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Must-Visit Places in Reno

The neon lights of Reno, Nevada’s casino district have attracted gamblers for so long. But there is more to this place than the poker chips. It has beautiful theaters and museums, and it offers many fine dining experiences. This is a perfect haven for skiers or snowboarders too. So if you want to take a break from sitting on those green-felt table games, here is a list of things you can do in Reno.

Lake Tahoe

Dubbed as the largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is famous for its beaches and ski resorts. Its long coastline is a perfect getaway for those who love water sports, whether they are lazy or extreme types. You can also hike mountain trails. Bask on beaches in South Lake Tahoe. Shop at Truckee’s niche boutiques. Enjoy an exquisite dining experience while watching the sunset into the lake in Incline Village. And this list goes on.

Nevada Museum of Art

The Nevada Museum of Art is the state’s oldest established cultural center, which was founded in 1931. The contemporary structure features collections that are curated based how humans interact with their environment. It is best to see the galleries with your own eyes and interpret them yourself.

The place is open between Wednesdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

National Automobile Museum

Home to over 200 vehicles, the National Automobile Museum showcases the varied cars in North America across the ages. Displays range from horseless carriages to famous racecars. Some of the hot picks are the Thomas Flyer, which won the 1908 around-the-world race, and the 1949 Mercury Series 9CM, which was used by James Dean in the movie “Rebel Without a Cause.”

Unless you are a car enthusiast, you might not even know some of these exist. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Great Reno Balloon Race

The Rancho San Rafael Regional Park hosts the annual Great Reno Balloon Race every September, and tens of thousands of spectators come to witness the event. Over 100 brightly colored hot air balloons are expected to fill the Nevada sky and race against each other towards the finish line at Truckee Meadows. Other than balloon racing, this three-day event also holds other competitions like exciting games for kids. Bring your family or friends as admission is free.

Reno Riverwalk District

Art lovers and connoisseurs will definitely be drawn by the varied collection of galleries and fancy restaurants along the streets surrounding Truckee River. The Wine Walk can be a good starting point. Let your taste buds experience a variety of wine flavors from different stores for only $20 per person. Tip: the sculptures along the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts are a must see. Meanwhile, Riverwalk also provides an awesome and unforgettable nightlife experience. You can go on clubbing or play at world-class casinos.

Now, do not be limited by this list. There are still a lot of things to do in Reno, especially Lake Tahoe. Enjoy your travel to the fullest!


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Lake Tahoe: A Brief History

Before you enjoy all the recreational activities and picturesque scenes Lake Tahoe has to offer, here is a quick look at its history. Lake Tahoe was inhabited by Native American tribes for thousands of years. This is where they gather medicinal plants, hunt food, fish at the clear water, and make tools. The artifacts of the Washoe Tribe found in the area over a decade ago can confirm all these theories. They were basically isolated until the exploration party of General John C. Fremont partly discovered the lake in 1844.

However, even after its discovery, the area was kept secluded until the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859 in Virginia City, Nevada. The Comstock Lode emerged as the richest known silver deposit in the United States. It converted Virginia City into a metropolis. And this also laid the groundwork for Tahoe to become the center of wealth and culture.

However, such lively development also resulted in Tahoe’s destruction. The Comstock era brought massive deforestation to the Tahoe Basin. In fact, more than 80 percent of the Basin’s forests were logged to sustain the underground tunnels and excavation. It is sad to say, but evidence of this extensive logging can still be seen until today.

In 1868, the western part of the transcontinental railroad was completed. This extended the Central Pacific Railroad via Donner Pass at Donner Lake. In 1905, the first automobile also arrived in Tahoe. And in 1913, the Lincoln Highway, which was one of the earliest transcontinental highways for automobiles, crossed the Sierra. All these new routes paved a way to increase the flow of goods and other products. Also, it also made the Tahoe Basin a scene to behold for travelers. Eventually, words of its captivating beauty created a buzz, making it one of the sought-after vacation destinations.

Since the public has grown appreciation to Lake Tahoe, several conservationists and congressional sessions exerted efforts to make the Tahoe Basin a national park in 1912, 1913, and 1918. However, all the attempts made failed. But the battle did not end there. During the 1940s and 1950s, a group of environmentally concerned residents and visitors organized the League to Save Lake Tahoe.  

