Things to Do in Reno
The Biggest Little City in the World
Reno’s moniker of the ‘Biggest Little City in the World’ is quite well deserved. Located in the northwest of Nevada, Reno is the gateway city to America’s ‘Old West’. It is also the second most popular tourist destination in Nevada and offers visitors the most exciting outdoor adventures. Reno holds an important place in the American narrative, having served as the site for the historic Johnson-Jefferies battle, the setting for the iconic ‘The Misfits’ movie starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe and is the city where the trains from California begin their journey to the East. The city was named for the Civil War General – Jesse L. Reno and was founded on 9th May, 1868. Read on to discover the best things to do in Reno and find out how you can make the most of your next getaway to this beautiful city.
National Automobile Museum
The museum displays historic automobiles from the late 19th and 20th centuries, and currently has a collection of more than 200 cars. The cars are displayed in four galleries interlinked by themed streets with stand-in vehicles and faux store-fronts. Gallery Four also has race cars and is home to the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame. Some of the museum’s most notable exhibits are famous celebrity-owned cars, including Elvis Presley’s 1973 Cadillac Eldorado, Frank Sinatra’s Ghia L6.4, John F. Kennedy’s Lincoln Continental and John Wayne’s Chevrolet Corvette. Look out for the gold-plated DeLorean DMC-12s, which was specially built for American Express and the last surviving prototype of Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Car. Also keep an eye out for the unique Phantom Corsair prototype, a six-door passenger sedan, which is one of the museum’s most popular exhibits.
Nevada Museum of Art
The museum's theme is preservation of the local land, as is demonstrated by its building – a glittering four-story structure inspired by the Black Rock Desert. Its permanent collection comprises more than 2,000 works of art, which are displayed in four focus areas and offer visitors a subtle idea on how human beings interact with their environments. The contemporary collection has paintings, photographs, sculpture, digital media and mixed media installations by such notable artists as Tim Hawkinson and Andrea Zittel. The largest focus collection is named 'The Altered Landscape', while the 'Art of the Greater West' collection examines the many cultures and artistic traditions of the American West.
A family-friendly casino and hotel with free circus acts and 33 carnival games for children, Circus Circus's distinctive candy-striped top is a Reno landmark. The venue hosts number of live events through the year, including stand-up comedy nights and magic shows.
The Victorian-themed casino and hotel has over 1,700 rooms and is the tallest building in Reno. It is lit green at night, giving rise to the moniker of Reno’s Emerald City. Don't miss the hotel's large, white dome, which has a 120 ft. high mining machine that simulates the creation of silver coins. Silver Legacy also has eight dining establishments and ten retail stores.
Nevada Historical Society Museum
The oldest museum in the state, the Nevada Historical Society Museum is dedicated to the history of Nevada. The museum was founded in 1904. Its Shepperson Nevada Gallery depicts the evolution of life in Nevada from its prehistoric Native American inhabitants to current-day Reno and Las Vegas. The Changing Hallway Gallery has a series of temporary and traveling exhibitions, based on Nevada and the West. A tour of this unusual museum is definitely one of the most interesting things to do in Reno if you're curious to learn more about the history of this region.
Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center
Located, quite appropriately, in a flying saucer-like (or more accurately, a hyperbolic paraboloid) structure, the Fleischmann Planetarium & Science Center was the first planetarium in the country with a 360-degree projector that depicts a day's worth of weather in only a few minutes. The museum conducts regular star shows which offer guests an exquisite window to the universe. Their planetarium is accompanied by an Exhibit Hall that has permanent and changing interactive exhibits that further add to the whole planetarium experience. Before you leave, make sure to stop by the Science Store for astronaut food, space pens, patches, sky maps and other memorabilia that are sure to delight your children.
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