First planetarium in the United States to feature a 360-degree projector. Photo by Ken Lund. Wikimedia Commons.

10 Best Tourist Attractions in Reno, Nevada


Reno is a city in the northwest section of the U.S. state of Nevada, along the Nevada-California border, about 22 miles from Lake Tahoe, known as “The Biggest Little City in the World”.

1. Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

The Great Reno Balloon Race is a hot-air balloon race held each September in Reno, Nevada. Photo by Ken Lund. Wikimedia Commons.

At 580 acres, Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is Washoe County’s largest and most dynamic park. Rancho San Rafael Park includes acres of grassy fields, wetlands, natural areas, rentable picnic shelters, nature and walking trails, playground, and huge dog park.

Rancho San Rafael Park is home to the Wilbur D. May Center, which includes the May Museum, May Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, and a restored ranch house that can be rented for events and meetings. Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is home to one of Reno’s most popular events – the Great Reno Balloon Race.

2. The Discovery – Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum

The Discovery is a 67000 square-foot science museum located in downtown Reno, Nevada that appeals to visitors of all ages and interests. Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, often known as The Discovery, is a science center and museum.

You don’t need to book ahead to visit Discovery Museum. Entry is free. It showcases science, technology, engineering, art, and math permanent and special exhibits in its 67,000 square foot space.

3. Fleischmann Planetarium

Fleischmann Planetarium is part of the University of Nevada, Reno and Extended Studies. Open to the public, it offers daily digital planetarium shows in our dome theater, field trips and educational outreach in Earth and space science, and observatory viewing at the Redfield Campus of the University.

Visitors may either purchase tickets online or in-person to see a show. As stellar as the Fleischmann Planetarium is during the day, make sure to try and catch a UNR Planetarium show at night.  Stargazers will get an intimate look at amazing constellations with public star observing, courtesy of the Astronomical Society of Nevada.

4. Wilbur D. May Center

The Wilbur D. May Center is an attraction located in Rancho San Rafael Regional Park at 1595 North Sierra, Reno, Nevada. The facility comprises the Wilbur D. May Museum and the Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Wilbur D. May Museum features a permanent collection of artifacts collected by May during his worldwide travels.

The Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden is next to the May Museum. The garden includes a variety of over 4,000 plants in an area of 13 acres. Many are native to the area and able to survive the harsh, high desert climate.

The Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden is next to the May Museum. The garden includes a variety of over 4,000 plants in an area of 13 acres. Many are native to the area and able to survive the harsh, high desert climate.

5. National Automobile Museum

National Automobile Museum, Reno, Nevada. Photo by Tobias Haase. Wikimedia Commons.

Car lovers this is for you! The National Automobile Museum is a museum in Reno, Nevada. Most of the vehicles displayed are from the collection of William F. Harrah. The museum has a “Wow!” factor you don’t often find in a museum.

You’ll see more than 200 eye-popping, rare, one-of-a-kind, antique and collector cars with authentic street scenes. With artifacts, a theatre presentation, audio tours, and a Museum Store – there’s lots to see and do.

6. Nevada Museum of Art

The Nevada Museum of Art, is an art museum in Reno, Nevada. Located at 160 West Liberty Street in Reno, it is the only American Alliance of Museums accredited art museum in the state of Nevada. General Admission is $15, Seniors and Students $13, children ages 6 to 12 are $3 and children 5 and under are FREE.  Museum members are always FREE.

The Museum features exhibitions by national and international artists as well as a permanent collection divided into four thematic focus areas: the Robert S. Dorothy J. Keyser Art of the Greater West Collection, the Carol Franc Buck Altered Landscape Photography Collection, the Contemporary Art Collection, and the E.L. Weigand Work Ethic in American Art Collection.

7. Idlewild Park

The beauty and History of Idlewild Park. Photo by Ron Shawley. Wikimedia Commons.

Idlewild Park is a large, 49-acre community park close to downtown Reno, Nevada on the Truckee River. It includes a rose garden, duck ponds, two children’s parks, a pool and a skate park.

It holds the Reno Earth Day celebration every year and hosts the Reno Street Food food truck event through the summer months. Idlewild Park is not a dog park. Dogs must be leashed at all times and owners are required to clean up the dog poop.

8. Galena Creek Visitor Center

Galena Creek Visitor Center is a park where the high desert environment ends and the forest lands begin. Hiking and biking trails wind through the forest and into the hills, several leading to ridges providing panoramic views of the valleys below.

The Center also offers science rich outdoor educational programs for children and teens, guided nature hikes, and presentations on a variety of Galena Creek related topics most weekends throughout the year. 

9. Tahoe-Pyramid Trail

The Tahoe–Pyramid Trail is a planned 114-mile long-distance pedestrian and bicycle trail which runs between Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake. There’s no better way to get to know some of the most famous bodies of water in Nevada than along the mighty Tahoe to Pyramid Bike Trail.

Whether you’re looking to hike, bike, fish, or look for wildlife along this amazing trail system, then Tahoe-Pyramid Trail is all yours to explore. Currently the Trail is broken down into the following five sections: Tahoe City to Truckee (along the bike path and Hwy 89), Floriston to Verdi (dirt), Verdi to Sparks, Mustang to Clark (dirt), and the Pyramid Lake Reservation.

10. Bartley Ranch Regional Park

Horse Arena. Photo by MuswellMetro. Wikimedia Commons.

Bartley Ranch Regional Park is located just off of Lakeside Drive south of McCarran Blvd in south Reno. Consisting of 56 acres of scenic pasture, multi-use trails, horse arenas, picnic areas, the Historic Huffaker School and the outdoor Robert Z Hawkins Amphitheater, this park offers something for everyone!