Reno is known as “the Biggest Little City in the World” and this rings true, a bit more honest is to say Reno “the biggest small town in the World” as this hits the marker a bit closer since much of what Reno offers is small town appeal. The heart is small enough to be walkable, but don’t think you can skip the rental car – -this is a destination that your want to be able to get around since there is a world of opportunities to explore in and around Reno. If you are looking for bright, shiny and new, Reno is not as glitzy as vegas, however if adventure, dazzling surprises and saving money are on the top of your gotta-have-it list, then Reno is a great vacation choice.

Reno offers something for everyone. Casino gambling and the big-name entertainment shows that go along with it. Among the casinos is the Silver Legacy, a Victorian gem that contains a larger-than-life mining rig on the casino floor and an interior crafted from mahogany, marble and etched glass. The best view of Reno, in our opinion, is found while driving the strip (Virginia Street) at night. The casino lights create synchronized fire while the sound of dropping coins and ringing bells is amplified up and down the street.

Take time to stroll along the Riverwalk, a three-block plaza with fountains, galleries, shops and native plants overlooking the Truckee River. The third Saturday of the month features the “Wine Walk on the Riverwalk,” when each shop offers a different wine to taste! Reno also features some world class spas that make for a fabulous and relaxing girlfriend’s retreat. Watch for my review of Reno’s Peppermill Spa.

Adjoining Reno to the east is Sparks, which was originally the home of the Southern Pacific Railroad. It now has a lively downtown district that includes Victorian Square, a four-block area of shops, restaurants, casinos and an amphitheater. Overlooking the square are the 16-story twin towers of John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel and Casino. Even if you don’t want to drop any coins (or dollars) in the casino, ascend to the top of the hotel to get a nice view of the distant mountains beyond the city.

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Reno

1. Wild Mustangs You can be lucky enough to spot a wild herd, especially on the road to Virginia City or you can actually take a Wild Horse Tour, but either way this is one of those sights that will lead to memories that outlast any trinket you bring home from your travels.

2. Great location to save some serious money and take day trips to destinations that have limited accommodations such as Virginia City and Carson City or much more expensive lodging such as Lake Tahoe.

3. The Reno – Sparks – Tahoe area is stunningly beautiful country. From the banks along the Truckee to the arid dirt coloring the hills with tangles of sage brush in muted shades of gray-green to the shores of Lake Tahoe you will be hard pressed to find in other part of this country that offers such rich diversity short easy drivable locations. Truckee

Saving Money, The West