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Fall in love with Reno Tahoe’s Fall Festivities

Despite the relentless summer-like weather, fall is finally upon us! While donning a scarf and sipping hot chocolate may seem like something for the distant future, anyone who’s familiar with Reno Tahoe weather knows that can change in an instant. The Reno area is gearing up for all things autumn with a plethora of events for all members of the community.

Starting on September 24, Street Vibrations kicks of the season with their Fall Rally. The Wednesday through Sunday event offers enough music and motorcycles to satisfy any bike-lover’s dreams. Events throughout the rally include live music, scavenger hunts, and celebrity appearances by big names such as History Channel’s Paul Teutul Sr. and Danny Koker. With 250 vendors and 15 factory rigs, Street Vibrations will have everything motorcycle and more!

For those interested in a different kind of wild, the Animal Ark is holding a number of events throughout the month of October.  Their “Harvest Festivals” take place on October 4th and 18th, and promise an afternoon of animal watching. On these Saturdays, the Ark’s predators are given pumpkins containing their favorite treats. Visitors are encouraged to watch and take pictures as the animals work to open their pumpkins and enjoy their snacks. Another event hosted by the Animal Art is the Cheetah Run, which will put on its final run of the season on October 12th. At this event, cheetahs are allowed the rare privilege of running off their leashes demonstrating grace and incredible speed. Watching these wild animals run free is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Of course with October comes Halloween, which means that ‘tis the season for horror and spooky fun. The Aces Ballpark is hosting Fright Fest Production’s 9th annual “Slaughter House,” which is open Thursday through Sunday, starting October 3rd. For those who enjoy getting their heart rate up in a unique way, Northern Nevada’s largest indoor haunted house is for you! After a full redesign, this year’s House contains new rooms and scarier scenes that are guaranteed to keep your adrenaline pumping all night long. In addition to the Slaughter House, the ballpark’s “Fright” House District will be open for food and beverages to help you unwind after an evening of screams and scares.

Prost! Bavarian music, brats and beer gardens will be of plenty at Squaw Valley’s annual Oktoberfest, September 27 from 2pm to 6pm. Participate in a friendly competition of traditional games, or relax with a beer in hand and a view of the Sierra all around. Entertainment at the event is free. For $10, you’ll receive a specialty glass and first beer, $5 for additional beer.

A more kid-friendly event that is sure to entertain is the Andelin Family Farms Pumpkin Patch and Cornmaze Harvest Festival. Starting September 27th and continuing through the 1st of November, the family farm provides fun for participants of all ages. The harvest includes the crowd-favorite corn maze, which is designed to celebrate Nevada’s 150th year birthday. There will also be barnyard games, animals, and a pumpkin patch that guarantees a large selection of pumpkins perfect for carving and pie making.

So whether you’re a rowdy biker looking for loud music and new bike gear or a family interested in a peaceful afternoon, the fall season offers a number of festive events for all ages and interests. Check out the events calendar for a full list of fall events that are guaranteed to make this fall fun, family-oriented, spooky, or anything else you’re hoping for!

Spring’s Top 11 Things to Do in Reno Tahoe

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Ok, just take a look outside and you’ll see that spring has sprung in Reno Tahoe! Temperatures are warmer, trees and flowers are blooming and winter clothes are headed for storage, so that opens up a lot of fun activities and events for everyone to enjoy. That being said, here are our Top 11 picks for you and your family to check out!

1. Reno Aces Baseball – April 1st

Plaaaayyyy Baaallllll! It’s that time of year again, when the boys of summer take to the diamond, and begin a full season of America’s favorite pastime! The Reno Aces play (in our opinion) one of the most beautiful minor league parks anywhere in the country, and this season promises to be an exciting one as the Aces vie for the championship of the Pacific Coast League. So come out to the park, get a dog and a drink, sit back and enjoy a great evening of baseball!

2. Reno Jazz Festival – April 10-12

If you’re a jazz aficionado, this annual festival is the place to be! One of the world’s largest and most enduring celebrations of jazz, this three-day event hosts a variety of jazz artists, and this year be sure to see trumpeter Avishai Cohen and Grammy-nominated Kneebody.

3. Skiing, Golf and Grilling!

How many places anywhere in the world can boast of having great skiing and snowboarding resorts that are less than an hour away, and then have the option to end the day back in town, swinging the clubs or cooking outside in shirtsleeves and sandals? Well, the early days of spring in Reno Tahoe have all of that going for it! The snow typically stays fresh in the area ski resorts throughout the month of April, and the evening temperatures in the valley are nice enough to spend the evening outside, enjoying great food and great company. So fire up the grill, put on your best chefs apron, and try it – you’ll love it!

