If you are looking for something unusual and different, head to Reno.
After a very scenic drive over the Sierra Nevada mountain range we came upon Nevada’s second largest city. The former mining outpost of Reno is known as “The Biggest Little City in The World”. While a lot of people would argue that Reno has seen its best days, I would say the city still has a lot to offer.
We stayed in Reno for one day. Somehow, we felt like we had traveled back in time. In a way it felt like being in a movie set from the sixties. The neon lights of old fashioned casinos and clubs create an ambience that takes you back in time.
Eat Like a Local in Reno
Driving from San Francisco to Reno took us nearly four hours and by the time we got to Reno it was time to get some lunch.
We walked through the town to grab some lunch at Old Granite Street Eatery where we were served by a lovely local who gave us tips on what to see around town. The eatery has a great selection of draft beers and delicious snacks to share. Plus, they had great specials during happy hour!
Other great restaurants are located along the river that runs through the town. We had dinner at Liberty, where the menu options ranged from pizza and burgers to pasta and small sharing plates. On weeknights most of the restaurants close early, around 8 and 9 pm so it’s better to head out for early dinner.
Another place that many recommended us was Great Full Gardens. The restaurant is famous for its broad selection of healthy snacks and meals. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to check it out so we will leave that for next time.
Things to See in Reno
I definitely recommend heading out at night when the casinos light up. The famous Reno Arch is particularly worth seeing after dark.
Street Art in Reno
The city also has some cool murals that are worth exploring. Reno is the closest city to Burning Man festival which is organized in Nevada desert every August. Burning Man is definitely one of the world’s quirkiest festival gathering people from all over the globe. You will be able to see some past art creations around downtown Reno.
Explore Reno’s Quirky Downtown
Reno might not be the shopping paradise, but it still has a great selection of funky shops and boutiques to every taste.
Other cool attractions include National Automobile Museum, Nevada Museum of Art, and of course the many casinos.
Overall, Reno surprised us with its interesting and somewhat mystic ambience. It is a great place to stop by for a day on your way to Lake Tahoe.
If you made it to Reno, make sure you don’t miss the historical Virginia City which lies just 26 miles from Reno. Virginia City is a true gem and definitely worth the visit!