9 Unique Things to Do in Reno

Commonly dubbed as the Biggest Little City in the World, you shouldn’t underestimate the scenic city of Reno in Nevada. Snuggled between the Sierra Nevada mountains and Lake Tahoe, Reno offers several indoor and outdoor activities.

We went ahead and put together a list of unique things to do in Reno to help you decide your next destination.

Browse the Unique Collection at the Nevada Museum of Art

Reno City Sign
Image via Flickr by jcantroot | CC by 2.0

The Nevada Museum of Art, located in downtown Reno, is a magnificent modern four-story building designed by architect Will Bruder. This thematic museum focuses on the interaction between the environment and humans and the growing effort to safeguard the land. The museum’s permanent collection comprises over 2,000 works of art from as late as the 19th century. The museum’s growing contemporary collection includes:

  • Mixed media installations.
  • Sculpture.
  • Digital media.
  • Works on paper.
  • Photography and paintings created by international and national artists.

Visit the Animal Ark Sanctuary

The Animal Ark is a great place for animal lovers and families alike. This wildlife sanctuary and its devoted staff help wildlife survive in a magnificent rural setting. While the Ark focuses primarily on the rescue and rehabilitation of North American predators, several exotic species have also found a safe haven at the Ark. The animal collection is diverse, ranging from cheetahs and tortoises to wolves and bears. The enclosures at the Ark are full of native trees and vegetation that mimic natural habitats.

Head to Rancho San Rafael Park

Rancho San Rafael Park is the biggest of its kind in all of Reno, extending over 580 acres of land. It offers different natural areas, including wetland habitats, huge lakes, desert landscapes, mountain landscapes, a xeriscape, and more. The park was initially a cattle ranch but was bought by the County of Washoe in 1979 and transformed into the park we’re familiar with now.

While in the park, you can have a picnic, walk through the trails, go fishing, play volleyball, or explore the surroundings. You can also reserve the historic Ranch House for special events, with a maximum capacity of 150 people.

Take a Trip to Lake Tahoe

Located between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is one of the most attractive places in the United States. Visitors flock here from all over the world to see the lake’s azure waters surrounded by majestic mountains. Around Lake Tahoe, you’ll find hiking trails and beaches, and you can go boating on the lake and enjoy typical aquatic recreations like fishing. If you’re traveling to Reno, you shouldn’t miss the chance to make the short trip to Lake Tahoe.

Ride Back to the Wild West by Visiting Virginia City

Just a half-hour drive from Reno, this historic town was once the World’s wealthiest city thanks to the Comstock Lode, the biggest gold vein ever mined. After the mining camps left, the town shrunk as residents moved on. The TV show “Bonanza” brought Virginia City back to life, bringing new restaurants and shops catering to growing visitors.

Among the top sights in Virginia City are the Piper Opera House, Ponderosa Saloon, Fourth Ward School, The Castle, Bucket of Blood Saloon, and the Silver Terrace Cemeteries. The best way to explore the city is from the base of the hill on C Street and work your way up. Virginia City is a must-see for anybody interested in Wild West history.

Picnic at Pyramid Lake

In search of something serene and calm? Pyramid Lake is your best bet! It’s about 40 miles from Reno itself, but it’s worth the drive. It’s one of the largest natural lakes in Nevada, surrounded by striking rock formations. These pyramid-like shapes are limestone tufa rocks that rise from the still, dark waters. Additionally, you can find a rare breed of pelicans at Pyramid Lake.

You can also learn about the lake’s history at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitors Center. Here, visitors can see examples of the local tribe’s history and culture.

Explore the Incredible Street Arts

One of the coolest things to do in Reno is to explore the murals along the alleyways and streets of Midtown. Home to more than 80 murals painted by international, national, and local artists, Reno’s Midtown is an exciting leisurely walk exploring these vibrant artworks. Many depict state and local history, while others focus on social issues and personal stories. Business owners have seized the opportunity to grow Reno’s public art collection by permitting artists to paint their exterior walls.

Check out the National Automobile Museum

The National Automobile Museum is one of the most popular Reno attractions. With the United States having such a vibrant automobile industry history, a great activity in Reno is visiting this auto museum. Check out incredible exhibits featuring over 200 eye-popping vintage and classic cars through the centuries.

The beautiful historic property is the ideal year-round location for a Reno prom venue, banquet room, wedding venue, or just a general event space for birthday parties. You can also shop at the Automobile Museum Store for gifts for friends and family and the perfect souvenirs for remembering your experience at the museum.

Stroll Along with the Riverwalk District

Riverwalk District is a picturesque, paved path that runs along the Truckee River between Arlington Avenue and Lake Street in downtown Reno. Bike or stroll along the Riverwalk and check out Reno’s historical tributes and art installations for a healthy dose of Reno’s culture, arts, and heritage. You won’t run out of things to do, from diverse theater groups to the beautiful whitewater kayak park to the peaceful riverside parks and paths. Thanks to the many shops, galleries, boutiques, salons, and specialty retailers, it’s also a haven for those looking for a little retail therapy.

So, there you have. De Castroverde Law Group has provided you with a rundown of nine unique things to do in Reno. Did you find our list helpful? Did we miss a famous spot that Reno locals love? If we did, please don’t hesitate to let us know, and we’ll add it to our list.