The "biggest little city in the world," is currently undergoing somewhat of a facelift. Northern Nevada's largest city enjoyed the title of "Gaming Capital of the U.S." until the early 1950s, when Las Vegas began to emerge as a gambling hot spot. Soon, many of the once-popular hotels and casinos lining Reno's main strip closed, leaving downtown looking dated and desolate.
However, in recent years, the city has launched major development efforts to attract both tourists and potential residents into the formerly bustling downtown. Vacant casinos are being turned into luxury condos; a multi-million dollar whitewater park rushes past hip eateries (see our favorite picks in the Eat Well section); and specialty shops like the Downtown Marketplace, an eco-friendly artisans market, have introduced a host of new goods and services to the area.
For the gaming enthusiast, the casinos haven't completely disappeared from Reno's landscape; they've just moved a few miles away. Several large resort-style properties have seen tremendous growth due to gambling and their efforts at offering world-class spas, dining, and event management such as hosting meetings and conferences.
But perhaps the largest draw, and the most appealing to the athletic-minded set, is the area's geographical location. Nestled in the Sierra Mountains, with an elevation of 4,400 feet and an average 300 days of sunshine, Reno and its surrounding areas boast year-round outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and climbing. Along with Lake Tahoe, which is a mere 40 miles away, you'll find some of the nation's best skiing, fishing, and cycling right in your backyard. So we applaud the city's efforts to become a well-rounded community and give a nod of approval to Reno's new moniker as "America's Adventure Place."