5 Best Things to Do in Reno Other Than Gambling

June 19, 2017

Not keen on spending all your time gambling while away? Go all in on these alternative things to do instead, as Kim Dinan explores what else there is to do in the city of Reno, Nevada.

For many people Reno, Nevada conjures images of casinos and flashing lights, a smaller version of its sister city to the south, Las Vegas. It’s true that there are a fair share of casinos in Reno, but it’s also true that slot machines and blackjack tables aren’t the only things here that help a traveller pass the time. Read on for five fun things to do in Reno that don’t have anything to do with gambling.

1. Visit the National Automobile Museum

National Automobile Museum in Reno

Credit: Aileen's Pics / Flickr (CC)

USA Today recently called the National Automobile Museum one of the ten best transportation museums in the US. Located in downtown Reno, the National Automobile Museum draws over two million car-loving visitors each year. The museum boasts over 200 classic, vintage, race car, rare and one-of-a-kind cars, the majority of which came from Bill Harrah’s collection. In his lifetime, Harrah, the owner of Harrah’s Hotels and Casinos, amassed the world’s largest and most significant collection of vehicles - over 1400 of them. Along with the cars, visitors to the museum enjoy 9 car-focused exhibits, audio or guided tours and authentic street scenes.

2. Spend the day at Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

Credit: Aaron Hiler / Flickr (CC)

Known for its iconic landscape, Lake Tahoe is one of the largest alpine lakes in the U.S. Just one hour by car from Reno, those looking to escape the city scene will find a bounty of natural beauty and outdoor activities in both winter and summer months. In warm weather, the lake is popular with swimmers, paddle boarders, kayakers and all other water sports enthusiasts. Hikers and bikers make use of the many mountain trails and then grab a cold one on the North Tahoe Ale Trail. During the winter months the mountains around Lake Tahoe are filled with snow seekers - Squaw Valley is a popular choice for skiers and snowboarders. No matter when you go, Lake Tahoe makes the outdoor lover happy.

3. Climb Peavine Peak

View from Peavine Peak over Reno

Credit: Mitch Barrie / Flickr (CC)

Those looking for a birds-eye view of Reno can find it atop Peavine Peak, the mountain that fills the skyline north of Reno. Reaching a respectable 8,266 feet in the air, climbing Peavine Peak is a difficult yet rewarding experience, sure to get your blood pumping. This 9-mile loop climbs 2,600 relentless feet and the trail is not shaded. In summertime expect scorching temperatures. High winds are present year-round. For some hikers, the presence of radio towers atop the mountain is disappointing, and they do infringe upon the natural beauty of the place. So why bother climbing Peavine Peak? Because the sight above the city is something to behold and the reward is well worth the effort.

4. Shop in Reno’s Mid-Town District

Midtown Reno graffiti art

Credit: Reno Tahoe / Flickr (CC)

Reno is no longer just a gambling town thanks in large part to creative entrepreneurs that have rejuvenated the once-neglected Mid-Town community. Located in the heart of Reno, the midtown district is a hip and eclectic hub of independently owned stores. Visitors enjoy everything from bars, like The Depot, to coffee shops, restaurants, such as Campo, and bookstores, and spas and antique shops. The midtown district is also an arts and cultural centre which boasts galleries and many public art projects. Bring your family and browse this thriving area of Reno.

5. See the Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center

Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center in Reno

Credit: Jeffrey Beall / Flickr (CC)

Whoever said learning couldn’t be fun has never visited the Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center on the University of Nevada Reno campus. This learning centre offers daily planetarium shows and has a free exhibit hall that is open daily. The exhibit hall features science-themed exhibits where kids and adults alike can learn about the earth, moon, space and the solar system. In the impressive domed theatre, families and adults can catch a science-based movie. Right now, the family show is called Perfect Little Planet and the adult shows are about extreme planets, black holes and more. Show times and exhibits rotate, so make sure to check the website for current offerings.

For even more things to do in Reno, Nevada and the surrounding areas check out the Reno and Tahoe visitors center website.


Are there any alternative Reno attractions you think should be on this list? Let us know by tweeting us @travioor or post a comment on Travioor's Facebook.

Kim Dinan Kim Dinan is an author and adventurer. Her writing has appeared in Parks and Recreation Magazine and Trailer Life Magazine among others. Her blog, So Many Places, was named one of the best outdoor blogs by USA Today and has been featured online by such sites as Huffington Post and BuzzFeed.