Drinking wine on the Water Bar restaurant's patio Sparks Nevada

Reno Tahoe’s Top 10 of 2021

Looking back on the past year, it’s clear that Reno Tahoe really is a place where the most ambitious and creative adventure-seekers come to play. As we look back on the year, it’s nice to reflect on the good times and memories made throughout the year. Here’s to a bright new year in 2022!

Your Reno Tahoe Top 10

Art in Locomotion

Reno Tahoe is home to dozens of murals and Burning Man art pieces, and in 2021 we welcomed more art into the community. One particularly ambitious and hard-to-miss piece is the mural at Locomotion Plaza in downtown, adding color and vibrancy to what was formerly known as ReTRAC Plaza. In addition to the mural, the plaza contains more than a dozen shade trees and 1,600 perennial flowers. This project was a labor of love, as artist Brad Casey enlisted the help of 260 volunteers to help complete this work of art.

A Standing Ovation for Events

One of the most fun parts of this year was welcoming back in-person events. Reno Tahoe is known for its unique and always-full events calendar, so hearing live music, sampling delicious food and seeing shows was a highlight for many locals and visitors alike. Some of our annual favorites included Reno River Festival, Artown, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, The Great Reno Balloon Race, Stihl National Championship Air Races and more. In addition to these iconic events, audiences in Reno and Sparks went wild for concerts by local bands and major headlining acts.

Greatness is Brewing

Home to dozens of craft breweries, Reno Tahoe is a beer lovers paradise. This year, we welcomed some new names to the lineup, including Schussboom in south Reno, Wonder Aleworks in downtown and Huntsman Brewing in Midtown. With so much tasty beer in our own backyard, it makes sense that Reno Tahoe is home to some pretty great beer festivals and events. In 2021, the first annual Legends of Beer Festival took place at The Outlets at Legends in Sparks. Along with these new breweries and beer events, some other unique new bars include Matador Lounge, which has rooftop seating, and Playfield 76, a barcade in downtown Reno.

Shine Bright in Reno’s Newest Districts

As Reno continues to grow, it means even more unique neighborhoods and districts are being developed. Some new additions this year were The Village at Rancharrah and the initial phases of RED. The Village at Rancharrah is home to retail shops, wellness spaces and restaurants, including some familiar names like Perenn Bakery, Centro and Mari Chuy’s, as well as several new boutiques and dining experiences. Located just south of Midtown, RED – Reno Experience District – will feature luxury apartments, office spaces, a public park, retail, dining, a hotel and more. This district is continuing to develop so you should definitely keep it on your list of places to check out during your next trip to Reno.

A Spark of Art

Victorian Square in downtown Sparks continues to be the hub of events and activities. It’s arguably ‘the’ place to cruise during Hot August Nights, it’s home to 39 North’s 3rd Thursday and Great Basin Brewing’s flagship location, and is where you can find the Sparks Art Walk. Take a guided tour or stroll on your own to see some of the area’s newest art sculptures and murals by local and regional artists.

New Ways to Satisfy Your Hunger

Sorry to tell you that deciding where to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner didn’t get any easier this year. Reno Tahoe is already home to a seemingly endless array of restaurants, from food trucks and casual spots to fine dining options. Some new restaurants that opened this year included Water Bar, with sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Sparks Marina, Inclined Burgers, a Tahoe favorite whose second location means you can get their tasty burgers in Reno, and emPIEnada, which specializes in empanadas and pot pies.

Let Your Dreams Take Flight

Catching a flight to Reno Tahoe has never been easier! More nonstop and one-stop flights to Reno-Tahoe International Airport were added in 2021, including daily flights from Chicago, Austin, New York, Portland, Seattle and several Southern California cities.

Powder and Peaks

If you’re a skier or snowboarder, hitting one of Tahoe’s resorts is a no-brainer. The 21-22 ski season is off to a strong start with record-breaking snowfall in the month of December. Combine that with the highest concentration of ski resorts in North American, and Reno Tahoe is a skier’s paradise. Reserve your lift ticket in advance so you can roll out of bed at your hotel in Reno and be on a chair lift within an hour.

Views on Views on Views

There’s a reason that Lake Tahoe is repeatedly at the top of ‘must-see’ and ‘most beautiful’ lists. There are miles of trails around the lake that will take you to scenic vistas, but one of the most dramatic can be found along the Flume Trail. This trail runs between Spooner Lake and Tunnel Creek and is a popular mountain biking trail in the summer months. For a shorter hike, start at Tunnel Creek Café and be on the lookout not only for jaw-dropping lake views but also the most famous monkey in Nevada – Monkey Rock. Views of Lake Tahoe aren’t the only ones in Reno Tahoe. Get breathtaking views of the Virginia Range and Washoe Valley when you hit the mountain biking trails at Sky Tavern or hike the Dry Pond Loop trail in south Reno.

Float On

Lake Tahoe isn’t the only body of water that deserves your attention. During the summer, the Truckee River, which runs through downtown Reno, is an ideal place to cool off. For a truly local experience, get a tube and float from one of the city parks upstream into downtown where you can play in the rapids at the whitewater park or dry off and head to one of the bars and restaurants along the Riverwalk.

So, where are you going to start? For even more ideas, check out the Reno Tahoe Ultimate Insiders Guide to find all the local favorites.

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