Think layovers are the worst? Think again! Reno is the perfect place to enjoy a layover. Whether you’re waiting for a connecting plane, train or bus. Even a few hours is enough to get a taste of the Biggest Little City! With an airport that’s less than 5 minutes from downtown, and an easy to navigate terminal, you can pop out for a quick adventure and make it back in time for the next leg of your journey! Here’s our hit list for your Reno Layover:
Take your picture at the Reno Arch
If there is one symbol that people associate with Reno, it’s the neon arch that stands in downtown. Reno actually has two arches: a smaller sign which hangs over Lake Street and the iconic symbol of Reno which spans Virginia Street, both which showcase Reno’s city motto “The Biggest Little City in The World”. The arch has been a symbol of Reno since it was first erected in 1926. The current arch was placed in 1987 but it’s been revamped many times since then. The most recent changes took place in 2018 when the town voted to go for a blue and silver color scheme. Thrill seekers can climb above the arch on the largest outdoor rock wall in the US!
Tour the Playa Art Park
The Burning Man Festival has major ties in Reno. It’s the last major city you hit before heading into the desert and many art pieces are made at The Generator, a community art space in Sparks. Making it to the festival might be out of reach for most, but you can still appreciate the art by making a quick stop at The Playa Art Park. They have pieces from former Burning Man festival on display. Most of the pieces are interactive, don’t be afraid to climb, hang and walk inside them!
Meet the Space Whale
The Space Whale is the 40 ft statue of a mother and calf Humpback whales made of stained glass and steel. Apart from being a striking piece of art, the piece, which sits right next to the Truckee River, radiates themes of family, our relationship with nature, time and space, and our duty to preserve the environment. Within the stained glass our images of space, the human experience, nature, and world religions. Over 2,200 individual stained glass panels can be seen in the statue.
When you’re finished admiring the intricate stained glass of the Space Whale cross the river and head into Reno’s up and coming neighborhood of Midtown! You’ll notice the vibe changes from flashy casino lights to trendy shops with brick facades. Head to the coffee roaster and gelateria Bibo on Center Street. This tiny shop roasts their own coffee and makes some of the best gelatos outside of Italy. Their rotating flavors come in unique and creative flavors like rosemary sourdough and 10 core flavors that are always available. The local favorite is Bart’s Revenge a scrumptious peanut butter gelato filled with Butterfinger and chocolate pieces.
The up and coming Midtown district is fun of cool shops and restaurants. It’s a haven for thrift store shopping, outrageous costumes ideal for Burning Man, trendy boutiques and handmade furniture. You can spend hours perusing the shops, but a few of our favorites are Natural Selection and Junkee. Natural Selection, with the tagline “Purveyors of all things odd and beautiful” feels like entering a storybook stunning plants, taxidermy, and pottery span from floor to ceiling. Junkee is over 15,000 sq ft of wonderful. The vintage/consignment shop has treasures from every decade.
No matter how much time you have, Reno is sure to leave you wanting more!