Vacationing in the Biggest Little City in the World


Reno, Nevada has been known as “The Biggest Little City in the World,” ever since an enterprising Californian won a slogan contest sponsored by the city way back in the late 1920s. Yes, Reno was on the entertainment map long before Las Vegas had its first slot machine.

A short list of things to do

Here are just a few of the attractions we have enjoyed in the world’s Biggest Little City:

First – the best way to see Reno


If you have never ridden a Segway, this is the place to give it a go. Walter McMath is the congenial owner of Reno Fun Tours, and is an expert who can instruct you – in just under an hour, everything you need to know to enjoy a Reno Segway tour.


There are two Segway tours per day, and each tour lasts about two and one-half hours. On your Segway tour, you will see many of the attractions we write about in this article.


For more information about the Segway tour, look at the Reno Fun Tours website at

Base Camp


The tallest rock-climbing wall in the world is called Base Camp, and is located right next to the famous Reno “Biggest Little City in the World” arch on North Virginia Street – just around the corner from the Segway center.


The wall is 164 foot high with a climbing surface attached to the outside of the 16-story CommRow building – home to the Whitney Peak Hotel. This wall has seen many a world-class climber, but everyone is invited to give it a try. There is also an adjacent 7000 square foot indoor bouldering park with 2900 square feet of climbable space. This is a climber’s paradise.

The Truckee River



Rushing through the middle of town, the famous Truckee River provides fabulous summer recreation for visitors and residents alike.


Watching the kids at Bicentennial and Wingfield parks reminds us of earlier times in America when a reliable inner tube was an essential summer accessory.


Reno’s inner city is park and recreation-centric with a huge assortment of activities for outdoor lovers of all ages.

The Great Reno Balloon Race



The first Reno Balloon Race took place in 1982. It was created to keep visitors in Reno between the State Fair and the Reno Air Races.


From that humble beginning, the event has morphed into the world’s largest free hot air ballooning event with as many as 100 balloons and 150,000 spectators. Admission is free to all spectators. The show is always spectacular as the multi-colored balloons take to the air amid applause and wonder.


The views from aloft are even more breathtaking than from the ground.

This well organized event is held annually on the first Friday through Sunday after Labor Day at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park at 1595 N. Sierra Street, in Reno. Check out this website for more information

National Automobile Museum

Reno auto museum

Before his death in 1978, Bill Harrah amassed one of the world’s greatest collections of automobiles. Many of his finest cars can be found in the National Automobile Museum in Reno.

Today this exhibit is one of America’s five greatest auto museums, and there is plenty to see and do among more than 200 “cherry” motor vehicles and exhibits.

Reno’s National Bowling Stadium

Reno bowling stadium

While most cities have bowling centers, Reno has the National Bowling Stadium. The “Taj Mahal of Tenpins” has 78 championship lanes and the longest video screen in the world. There’s 440 feet of scoring graphics and extreme video clarity.

As Graceland is to Elvis fans, the National Bowling Stadium is to faithful bowlers from around the world. If you are a bowler, “Bowl there or be square.”

The Nevada Museum of Art


Nevada’s only accredited art museum features a wide offering of imaginative and fine art from mainstream and contemporary artists in a unique architectural setting.


The rooftop sculpture exhibit is particularly interesting, and the views are awesome.

The Reno Air Races


Air race - RSCVA

This race has been voted one of the ten best air shows in the world by USA Today. Now celebrating 50 years of the world’s fastest motor sport. This is a truly exciting event as sleek propeller aircraft wing their way around the pylons.

Among the many exciting features at the show is the Patriot Jets Team, a six-jet diamond formation aerobatic group. These hi-flyers are ex-Blue Angel and Thunderbird pilots, and they are really something to watch.

And, so much more

With superb golf courses, 86 park locations, and over 140-miles of trails in the Reno area, we could write volumes about “what to do in the outdoors of Reno.” The many gaming and festive events, activities, and conventions would add still more to your “things to do list.”

Our recommendation is that you plan a trip to Reno and experience it all for yourself.

The Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa


While in Reno, we stay at the fabulous four-diamond Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, which boasts more than 800 guest rooms and suites, a 30,000-square-foot spa, eight award-winning restaurants and more. It also has a convenient sky bridge that connects it to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. We were so impressed with the Atlantis that we wrote an entire article about it. See it in the Best Vacations Journal.

If you go

Tree pana best x590 

Reno is located on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada range and is easily accessible by air on all the major U.S. airlines. It is also a pleasant three-plus hour drive (218 miles) northeast on Interstate 80E from the San Francisco Bay Area.

To learn more about what Nevada has to offer by way of vacations, check out the state’s tourism website at and for the Reno/Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority look here.

Nevada is all about fun


The entire state of Nevada is a tourist engine with extraordinary outdoor adventures and arguably the best gaming atmosphere this side of Monaco. With Reno in the north and Las Vegas in the south, the entire state radiates huge entertainment value for your vacation dollars.


With fun all around, it’s easy to see why we love to spend time in Nevada. Click on the titles below to read more of our articles about this great western state.

Smokin Camels in the Nevada Desert

Riding the Rails to Virginia City, Nevada

The Newest US National Park is in Nevada

The Hot Springs and Cool Caves of Nevada

Explore Nevada, Land of Wonders

Also, click here to see the complete photo gallery from our Reno trip.

Happy travels!

© Travels with Wayne and Judy Bayliff

Photos © Wayne and Judy Bayliff – Photos of airplanes, automobiles, and National Bowling Stadium provided by Reno/Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA).

You can see the world with Google Maps.




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