Fill a free day with some fun in the Sierra.
By Heidi Bethel
Wake up with nothing to do today? Well that’s an easy fix if you’re in Reno/Tahoe. This place is filled with experiences like no other that satisfy every desire. So, whether you’re looking for action-packed activities, a relaxing rendezvous or shopping galore, you have come to the right place!
If you’re staying near Lake Tahoe or are within driving distance, lucky you! Not only can you enjoy all that is the largest alpine lake in North America, there are a whole slew of ways to experience Big Blue. First, let’s talk about getting out on the water with an Emerald Bay jet ski tour courtesy of Tahoe Sports. Not only do these folks have awesome water sports rentals, they offer exciting excursions to great spots around the lake. Want to stay dry and snap some Insta-worthy photos? Hop aboard the M.S. Dixie II at Zephyr Cove Resort for a daytime cruise on the 500-passenger paddle wheeler that is the largest cruising vessel on the lake. Those seeking a bit more adrenaline should check out the resort’s parasailing options. Their experienced captain and crew will having you soaring 1,000 feet above the lake in just minutes. tahoesports.com; zephyrcove.com
Down the mountain, Reno and the surrounding areas pack their own punch of outdoor fun. The Riverwalk District nestled along the Truckee River is home to hundreds of memorable shops, restaurants and activities. While you’re there, be sure to stroll by the Truckee River Whitewater Park where you just may spot some professional water junkies kayaking and SUPing through some serious rapids. You can also take a dip, too! Or, head to Rancho San Rafael Regional Park where you’ll find some great trails along the wetland habitat, a historic Ranch House and the Wilbur D. May Center. renoriverwalk.org; washoecounty.us
Want to step back in time? Virginia City is the place for you! Here you can explore old mining shafts and tunnels, take walking tours through notable grounds lending to the Gold Rush, and even hunt a ghost, or two! If fancy footwork is more your style, a round of FootGolf at Carson Valley Golf Course will have you screaming, “Fore!” in no time on the first 18-hole FootGolf course in northern Nevada. visitvirginiacitynv.com; carsonvalleygolf.com
Indoor adventure land
Sometimes you just want to stay inside. Whether it’s a not-so-common rainy day or you had a little too much fun in the sun, options abound for an enjoyable time under cover.
In South Lake, Blue Granite Climbing Gym will have you scaling the walls in no time. This full-service gym features two roped climbing areas with self-belay courses and a bouldering area, plus you can get a workout in and enjoy a tasty smoothie. For a cool down, head to Lake Tahoe Ice Arena where you can practice your double axels or hit the stick time all year long, they do have rentals if you forgot your skates. bluegraniteclimbing.com; tahoearena.co
For a true escape, head to one of many great puzzle rooms offering interesting themes and clever clues that will have you and your travel mates working together to conquer. Puzzle Room Tahoe in South Lake and Puzzle Room Reno in Reno’s Riverwalk District each have a few different escape rooms with creative, realistic, brain-teasing fun. puzzleroomtahoe.com; puzzleroomreno.com
The National Automobile Museum, The Harrah Collection in downtown Reno is the perfect way to spend a day, classic car aficionado or not. Ranking among America’s Top 10 Automobile Museums, this is a fortress encapsulating the rich history of the automobile. Here you can peruse vehicles owned by celebrities and those that are celebrities in their own right having starred in feature films such as the 1949 Mercury Series 9CM Six-Passenger Coupe driven by actor James Dean in the 1955 movie “Rebel Without a Cause.” automuseum.org
Who doesn’t love a great souvenir? There are really charming and chic local shops around town where you can find the best mementos. Replenish Tahoe Boutique in South Lake is the place to go for bath bombs, essential oils, home decor and more. If you’re running low on toiletries, bring your refillable bottles in for a top off from their bulk body bar. Nearby, Emanate Gallery has some truly spectacular art lining the walls — and you can find something at nearly every price point. Don’t forget a treat for your furry friends at Dog. Dog. Cat. in The Village Shopping Center. replenishtahoe.com; emanategallery.com; dogdogcat.com
Downtown Truckee boasts some great options, too! Stroll along Donner Pass Road where you’ll find Bespoke, Truckee Variety Co., Bluestone Jewelry & Wine, plus many other shops. bespoketruckee.com; @truckeevarietyco; bluestonetahoe.com
In south Reno, South Creek Shopping Center has a little bit of everything. A few favorites include The Freckled Frog, BVW Jewelers and Serendipity Floral and Garden. This center is definitely worth the visit! thefreckledfrogreno.com; bvwjewelers.com; serendipityfloralandgarden.com
Should you choose to fill you day with one of these great activities, be sure to tell us all about it. Can’t wait for your exciting Reno/Tahoe adventures!