Staying downtown is great for people who want to be in the middle of Reno’s gaming action. Visitors, whether in town for business or a vacation, however, may have a more successful stay by choosing lodging in outlying areas. The following hotel/casinos are among their options.
The Peppermill Reno Hotel & Casino
Located about two miles south of downtown’s Casino Row, the Peppermill Hotel & Casino (2707 S. Virginia Street) annually receives several “Best of” awards in Reno publications. With 1,636 rooms and suites – some of them in the Tuscany Tower that opened in 2008 – ten restaurants, 17 themed bars and lounges, it’s the largest of the neighborhood hotel/casinos. The casino is bigger than some of those downtown, with video poker, slots and pnxbet bonus, a keno lounge, race & sports book, table games including blackjack and pai gow poker, craps and a poker room. There’s free entertainment nightly in the Casino Cabaret. Hotel guests who want a bit of nature need only walk to Virginia Lake, a small natural lake popular with Renoites that’s a block away. Rates, which vary with type of accommodations and season, start at about $60 double.
Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
About a half-mile farther south on Virginia Street, the Atlantis Hotel Casino (3800 S. Virginia Street) was a small motel in the 1980s. After several rounds of construction and additions, it’s now a 1,000- room hotel with a European-style spa. Nine eateries, a domed swimming pool and casino with video poker, slots, a keno lounge, race and sports book, poker room and table games round out the amenities. The property is adjacent to the Reno/Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority grounds and connected to them by a pedestrian over-crossing. A super size over-crossing called the Sky Terrace, outfitted with gaming machines, oyster and sushi bars, connects the casino with its large parking lot on South Virginia Street. The Atlantis is about half a mile from Reno’s two largest shopping areas, Meadowood Mall (Macy’s, Penney’s and more than 100 other shops and restaurants) and Firecreek Crossing (WalMart, Office Depot, Safeway, Borders, Circuit City and others). Rates at Atlantis start at about $49 for rooms in the adjacent motor lodge, and higher for the hotel tower rooms.
Gold Dust West Casino and Inn
Gold Dust West (444 Vine Street) was constructed during Reno’s late 1970s-mid 1980s hotel/casino building boom as an inexpensive alternative to the then new hotels like MGM Grand (now Grand Sierra). Motel-type accommodations include 30 rooms. Although within walking distance of North Virginia Street, it’s only a block away from the commercial artery called Keystone Avenue. The casino, a favorite with the locals, contains a total of about 500 video poker, video keno and slot machines. The casino’s 24-hour restaurant, “The Grille” is popular with seniors as well as personnel at nearby stores and medical facilities. Average rate $49.
One of Reno’s older properties, the Reno Plaza (formerly Holiday Inn, 1000 E. Sixth Street) gets mixed reviews from people who have stayed there, primarily because of its neighborhood. With 280 standard rooms and six suites, it’s less than a mile east of the north end of Reno’s Casino Row. It is also within walking distance of the National Bowling Stadium and Downtown Events Center, venue for concerts by classical groups such as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and entertainers like Santana. Hotel amenities include T. Ashley’s Restaurant, the Lobby Lounge, Diamond’s Diner and Diamond’s Casino. The latter is one of the city’s smaller gambling places, with 10,000 square feet containing 258 video poker and slot machines, four blackjack tables and a sports book. Parking is outdoors and not a good place to be wandering around at night. Rates average about $67 double.
Tamarack JunctionArguably, one of the most pleasant of Reno’s neighborhood casinos is not connected to a hotel or motel. Tamarack Junction — about three miles south of the Peppermill and Atlantis on S. Virginia Street — is smaller than most local casinos, but has a more generous players club than most. While it features the usual amenities, parking is easier and the atmosphere is quieter.
Beyond the Casinos in Reno
During a vacation in Reno it is easy to get tired of the smoky air and noisy slot machines in the casinos. Reno has some refreshing pastimes to engage in when a visitor needs a break from the casino action. The Nevada Museum of Art, Harrah’s Automobile Museum, the California Avenue shopping district, the River Walk, and the white water park are all less than a mile from the downtown casinos. Meadowood Mall and Summit Sierra Mall both aspire to meet the needs of the avid shopper.
Reno’s River Walk and White Water Park
Reno has the luxury of having a river flow right through downtown. The Truckee River passes under the Virginia Street Bridge just 4 blocks south of downtown casinos. The River Walk area on the river extends from Arlington Avenue on the west to Center Street on the east. Several restaurants and pubs are located along the river in this area. Spread Peace Café, located at 50 North Sierra Street facing the Truckee River, offers up eclectic lunch and dinner creations. Wild River Grille also faces the river at 17 South Virginia Street. Wild River Grille’s menu features classic creations like steak and salmon. Both locations give diners the choice of indoor or outdoor seating. The white water park is full of challenges for aspiring and experienced kayakers. Shops around Reno rent river kayaks for an hour or a day.
Nevada Museum of Art
The Nevada Museum of Art is located at 160 West Liberty Street in Reno Nevada. The museum is about a 20 minute walk from the downtown casinos. In October 2010 the art museum hosted an exhibition of paintings by Chester Arnold focusing on environmentally responsible land use. Local and statewide artists are also presented in the museum. The Nevada Museum of Art hosts regularly hosts art classes.
National Automobile Museum
The National Automobile Museum is located on the south bank of the Truckee River, and is a part of the River Walk District. The automobile museum displays many cars from the Harrah collection. Cars made famous in movies and television, like the Batmobile and the Love Bug, are also displayed here. The museum is at 10 South Lake Street in Reno.
Golf Courses in Reno
Golf can be a nice outdoors diversion from the casinos. Reno has enough golf courses that an entire article could be written about them. Here are the names of some of the golf courses close to downtown: Rosewood Lakes Golf Course, Brookside Golf Course, Washoe County Golf Club, and Wild Creek Golf Course.
Reno has three very nice malls to keep shoppers occupied and happy. JC Penny and Sears are anchor stores at this mall. The Palms Food Court offers standard mall cuisine. The Sierra Summit Mall, at 13925 South Virginia Street in Reno, is an outside mall. In other words, to go from store to store you have to go outside. The Sierra Summit Mall has more upscale shopping like Pottery Barn and Dillard’s. A few restaurants are located here including Buffalo Wild Wings and BJ’s Barbeque. Legends at Sparks Marina is located at 1311 East Lincoln Way in Sparks, Nevada. Sparks is directly east and adjacent to Reno.
Legends is another outside mall and is anchored by the enormous sporting goods store Scheel’s. Visitors to Scheel’s will a Ferris wheel and a small bush plane inside the store. Scheel’s also has an indoor archery range and a shooting arcade. The restaurant inside Scheel’s serves choices of wild game. Other restaurants at Legends include Cadillac Ranch, Popeye’s Chicken, and Fuddruckers.
Lake Tahoe is a destination all its own. It is a lake like no other, the views and setting cause Lake Tahoe to stand alone as a serene and beautiful alpine lake. At Lake Tahoe visitors can bike, hike, fish, and swim. The Tahoe City Marina, on Lake Tahoe’s quiet north shore, rents boats and kayaks and can even arrange a parasailing trip. A trip to Lake Tahoe should be considered a must for any visitor to Reno.
Reno has a lot to offer the intrepid explorer who dares to exit the casino and delve into the outdoors. Two museums and the River Walk district are important parts of downtown Reno. Golfing and shopping are both fun activities with many engaging venues. Lake Tahoe is not to be missed on any visit, even a business trip, to Reno.
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