It was only in the 1960s when Tahoe was finally on the map. It has beckoned not only the public but also famous personalities such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Cher. Furthermore, it gained international recognition after the 1960 Winter Olympics was held at Squaw Valley. This was the first Olympic Games to be televised by the way, and North Lake Tahoe’s tourism industry skyrocketed. Several hotels, restaurants, and ski lifts were built to accommodate all the athletes and fans.

Today, Tahoe attracts people from around the globe to enjoy its breathtaking views, cool blue water, and fresh, clean air. It also boasts of its unique art, music, and varied sport and entertainment activities. An estimated of 3 million visitors come to Lake Tahoe each year. And a huge chunk of its income comes from tourism. The place has a wide variety of indoor and outdoor recreational activities to offer. So make sure you enjoy as much as you can when you are in here.  



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What to Expect in Reno and Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe in Reno, Nevada, should be in every traveler’s dream. From beaches and mountains in summer months to skiing and snowboarding during the winter season, Lake Tahoe and Reno have a multitude of fun activities and a plethora of picturesque sceneries to enjoy all year round.

There are different routes to get to Reno. You can travel by air, by land or by train. However, even before hopping onto any mode of transportation, determine first what part of the lake you are headed. The northern part is more serene and is less developed compared with its southern counterpart.

As mentioned earlier, tourists are welcomed in Reno all year round. Regardless of what season you visit, Lake Tahoe and Reno have many activities at hand. Summer is the busiest, so expect packed crowds on every tourist attraction. During this time, Lake Tahoe transitions from a snow mecca to a beach destination. Sand Harbor Beach at East Lake Tahoe is dubbed as the most beautiful of them all. Trails are also open for mountain climbing.

Winter is the second busiest season. Skiers and snowboarders overrun the lake between December and February. If you are traveling with kids, then Lake Tahoe is a perfect definition of Winter Wonderland for them. They can do basic winter activities like snowman making or snowball fighting. And they can participate in cooler stuff such as skiing, tubing, sledding, snowshoeing, Christmas tree cutting, etc.

But if you want to shy away from the crowd, fall is the best time to come. Tourism slumps this season as children start to go back to school and ski resorts are close. However, you can get first dibs on skiing if you come late November.

For some, retail therapy is part of a vacation. And Reno’s shopping scene is coming of age. The city now has more restaurants and boutiques as well as sports store and sports gear rental shops. You can stroll around huge outdoor malls like The Summit and Riverwalk District or flip through the clothes racks of brick and mortar shops like Reno eNVy. Pay a visit at Wells Avenue Merchants to witness Hispanic business diversity.

Meanwhile, food is always a huge factor when traveling. And it is a good thing to know that both Reno and Lake Tahoe have a huge selection of food choices. You do not need to go far to taste authentic cuisines from around the world as you can find everything in the “Biggest Little City in the World.” Craving for Asian, Mexican, Italian, or whatever comes to your mind? Reno has it.  

Lastly, traveling helps you open your eyes to new different cultures; however, you need to travel smart. Make sure you bring a map or a GPS everywhere you go. Be organized and plan your activities ahead. Stay healthy during the duration of the trip. Do not do anything you are not comfortable with. And most importantly, pack the spirit of adventure and patience to have a memorable vacation.



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Child-Friendly Winter Activities at Tahoe

Family vacations are always fun when everyone is present. Lake Tahoe is a definition of Winter Wonderland for both old and young ones alike. From snow angels and snowball fights to sled rides or ice skating, kids can truly have a memorable vacation at Tahoe. Here is a list of child-friendly activities in the area.

Go skiing

Some parents may be giddily excited to finally put their little ones on skis. There are a lot of resorts in the area so you can be choosy. Also, most of the large ski resorts have ski schools that are good for beginners, even tiny ones. But if you want to do it yourself, you can easily find several slopes and tiny terrains that are perfect for practicing.

Watch shows

There are several great performances you can enjoy with your kids during the winter season. Watch and cheer for an ice hockey team at South Lake Tahoe’s Ice Arena. Enjoy a ballet show by Tahoe Youth Ballet or listen to musical masterpieces by Tahoe Symphony and Orchestra. You can also take your kids to see a movie or participate in a local film showing at Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema.

