Half Day Itineraries
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. And, at the end of the day there are a large number of restaurants from buffets to fine dining to accommodate your group.
Animal Ark, Reno - Animal Ark is 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. 25 miles north of Reno. animalark.org, 775-970-3111
Rancho Red Rock, Reno - This is a horse riding company that can service small groups for horseback riding or provide an overview of a working horse farm. The area is a beautiful location for a picnic lunch. Rancho Red Rock is about 35 miles north of Reno. ranchoredrock.com, 775-696-3315
Red Rock Hounds, Reno – Red Rock Hounds raise and train fox hounds. The tour introduces fox hunting and provides a tour of the kennels. “We take seriously the responsibility of stewardship of the land we are so graciously permitted to access and to respect the animals that make that land their home. Red Rock Hounds endeavors to educate people on observing the natural instincts of a team of hounds working in harmony and the responsibility we have for protecting open space and wildlife.” redrockhounds.com, 775-969-3243
Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, Imlay - Safe Haven is a wildlife sanctuary located in Imlay, Nevada which provides rehabilitative services and permanent placement for wildlife in need. Currently, residents include cougars, Siberian tigers, Bengal tigers, African servals, foxes, bobcats, Canadian lynx, coyotes and a desert tortoise. Tours include big cat feedings, enrichment demonstrations along with a history of the animal and how they came to live out their life at Safe Haven. Prearranged tours are available seven days a week. Safe Haven is about 2 hours, 15 minutes east of Reno or 30 minutes east of Winnemucca.
Sierra Nevada Alpaca – An alpaca farm tour includes visiting the Alpacas, learning about the use of alpaca fiber and how the fiber is made into the end product such as horse blankets. Tours are free.
Clay Canvas - No artistic experience is needed to create your own one-of-a-kind ceramic piece in our paint your own pottery studio. It’s a wonderful place to unwind, relax with your friends and unleash your imagination. The studio fee includes all your paints, brushes, stencils, stamps, idea books, glazing and firing of your piece and anything else you might need to create your masterpiece.
Picasso and Wine - It’s not an art class… It’s a Painting Party!!! Grab your friends, enjoy a beverage of your choice from the bar and let the talented instructors guide you step by step through an original painting, while listening to some funky tunes! No experience required... really! By the end of the event, you will have had a fabulous time and be able to take home a work of art painted by you.
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. renoaces.com; for group tickets, call 775-334-4700
Lanna Thai Café - Culinary instruction in Thai cuisine. Students participate in the preparation and cooking, and then enjoy the meal they helped prepare. lannathaicafe.com, 775-284-1080
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
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
Davidson’s Tea – Davidson’s has been in the tea business for over 30 years and considers itself to be the largest “organic only” tea company. With over 15 product lines and over 150 tea varieties, Davidson’s provides customers with the largest offering of tea flavors and packaging sizes. Tours available upon request. davidsonstea.com, 800-882-5888
Kimmie Candy Company - Tour local candy factory, Kimmie Candy while in Reno. The chocolatiers create delicious chocolate candies with samples available before and after the tours. Reservations recommended. kimmiecandy.com, 888-532-1325
From slot tournaments to table game tournaments and even bingo, most of the area’s hotel casinos can help facilitate a way for your group to partake in a little “game of chance.” Tournaments are very popular, fun and don’t require much skill, which levels the playing field and makes them inviting to all players. Talk to the sales staff at your hotel to help set up a tournament just right for your group.
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.
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. nevadaart.org, 775-329-3333
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.
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.
Riverwalk District Wine Walk - Every third Saturday of the month from 2:00pm to 5:00pm the Riverwalk District hosts the popular Wine Walk along the Truckee River and neighboring streets in downtown Reno. Visit a participating 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. renoriver.org, 775-826-WALK (9255)
Beer Walk - This extremely popular event takes place the fourth Saturday of every month.
