10Best Museums in Reno, Virginia City and Beyond



For a small area, Reno has a wide variety of museums that can rival any larger city. Spread from Reno to Sparks to Carson City and up into Virginia City, these 10Best museums will give you a better insight into the history of this Wild West area. Starting in Downtown Reno, visit the contemporary and award-winning Nevada Museum of Art. This stylish museum features various art and interactive exhibits from world renowned artists. You can get some of the best views of the city from the the top of the NMA as well. If you have children with you, be sure to take them to The Discovery (Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum), also in Downtown Reno. The interactive exhibits and three-story cloud climber will keep them busy for hours. For some out of the city trips, visit the Fourth Ward School in Virginia City and fun and interactive Nevada State Museum in Carson City.




The history of Sparks (the city right next to Reno) revolves around mining and railroads, and this museum provides great insight into the history of these two important resources, along with a fascinating collection of related artifacts and...  Read More


Nevada Historical Society
Photo courtesy of NHS


Founded in 1904, this facility ranks as Nevada's oldest museum. Its impressive collection of artifacts represents prehistoric times to the present, showcasing the state's role as a passageway to the west and as a locus of gold and silver mining...  Read More




This beautifully restored 1876 Victorian school building is located in the foothills above Reno in Virginia City. The museum is a peak into the life of the young students of the Comstock and Virginia City life. Sit in the same wooden desks,...  Read More




The W.M. Keck Museum, housed in the Mackay School of Mines Building on the University of Nevada, Reno campus is home to the impressive Mackay silver collection. The museum also includes extensive exhibits of mining artifacts, rocks, fossils,...  Read More


Wilbur D. May Museum & Arboretum


This fascinating museum houses the personal collection of Wilbur D. May, department store magnate, rancher, and world traveler–it's been said that Mr. May traveled around the world 40 times. Collections include Tang Dynasty pottery from China,...  Read More




It's hard to miss this futuristic and interesting building on the north part of the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The Fleischmann Planetarium soars out of a lush garden like a spaceship ready to take off and hosts a variety of astronomy...  Read More




The Nevada State Museum is located in the state's capital of Carson City. This historical building houses a wide variety of historical and contemporary exhibits on the history of the Silver State. Exhibits include the former Carson City Mint,...  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 museum is a celebration of the nature, science and weather of the Silver State. Both adults and children can visit a Native American tule house, learn about the early Pioneers, work on their own farm or ranch and study archeology. They can...  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


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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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