10 things you might not know about Reno

Published: January 13, 2015

Reno is often seen as the dirty little brother of Las Vegas. However, The Biggest Little City in the World has a lot more to offer than just a cheaper casino getaway.

  1. Reno is an outdoor lover's paradise.

    The city has numerous parks that offer miles of hiking and biking trails. There are also multiple State Parks within a short drive that have more than enough trails to fill the desire of any nature minded visitor.

    You can stroll through the wooden expanse of the Eastern Sierra or head out to the ruggedly beautiful high desert to the East of the city. Just be sure to know what you're getting yourself into as these landscapes can be very unforgiving.

    Our advice, look up a local tour operator such as True West Tours to get the most out of your trip.

  2. Reno has a great microbrewery scene.

    You may already be familar with Great Basin Brewing, but did you know that Reno has at least ten different breweries? I say at least because there are more opening up all the time.

    Silver Peak, Pigeon Head, and the Brewer's Cabinet are just a small sampling of the beer makers you can visit while in Reno. Many of the breweries also have great restaurants so you can order a meal to go along with your sample flight of brews. 

  3. There are two National Parks within an easy day's drive.

    Many people believe that in getting to an iconic park like Yosemite or a hidden gem like Lassen Volcanic National Park must involve a harrowing journey through the great unknown. 

    In fact, that couldn't be any further from the truth. Both parks are accesible in under four hours. Though travel times can increase greatly due to winter weather, if you visit in the summer you should have no problem visiting one, or both, of these amazing parks!

  4. Lake Tahoe is less than an hour away.

    After gazing on the sparkling blue water of Lake Tahoe you'll understand why it has been called the "Jewel of the Sierra." With enough water to cover an area the size of California in 14 inches of water you can be sure that the second deepest lake in the USA has plenty to keep you busy.

    You can hike or mountain bike around the rim, you can sail, jetski, kayak or stand up paddle board on lake itself. If you visit in winter there are over a dozen ski resorts that offer terrain that's great for beginners and experts alike. Mix in a little Shakespeare on the Lake and many great live music venues and you have more than enough for a day or two spent out of the city.



  5. Reno: A river runs through it.

    Lake Tahoe only has one outlet, the Truckee river. Along the course of it's short but steep decent to Pyramid lake the river cuts right through Downtown Reno.

    In the summer you'll find both locals and tourists cooling off in the cold mountain water. The city has also built a series of small rapids for kayakers to practise their skills in the whitewater park.

    Another interesting fact is that Lake Tahoe, the Trukee river and Pyramid lake are part of an endorheic basin. This means that the water never reaches the sea. Pyramid lake is the end of the watershed and the only outlet from there is evaporation.

  6. Reno is starting to draw the attention of major corporations.

    Apple, Amazon and Tesla Motors have all announced plans to or already have opened facilities in the Reno area. Due to Nevada's lower tax rate and Reno's proximity to California and the I-80 corridor many large businesses have seen an advantage in relocating all or part of their operations to Reno and Northern Nevada.

    These developments have forced many to increase their projections on populatin growth and job creation in the area. Though Reno was hit hard in the latest recession it is defintely in full recovery mode now.

  7. Startups love Reno too.

    Recently named as one of the Top 10 Cities in America for startups, it's easy to see that the same reasons large established businesses are moving to Reno are also enticing to small startups.

    The hub of activty is the Reno Collective, a community workspace for artists, entrpreneurs and other creative types. Located on the corner of Arlington Avenue and 1st Street the Collective kicks off what is known as Startup Row, a mulit-block stretch of 1st street home to many of Reno's brightest new businesses.

    It's not all work and no play though. There are a number of bars nearby and the Trukee river and Downtown are only a few minutes away.

  8. Reno is Artown.

    Starting in 1966 the Reno Artown Festival has grown into a month long celebration of all things creative. From the beginning of July and running through the '32nd of July' (August 1st) you can find over 350 events ranging from live music, to art shows, interpretive dances and many other artistic endeavors all across the city.

    This past year the festival was capped off by a free concert by latin fusion band Ozomatli. Whatever brings you to Reno, if it's in month of July be sure to find out what's happening in Artown!

  9. Reno is the home of all you can eat sushi!

    Like Las Vegas, Reno is known for the glutonous spreads put out by the casinos in their mind boggling buffets. Fewer, however, are aware of the mulitple locations that offer great all you can eat sushi for a reasonable price.

    It also doesn't matter which part of the city you're in, there is a sushi restaurant nearby. Some, such as Rickshaw, even offer free saki or beer with your meal. That's one deal that is very hard to beat!

  10. The weather is incredible.

    Reno averages over 250 days of sunshine a year and being in a high desert in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada only recieves about 7 inches of rain per year. To put that in perspective the national average is over 36 inches.

    Reno's elevation of 4,500 feet also gives it milder summers than the scorching hot temps that Las Vegas is known for. This, combined with all the outdoor activities in the area make Reno a natural, year-round playground.

It's easy to be put off by Reno's less than stellar reputaion, but if you give it a chance you're sure to come away with a different opinion. No matter the season you will find something to love about Reno, so put it on the list of your places to see!