Best of Reno and Tahoe

Best of Reno / Tahoe
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Located in northwestern Nevada and northeastern California, the Lake Tahoe and Reno region offers luxury hotels, innovative restaurants, events, outdoor activities, world-class skiing and, on the Nevada side of the lake, casinos. With an average of 274 days of sunshine, the Tahoe area is truly a year round destination.

Because the Reno and Lake Tahoe covers so much area and has so many diverse activities, it can be challenging to get your arms around it all, so we’ve divided the area into sections to help with your lodging, dining and activity planning.

The California-Nevada state line runs down the center of Lake Tahoe. Most locals segment the area by the north side of the lake and the south. All areas are normally accessible from Reno within a 45 minute to 1 1/2 drive or from the San Francisco area in 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Reno

Best of Reno Tahoe: Reno
Reno, Nevada Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

“The Biggest Little City in the World” is where most visitors arrive by plane if headed to Reno or Tahoe and, even if driving to the Tahoe area, Reno is a great place to spend a few days enjoying the hotels, casinos and restaurants. Where to stay in Reno? We recommend The Atlantis Casino Resort Spa – read our review.

Best of Reno / Tahoe: Great Reno Balloon Race
Great Reno Balloon Race
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Reno is home to countless events throughout the year, including the Great Reno Balloon Race, Reno National Championship Air Races, and Hot August Nights.

Best of Reno / Tahoe: Reno Air Races
Reno Air Races
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Downtown Reno is a lot like downtown Vegas, but less crowded. The casinos may have different names – Eldorado, the Silver Legacy and Harrah’s Reno – but the style and feel is very similar. The Truckee River Walk runs through the middle of downtown Reno and is good place to take a mid-day stroll or grab a bite in one of the restaurants along the river.

Midtown District is just south of downtown and the home of some of Reno’s coolest restaurants, bars and shops. Not to be missed – Midtown Eats, Death and Taxes and the very quirky, Junkee Clothing Exchange.

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

In Central Reno and the airport area are the three big hotels in Reno – the Atlantis, which is connected by a walkway to the Reno Convention Center, the Grand Sierra Resort (GSR) and the Peppermill. Meadowood Mall is also located in the area with 100 shops and restaurants including Macy’s, The Cheesecake Factory and JC Penney.

In South Reno, Reno’s newest shopping center, The Summit, is located at Virginia Street and Mount Rose Highway with Dillards, Lululemon, Apple, and more.

North Lake Tahoe

Northstar Ski Resort at Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, California
Northstar Ski Resort at Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, California
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Easily accessible off of I-80, North Lake Tahoe is a popular destination for both short getaways and longer stays.

Reno - North Lake Tahoe map
Reno – North Lake Tahoe map

The Incline Village area on the Nevada side of the lake has relaxing beaches, resorts, casinos, great hiking & mountain biking trails, and two skiing options, Diamond Peak Ski Area and Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe.

From the Reno-Tahoe International airport to…
Incline Village is 33 miles or about 45 minutes
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe is 22 miles or about 30 minutes

Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe
Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

The very laid back King’s Beach area is just across the California border on the north side of Lake Tahoe, with a long beachfront, shops, restaurants and a variety of outdoor activity vendors including kayaking and paddleboarding. NorthStar ski resort is just 5 miles away.

From the Reno-Tahoe International airport to…
King’s Beach is 37 miles or about 55 minutes
Northstar Ski Resort is 44 miles or about 53 minutes

Northstar Ski Resort at Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, California
Northstar Ski Resort at Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, California
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

Truckee is a charming town of galleries, wine bars, restaurants and shops that sits in the center of Tahoe activities. Skiing at Squaw Alpine, Northstar, Sugar Bowl or Boreal is just a few miles away and in the summer, there’s no shortage of fishing, swimming, golfing, biking and hiking available.

From the Reno-Tahoe International airport to Truckee is 37 miles or about 41 minutes.

Tahoe City is a beautiful town filled with boutiques, galleries, water-front restaurants, and a wide assortment of water activities. Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows ski resort, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, is only 10 miles away and Homewood Ski Resort is also nearby with spectacular lake views.

Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Lake Tahoe, California
Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, California
Photo: Kim Hull © Chasing Light Media

From the Reno-Tahoe International airport to…
Tahoe City is 54 miles or about 1 hour 6 minutes
Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows are 47 miles or about 1 hour 7 minutes

South Lake Tahoe

Moving to the southern end of the Lake, the activities continue with all Lake Tahoe has to offer both outdoors and indoors.

South Lake Tahoe map
South Lake Tahoe map

What does South Lake Tahoe have to offer?

Water sports, biking, hiking, fishing, gaming, golf, shopping, spas, nightlife, and, of course, skiing and snow sports at three nearby resorts.

From the Reno-Tahoe International airport to…
Stateline is 56 miles or about 1 hour 4 minutes
Heavenly Ski Resort is 58 miles or about 1 hour 8 minutes
Sierra-at-Tahoe is 74 miles or about 1 hour 35 minutes
Kirkwood is 78  miles or about 1 hour 28 minutes

Best of Reno / Lake Tahoe

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The Perfect Day at Lake Tahoe © Chasing Light Media