Over the course of my adult life, I’ve spent a good deal of time visiting Nevada. However, nearly all of my Nevada vacations have been limited to Las Vegas. So when I had the chance to spend a couple days in Reno, I decided to take advantage of it. After all, Reno is the second largest city in Nevada, and I wanted to see what the “Biggest Little City” had to offer.
After spending a week at Lake Tahoe, my friend and I discussed the possibility of taking a spur-of-the-moment trip to Reno, and we decided that we couldn’t pass up the chance to check out the city. To make our impromptu vacation possible, we booked a last-minute hotel in Reno through HotelTonight’s app as we hopped in the car and made the short drive to Reno, Nevada.
Since our hotel was located in downtown Reno, we decided to explore our temporary neighborhood first. We strolled along the newly updated Riverwalk, which winds along the Truckee River. Along the way, we passed numerous art galleries, shops and restaurants. While Reno has a reputation for being a bit gaudy, the Riverwalk area is clean, well maintained, and overall really pleasant. We noticed many families, both locals and tourists, enjoying the area. It’s a great place to run, walk or even dip your toes into the water on a hot summer day.
Right outside of downtown is one of Reno’s most desirable neighborhoods, the Old Southwest. This historic district is mostly residential, but it’s an idyllic neighborhood definitely worth checking out when you’re in the area. The homes are large, beautiful and well-preserved, and the streets are lined with tall trees, providing plenty of shade on warm Nevada days. Since this neighborhood is so close to downtown, it’s a very walkable area, making it a great spot to visit if you want to take a nice afternoon walk in a pristine neighborhood.
Back in the heart of downtown is the Arts District, which is fun, funky and full of excitement. While there are plenty of art galleries and trendy restaurants that ensure this neighborhood lives up to its name, there are also plenty of unexpected surprises in the Arts District. Kayaking may not be the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of an Arts District, but it is the first thing that we did once we reached the neighborhood. That’s right – you can go kayaking, tubing and swimming in the Truckee River. Even though this neighborhood is located in the middle of the city, you can enjoy a great outdoorsy experience in the Arts District.
Formerly known as the Bungalow District, The Midtown recently underwent a significant makeover, which is why it’s one of Reno’s hottest new areas. The Midtown is located just south of downtown, and it’s now home to a great variety of classy cocktail bars, trendy gastro pubs and craft breweries. This neighborhood is really taking off, and it’s a fun place to explore during the evening, when many of the restaurants offer great happy hour deals and the crowd is an eclectic mix of local professionals and tourists.
We couldn’t visit Reno, Nevada without popping into a casino or two, so we spent the night testing our luck at both the Silver Legacy Resort Casino and the Sands Regency Casino Hotel. While Reno’s casinos certainly have a different vibe than Las Vegas’ casinos, we still had a blast. From the colorful neon lights to the infectious energy inside, these casinos offered plenty of excitement and entertainment. Reno may not be Nevada’s most popular destination for entertainment, but it still has its fair share of attractions. So after a long, fun-filled day of exploring Reno, we headed back to our hotel to rest up before making the long drive back home the next morning.
Reno is nicknamed “The Biggest Little City in the World,” and it’s certainly an appropriate nickname for this Nevada town. Even though Reno is compact and walkable, it feels like a much larger city because of its energy, its glitz, and its massive hotels and casinos. When people think of Reno, they typically only think of casinos and nightlife. However, we were able to see a much different side of Reno in just one day of exploring, and we came away from the trip with a completely new perspective of Reno.
A day or two in Reno may be all you need to explore the city and get a taste of its entertainment scene, which is why it’s the perfect destination for a quick weekend getaway. HotelTonight makes it easy to plan last-minute weekend getaways, because you can book your hotel within minutes through HotelTonight’s app.