Priding itself on being 'the Biggest Little City in the World', giving visitors something to think about the next time they assume Las Vegas is the only place worth visiting in Nevada. Reno is like a more laid-back, scaled down version of Vegas, with plenty of casinos and a fun nightlife, but also a distinct character of its own.
Alongside the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, Reno began as a toll bridge for gold rush migrants and prospectors and has since become a gateway for adventure-seeking travellers en route to the great outdoors. Key natural attractions nearby include Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe, two of America's most popular ski resorts.
Reno is also the starting point for travellers heading to the annual Burning Man festival and many 'burners' pass through on their way to the Black Rock Desert, site of this iconic event. Other passers-by may be heading to the eastern gates of the Yosemite National Park, which are located just under two hours' drive from Reno.
With Nevada's liberal gaming laws, Reno has had a good casino business for over 50 years, but due to the tough competition from Las Vegas growth, this has slowed down in recent years. However, the city still has a bustling nightlife overflowing with bright neon lights, bars, clubs, shows, slot machines, and plenty of debauchery, helped along by the large student population attending the University of Nevada.
Visitors can also take in the National Automobile Museum where John Wayne's 1953 Corvette #51 can be seen, or visit the Nevada Museum of Art to view local works, while culture vultures can enjoy performances by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra between the months of September and April.
Spring and autumn are the best times of year to visit, when the summer heat has not yet kicked in and the winter frost is still at bay, leaving the weather warm and mild.
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