Where to Stay in Reno: 4 Best areas & neighborhoods

In this guide, we will help you to find where to stay in Reno, the best areas & neighborhoods to stay in Reno, as well as the best hotels in Reno for all budget travelers.

Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain, Reno is a city in Nevada. It is aslo known as The Biggest Little City in the World, with big casinos and ski resorts. Reno is more like the old Las Vegas with lower gambling limits and cheaper prices.

Nevada boasts an all-year-round tourist trade. Reno’s proximity to the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe mean those numbers in the winter enjoy the outdoor life, especially skiing on Mount Rose. As the snow recedes and spring arrives, the region opens up for hikers, bikers, and campers.

Summers are hot in Nevada with temperatures rising to 90F (32C). The majority of Nevada is desert with the region in the west, including Reno, quite a contrast.  Nevada has more hotel rooms per head of population than any other state in the Country. As a result, there is no problem finding somewhere to stay for those deciding to visit Reno.

Where to Stay in Reno?

The best areas to stay in Reno for visitors are Downtown Reno, Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Sparks, Around University of Nevada Reno. These are popular and safe neighborhoods for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.

Downtown is the best place to stay in Reno for first-timers due to its central location and a wide range of accommodations for all budgets. Staying here offers easy access to attractions, as well as many restaurants, shops, and bars.

Those heading to Reno primarily because they enjoy gambling will find plenty of choice of accommodation with a casino on site. Transport within the City is excellent so it is not essential to be in the heart of the action.

💖 Best Area to stay in Reno:Downtown Reno
💎 Best luxury hotel:Whitney Peak Hotel
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Silver Legacy Reno Resort Casino at THE ROW
💰 Best budget hotel:Plaza Resort Club Reno

Map of best neighborhoods in Reno:

Map of best areas Where to Stay in Reno, Nevada
Map of best areas Where to Stay in Reno, Nevada

4 Best areas to stay in Reno are:

1. Downtown Reno

Downtown Reno, where to stay in Reno for nightlife

Downtown is the best area to stay in Reno for first-time travelers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of everything, within walking distance to the top sights, as well as many casinos, shops, restaurants, and bars. 

The city’s transport system is good so it is easy to get to and from Downtown without much effort. Reno-Tahoe International Airport is just minutes away so you can be in your Downtown accommodation well under an hour after landing, often under half an hour if you do not need to wait for luggage.

Downtown is the heart of the action. In the case of Reno, that means clubs and casinos among other things. You will find everything from casual pubs to flashy cocktail bars, diners which will cost you just a few dollars to eat to expensive restaurants.

The Strip of Reno is along North Virginia Street, where you can find high concentration of hotels and casinos, something similar with Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.

The Truckee Riverwalk costs you nothing although you may be tempted by the shops as well as the other commercial establishments there. For exercise try kayaking, enjoy the green spaces and the music, live and recorded.  

Along the banks of the scenic Truckee River, you will find shops, restaurants, art galleries, museums. There are also plenty of parks to relax such as Idlewild Park, Barbara Bennett Park, Bicentennial Park, Greater Nevada Field, and City Plaza.

There is accommodation for every budget in Downtown. It may not be the district to stay if you want a quiet time but Reno, in general, is not perhaps the city for that even though it is not as busy as Las Vegas. 

Harrah’s Reno began the City’s gambling life but today, this historic casino hotel is in the process of being redeveloped into apartments.

If you are interested in history, there are several museums to explore such as the Sparks Heritage Museum, Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum, and the National Automobile Museum.

The historic part of Reno is now largely residential. You can get an organized walking tour of that part of Downtown if you like. 

Other places of interest nearby include the Great Basin Brewing, Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center, Animal Ark, Reno Aces Ballpark, Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, Galena Creek Park, Peppermill Casino, and Reno Arch.

Downtown is also close to Midtown where you can find craft breweries and distilleries, live music venues, and boutique shopping with some famous accommodations such as Peppermill Resort Spa Casino and the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa.

