27 Best Things to Do in Reno, Nevada | 2024 (with Photos)

Andreas Rukovski

Andreas Rukovski - Travel Writer

Published: July 17, 2023

Hey there! I'm Andreas, a travel enthusiast who has explored the vibrant city of Reno, Nevada extensively. With my passion for adventure and discovery, I've curated a list of the top attractions and activities that will make your visit to Reno unforgettable. Enjoy your trip and make the most out of your time in this incredible city!

Reno Nevada

Welcome to Reno, Nevada - the "Biggest Little City in the World." This vibrant city is located in the western part of the United States, and it is known for its exciting nightlife, world-class outdoor recreation, and stunning natural beauty.

Reno is situated in the high desert at the base of the Nevada Mountains, which provides a breathtaking backdrop to the city's skyline. The city is also located near the famous Lake Tahoe, which offers year-round outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, boating, and fishing.

You'll also find many casinos, live music venues, and theaters here, making it a popular destination for nightlife enthusiasts. So, let's discover some of the best things to do in Reno.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Visit Lake Tahoe.

Top Choice Hotel

Grand Sierra Resort

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Sterling's Seafood Steakhouse

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

The Loving Cup

Best Time to Visit

Seasons and events dictate the best time.

Average Temperature

The average temperature in Reno is typically hot.

Transportation Options

Buses, taxis, rideshare, bicycles, walking, rental cars, shuttles.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Reno, located in the United States of America, offers a delightful blend of outdoor adventures and vibrant city life. Spend a day exploring the magnificent Lake Tahoe, with its emerald waters and picturesque mountains creating a breathtaking backdrop for hiking, kayaking, or simply lounging by the shore. In the heart of the city, immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere of the Reno Riverwalk District, where you can stroll along the river, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and browse through boutique shops for unique souvenirs to commemorate your visit to this captivating city.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Comfortable walking shoes
  2. Light jackets or layers for unpredictable weather
  3. Sunscreen and sunglasses
  4. Camera or smartphone for capturing memories
  5. Travel adapter for electrical outlets in the US
  6. Portable charger for keeping your devices powered on the go
  7. Travel guide or map of the city
  8. Cash and credit cards for transactions
  9. Toiletries and personal items
  10. Your sense of adventure and curiosity to explore the city's attractions and hidden gems.

What Not to Miss

  1. National Automobile Museum
  2. Nevada Museum of Art
  3. Truckee River Walk
  4. Animal Ark
  5. Idlewild Park
  6. The Discovery
  7. Reno Arch
  8. Wilbur D. May Center
  9. Virginia Lake Park
  10. Reno Riverwalk District

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded tourist areas
  2. Heavy traffic during peak hours
  3. High crime areas
  4. Overpriced tourist traps
  5. Certain neighborhoods known for gang activity
  6. Unlicensed taxis or unofficial transportation services
  7. Ignoring local customs and traditions
  8. Leaving valuable belongings unattended
  9. Drinking tap water without verifying its safety
  10. Jumping into bodies of water without knowing the conditions

1. Mount Rose Ski Resort

Mount Rose Ski Resort

Let's kick off this list of the best things to do in Reno with a super popular skiing destination just 20 miles from downtown, Mount Rose Ski Resort.

Mount Rose is the closest ski resort to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and offers stunning views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The Mount Rose resort features 1,200 acres of skiable terrain with over 60 trails and six terrain parks, catering to skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The resort also offers night skiing on select days throughout the season.

2. Discover the Truckee River Walk

Truckee River Walk

The Truckee River Walk is a scenic walking path that runs along the Truckee River in Downtown Reno, Nevada.

The path stretches for 3.5 miles, from Mayberry Park in the west to the eastern end of Sparks, and offers beautiful views of the Truckee River and the surrounding landscape.

The Truckee River Walk features a paved path that is ideal for walking, jogging, or cycling, and there are several access points along the Truckee Riverway, including parks, picnic areas, and restrooms.

Along the route, visitors can enjoy art installations, sculptures, and murals, as well as wildlife viewing opportunities, such as birds and fish.

The Truckee River is also home to several cultural attractions, including the National Automobile Museum, the Nevada Museum of Art, and the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts.

3. Enjoy the Fresh Air at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is a popular park located in Reno, Nevada. If you are looking for fun things to do in Reno, add this park to your list.

Rancho San Rafael Park features a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, and picnicking, as well as several cultural attractions, such as the Wilbur D. May Center and the Great Basin Adventure theme park.

