Car culture is alive and well in the Biggest Little City, making it the ideal destination for any car enthusiast. Reno Tahoe’s love of cool cars started long before Clint Eastwood’s famous chase scene along Hwy 89 in Pink Cadillac, but that is just one of the moments that put Reno on the radar of car enthusiasts everywhere.
It’s no wonder Reno is a top destination for car enthusiasts since it was the home of one of the country’s most legendary car collectors, Bill Harrah. Today, you can see part of the Harrah Collection at the National Automobile Museum. In addition to this impressive collection, the museum also features permanent and rotating exhibits, including Celebrity Autos – a collection of cars formerly owned by stars such as John Wayne, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Elvis Presley, just to name a few – as well as the famous 1907 Thomas Flyer. The layout of the museum is unique in that the cars are displayed on ‘streets’ that truly take you back in time to the eras in which the cars are from.
Every August, the Biggest Little City in the World is transformed into a classic car lover’s Mecca. From cars restored to their original glory to muscle cars and modified hot rods, Hot August Nights is a gear head’s dream. Show-n-shines, burnout contests, cruises, concerts and more fill the streets of Reno and Sparks during the first week of August. So shine up your own classic, or simply stroll through the rows of beautiful cars during this annual event.
If you’re itching to get behind the wheel and put some distance between you and the daily grind, there are plenty of scenic routes around Reno Tahoe. A drive around Lake Tahoe is a great day trip, with plenty of places to stop for a photo or to stretch your legs. Take in the history of the region with a drive through Virginia City and Carson City. If you are really craving open space, the Pyramid Lake Scenic Byway takes you through the Nevada desert to the Black Rock Desert.
Few things transport you back to a simpler time than a night at the drive-in. West Wind El Rancho Drive-In in Sparks has four screens, often showing double features, so you can get your movie fix from the comfort of your favorite ride. Grab the family, pack some snacks and catch a movie at West Wind El Rancho.
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