and product photographer who loves Reno and all of its places to have fun. She is obsessed with donuts and coffee, and enjoys taking photos of both all around town. She has a passion for showing people her hometown and all it has to offer.

Reno Tahoe is home to a variety of museums, offering visitors a chance to learn about the region’s history, see art exhibitions and even expand their minds with hands-on science experiences. From history buffs to art aficionados and everything in between, find the ideal museum in Reno Tahoe.

As Nevada continues to reopen, museums are beginning to welcome guests. Before you visit any of these local museums, make sure you check their website for additional guidelines such as required reservations or limited hours.

The Discovery

Spend the day at Reno’s hands-on museum, The Discovery, where you can interact with exhibits of science, art, technology, engineering and more. Not just for kids, this museum has plenty of interactive exhibitions like the Cloud Climber, DaVinci’s Corner, Art Alcove and more, perfect for all ages. Open seven days a week and located next door to Holey Schmidt Donut shop, a stop at The Discovery makes for a perfect during a family outing.

National Automobile Museum

Home to more than 200 automobiles, the National Automobile Museum has something for everybody to enjoy. You can gaze at cars that were once owned by celebrities like John Wayne or James Dean, and even catch a glimpse of hot rods that appeared in movies. Besides cars, they also have tons of auto-related collectibles on display as well. Cruise through time by seeing cars that date back as far as 1912, and even a road carriage from 1892.

Sparks Heritage Museum

Located in the heart of downtown Sparks, the Sparks Heritage Museum is home to the history of Sparks. Stroll through the museum to learn all about the mining that once took place here and to see how previous generations lived via vintage appliances, furniture and clothing. Also on display are local pieces from The Nugget Casino, and even early looks at the Sparks and USA flags. Experience an outdoor train exhibit complete with a Steam Locomotive, Caboose and Pullman Business Car that are available to tour.

Nevada Museum of Art

The Nevada Museum of Art was founded in 1931 and is the only museum in Nevada that is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Through its diverse art displays and exhibits, they aim to provide the community with a variety of art experiences. In addition to their permanent collections, they have rotating exhibits so visitors always have a chance to see new pieces, and they even have a space available to host private events. After you feed your inner artist, be sure to check out their in-house restaurant, chez louie.

Pyramid Lake Museum

Take a drive to see Northern Nevada’s other great lake, Pyramid Lake, and learn all about its history at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum while you’re at it. At the museum and cultural center, learn more about the Pyramid Lake’s Paiute Tribe’s history and culture. You can also pick up traditional arts and crafts, and contemporary gifts in their shop on site too.

Virginia City Museums

Just southeast of Reno is Virginia City, an entire town filled with all sorts of history and museums. This historic mining town is home to the Mark Twain Museum, Nevada State Fireman’s Museum, The Washoe Club Haunted Museum and many more. Visit Virginia City’s The Way It Was Museum to experience life in the “Bonanza” period or the Marshall Mint Museum to see coins minted and produced. The Mackay Mansion, built in 1860, and the Piper’s Opera House are worth a visit as well.

Be sure to follow Abbey Kay on all of her Reno adventures on Instagram and read about her favorite places to go with the tag #abbeykayeatsreno.

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