Home to about 200,000 people, Reno is Nevada's second-largest city. At 4,400-feet elevation, Reno gets over 300 sunny days per year and the 12 inches of rain that fall here are meager compared to snowfall at the Lake Tahoe ski resorts less than an hour's drive away.
Long known as the "Biggest Little City in the World," Reno becomes a more cosmopolitan, family-friendly city as Las Vegas and California casinos siphon business away from what was once the world's gambling capital.
Those who seek gambling can still find it in Reno, and thirteen in-town casinos offer especially good prices mid-week. Atlantis, Harrah's and Fitzgerald's are gamblers' favorites. With 16 wedding chapels, Reno is also still a popular place to get married. All prospective newlyweds need is $55 for a license, and there's no blood test and no waiting.
Fans of motorized conveyances will find plenty to enjoy in Reno, whether they like their vehicles standing still at the National Automobile Museum, on display at the Hot August Nights classic-car rally and its motorcycle counterpart Street Vibrations, or moving at 500 miles per hour during the Reno Air Races.
Events of the critter kind regularly fill the Livestock Events Center with everything from Arabian horses to llamas. The Reno Rodeo, sometimes called the west's richest rodeo is also held here. The National Bowling Stadium, a four-story-tall venue the Los Angeles Times called the "Taj Mahal of Tenpins" hosts professional bowling championships.
Kids of all ages can see a circus every day in Reno at Circus-Circus, and outdoorsmen can rent kayaks and rafts right in town at Truckee Whitewater Park. Golfers can play over a dozen courses, including Robert Trent Jones-designed Lake Ridge Golf Course, Wolf Run Golf Club and Rosewood Lakes, set in 60 acres of protected wetlands.
Reno Gazette-Journal reviewers like Mexican food at Mi Casa Too es su casa and are especially fond of Austin's breaded buttermilk fries. Other good, solid Reno dining choices include Ruby River Steakhouse, La Fuente Mexican and Rapscallion Seafood House.
With low occupancy midweek and in winter, Reno's hotels present good bargains. Well-reviewed budget lodgings include the Peppermill, Eldorado and Atlantis casino hotels, while more moderately-priced choices include Siena Hotel Spa Casino and Club Lakeridge.