The Rancho San Rafael park is also home to several annual events, such as the Reno Balloon Race and the Great Reno Balloon Race.

4. National Bowling Stadium

National Bowling Stadium

The National Bowling Stadium is a famous bowling alley located in Reno, Nevada. It is known for its unique design, with a 363-foot-long stainless steel arch that spans over the top of the building, resembling a giant bowling ball about to strike a set of pins.

The stadium has 78 lanes, and it can host up to 1,200 bowlers at a time. It has hosted numerous professional bowling tournaments, including the USBC Masters and the USBC Women's Championships.

The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame are also located at the bowling stadium. This is one of the best things to do in Reno on a very hot or rainy day, as you can have a great time indoors at the bowling alley.

5. Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum

Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum

Located on Center St, Reno, NV lies this fantastic attraction for kids and adults alike. Your kids and teens can discover all things science related at the Discovery Museum.

With thrilling exhibits on underwater creatures, electricity, and much more, get ready to be mind-blown at the Discovery Museum. This is one of the most fun things to do in Reno for families.

6. Step Back in Time at the National Automobile Museum

National Automobile Museum

The National Automobile Museum, located in Reno, Nevada, is a museum dedicated to showcasing the history of the automobile.

The National Automobile Museum has a collection of over 200 cars, ranging from antique and classic cars to modern and rare vehicles.

One of the most unique features of the museum is its themed galleries, which include exhibits dedicated to the early years of motoring, the 1950s, and even a section dedicated to celebrity cars.

7. Visit the Nevada Museum of Art

Nevada Museum of Art

The Nevada Museum of Art is located in Reno, Nevada, and is the only accredited art museum in the state of Nevada.

The Nevada Museum of Art has a collection of over 2,000 works, including contemporary, modern, and traditional art from around the world.

One of the most notable features of the museum is its architecture, with a unique design that blends the natural environment with modern building materials.

8. Stop to Smell the Roses at Idlewild Park and Rose Garden

Idlewild Park and Rose Garden

Idlewild Park is a public park located in Reno, Nevada. Idlewild Park covers over 49 acres and features a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy, including playgrounds, picnic areas, and sports fields.

One of the most popular features of the park is its rose garden, which has over 200 varieties of roses and is a popular spot for weddings and other events.

The park is also home to the Idlewild Pool, a large swimming pool that is open during the summer months.

9. Hit the Slopes at Mt. Rose

Mt. Rose

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is a ski resort located in Reno, Nevada. With a base elevation of 8,260 feet, it is the highest ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area.

The resort has 60 trails, ranging from beginner to expert, and offers a variety of skiing and snowboarding terrain.

In addition, the resort has several terrain parks, with features for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe also boasts one of the longest ski seasons in the region, often operating from October to late May or early June.

10. Catch a Game at Greater Nevada Field

Greater Nevada Field

Greater Nevada Field is a multi-purpose stadium located in downtown Reno, Nevada. It is primarily used as a baseball stadium and is home to the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The stadium has a seating capacity of 9,534 and features state-of-the-art facilities, including a video scoreboard and a variety of food and beverage options.

11. Catch a Show at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts

Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts

The Center for the Arts is a historic theater located in downtown Reno, Nevada. It has been a cultural hub in the community since its opening in 1967, hosting a wide range of performances including Broadway shows, concerts, ballets, and operas.

The theater has a seating capacity of over 1,500 and features state-of-the-art acoustics and a beautiful interior design.

12. Visit during The Great Reno Balloon Race

Great Reno Balloon Race

The Great Reno Balloon Race is an annual hot air balloon festival held in Reno, Nevada.

The event attracts over 100 hot air balloons from around the world, making it the largest free hot air balloon festival in the world.

The festival takes place over three days and features a variety of activities, including balloon races, tethered balloon rides, and balloon glow at night.

In addition to the balloons, the festival also includes food vendors, live music, and a variety of family-friendly activities.

13. Jet Ski on Pyramid Lake

Fishing on Pyramid Lake

(note: fishing is the most demanded activity in Pyramid Lake, maybe change the headline to “Go Fishing…” rather than Jet Ski, since it is also not mentioned on the description.)

Pyramid Lake is a large, saline lake located in the high desert region of northern Nevada. The lake is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and other recreational activities.

Pyramid Lake is an important cultural and spiritual site for the Paiute Tribe, who have lived in the area for thousands of years.

