10 Best Attractions and Activities in Reno and Sparks

Reno gets a bad rap for not having the amount of attractions such as Las Vegas or San Francisco, however for a small town there are an amazing amount of things to do for all ages. Just ask any local!

For the kids, check out the Nevada Discovery Museum. This fun and interactive museum celebrates the state of Nevada and has various science and art exhibits and experiences for children to play with…including a two-story cloud to climb. For both the kids and adults, visit the National Automobile Museum where a huge collection of classic and unusual cars will appeal to any visitor. For the best museum in town, visit the award-winning Nevada Museum of Art near downtown.

If the weather is nice, Reno has a great selection of parks and outdoor areas including the huge Rancho San Rafael Park where the Reno Balloon Races are held each year and Idlewild Park which is by the Truckee River. The river itself is a great place to hang out. The Riverwalk and the Truckee River Whitewater Park is a wonderful place during the summer when the Artown Festival is heating up.

Also, don't forget the famous Reno Arch. It is located on Virginia Street, right downtown and is one of the most photographed locations in the U.S. There is another Reno Arch over on Lake Street as well. This is the older arch that spanned Virginia Street in the 1960s Both deserve a bit of camera time.

Wild Island is located just west of Reno in the city of Sparks. This water park has a tropical feel and features a tide pool, a lazy river and a plethora of water slides including a four-story drop slide. There is also an area for children under...  Read More

The University of Nevada is central to the city of Reno. Over 25,000 students call UNR their alma mater and there are events and things to do all over campus. UNR is home to the Wolf Pack baseball, football and basketball teams and all UNR games...  Read More


The Biggest Little City in the World's most famous landmark is the Reno Arch, located downtown on Virginia Street. The famous lighted arch went up in 1926 to celebrate the completion of the Transcontinental Highway. In 1929, the famous motto was...  Read More

Rancho San Rafael Park is the largest park in Reno with hundreds of acres that are home to a large dog park, playgrounds, an arboretum, gym equipment, jogging areas, and special event pavilions. The Arboretum is a beautiful place to walk...  Read More

Riverwalk and Arts District
Photo courtesy of Vancour/Flickr

The Reno Arts District and the Reno Riverwalk are right downtown and just south of the casinos. This area is home to great restaurants and bars, shopping areas and a walkway along the Truckee River. There are several places along the river to...  Read More

Idlewild Park
Photo courtesy of AlishaV/Flickr

Built in 1927, this park is another of Reno's largest parks. It is located just West of downtown on the Truckee River. This park features several picnic areas, some tennis courts, a bike trail, some lakes and water features and access to the...  Read More

Even if classic cars are not your passion this 100,000-square-foot museum is still a great place to view some of the most beautiful and unusual cars you will ever see. The museum houses one of the largest collections of antique automobiles to...  Read More

This award-winning museum is just south of downtown Reno and features permanent and traveling exhibits from various artists. This excellent museum is small, but packs in a wonderful selection of contemporary and traditional art, sculptures...  Read More

This new museum is a celebration of the nature, science and weather of the Silver State. At this brand-new museum, children can visit a Native American tule house, learn about the early Pioneers, work on their own farm or ranch and study...  Read More

The Truckee River Whitewater Park is right in the middle of downtown Reno, just a few blocks from the casinos. It is 2,600 feet long with class 2 and 3 rapids for kayakers, canoes and boats. It is easily accessible from the shore and from the...  Read More


Meet Christina Nellemann

Christina has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since she was a baby. A first-generation Nevadan, her Danish parents instilled in her an intense love of travel and the wild, rugged outdoors...  More About Christina

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