4. Virginia City Grand Prix – April 26-27

This outlaw motorcycle race is famous throughout the world and starts in historic downtown Virginia City. The racing heads out to the surrounding hills for more than four and a half hours of action-packed excitement, and the bikes reach speeds of up to 90 miles per hour! Catch some of the race, and then head to one of the many wonderful restaurants and bars in Virginia City – and also take in some of the great shopping that’s available there as well!

5. Reno River Festival – May 10-11

Few cities are lucky enough to have a river as beautiful as the Truckee wind through downtown, and every May there’s a festival to prove it! This premier outdoor event includes paddle sport whitewater competitions, yoga in the park, live music and entertainment, unique vendors selling their wares, and plenty of children’s activities. Dip your toes in the water, and join in the fun!

6. Go hiking and take in the wildflowers – all spring long!

The Reno Tahoe area is loaded with great hiking possibilities, so why not put on your boots and check out the beautiful scenery! There are some amazing overlooks, particular around Lake Tahoe, but you can stay closer to home and hike up some of the hills just outside of town! One of the added benefits of the spring season is the many beautiful species of wildflowers that seem to grow everywhere in a rainbow of different colors, so be prepared to be dazzled!

7. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series – May 30-31

The Lucas Oil series is a nationally televised off-road racing series that matches action sports celebrities against motocross champions and racing legends. The series is held at the Wild West Motorsports Park, which offers fantastic, unobstructed views from the grandstands and lets fans really feel close to all of the racing action! Just imagine 900 horsepower trucks battling it out – it’s like a full contact MMA fight on wheels!

8. Spring Fever Revival – May 30-31

If you’re into classic cars and some good old-time rock and roll, twist your way back to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s during a fun-filled weekend in downtown Reno! There’s plenty of food and beverage booths, vendors showing their wares and live entertainment for people of all ages.

9. Street Vibrations Spring Rally – June 6-8

Has your Harley spent the winter locked up in the garage? It’s time to take it out, tune it up, and enjoy a weekend of pure motorcycle fun! Street Vibrations will be held throughout the streets of downtown Reno and there will be live entertainment, bike games, competition ride-in-shows, poker runs and walks, lots of food and street vendors selling everything from apparel to bike parts! It’s the ultimate weekend for motorcycle lovers.

10. Bike riding on the Tahoe Flume Trail

Are you a dedicated trail rider or a newbie who wants to try a challenging course with beautiful scenery? The Tahoe Flume Trail may just be the challenge you’re looking for! The Flume Trail is constantly cited in magazines and blogs as one of the most scenic trails for mountain bikers and trail runners anywhere in the country. Just remember to be safe, and you might want to take along a camera to shoot some beautiful vistas of Lake Tahoe.

11. Reno Rodeo – June 19-28

Widely considered the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West,” the Reno Rodeo features 10 nights of best rodeo competition in the country. The rodeo is held at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Center and features over 750 athletes competing in events including team roping, professional bill riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bronc riding. Also take in the Double R Marketplace for western shopping, great food, a carnival and mutton bustin’!

Well, that’s just a small sampling of what’s available in Reno Tahoe in the spring! For more ideas be sure to check our website at www.visitrenotahoe.com

Reno Tahoe Travel Booms in 2013

Tourism officials announced that Reno Tahoe USA had more visitors in 2013 than any year since 2007!

In addition to strong sporting and convention business and new events – like the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, visitors are finding their passions in Reno Tahoe USA.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again… Passion naturally thrives in Reno Tahoe USA. Maybe you’ll find it on one of our magnificent mountains. Or at a special event that truly lives up to its name. Or at one of our world-class spas, showrooms, rivers, lakes, museums, or fairways. For some, the main reason for coming here is our famously epic skiing and snowboarding. For others, it may be the slightly eccentric camel ostrich and zebra races. But no matter what the reason – or the season – there are over a thousand ways to pursue your passions in northern Nevada’s high desert playground.

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Motown Legend Aboard Feb. 4th Reno Snow Train

Martha Reeves picThe Reno Snow Train welcomes Martha Reeves (of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas) the “Queen of Motown Soul” with hits Dancing in the Street and Jimmy Mack, aboard the February 4 – 6, 2014 Motown themed Reno Snow Train. Miss Reeves, here from Detroit for her only West Coast 2014 appearance, will have a Motown Q&A and sing a few of her hit songs for passengers. In addition, Top Shelf, a Bay Area Classic Soul Trio, will perform some favorite Motown hits both in the Dance Car and strolling throughout the train.

