Nevada Museum of Art opens to the public on May 24,
2003 in Reno, NV.
Nev. — Hunched on the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada,
Reno has long suffered a reputation as a poor man’s Las
Vegas with snow. Its casinos are more modest than the
flashing palaces on the Strip, and even its motto —
"The Biggest Little City in the World" — feels
that is changing, however, as Reno rides a wave of tech
and craft brew spilling from the west. In some ways, that
evolution had to happen. More than a dozen casinos have
sprouted in recent years between Reno and the Bay Area,
granting easy access to slot machines and gaming tables.
Reno came back with all kinds of food, music and culture
for locals and visitors. That evolution has also been
jump-started by the arrival of electric car maker Tesla’s
Gigafactory, as well as the expansion of other California
companies to income-tax-free Nevada.
visit to downtown Reno shows off this new vitality. One of
the biggest surprises for some visitors is Sundance Books
and Music (121 California Ave., 775-786-1188), which has
moved into a 111-year-old Classic Revival mansion. This
Roman columned temple of culture runs a robust reading
series and offers a wide choice of genres, literary works
behind Sundance is the Nevada Museum of Art (160 W.
Liberty St., 775-329-3333) with its collection of
photography, painting and sculpture, much of it devoted to
modern and Western U.S. themes. On view through Jan. 10 is
a two-floor exhibition about Lake Tahoe that includes
works by naturalist John Muir, photographer Edward Weston
and artist/designer Maya Lin.
casinos still dominate the Reno skyline, but they’ve
changed too. Many bring in live acts whose fans wouldn’t
usually be caught dead at a craps table —
alternative-rock mainstays such as Morrissey and Death Cab
for Cutie as well as the University of Nevada edition of
the TEDx ideas forum. Over the next months, Reno will also
draw superstar comedian Chris Rock and Cantonese pop group
you can’t have hip these days without beer and food. One
central city favorite is Brasserie Saint James (901 S.
Center St., 775-348-8888), which was named the country’s
best mid-size brewpub at the 2014 Great American Beer
Festival. It just opened a branch in San Francisco’s
Mission District. In addition, Jeremy Warren, a co-founder
of popular Knee Deep Brewing in Auburn, plans to open his
own Revision Brewing in the Reno suburb of Sparks some
recent culinary addition is Morgan’s Lobster Shack &
Fish Market (1401 S. Virginia St., 773-683-9300), which
started in Truckee, Calif. The restaurant specializes in
East Coast-style specialties such as lobster rolls and
oyster po’ boys. Yes, heading inland for good seafood
isn’t the most obvious move, but that didn’t stop
owners Shawn and Heather Whitney.
those who have long loved Reno, the city still sports
plenty of its well-worn charms. Its casinos continue to
offer an array of games, including sports betting, which
isn’t available on California gaming floors. Over the
summer, wannabe miners can look for opals at the Royal
Peacock Opal Mine (#10 Virgin Valley Road, Denio,
775-941-0374). And Incline Village is still only about an
hour away on the north end of Lake Tahoe.