An outdoor playground, casinos, and plenty of mining history. The “Biggest Little City in the World” is a gold mine for savvy Nevada visitors.

While Reno may lack the overwhelming glitz and glamour of Nevada’s most famous city, it has enough casinos to earn it the moniker “Vegas-lite.” But this city is no off-brand stand-in. Though Reno rarely gets the credit, Harrah’s casino empire was born here. Lady Luck calls to many of the travelers who include Reno in their itineraries, but this city has far more to offer than the flashing lights, lines of slot machines, and marquees covered with celebrity smiles that first meet the eye.

If you’re wondering what to do in Reno, start from the beginning. Established in 1868 after the Transcontinental Railroad System was built, Reno lies at the foot of the Sierras, right about where the Central Pacific line began spitting Californians out of the mountains to head back east across the Great Basin toward Salt Lake City, Utah. The area even had its own gold rush, the remnants of which can be seen in the mining-themed casinos promising riches of their own.

After staking your claim on a slot machine, blackjack table, or roulette wheel for a while, why not get out and enjoy all that fresh mountain air? One of the best free things to do in Reno is stroll down the Riverwalk; if that’s not enough, let your legs take you into the mountains for a hike, bike ride, or a day on the slopes. Then there’s kayaking down Truckee River or nearby Truckee Lake. Leaving behind the casino and the lure of winning big never looked so good.

Speaking of looking good, our Reno vacation packages have a pretty good shine on them too. That probably comes from all the money you’ll save by booking them right here on Travelocity. They just might leave you with the biggest little wallet in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions about Reno

When was Reno, Nevada founded?

In the late 1850s, a small settlement sprung up alongside a newly-constructed log toll bridge on the Truckee River. This community was initially dubbed "Lake's Crossing." Then, during the 1860s, a railroad station was constructed in that little community and, upon the station's completion, the town was officially created and named Reno. The official date of Reno's founding is May 9, 1868.

When is the rib cook-off in Reno?

The Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off is considered the best grilling competition in the United States. It's held just outside of Reno, at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada. It's typically held sometime around the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August each year. Upcoming dates can be found at the official website.

What is the weather like in Reno?

Reno is much drier than the rest of the United States, seeing an average of about 10 inches of rain each year, compared to the U.S. average of 39 inches. The city sits in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada mountains, which contributes to the arid climate. Summers are hot, but not oppressive, with highs around 90º without uncomfortable humidity. Winters are cold, with lows around 23º and light to moderate snowfall.