Where the largest alpine lake collides with the Biggest Little City in the World – that is Reno. Many think that all there is to do there is spin the wheel to gamble, but win or lose there is tons of other things to do around town. I explored the region this past spring and found my way to amazing food, remarkable spas, spectacular hikes and discovered some of the past with the wild wild west. Reno will check a lot of boxes off for you.  Discover some secret things to do in Reno below. They may not be that secret, but not what I expected to discover there! 

Where to Stay in Reno

I discovered a lot of hotel options in Reno but Peppermill pulled me in with their amazing multi level spa! Taker a look at their spa and you will see why! 

Now let’s chat about salt – sometimes you need more than a pinch, no matter what Martha Stewart says. The benefits of salt therapy are almost too many to list here. Did you know that the nutrients found in salt are essential to your skin, immune system, circulation and body to both replenish moisture and offset harmful toxins we naturally ingest. So one may ask – what do I do eat more? NO! You want to inhale the benefits of salt. AND where can you do this? Luckily many hotel spas are adding salt rooms or salt walls to their amenities. 

One of the best salt therapy rooms I have visited is at Spa Toscana at the Peppermill Resort in Reno. So great it made my Bucket List Experiences for Spa Lovers. Take a look here at my Spa Travel  IGTV video tour of their Himalayan Retreat Salt Therapy room. While relaxing there you can refresh yourself with spa water, while knowing your results may include reduced stress and headaches, improved respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies and sinus congestion (my favorite) and also improved skin conditions such as psoriasis, rashes, eczema and acne. Afterwards relax in a very well stocked spa lounge which included my favorite sparkling water – Italian brand Pellegrino, then treat yourself to a Hyrdrafacial at this multi-level 30,000 square feet Mediterranean spa with a Roman Caldarium

See here my article on Luxury Travel to Lake Tahoe and Reno for more tips! 


What is there to do other than gamble in Reno?

Well you can see above that spa was number one on my list, but as soon as I got out of my nirvana, we headed to one of my husband’s nirvana activities – hiking.  We were off to Washoe Lake Park to climb a remarkable peak for a view of the entire region of Reno. 

]Washoe Lake State Park is a public recreation area that is so big –  3,775 acres big. This state park lies just east of Lake Tahoe. The area around the park is known for very high winds thus making Washoe Lake a super popular destination for windsurfers and those that love to watch these adventurers. 


Where is the Wild Wild West near Reno?

Surely everyone has heard of The Music Man. The lyrics from a song in this popular musical were right before my eyes in real life when our ventures lead us to Carson City just down the road from Reno and Washoe Lake State Park. Here are the lyrics if you are one of the few that has never sung along to this very popular song. 

Just in case you want to take a moment to reminisce, here is the chorus so you can sing either out loud or in your head for a moment to get you excited about your upcoming trip. Just one note – I saw no trouble in Carson City and it looked like a magnificent place to live! You can even find slot machines in their gas stations though! Such a funny sight when you are stopping for gas. 


The Music Man Lyrics

Trouble, oh we got trouble,

Right here in River City!

With a capital “T”

That rhymes with “P”

And that stands for Pool,

That stands for pool.

We’ve surely got trouble!

Right here in River City,

Right here!

Gotta figger out a way

To keep the young ones moral after school!

Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…

Where can I find Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in Reno?

My favorite secret things to do in Reno all involve food. Food is great in Reno from fine dining at the Peppermill Reno’s Romanza to sugary treats like cookies. Now I mentioned above about dinvers, drive-ins and dives like the Food Network TV Show, but I did not find any dives – only places that I wish were closer to my own home and I could drop by frequently. Like the cookie shop Insomnia Cookies. Coffee is king in Reno too and not just your regular cup of Starbucks, but the super friendly establishment of Dutch Bros. Be sure to not say “brothers’ but Bros or they will know you are not a local. 


Dutch Bros coffee shops are a real treat and nothing like I have ever experienced before. Their baristas are super friendly and so perky no matter how crowded it was there. They must be doing something right – since the coffee and the service was top notch. This is coming from me someone with a ton of experience in multiple types of hospitality from luxury hotels to Chick-fil-A Corporate. Dutch Bros had happy employees and happy customers even when the lines were long. I will be a huge fan of them too when they expand to the southeast.  They do have plans for many more stores. They are the largest privately owned coffee shoppe in the US. You will know when you are near one, since their fans – who some call the Dutch Bros mafia have their cars covered in stickers. I did love the happiness I felt upon leaving this establishment. Hey Dutch Bros Coffee – let’s get you to the south! 

My last meal in Reno was breakfast. It may have been good we did not discover this place earlier, since we may have eaten all of our meals there. I say meals since you can see from above we ate a lot of cookies and coffee drinks. The hiking had peaked our hunger and the cute bears that surround the restaurant got me in the door and boy are we glad. Want a feast and a friendly face for breakfast or any meal? Dine at Black Bear Diner. If they have not been on the Food Network yet they should. My 10 year old self wanted to take home every bear in the restaurant along with the cute coffee mugs. I dined on silver dollar pancakes and wish I had a huge plate of them in front of me right now! 

So if you are looking for more secret things to do in reno and the surrounding region, you can also check out this article “Discover Luxury Travel to Lake Tahoe”. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below! Enjoy planning! 

Secret things to do in Reno

So what do you think about Secret things to do in Reno? Would you do one our them all?



Secret things to do in Reno spa Peppermill

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