8 Things To Do While You’re On Vacation in Reno: Ideas & Activities

With Carson City by its side, Reno is Nevada’s westernmost frontier, working as Cali’s mirage beyond the brush of pine that so delicately separates vast forest from harsh heat. Reno’s desert landscape, and its people, can be admired for easily turning empty backdrops to a minimalist way of life; because of that, blank slates are always welcome. If you’re planning a vacation to Reno, we have compiled a list of 8 things to do in the area.

Photo Credit: Sand Harbor Beach Facebook

Sand Harbor

Along the northern shores of Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor is a great place for soaking up the sun. If you are on vacation in Reno, explore Sand Harbor Beach, afterward sitting along the iconic deck of Sand Harbor Restaurant and Grill. For added beauty, spend the afternoon taking a scenic hike up Herlan Peak, which famously overlooks Lake Tahoe. Nerdy note: the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival is held here annually.

Photo Credit: Sierra Nevada Zoological Park Facebook

Sierra Safari Zoo

Along the northern highway connecting Reno and Cold Springs, the small but beautiful Sierra Safari Zoo offers a wide variety of exotic animals in spacious habitats. These grounds are scattered around rigorous mountain trails, with specialty creatures including mountain cats, lemurs, and white tigers.

Photo Credit: Bartley Ranch Regional Park Facebook

Bartley Ranch Regional Park

The historic Bartley Ranch Regional Park is on the south side of Reno. This is an ideal spot to visit while you’re on a trip to Reno. Dozens of acres are sprinkled with historic homes from this era, where guests can see it all through the perspective of old-timey horseback rides and walkable dirt roads.

Photo Credit: Genoa Peak Facebook

Genoa Peak

Hugging the shores of the Truckee River, Genoa Park is the perfect way to watch waterside views of downtown. At the heart of the city’s grid, the small but impactful park is located on an island within the river, the river’s road offering a natural sound barrier from the city.

Photo Credit: MidTown District Reno Facebook

Midtown District

Nestled at the heart of downtown’s South Virginia Street, Reno’s famous Midtown District offers transformative glimpses of the city’s vintage heyday. An entertaining way to spend your vacation in Reno is by walking through re-invented architecture from the 1950s through modern works of consumerist art. We also recommend trying the chic breakfast at Two Chicks or the health food at Great Full Gardens.

Photo Credit: Steamboat Hot Springs Healing Center & Spa Facebook

Steamboat Hot Springs

An oasis at the far south end of Reno, Steamboat Hot Springs is a wellness center known for utilizing exfoliating desert heat through outdoor saunas and mineral soaks. Overall, it’s a great way to leave without going too far. Bonus fact: massage parlors and a regal pedicure station are done in historic rooms.

Photo Credit: Spencer’s Hot Springs Facebook

Spencer Hot Springs

At the core of Nevada, Spencer Hot Springs offers a deafening space of tranquility just a couple hundred miles east of Reno. This locale is for adults only, as it’s clothing optional. Several natural pools are offered, as well as above-ground galvanized pools – the spring stays warm through the winter.

Photo Credit: Rattlesnake Mountain Facebook

Rattlesnake Mountain

Discover one of Reno’s hidden mountains, the peak viewable about half an hour’s walking distance from the south side’s Huffaker Trail. At the base of the mountain is Hinoki Sushi, an evening hangout perfect for rewarding yourself after rigorous climbs.


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