Established in 1859 as a trading station at a bridge over the Truckee River, Reno grew along with the silver mines of nearby Virginia City and the transcontinental railroad that chugged through town. Train officials named it in 1868, but gambling—legalized in 1931—put Reno on the map.Today a sign over the upper end of Virginia Street proclaims Reno "The Biggest Little City in the World." This is still a gambling town, with most of the casinos crowded into five square blocks downtown, but a thriving university scene and outdoor activities also bring tourists to the area.Though parts of downtown are sketchy, things are changing. Several defunct casinos are being converted into condominiums, and downtown is undergoing an urban renewal, sparked by the development of the riverfront, with new shops, boutiques, and nongaming, family-friendly activities like kayaking on the Truckee River. Excellent restaurants have sprung up outside the hotels. Temperatures year-round in this high-mountain-desert climate are warmer than at Tahoe, though it rarely gets as hot here as in Sacramento and the Central Valley, making strolling around town a pleasure.
Copyright © Mon Jun 26 09:59:35 EDT 2017 by Fodor's Travel, a division of Random House, LLC. All rights reserved.
Things You Can't Miss
Be sure to stop by this anchor of Reno's casino scene. After hitting the slot machines, laugh it up at the Catch a Rising Star Comedy Club.
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More than 200 cars are displayed in themed street scenes at the National Automobile Museum. See the Sammy Davis Jr. Duesenberg and Elvis' Eldorado.
The 78-lane National Bowling Stadium hosts many major tournaments. Improve your own scores after a swing evaluation at the Training Academy.
Come in September for this three-day event, which includes a sunrise show and a Super-Glow show featuring balloons that, well, glow (and dance).
With air travel, so many things can go wrong - paying extra fees, missing connections, etc. Learn how to avoid these common air travel mistakes.
Grab a game of minor league baseball here. Enjoy a bird's-eye view from Bugsy's Sports Bar or the sports bar plaza in the Freight House District.
Consider visiting San Diego, SeaWorld, Oxford's Christ Church and other destinations when planning your family trip.
Savings on British Airways and more
Shared Trips to this Destination
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