Enjoy some rides

There are several fun ways to enjoy a day-off from the slopes. Younger kids, for instance, can enjoy a sleigh ride pulled by horses. Meanwhile, older kids can hop on a dogsledding trip. Just make sure they are fit enough to stand while a husky pulls the sled for an hour.

Your tot can also pull their sled as different sledding hills, and tubing parks are easily accessible around. For example, resorts like Squaw, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Sierra-at-Tahoe all boast of tubing parks where kids can slide in a giant doughnut.

Let us not forget about the classic ice skating activity too. The rink at Northstar is open all year-round. But the outdoor rink at Squaw Creek makes Instagram-worthy photos, thanks to its majestic Sierra background.

Take some snowshoe tours

With the advent of technology, snowshoeing can be a perfect way to inspire your kids to enjoy nature. And Lake Tahoe is just one of the best places to go snowshoeing. Do not worry, there are a lot of winter-safe trails around the lake that are perfect for strolling with kids. You can ask for a tour guide too in case.

Other than sightseeing, picking and cutting down your own Christmas tree can be a very good snowshoeing reason. Make sure you secure a required permit and hike into the National Forest.

Visit Kidzone Museum

This museum for all ages is found in Truckee. This is a small town located between Northstar and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. The museum offers a lot of indoor fun activities such as art projects, rotating exhibits, and indoor play spaces. All activities are designed to engage young minds. Even little crawlers have an area to explore too.

Celebrating the holidays or winter at Lake Tahoe with your family is not a bad idea after all. The place has more indoor and outdoor activities to offer. So do not worry, your kids will just have a lot of fun as you.


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How to Get to Lake Tahoe

Planning to visit Lake Tahoe? Here is a quick guide on how to get to your dream destination.

Lake Tahoe is located on the border between California and Nevada. It is about 200 miles east of San Francisco and 30 miles west of Reno, Nevada. There are many ways to get there. You can take the plane, bus, or even trains. However, before anything else, find out first what part of the lake you want to visit – North Lake Tahoe or South Lake Tahoe. The lake is bigger than you think, and it will take you at least two hours to go around.

North Lake Tahoe is less developed compared with its south shore. However, it is closer to Northstar and Squaw Valley Ski resorts. South Lake Tahoe, on the other hand, is more advanced. It has gambling casinos, more hotels, shops, and restaurants. There are also several ski resorts in the area too.

By Air

There are three international airports near Lake Tahoe with door-to-door shuttle service. There are 20 airlines that fly to Reno-Tahoe International Airport with non-stop flights to 17 cities. More than 970 domestic and seven international flights depart here every week. Taking the plane is the easiest and most convenient way to reach Lake Tahoe. From here, you can decide whether you are heading on the northern or southern part of the lake.

Meanwhile, if you go some extra cash, the Truckee-Tahoe Airport is the fastest air option for those going north. Private pilots and charter services are welcomed here. On the other hand, the Lake Tahoe Airport is for south travelers. It is just three miles south of South Lake Tahoe.

By Train

Different Amtrak lines will get you close to both North and South Lake Tahoe. However, you still have to drive for the last leg of your trip. You can take the California Zephyr line from San Francisco or the Capital Corridor from Sacramento or San Francisco. Other stops available are Denver, Salt Lake City, Elko, Sparks, Reno, Colfax, Roseville, Davis, Martinez, and Emeryville.

By Bus, Shuttle, or Car

Hotels and resorts usually have shuttle services to take their guests to Lake Tahoe from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. But if your hotel does not offer such service, you can take the North Lake Tahoe Express Bus for those heading north. The bus will make your way to the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee Regions. Trips start as early as 6:30 in the morning until about midnight.

You can take the South Tahoe Airporter if you are going south. The nearest Greyhound bus station available is in Carson City, Nevada. Greyhound also connects to Las Vegas or Los Angeles. You can also hail a cab. Fare between the airport and South Lake Tahoe costs usually below $200.

Anyways, private cars for hire and transportation companies are also available in both directions.

Lake Tahoe can be easily accessed by cars too, especially for those who love long drives. If you are already in California or Nevada, you can take the US Route 50 and 89. But if you are up for more scenes and driving, you can follow US Route 80 that goes through Nevada.

After your reach North or South Lake Tahoe, ot02her modes of transportation are available to get you around with your tour. Now all you need to do is make the best of your vacation.


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