Concert at Sierra Water Gardens

Refreshing Summer Fun in Reno Tahoe

With temperatures consistently hitting the high 90s, staying immersed in a cool body of water seems like the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Floating the Truckee River is a favorite summer activity for visitors and locals alike, but the lingering snowpack in the mountains means an unpredictable flow rate, so it can be hard to gauge whether the river is floatable or not.

But have no fear, below are some “refreshing” and more predictable alternatives to swimming or floating the Truckee River.

Pyramid Lake

Located about 45 miles north of Reno is Pyramid Lake. The lake is well-renowned for its world-class fishing but also serves as a popular destination for boaters and tubers alike. Whether you are looking for a day trip, or feeling ambitious, and want to camp for the night, be sure to check out Pyramid Lake. Tribal permits can be bought online or at the ranger station on site.

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Lake Tahoe

This alpine beauty is located less than an hour from downtown Reno. Lake Tahoe is a prime destination for any outdoor lover. Get your heart pumping on a hike to a panoramic view, or take your mountain bike on the popular Flume Trail. If you would like to spend more time lakeside, check out Sand Harbor. The state park rents kayaks and paddle boards, but if you’re looking to soak up some sun, don’t worry, there are plenty of beaches and a swimmer’s only area. No matter your activity of choice, escape the heat and explore the pristine shores of Lake Tahoe.

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Wild Island

If you are craving some fun in sun, then Wild Island is the place for you. This family adventure water park is located in Sparks near the Outlets at Legends. Enjoy smooth sailing on the lazy river, or check out one of the many water slides available. For those over 21, stop by Kokomo’s Island Bar for a refreshing tropical cocktail. Bring your sunscreen, grab a towel and head on over to Wild Island!


Expand your mind this summer in one of Reno’s many museums. Recently named Nevada’s Best Attraction by USA Today, the Nevada Museum of Art is a must-see. Located just south of downtown, the museum features a permanent collection of 2,000 pieces and several pieces from Burning Man.

If science is more of your jam, the Discovery Museum is an excellent choice. Experience hands-on galleries and exhibitions, and a robust array of educational programs. The Discovery Museum specializes in informal science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning.

Are you a car buff? If so, you’re in luck! Reno is home to the National Automobile Museum (The Harrah’s Collection). See Bill Harrah’s personal car collection on display. With over 200 vehicles, travel through time and see how far the automobile industry has come. Beat the heat, and see this expansive collection for yourself.

Sierra Water Gardens

Sierra Water Gardens is a boutique nursery located on the banks of the Truckee River. The all outdoor nursery strives for a unique experience mixing retail, relaxation, and socializing. While visiting Sierra Water Gardens, you can plant your own succulent or enjoy one of their BYOB concerts. The water garden sanctuary is the perfect spot to relax this summer.

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Bowers Mansion Regional Park

Located on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada’s is Bowers Mansion Park. The recently restored mansion is in the center of the park and offers a rare glimpse into Nevadan life in the 1860s. In addition to touring the mansion, you can swim in the public pool and/or have a picnic at one of the many day use sites. Just down the road from Bowers Mansion is Davis Creek Regional Park. The park offers a day use area and a variety of nature trails amongst the native flora and fauna.

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The opportunities for some cool and refreshing fun are endless in Reno Tahoe. Admire the river from afar this summer and check out one of these alternatives instead!

Life is Unfiltered in

Some scroll through the day. Others seize it. Go do something crazy. And tag it #RenoTahoe so we can see it.