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The 15-car, 600 passenger Snow Train features live entertainment with the multi-talented John Lee Sanders in the Piano Lounge, Elvis Tribute Artist, Card Magician, Dance Car with A&A Music Events DJ, Smoking Car and open seating Dome Car. The family and retiree-friendly, midweek Snow Train starts from $269. per person, double occupancy with departures Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25, Mar. 4 and 11. Train themes are Motown (featuring special guest Martha Reeves), Classic Country, Aloha, Hooray for Hollywood, Mardi Gras and Rockin’ Round the 50’s.  Fares include round trip reserved, coach seating from the San Francisco Bay Area/Sacramento, two nights Reno hotel including all taxes & resort fees, entertainment and light meals aboard the train and Winner’s Book of coupons good for discounted meals and shows in Reno. Pullman Gold Service, reserved Dome Car seats with first class table dining, is available as a Snow Train option for an additional cost.

The destination “stars of the show” are the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains, one of the top 10 rail routes in the world. Combine the Reno Snow Train with the Sierras to experience the most memorable and unique train journey in the history of railroading. For additional information contact your professional Travel Agent or Key Holidays at (800) 783-0783, www.RenoSnowTrain.com.

Promo Code for Vacation Packages from Southwest Airlines

Use code RENOSAVE while booking before the end of the year on travel until 6/6/2014, and SAVE $50!

BOOK NOW!

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RENO TAHOE USA REACHES “TIPPING POINT” WITH OVER 50 “TOP 10” AWARDS

Northern Nevada is Celebrated for Livability, Value, Year-Round Recreation and More

Travelers looking for a fun, safe, affordable, sunny, beautiful, hip and varied vacation destination should check out Northern Nevada’s Reno Tahoe area, according to more than 50 varied publications and websites, from A (AOL Real Estate) to Z (Zagat.com). The four season, high desert resort destination that encompasses Reno, Sparks and North Lake Tahoe has been recognized for excellence on more than 50 occasions – in a wide variety of national publications and online rankings – over the course of the past 24 months, and the “Top 10” accolades just keep on coming.

RTUSA_AllSeasonTAG“It’s pretty incredible to be ranked #9 on the list of ‘100 Best Places to Live’ (Livability.com), #5 on ‘Top Spots for Winter Vacations’ (The Weather Channel) and as one of the ‘20 Most Crime-Free Cities in America’ (AOL Real Estate), while offering the #1 Lake in America, Lake Tahoe (USA Today Reader’s Poll) and the #1 Ski Resort, Squaw Valley (Men’s Journal), as well as the #1 ranking for ‘Underestimated Cities for Food’ (The Daily Meal),” according to Christopher Baum, President and CEO of Reno Tahoe USA. “It’s especially surprising when you consider that this is a resort area that most Americans haven’t visited… yet,” said Baum, “But we’re confident that THAT is about to change.”

Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the gateway to nearby Lake Tahoe’s world class skiing for the vast majority of visitors. And with an early storm recently dumping two-to-three feet of fresh powder in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, listed as one of “11 of the World’s Most Beautiful Mountain Ranges” by UnofficialNetworks.com, it will be difficult to find a better winter sports getaway this season, according to authorities such as:

  • Buzzfeed Travel, which ranked Lake Tahoe #1 among “34 Places that are Even Better During Winter.”
  • National Geographic Magazine, which recently highlighted Reno as one of its “Top 10 Emerging Ski Towns.”
  • Men’s Journal, which recognized top-ranked Squaw Valley, as well as nearby Northstar and Kirkwood, as having some of the “Best Ski Schools in the U.S.”
  • FoxNews.com, which ranked Squaw Valley USA one of the Top 10 “Best Ski Resorts in North America.”
  • MSN.com, which cited Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe (just a 25 minute drive from downtown Reno) as one of the “10 Hippest Ski Areas You Rarely Hear About.”
  • Forbes, which also picked Squaw Valley as one of their “Top 10 U.S. Ski Resorts.”

Besides its top overall rating from the readers of USA Today, Lake Tahoe also picked up several additional noteworthy warm weather awards:

  • Yahoo! Travel included North America’s highest alpine lake in its international list of “10 Lakeside Vacations that Have it All.”
  • FamilyVacationCritic.com voted Sand Harbor at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe one of the “10 Best Beaches for Families.”
  • Yahoo! Shine named Lake Tahoe as a Top 10 lake vacation “Best for Celebrating a Western Icon.”

In addition to its #1 rating from The Daily Meal, and Campo’s selection by Esquire Magazine as one of “The Best New Restaurants in America,” the region’s diverse and rapidly expanding food scene also was recognized as follows:

  • The local GourMelt Grilled Cheese Truck earned double honors this year as one of the “10 Best Grilled Cheese Trucks” by CultureCheeseMag.com and also as one of the “101 Best Food Trucks in America” by The Daily Meal.
  • Chapel Tavern in Reno’s hip MidTown District was recently named one of the “10 Best Places to Drink Rum” in the country by Zagat.com.
  • A mainstay in downtown Reno for more than 50 years, the Awful Awful was listed as one of the “51 Great Burger Joints Across the U.S.” by USA Today.

