A visit to Reno NV has always been on my travel bucket list. I’m intrigued by little cities with layered histories and, thanks to living in Detroit for several years, I’m empathetic to cities that have fallen on hard times, struggled, and are working to make magic happen again.
Magic is what I found during my time in Reno. From the time of arrival, I could feel a vibrant energy in the city—a vibe of renewal and determination, but also the sense that it was time to kick back and enjoy the area’s many offerings. Reno is a working city, a tourist destination, and so much more.
In the center of downtown, the Reno Riverwalk District (http://renoriver.org) is a great place to take a stroll and discover area restaurants and shops, connecting business with pleasure. This revived area has beautiful views of mountains and the city, which are breathtaking morning through night.
Of course, no visit to Reno goes without staying and playing at one of the many casino resorts. My reservation was for Harrah’s Reno (http://harrahsreno.com), part of Caesars Entertainment. I opted for this location because of the central downtown location, incredible assortment of dining venues, and a great deal I found online booking at http://www.totalrewards.com.
On-site restaurants include Hash House A Go Go, Joy Luck Noodle Bar, the Steakhouse at Harrah’s, and Carvings Buffet. During my stay at Harrah’s Reno, I sampled the buffet during brunch and dinner hours. Carvings Buffet is a large, but welcoming restaurant with hosts and servers who greeted us warmly and checked in regularly to see if we needed anything. For dinner, I tried the prime rib and Polish sausage from the carving station, along with sides including a rich mac and cheese, fluffy rice pilaf, and an assortment of al dente vegetables seasoned just right.
For the brunch buffet menu, I sampled waffles and pancakes, corn beef hash, and scrambled eggs, all of which were fresh, hot, and tasty. There’s much to choose from, with everything from breakfast items to the carving station and lunch sides prepared as early as 10am. I started my day with a hearty meal so I could continue enjoying my time in this playground city.
For hotel accommodations, Harrah’s offers a great location in the heart of downtown Reno. I checked into a king size room on the 18th floor, overlooking the 5th floor pool deck and Virginia Street—where I could also spot the iconic Reno Arch which proclaims the city’s motto, “The Biggest Little City in the World,” in bright lights. The wow factor for my room was the incredible landscape view just beyond the city streets.
The 5th floor pool was massive. I loved my time under the Nevada sunshine, keeping cool in the large outdoor pool that was refreshing and clean. Bar and food is service available on the pool deck, and there are plenty of lounge chairs to kick back and unwind.
Gaming in Reno is no doubt the reason many visit the area. If you love Vegas but find it crowded or overwhelming for all it offers, Reno is a great gaming destination to try. Harrah’s has multiple game rooms to explore and other properties located on Virginia Street are mere steps away. If you need to avoid extreme heat, a walkway connects several casinos so you can avoid stepping outside when the heat soars above one hundred. For nightlife, there are several central options to choose from. Harrah’s Reno is currently featuring a 50th Anniversary Show starring Rick Michel, The Man of a Thousand Voices, now through October 10.
Maybe you’re headed to Northern Nevada for Burning Man festivities (http://burningman.org), or perhaps you’re planning some outdoors time in Tahoe. Whatever brings you to this area of NV, be sure to stay and play in Reno for at least a night or two. You’ll find plenty of events and festivals listed on the http://www.visitrenotahoe.com website, as well as deals on local accommodations. For a central location with great rooms and friendly hospitality, I recommend Harrah’s Reno located at 219 N Center St, Reno, NV 89501.
My bucket list visit to Reno has been checked off the list, but I’m already planning a repeat visit thanks to great gaming, comfortable accommodations, and friendly hosts at Harrah’s.
Photography by CT Shier.