Couples's Massage & Retro Arcade Games: 10Best Romantic Things to Do in Reno

Whether you want to spend the day at the spa or hit up some bars and comedy clubs, Reno has a wide range of romantic activities. Couples who like art or music can enjoy a Broadway play at Pioneer Center for Performing Arts or a live comedy show at the nearby Pioneer Underground. Couples who like culture can enjoy a live performance at the Good Luck McBeth in Downtown Reno or a trip to one of Reno's many museums including the award-winning Nevada Museum of Art. Couples who enjoy some retro fun should spend an evening playing Mortal Kombat at Press Start in Midtown or cuddling in the car at the local drive-in theater. To keep it cheap, take a walk along the Reno River Walk where you can also enjoy some of the area's best bars and coffee shops. For an unusual getaway, check out the natural hot water at Steamboat Hot Springs south of town.


Fleischmann Planetarium

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 exhibits and seminars and is the only planetarium to show "full-dome" IMAX movies. The science museum exhibits a one-ton meteorite, a solar system model, weather instruments, interactive science exhibits and more. Exhibit Space is free to visit and the Planetarium shows, like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, are only $7.50 for adults and $5 for children.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Fleischmann Planetarium offers a free museum and great date alternative to the typical movie night.

Christina's expert tip: The Planetarium Science Store sells science and space inspired toys and gifts such as astronaut ice cream and paper mobiles.

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Ouside the city
Steamboat Hot Springs

This historic hot springs is located down the Mount Rose Highway near Reno and is only a 15-minute drive from Downtown Reno. The resort is a Nevada state registered landmark and the only operating geothermal springs in Reno. Steamboat offers many preventative wellness therapies utilizing the mineral-rich water that flows from under the desert. The spa is housed in a Mission-style building and is relaxing and calm. In addition to hot and cool geothermal hydrotherapy offered in private and communal mineral tubs and steam room, the spa offers therapeutic massages, detoxifying mud wraps, salt and sugar scrubs, Reiki and facials. They are on the cutting edge with vibrational therapeutics, full spectrum light therapy, sound table therapy, and energetic healing. They also provide naturopathic physician services, special events facilities, guest accommodations, and a variety of classes, courses and seminars.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Steamboat's private rooms and pools can be reserved for couples.

Christina's expert tip: The outdoor hot tub is included in a day pass and has views of the valley, the mountains and local wildlife.

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Rancho San Rafael Park

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 among the trees and landscaping. Dogs are not allowed in this area of the park, but it is fine for walking and jogging. Behind the Arboretum is the Great Basin Adventure which is great for kids. There's also a museum that offers a look at the park's previous life as a working ranch, and a beautiful old ranch house that can be rented for weddings or other special events.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Rancho San Rafael Park has some wonderful walking trails, trees and native plant gardens.

Christina's expert tip: There is plenty of free parking throughout Rancho San Rafael Park.

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CalAve District

CalAve stands for the California Avenue shopping, dining and historic district. Its just south of downtown Reno and offers several restaurants and bars, boutique and antique shops and the wonderful Nevada Museum of Art which is at the heart of the district. Several restaurants include Centro, My Favorite Muffin and Bagel Cafe, the Cheese Board & Wine Cellar, the Rubicon Deli and the St. James Infirmary bar. CalAve is also a great place to just do some walking. At the top of the street is a small park with a great view of the entire Northwest part of the city as well as some beautiful historic homes from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: CalAve is just south of Downtown and the Truckee River and a great place for a romantic walk.

Christina's expert tip: The Nevada Museum of Art is at the heart of the CalAve district and the accessible roof area has 360 degree views of the city and mountains.

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Press Start in Midtown Reno is more than a bar. If you grew up playing arcade games (or wish you did), this bar and gaming space will bring back memories. Press Start features dozens of the most popular arcade and pinball games including Dig Dug, Mortal Kombat and Area 51. There are also some contemporary games like The Walking Dead. The bar features local and regional beer on tap and bottles as well as themed cocktails like the "Ms. PAC-MAN" Margarita, "Raiden" Kamikaze, and "Zelda" Lemondrop. Press Start is also conveniently located near Midtown's restaurants, bars, shops and art galleries.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Press Start is a laid back and cool "barcade" featuring old-school arcade games.

