older folks + reno - gambling = fun?
August 1, 2008 10:07 PM   Subscribe

What is there to do in Reno once you're done gambling?

My parents are off to Reno for a few days and they're wondering what to do while they're there. Dad's 60, Mom's 53, neither of them are huge gamblers but they do like to check out the lesser-known parts of tourist towns - when they were in Vegas they left the Strip and checked out Vegas proper and quite liked it.
posted by heeeraldo to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
The Harrah's automobile collection (now the National Automobile Museum) was a huge hit with me when I was a kid. They have a Stutz Bearcat and a Duesenberg Model J.

Carson City is nearby; its historic U.S. Mint building (back when Nevada was all about silver mining) is now the Nevada State Museum. Lake Tahoe isn't far from there.

See a show, maybe? I will never forget seeing Sammy Davis Jr.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:36 PM on August 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hm. Been there a couple times for conferences, but in retrospect didn't do anything too touristy. The National Bowling Stadium isn't too far from the main strip and sounds awesome.

A few small fillers:

Circus, Circus is a casino with the decency to have a couple other things to do.

There's a great townie bar/blues club not too far off the main strip called 3rd Street Blues. Actually of the three nights I randomly went there, there was 1) jazz jam 2) full jazz band 3) metal. Very laid back, no cover.

The Sparks Heritage Museum looked like it might be good to spend an hour or so.

Oh, and there's like a bajillion pawn shops.
posted by Skwirl at 1:22 AM on August 2, 2008

Best answer: As a resident of The Biggest Little City I feel qualified, although I am 22 I'll try to give suggestions for slightly older visitors.

Virginia City - I grew up here, older people love it. It is about 30 minutes out of town, and there really is no place like it. A good day trip.

Lake Tahoe - If they have never been, it is a must see. I'd recommend going on a weekday, as I was up there on a Saturday a few weeks ago and it was an absolute zoo finding a place to launch our kayaks. If they go in the evening, they could catch a Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival production at Sand Harbor. The stage is right up against the shore and is quite magnificent. The festival runs through August.

The above two are worth renting a car to visit.

If they are in town right now, there is Hot August Nights, a huge classic car event. Nearly every casino will have a lot full of pristine classic cars. This is one local event that I look forward to every year. It runs through August 10th. You really can't look in any direction without seeing a completely beautiful classic car.

Downtown, near First and Sierra are the weird local random antique shops. It is also the river district and a good place to get lunch and people watch. The Nevada Museum of Art is within walking distance as well.

Probably the best thing in Reno is the "Awful Awful" burger. It is locally famous and can be grabbed 24 hours a day in the back of the Little Nugget. The diner is a slice of Americana and is a greasy short order place tucked into the back of the place.

There is a Farmers Market in Sparks at Victorian Square on Thursday afternoon. It is quite popular, but segues into a 20 something drinking fest after maybe 7 PM or so. If you arrive in the afternoon, it is a great place to grab a good meal.

Other than that, maybe pick up a copy of "Best Bets", a casino sponsored promotional magazine which will fill them in on any show or event going on.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
posted by clearly at 2:22 AM on August 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Clearly has it: I loved Virginia City as a kid. Actually, I love Lake Tahoe too (we would stay in Tahoe and take a day trip to Virginia City).
posted by radioamy at 8:48 AM on August 2, 2008

I spent most of my vacation in Reno at the vet after my dog got into some of my sisters chocolate. I wouldn't reccomend that.

Otherwise, there is skiing, pretty good shopping and you could also drive the hour or so to the Donner Party museum.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 9:47 PM on August 5, 2008

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