Travel | Weekender in Reno and South Lake Tahoe

Friday, January 26, 2018

Winter Things To Do In Reno and South Lake Tahoe

Reno, Nevada and South Lake Tahoe, California are among Bay Area's winter destinations. Just about 3 hours away from San Francisco, these two cities are the perfect quick weekend getaways to escape the urban madness. Well, Reno is a different kind of madness. It is casino town in the middle of the desert. South Lake Tahoe is  more tame and more known for winter sports (and casinos as well).  A weekend stay will provide you with lots of fun experiences. Here are some of the activities that can be enjoyed even if you stay just a night or two in these cities:

1. Sleep at a circus-themed hotel

Stay at Circus Circus. Clown-sightings now guaranteed (thanks but no thanks!)  but there is something for kids of all ages. The rooms are fun and comfy with striking mural  just like our room. Do not forget to ask for a room with a view of snow-capped mountains and Reno's night life.

2. Watch acrobats and daredevils

Even if you do not stay at Circus Circus but choose to stay at one of  the three hotels that are connected to one another by tram (El Dorado Hotel and Silver Legacy), you still have access to circus acts such as Chinese acrobats and motorcycle daredevils. 

3. Stay for Happy Hour

The slot machines got you thirsty? Yummy margaritas, nachos, street fries for half the price during Happy Hour at El Jefe Cantina? Need I say more?  

4. Eat you weight in buffet food

I do not know why casinos and buffets are synonymous but think about it -- when there is a casino, there will be a buffet, at least here in the US.  We checked out Flavors! The Buffet while in Reno. Just like with most buffets, it was really about quantity, so why not indulge?

5. Hangout with Lady Luck

And hope that she smiles at you.  Hit the casinos if you are into that kind of stuff. I am not but I still had fun in Reno doing other things -- like eating and drinking margaritas (ahem). 

6. Shop at an enormous camping store

My family have always raved about Cabela's. I have never been to because Mr Sweetie and I leave to drive back to the Bay Area before they do. They always stop at this gigantic (I mean, ginormous 125, 000 sq feet) gear and camping store with a shooting range (not real animals), lifelife taxidermy, fudge shop, etc. Mr Sweetie and I finally went with my family during our weekend trip to Reno. Now I understand their fascination. I am not even into hunting animals but it was a pretty cool place. (Not recommended for vegans as there are lifelike animal heads on display.)

7. Play in the snow at  South Lake Tahoe

For Bay Area locals, Reno and South Lake Tahoe mean snow whether you into winter sports or just want to play and build a little snowman (just like me). These are where we get our snow fix and it is a sad time if we drive up North and did not get to play in the snow. Which was exactly what happened during our trip. It did not snow in Reno so we drove just 20 minutes across the state line back to California. Somehow there is always snow in South Lake Tahoe. We just parked our cars on a snow bank and ran to a frozen lake. (It was safe because many other families had the same idea.)

8. Find solitude in nature 

The drive up to Reno from the Bay Area is just simply magnificent. You will see cascading rivers, snow capped mountains, forests of pine trees and breathtaking rock formations.  This is the real reason why I love Reno. It is not the casinos (which I hate) but to experience the beauty of nature and the solitude that accompanies it. If it snows while I am there, then that just completes the experience. 

I hope to go back and explore other parts of this side of Nevada. There is plenty of history and there is more to Reno beyond its casinos. Stay tuned for more in the future. 

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