Attendees have an opportunity to sample domestic, nationally recognized and locally distributed craft beers across 15 different unique bars and restaurants all within walking distance of the City’s most iconic attractions in Downtown Reno. This one-of-a-kind event is collaboration between The Waterfall and neighboring independent businesses. The Reno Beer Crawl features some of the most unique, original and top artisanal beers in the country! renoriver.org/reno-beer-crawl/, 775-825-WALK (9255)
Art Walk - Restaurants, galleries and businesses in the downtown Reno Arts District are bustling every first Thursday because of Art Walk Reno. See the works of local and regional artists on display in venues within the Arts District, between Liberty Street and Second Street, and Virginia Street and Arlington Avenue. artspotreno.com/art-walk-reno.
Cabela’s - Cabela’s stores are known as premier shopping and tourism destinations, drawing visitors from hundreds of miles to indulge in a unique shopping experience that celebrates nature and the lifestyle of the outdoor enthusiast. Extraordinary in design and showcasing thousands of products from its world-famous catalog and website, a customer’s average stay at a Cabela’s store has been estimated at a remarkable three and a half hours. cabelas.com, 775-829-4100
Outlets at Sparks – The Outlets at Sparks offers outlet shopping, dining and entertainment in a large complex next to a 77-acre lake surrounded by walking paths, trees and sandy beaches. outletsatlegends.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 such as Virginia Street Antique Mall, Antiques and Treasures and Somewhere In Time in Reno. You’ll never know what rare treasures of days gone by you’ll discover.
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.
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.
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. www.grandsierraresort.com/activities/grand-adventure-land, 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.
Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts - The Pioneer is a 1,500-seat venue located in downtown Reno. This is the largest performing arts facility in northern Nevada. In 2004, the Pioneer Center was added to the Nevada State Register of Historic Places and in 2005 was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to facilitating orchestral, ballet, opera and general interest programs, PCPA has hosted its own Broadway Comes to Reno series for the last 19 years. pioneercenter.com, 775-686-6610.
Brüka Theatre - Brüka Theatre in downtown Reno continues the tradition of exceptional, cutting edge, live theatre and is honored to have once again been named “Best Theatre Company” by the Reno News and Review for the 17th year running. Brüka Theatre provides a stellar line up of shows offering contemporary award winning plays, culture crossing melodrama, musicals and comedy that explore social questions about class, love, and existence. bruka.org, 775-323-3221
Casino Show Rooms - Nowhere in the USA hosts more events year after year than Reno Tahoe USA. We not only pride ourselves on putting together a fantastic lineup of activities for tourists, but those who live here are the main reason our special events season continues to be so successful. Check out a few of Reno’s many theatres and showrooms for unique evening entertainment:
NuggetCasinoResort.com; EldoradoReno.com; GrandSierraResort.com; and HarrahsReno.com
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
Historic Riverfront Walking Tour - Assembled on the occasion of Reno’s 146th birthday—May 9, 2014—this tour offers a taste of historic Reno, centered along the Truckee River corridor. All sites are within walking distance, and the tour may be started at any location, continuing clockwise or counter-clockwise. Learn about topics ranging from Reno’s origins to its flourishing divorce trade, sacred landmarks, and a wide range of civic institutions and activities.
East 4th Street Walking Tour - From manufacturing to tourism, railroads to restaurants, East 4th Street has played an important and multifaceted role in the history of Reno for more than a century. This tour provides a glimpse of the rich diversity of the area, best experienced on the pedestrian level.
Riding the Rails - Like countless cities in the American West, Reno was founded because of the establishment of 19th century railroad networks. However, Reno’s network did much more than simply inaugurate the town; it fostered the city’s unique enterprises that popularized Reno in the following decades. The railroad was the force that not only allowed Reno to benefit economically from transportation and commerce rather than mining (as with other northern Nevada railroad towns) but it also fed the city’s lucrative “sinful industries”—divorce and gaming, in particular—and helped them prosper by bringing people from all over the country to Reno. Essentially, the railroad became Reno’s lifeline, promoting commerce by freight and passenger trains, ensuring that Reno would not be dependent on boom and bust industries like most other towns in the state.
Tying and Untying the Knot – For more than 60 years, Reno was the divorce capital of the world. It was the place where you took “the cure,” got “Reno-vated,” and threw your wedding ring into the Truckee River from the Bridge of Sighs. Prior to 1970, divorce statutes in most states were so strict that some people seeking divorces traveled to places with more lenient laws. The business of attracting divorce-seekers was called the migratory divorce trade.
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