Are you looking for a getaway from the biggest little city! I put together a little guide of some gems that are close to Reno, perfect for a day trip or a weekend adventure. Just for you, I've even included some of my favorite spots to visit within each location, each personally vetted by myself and friends.
1) Lake Tahoe
This lake is truly beautiful! As one of the largest alpine lakes in the world, it has beautiful blue water that is crystal clear. The water is great for swimming, or dressing as a mermaid, and taking underwater photos. Since it is an alpine lake, the water is cold, so swimming is not for the faint of heart.
My favorite beach is Nevada State Beach, which is a wide, long strip of sandy beach. My favorite restaurant is The Beacon at Camp Richardson Resort. Finally, if you visit in the winter, there are 18 different ski resorts that are one hour away from Reno. I have an annual pass to Heavenly Ski, which along with Homewood, has one of the best views of the lake.
2) Virginia city
If you want to feel like you are back in the old wild west, look no farther than Virginia City! This city feels as if it has been frozen in time with the old buildings and the vintage wood sidewalks. Loosely based on an old mining town (The Comstock Lode is one of the primary reasons Nevada became a state), Virginia City is packed with history.
If you can, try to get a mine tour. If you want a drink, the Delta Saloon has a huge patio with a view of the unending mountains that blend into the desert. Finally, the historic Fourth Ward Schoolhouse is an excellent museum showing how Virginia City really was, a civilized mining town with accommodations for families, opposed to a wild west gunslinging town you'd see on Gunsmoke or Bonanza. 3) Truckee
I love walking in downtown Truckee. There are lots of cute shops, great food, and right in the middle of the forest. There are literally hundreds of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails in and near Truckee. Check out the Hoppy Dog bar, which is a great craft beer bar that doesn't take itself too seriously.
This location is like an ongoing craft show! There are a ton of little shops and vendors and beautiful scenery! Once again, the town is close to Plumas Eureka State Park, which is packed with hiking and biking trails, and even more small alpine lakes ( I really recommend the best time to go is the spring or summer).
5) Nevada City
A bit of a longer drive but some of the best wineries in the area! In addition is a fantasy shop, Solstice Thrift and Consignment Store, where I've bought quite a few of my fantasy props. Be sure to check out Nevada City Winery, and Szabo Winery, which is two of my favorite wineries.
6) Apple Hill
Apple Hill is the perfect way to start off the fall season. A series of family-owned orchards, you can find row after row of apple trees, pumpkin patches, lots for great food, and small-time craft vendors. Be sure to get an apple donut!. I like Rainbow Orchards for their apple donuts, Denver Dan's Orchard for apple picking, Lava Cap Winery, and Jack Russel Brewery.
One of the most beautiful places on earth! Wonderful nature trails, stunning views, and lots of waterfalls. You can go literally anywhere here and see nature's best stuff. If you can, check out the brilliant museum about Ansell Adams, one of the first landscape photographers.
Have fun on your adventure and stay magical!