Planning a Reno Vacation? Here's All You Need To Know Before You Go

Reno, Nevada was previously known as the Gaming Capital of the United States, but in the last twenty years, the rapid growth of Las Vegas and Indian gaming in California have cut into Reno's gaming popularity. There's still plenty to see and do in Reno, including gaming and entertainment. If you want gaming and entertainment on a quieter level without so many people, this is the place to go! There are also other world-famous activities in and around Reno, which will be covered in later paragraphs. These include Hot August Nights, Street Vibrations, the Great Reno Balloon Race, and the Reno Air Race. You're also a short drive away from Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, and the Truckee River if water recreation activities are of interest to you. If you enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, there are eight major ski resorts in close proximity to Reno. You'll find plenty to see and do, and at a somewhat slower pace than Las Vegas. Are you ready to plan your Reno vacation? Read on!

Things To See and Do In And Around Reno

It goes without saying that the top activities in Reno include gaming and entertainment. Most hotels have their own casinos and stage their own shows. Additionally, you'll find other other things to do while you're here. Here's a rundown on some of the top attractions in Reno and vicinity.

  • Reno Air Race
    Usually takes place in September, the Reno Air Races are host to air races in various classes of aircraft, plus airshows and tours. If you're coming to Reno in early to mid-September, consider spending a day at the races. More information available at
  • Great Balloon Race
    Held early in September just before the Reno Air Race, if you plan just right you can take in both events. is the official web site where you'll be able to find more information.
  • Hot August Nights
    If you're a vintage car lover and coming to Reno in early August, you'll be just in time to take in this event. Featuring thousands of vintage cars, entertainers from the '50's and '60's, car auctions, poker runs and drag racing, it's a nationally recognized event that you're sure to enjoy.
  • Street Vibrations
    Held the 4th weekend in September, more than 30,000 motorcycle enthusiasts roar into town for the nation's 6th largest motorcycle event. Plenty here to see and do if you are into motorcycles
  • Ski Resorts
    Coming into town for the skiing? There are at least eight major ski resorts near Reno, including Alpine Meadows, Diamond Peak, Mount Rose, and Squaw Valley just a short drive from Reno.
  • Lake Tahoe
    We'll feature more about Lake Tahoe in a separate article, but along with winter skiing activities, you will enjoy water sports on this beautiful lake which sits a short drive west of Reno on the Nevada/California border

Hotels, Dining, Gaming, Entertainment

There's a lot to cover in one short paragraph, and we can't begin to include everything, but we can get you started. Probably your first consideration, besides how you're getting here, will be where to stay and eat, followed closely by the gaming and entertainment activities in Reno. Here's a few of our choices, with places to go for even more information

Stay at the Circus Circus in Reno for as little as $39 per night; the Peppermill Hotel and Casino's rates start at $50 and include their onsite casino, swimming pool and fitness center, spa, and more. Of try Harrah's Hotel and Casino or the Summit at Grand Sierra Resort, from about $80 per night.

You'll find great meals for less in Reno. Go to to search Reno restaurants by category, from American to Vietnamese. Looking for a steakhouse and your hotel is in downtown Reno on Virginia Street? Outback or Ruby River Steakhouses are just two of the many on Virginia Street. Have a hankering for Chinese food? Mexican? French cuisine? You'll find it all in Reno.

Reno hotels are also home to casinos. You'll find your favorite games like blackjack, poker, keno, slot machines, roulette, baccarat and more at any of Reno's fine casinos.

While in Reno you'll probably want to take in a show or two. Choose from stars like Big and Rich, Matchbox 20, Rush, Reba McIntire, or George Lopez to entertain you while you visit Reno. You can find who's playing where and when at online sites like

In Conclusion

Just like in Las Vegas, you'll find plenty to see and do while in Reno. Besides gaming and entertainment, fine dining and plush hotels, plenty of sightseeing to do and events to be a part of. And usually, it's somewhat quieter and more laid-back than Las Vegas. Plan a Reno vacation and enjoy yourself.

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