Christina's expert tip: Great for an inexpensive date, Press Start's games take both tokens and quarters.

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This resort hotel is one of the largest in the area and has undergone a fantastic renovation in the past few years. It is located closer to South Reno than downtown and is close to the city's convention center. The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino also provides its guests with a shuttle service to and from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. The rooms at this establishment number over 1,600 in total. They are all provided with private baths. There are Internet connections in all of the rooms. There are also practical amenities, including desks for writing and alarm clocks. This hotel boasts a very large ballroom that comprises over 100,000 square feet. There are also 17 bars at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, each with their own themes. The hotel also has 10 restaurants available to guests, and numerous other amenities, including an award-winning spa.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The Peppermill Hotel and Casino has the perfect romantic theme: Italian.

Christina's expert tip: The Peppermill Resort has received several dining and spa awards from TripAdvisor, Yahoo and a Best Hotels in USA award by U.S. News & World Report.

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Nevada Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann

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 interactive exhibits, shows, and a rooftop sculpture with a view of all of Reno and the surrounding mountains. The outside area of the museum has several permanent exhibits including several pieces from the nearby Burning Man festival. Past exhibits have included: To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum, Leo Villareal: Animating Light, Explorer, Naturalist, Artist John James Audubon and The Birds of America and the Baroque World of Fernando Botero.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Treat yourselves to lunch after visiting the museum. chez louie restaurant is a French-inspired eatery located inside the museum.

Christina's expert tip: Every third Saturday admission to the museum is free.

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Pioneer Underground

Pioneer Underground is a part of the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Reno. While the main center has Broadway plays and musical performances, the Pioneer Underground excels at comedy theater and other hilarious acts. Tucked under the street, Pioneer Underground features local and regional live standup comedy on Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets are affordable at around $12 to $16. Special events are also held. The intimate theater seats about 100 people with comfortable booths and offers a fully stocked bar and snacks. The Pioneer Underground is located close to Downtown's bars, restaurants and other nighttime activities.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Pioneer Underground is a hilarious way to start a first date.

Christina's expert tip: The Pioneer Underground is tucked under Virginia Street near the Pioneer Center for Performing Arts.

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Airport Area
Spa Atlantis

If you are looking to treat your significant other to a couples' massage, the Spa Atlantis at the Atlantis Resort in Reno will transport you to another world. The spa is the only one in Northern Nevada to receive a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star designation, yet is still affordable. Plan to spend the entire day here and choose from 15 relaxing rooms and couples' suites. The spa has both an indoor and outdoor pool and spa, a brine inhalation and light therapy lounge, tea lounges and hammam wet table. The wide variety of treatments include body wraps, sea salt scrubs, and Rasul ceremonies with mud or fruit treatments.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Spa Atlantis is a luxurious, relaxing and still affordable way to enjoy a day-long date.

Christina's expert tip: Plan to spend the entire day here. There are dozens of rooms, pools and therapies to enjoy at Spa Atlantis.

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Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Company

Located in the heart of Midtown, Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Company produces original both classic and original productions, quirky and innovative shows and children's plays. The plays are performed by local actors and the non-profit supports the local artists and theater supporters. Inexpensive tickets are sold for both matinee and evening shows so you will also have time for lunch or dinner. The sets at Good Luck Macbeth are minimal, but the setting is intimate at GLM. The theatre performs classical stories based on Shakespeare or Dickens or contemporary stories like Let the Right One In and Equus. The theatre also has special events and performances around the holidays.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Good Luck Macbeth has some excellent local talent in an intimate setting.

Christina's expert tip: Good Luck Macbeth also has special events for Halloween and the holidays such as costume contests and children's plays.

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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