The Tahoe-Pyramid Trail is a 116-mile trail that runs from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake, following the Truckee River.

The trail is popular with hikers, bikers, and horseback riders, and offers stunning views of the Nevada mountains and the high desert terrain.

14. Virginia Street

Virginia Street

Virginia Street is a major thoroughfare in downtown Reno, Nevada. The Virginia St runs north-south through the heart of the city and is home to a variety of restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment venues.

One of the most notable landmarks on Virginia Street is the famous Reno Arch, a brightly lit archway that spans the street and welcomes visitors to the city. You will also find Atlantis Casino here, so if you are a lover of slot machines, this is the place for you.

Virginia Street is home to several historic buildings, including the historic Mapes Hotel and the Reno Masonic Lodge.

15. Hear Thunderbirds Roar at the Reno Air Races

Reno Air Races

The Reno Air Races is an annual air show and racing event held at the former Stead Air Force Base in Reno, NV.

The event attracts pilots and aviation enthusiasts from around the world, who come to watch thrilling aerial performances and high-speed airplane races.

The Reno Air Races feature a variety of aircraft, including vintage warbirds, aerobatic planes, and high-tech racing planes.

In addition to the races, the event also includes static displays of aircraft, food and drink vendors, and a variety of family-friendly activities.

16. Snap a Selfie at Reno Philharmonic Orchestra

 Reno Philharmonic Orchestra

The Reno Philharmonic Orchestra is a professional orchestra based in Reno, NV.

The orchestra was founded in 1969 and has since become a cultural institution in the community, offering a wide range of classical music performances and educational programs.

The orchestra performs a regular season of concerts at the Pioneer for the Arts, as well as special events and collaborations with other arts organizations.

17. Check Out Animal Ark

Animal Ark

Animal Ark is a wildlife sanctuary and education center located just outside of Reno, Northern Nevada.

The sanctuary is home to a variety of rescued wild animals, including wolves, cheetahs, bears, and other wild cats.

Animal Ark's mission is to educate visitors about the importance of conservation and to provide a safe haven for animals that cannot be released back into the wild.

In addition to tours of the sanctuary, Animal Ark also offers a variety of educational programs for both children and adults, including guided hikes, animal encounters, and summer camps.

18. Admire the Animals at Nevada Zoological Park

Nevada Zoological Park

Zoological Park is a small, privately owned zoo located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Reno, Nevada.

The zoo is home to a variety of animals from around the world, including big cats, primates, birds, reptiles, and more.

Sierra Nevada Zoological Park is committed to providing a safe and comfortable environment for its animals and is actively involved in conservation efforts to protect endangered species.

19. Uncover Hidden Gems on a Street Art Tour

Reno Street Art

Reno is home to a thriving community of artists, and the city's walls and buildings are adorned with an ever-changing array of murals and street contemporary art.

From colorful abstract designs to thought-provoking political statements, the street art in Reno is a reflection of the city's diverse cultural landscape.

By engaging with local art walks, you can discover the stories behind the art and learn about the artists who created it. This is one of the most colorful things to do in Reno for art lovers.

20. Peek Inside the Washoe County Courthouse

(note: this is a courthouse, so, taking pictures inside it not allowed, maybe we can change the headline)

The Washoe County Courthouse is a historic courthouse located in the downtown area of Reno, Nevada. Built in 1910, the courthouse is an iconic landmark in the city and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The courthouse has been the site of many important legal proceedings over the years and continues to serve as an important hub of the local justice system.

If you want to learn more about local politics, visiting the courthouse in the downtown area is one of the most important things to do in Reno.

21. Wander Around Bartley Ranch Regional Park

Bartley Ranch Regional Park

Bartley Ranch Regional Park is a 56-acre park located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Reno, Nevada.

The park features a variety of amenities and activities, including hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, a dog park, a historic ranch house, and more.

One of the park's main attractions is the Western Heritage Interpretive Center, which provides visitors with a glimpse into the region's ranching and agricultural history.

22. See Desert Landscapes in Reno

Burning Man Festival

Desert landscapes are a unique and striking feature of the American Southwest, and the Black Rock Desert in Nevada is no exception.

This vast expanse of barren terrain stretches for over 1,000 square miles and is known for its otherworldly beauty and stark, rugged terrain.

The desert is home to a variety of plants and animals that have adapted to harsh conditions, and visitors can explore the landscape by foot, bike, or vehicle.

The Black Rock Desert is also famous for hosting the annual Burning Man Festival, which attracts tens of thousands of people from around the world to this remote and isolated corner of Nevada.

