Most Romantic Things to Do in Reno

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.


National Automobile Museum
Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann

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 be found anywhere and it has been voted one of the top ten automobile museums in the country and one of the best 16 museums in the world. The cars are grouped by age in street settings appropriate to their time. These real-life backdrops include everything from Burma Shave signs to old gas pumps. See the cars that were originally a part of the Harrah collection including a Cadillac that belonged to Elvis Presley, a gold Delorean, the car belonging to Alice Ramsey (the first woman to drive across the U.S.) and the Thomas Flyer. There is also a copper Rolls Royce, a Phantom Corsair and s few horseless carriages.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This museum is unique in that it is set up to look like a 1950s street scene which is perfect for strolling and hand-holding.

Christina's expert tip: The museum's 1936 silver Mercedes Benz is one of only three made (they are all located in Reno).

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The Reno area has several hiking trails that take both beginner and experienced hikers into the hills around the city. The Hunter Creek trail is one of the more popular hikes, but there's a good reason: there's a waterfall at the end. A waterfall in the high desert is hard to come by, but this one runs all year and is a nice end to this 5.2 round trip hike in the Sierra foothills. This trail offer views of the Downtown Reno skyline as well views of Hunter Creek, cottonwood and pine trees, colorful rocks and flowers in the summer.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The waterfall at the end of this hike is a nice place for a picnic at all times of the year.

Christina's expert tip: The trail starts from the Michael D. Thompson Trailhead in West Reno.

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Virginia City
Virginia City
Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann

Located about 30 minutes from Reno, this historic town was once the world's richest city thanks to the largest gold vein ever mined, the Comstock Lode. Little has changed since those mid-1800s days, and C Street, the main thoroughfare, still looks much as it did decades ago. Among the top sights are the old town cemetery, Bucket of Blood Saloon, The Castle (the only structure untouched by the fire of 1875), Fourth Ward School, Ponderosa Saloon, and Piper Opera House. The best way to tour the city is to start at the base of the hill on C Street and work your way upward. This route also affords absolutely stunning views of the surrounding mountains. VC is a must-see for anyone interested in Wild West history.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Virginia City is great for romantics who also love Wild West history and rural towns.

Christina's expert tip: The drive to Virginia City from Reno on Highway 341 has excellent views of Reno, Sparks and the area's mountain ranges.

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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 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 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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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 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. The club is also located just steps from Downtown Reno restaurants.

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

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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Riverwalk and Arts District
Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann

The Reno Arts District and the Reno Riverwalk are centrally located on the Truckee River and just steps from Downtown. This area is home to great restaurants and bars, an outdoor beer garden, shopping areas, and a walkway along the Truckee River. The central point of the area is Wingfield Park, which is located on an island in the middle of the river. Various events such as the annual tree lighting and July's Artown are held here. There are an amphitheater and access to the river as well as a few swimming holes. Also along this area are several bars and coffee shops including Cafe Capello and the popular Sierra Tap House. Popular restaurants include the excellent Beaujolais Bistro, the Wild River Grille and Campo.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Couples can keep it simple with a stroll along the river, or plan for a dinner at one of the dozens of restaurants and bars.

Christina's expert tip: The very popular Wine Walk is held every third Saturday on the Riverwalk. Pay only $20 to sample wine at dozens of local shops and restaurants.

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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