Best Places to Stay in Reno in Downtown:

Luxury ($$$): Whitney Peak Hotel located on the Strip, 4-star non-gaming hotel has an ideal lcoation for couples. It is located near the Arch in Central Reno, the Reno Amtrak Station, Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, and the National Automobile Museum.

mid-range ($$): Silver Legacy Reno Resort Casino at THE ROW, 4-star popular hotel in downtown Nevo, featuring 5 restaurants, 24-hour casino with a poker room, and a sportsbook. It provides a free airport shuttle, close to the National Automobile Museum.

budget ($): Plaza Resort Club Reno, 3-star hotel overlooks the Truckee River in Reno, within walking distance from several casinos including the Silver Legacy, El Dorado, and Harrah’s. It has guest rooms with free WiFi, a microwave, a refrigerator, a coffee machine, and a cable TV.


2. Reno-Tahoe Airport

Reno-Tahoe International Airport is just to the south of the city center. South Reno is an excellent shopping area with plenty of other things to do locally if you make it your base.

If you don’t have your own transport it is still easy to head into the center for the night if you decide to stay close to the airport. Taxis are readily available and the buses are regular.

Huffaker Park is a place to go if you make this district your base. It is not huge but there is a trail a couple of miles in a loop that will make you forget you are anywhere near a city. It is open to all, has a little elevation, and dogs are permitted on a leash. As you walk, you will meet joggers and cyclists but there is room for everyone. In season, the wildflowers add a splash of colour.

Rancho Damonte is a little bit of history. It dates back to just before World War II when an Italian immigrant settled on land to grow crops and rear livestock. While there has been considerable development around it, today it is an important wetland that attracts migratory birds, often ducks and geese as well as raptors including the white-tailed kite.

Best places to stay in Reno/Tahoe Airport:

Best luxury hotel: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa this luxury hotel is 5 minutes’ drive to Airport. A lavish casino, a free airport shuttle and Spa Atlantis, a full-service spa is featured. It features an indoor and outdoor pool. Guests can also play poker and other games in the casino.

Comfort Inn & Suites Airport Reno Featuring a fitness center, this Reno hotel provides a free airport shuttle to Reno-Tahoe International Airport, just a 5-minute drive away. Skiing at Diamond Peak Ski Resort is 48.3 km away.


3. Sparks

Sparks is officially a separate city to the east just over the Truckee River but in practical terms, it may as well be a suburb of Reno. It has some great open spaces you can enjoy when you are away from the gambling tables. They include two golf courses, Red Hawk and Wildcreek.

Marina Park has a naturally occurring watercourse in a region where water is indeed precious. You can enjoy a range of water sports on the lake including sailing, fishing, and even scuba diving. The land within the Park has plenty of recreational areas, picnic grounds, and trails.

Shadow Mountain Sports Complex covers 50 acres and has plenty of amenities including fields for baseball and football. You will find tables where you can enjoy a picnic and restroom facilities are there as well.

Sparks has its own resorts and casino hotels so if you make it your base, you have no need to go into Downtown Reno each evening for entertainment.

The shopping is good as well with plenty of department stores and small shopping centers. The Outlets at Legends and the Sparks Galleria are great places to shop.

Sparks Heritage Museum and Cultural Center covers over 4,000 square feet and covers the history of Sparks since its early beginnings. The outdoor train exhibit over the road and next to an old schoolhouse is also interesting. Tours of each of these places are easy to arrange. 

Nugget Event Center is an amphitheater capable of holding over 8,500 people for concerts and other events. Just on the eastern edge of Sparks, there is an infamous place, the Mustang Ranch which is Nevada’s most well-known brothel that has been there since the 1960s.

Sparks hosts several events that attract thousands of visitors each year such as Star Spangled Sparks, Nugget Best in the West Rib Cook-Off, Hometowne Christmas Parade, 39 North Marketplace farmers market, and Hot August Nights.