23. Stay at Whitney Peak Hotel

Whitney Peak Hotel

The Whitney Peak Hotel is a stylish and modern boutique hotel located in Downtown Reno, Nevada. The hotel features sleek and contemporary design elements, with industrial-chic touches like exposed brick walls and high ceilings.

In addition to its stylish accommodations, the Whitney Peak Hotel offers a variety of amenities and services, including a fitness center, a rooftop pool and bar, and a full-service restaurant.

The hotel is also home to the world's tallest outdoor climbing wall, which rises 164 feet above the ground and provides a unique and thrilling experience for adventure seekers.

24. Explore Downtown Reno

Downtown Reno

Downtown Reno is the vibrant heart of the city, offering a diverse range of dining, shopping, and entertainment options for visitors and locals alike.

The downtown area is home to numerous casinos, hotels, and resorts, as well as a variety of cultural and historical attractions like the Nevada Museum of Art and the Pioneer for the Performing Arts.

Visitors can explore the area on foot, taking in the unique architecture and street art that characterizes the neighborhood.

25. Spend the Day on Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a stunningly beautiful alpine lake located along the border of California and Nevada.

The lake is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of recreational activities such as hiking, skiing, and boating. Whether you're a nature lover or an adventure seeker, there are plenty of fun things to do in Lake Tahoe.

One of the most iconic features of Lake Tahoe is the scenic drive along Lake Tahoe Boulevard, also known as "Lake St.", which offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Or, you can drive south to Carson City for a fun-filled day trip from Reno, NV, stopping at Lake Washoe en route.

26. Riverwalk District and Freight House District

Riverwalk District

The Riverwalk District and Freight House District are two of the most vibrant and eclectic neighborhoods in Reno, Nevada.

The Riverwalk District is located along the banks of the Truckee River and is known for its charming mix of art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, as well as its lively street festivals and events for the whole family.

The Freight House District, located just a few blocks away, is a historic neighborhood that has been revitalized in recent years and is now home to a variety of restaurants, breweries or beer gardens, and specialty shops.

27. Race Cars in Reno

Reno Fernley Raceway

Reno, Nevada is home to a variety of racing events, from drag racing to off-road racing and more. Car enthusiasts looking for fun things to do in Reno won't have to look far.

One of the most popular events is the Reno Fernley Raceway, a multi-use motorsports facility that hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including sports car and motorcycle races, track days, and driver education programs.

The facility features a 2.3-mile road course, a 1/4-mile drag strip, and an off-road track, making it a versatile venue for a range of different types of racing.

FAQs Regarding Things to Do in Reno

Let's look at the most frequently asked questions relating to things to do in Reno.

Is Reno, Nevada worth visiting?

Yes, Reno is definitely worth visiting. While often overshadowed by its neighbor to the south, Las Vegas, there are a lot of amazing things to do in Reno, such as river walks, museums, parks, and casinos.

What is there to do in Reno today?

Today, there are a lot of things to do in Reno, NV. For instance, you could visit a movie theater, try an escape room, discover one of the many biking paths, or check out a show at one of the many venues in Reno, such as the Grand Sierra Resort or the Reno Events Center.

How do you spend a day in Reno, Nevada?

If you have just one day in Reno, you can check out the National Automobile Museum and see the famous Thomas Flyer car. You might also want to explore the beautiful hiking trails in the area, such as the Hunter Creek Trail or the Tahoe Rim Trail.

With so many things to do in Reno, it is hard to spend just one day in town. Check local event listings to see if there is any live entertainment scheduled, such as festivals.

What is Reno, Nevada best known for?

Reno, Nevada is known for several things, but one of its main attractions is Wingfield Park.

This popular park is located in the heart of Downtown Reno and is known for its beautiful scenery, river views, and various fun things to do, such as concerts, festivals, and outdoor events.

Wingfield Park is also home to the Truckee River Whitewater Park, which offers kayaking, rafting, and other water sports.

Summing Up: Things to do in Reno, Nevada

Known as the "Biggest Little City in the World," Reno offers a wide variety of activities and attractions that are sure to thrill and excite you.

On the banks of the Truckee River, around six hours north of Las Vegas, this incredible city is bursting with awesome attractions.

From Rancho San Rafael Park and the Reno Arch to the slot machines and other attractions on Virginia St, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Reno.

So just what are you waiting for? Book your trip today and don't forget to take this list of awesome attractions with you.