If you want 4-star accommodation in Sparks, take a look at Best Western Plus that will have everything you want during your stay.The accommodations offer a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, a concierge service, and free WiFi.

There is also The Nugget Casino Resort in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a casino and 8 restaurants, bars, an indoor pool, 8 individual bubble pools, and a gym.


4. Around University of Nevada Reno

The National Register of Historic Places placed the University of Nevada Reno Historic District on its list in 1987. The District covers 40 acres and the buildings date back to 1886 through to 1945. The University itself opened in 1874 and today’s campus is almost 300 acres. This district is north of Downtown.

It is a very safe residential area. Anyone interested in history or architecture will love wandering around the Historic District where the most interesting buildings are worth seeing.

Morrill Hall, built-in 1886 in classic Italianate Victorian-style, took the name of Justin Smith Morrill, a Vermont Senator, whose work resulted in an Act allowing universities such as Reno to begin.

Lincoln Hall built a decade later was the original dormitory of the University and takes its name from President Abraham Lincoln.

Manzanita Hall is the third 19th Century building, another dormitory. Mackay School of Mines predates the First World War and takes its name from benefactors of the University. In all, 13 buildings form part of the National Register listing with the last one being the Gymnasium, built in 1945. 

There are over 20,000 students attending Reno University so there is a different ‘’feel’’ to this district. It is certainly casual with an infrastructure developed to cater to visitors as well as permanent Reno inhabitants. 

There is limited accommodation in this district for short-term visitors but it is a pleasant part of Reno and certainly worth thinking about as a base. Bus routes link it to other parts of the City, including the airport.

Best places to stay near University Reno: Circus Circus Reno Hotel Casino at THE ROW This Nevada resort is centrally located in downtown Reno. It offers a free airport shuttle service to Reno-Tahoe International Airport, 5 mi away.


Where is the best place to stay in Reno?

Downtown is the best area to stay in Reno due to its prime location and wide range of tourist amenities. It also have highest concentration of big hotels and casino. The best place on the heart of Downtown is on The Strip include Whitney Peak Hotel and Silver Legacy Reno Resort Casino at THE ROW.

Where to stay in Reno for a couple? 

Reno is a great place for couples. If they want an outdoor break at any time of the year, Reno is a good choice. Reno is cheaper than Las Vegas but can satisfy all gamblers just as well. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is a luxury 5-star hotel 5 minutes from the airport with an airport shuttle service. There are pools, indoor and out, a casino, and 8 restaurants.

Where to stay in Reno for a family?

Reno is a mecca for family fun with lots of zoos, parks, museums, excellent cuisine, and outdoor activities for kids. If you are looking for best place to stay in Reno for family, look into Grand Sierra Resort that offers family games arcade, family rooms, bowling alley, and outdoor pool.

See more:

Reno sits below the Sierra Nevada close to the border with California. It is regularly referred to as the ‘’Biggest Little City in the World.’’ Tourism is important to the economy of this city of 220,000 people with only the emergence of Las Vegas preventing it from being the gambling capital of Western USA. 

Its original development in the mid-19th Century was as a result of the discovery of gold then silver and both, especially gold, are still mined in Nevada. The reasons for visiting Reno these days bear no relationship to the City’s origins. Instead, you must think about the weather, skiing in winter and walking in summer, the outdoor life in general as well as a good tourist infrastructure.

Nevada is the driest state in the USA. Las Vegas is now its largest and busiest city, arguably the gambling and entertainment city in the world, certainly the Americas. Reno which is also a center for gambling is a much quieter place.

In conclusion, Downtown Reno, Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Sparks, University of Nevada Reno are some of the best places to stay in Reno for travelers. They provide a wide variety of accommodations for all budget travelers.

Overall, Downtown is the best area in Reno for first-timers because it is the most convenient and its has a widest range of accommodation options. If you stay here, you will be located in within walking distance to attractions, shopping, dining, and nightlife.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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