Additional recognition for Northern Nevada also came for several of the area’s top Special Events:

  • USA Today called the National Championship Air Races one of the “10 Best Air Shows Around the World.”
  • Salon.com ranked the annual “Best in the West Nugget Rib Cookoff” in Sparks one of its 2013 “10 Summer Festivals Worth the Pit Stop.”
  • MSN.com recognized Reno’s National Bowling Stadium, which will host more than 100,000 bowlers when the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and Women’s Championships return to the destination in 2014, as one of the “Coolest Bowling Spots in North America.”
  • Hot Rod magazine recently cited the iconic Virginia City International Camel Races as one of their “41 Ways to Go Fast” in 2014.

Locals know why so many visitors are visiting, returning, and sharing their great experiences in Reno Tahoe, and it all starts with the quality of life enjoyed in Northern Nevada:

  • Downtown SkylineMSN Money ranked Reno one of “America’s Cheapest (Livable) Cities.”
  • Realtor.com ranked the Reno area #3 on its list of “Top 10 Turnaround Towns.”
  • U-Haul listed Reno as #4 on its list of “Top U.S. Growth Cities.”
  • Where to Retire Magazine listed Reno as one of its “100 Best Places to Retire.”
  • Sunset Magazine recognized the Reno Riverwalk District as one of its “32 Great Spring Trips.”
  • The American Planning Association celebrated C Street in nearby Virginia City, an authentic 1860s gold and silver mining town, as one of the “Great Streets of America.”
  • OnlineColleges.com ranked the University of Nevada, Reno one of the “10 U.S. Colleges with Great Greek Life.”
  • Mother Nature Network celebrated the world’s tallest artificial rock climbing wall at BaseCamp, in the heart of downtown Reno, as one of “8 of the World’s Best Climbing Walls.”
  • And after a fun-filled day of skiing, swimming and eating, it’s reassuring to know that – for the sixth year in a row – Reno has been recognized by Casino Player Magazine for being home to the “Loosest Slots in America.”

According to Baum, “Based upon all of our diverse accolades, from such a wide array of third-party organizations over the last two years, Reno Tahoe USA is obviously a vacation destination where visitors can’t lose!”

For a complete list of recent Reno Tahoe USA awards, please visit http://www.visitrenotahoe.com/media/top-listings.

Christmas on the Comstock

This Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, Virginia City, Nev. kicks off its annual holiday tradition, Christmas on the Comstock. Located just 25 miles from Reno, the town boasts the Parade of Lights, a country Christmas concert and Breakfast with Father Christmas. The festivities continue throughout the month with unique gifts and boutique holiday shopping at local merchants.

Breakfast with Father Christmas – Dec. 7, 9 – 11 a.m.

Join Father Christmas for breakfast, photos and a chance to share Christmas wishes at Piper’s Opera House. Price: Adults $10, Kids $8.

The Candy Cane Express Trains –Dec. 7-8 and 14-15. Two departures daily: noon and 2 p.m.

Create holiday memories aboard the Candy Cane Express Holiday Train on the famous Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Delight with visits from the Candy Cane Sisters while sipping hot chocolate, spiced apple cider and enjoying delicious cookies and candy canes. Price: $14 adults, $7 children, ages 2 and under free. Purchase tickets online.

Christmas Movies at Piper’s Opera House Dec. 7, 12 – 4 p.m.

Bring the kids to watch classic Christmas movies at the historic Piper’s Opera House before the Parade of Lights. Price: FREE.

Christmas on the Comstock Parade of Lights – Dec. 7, 5 p.m.

Bundle up and gather along C Street for Virginia City’s only evening parade and watch as the town lights up with Christmas cheer. Price: FREE.

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Christmas in the Sierra – Concert with David John & The Comstock Cowboys, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.

Bring your cowboy boots and Santa hat to this boot-stomping good time with David John and the Comstock Cowboys for a country Christmas concert at Piper’s Opera House. Buy your tickets in advance online. Price:  $25.

Photos with Father Christmas – Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Stop by the Virginia City Visitors Center at 86 South C Street to meet Father Christmas and create a holiday memory. Call 775-847-7500 for more information.

Virginia City Merchant Christmas Gift Giveaway, Dec. 7 – Dec. 30, merchant business hours vary.

Pick up a lucky number card at Forever Christmas, The Mark Twain Museum or the Visitor Center for a chance to win one of 2,000 free gifts at over 20 participating merchants. Price: FREE.

Gingerbread Social and Charity Auction – Dec. 8, 5 p.m.
Enter your gingerbread creation for a chance to win fabulous prizes at Piper’s Opera House. Price: FREE.

To purchase tickets and for more information on Christmas on the Comstock events taking place in Virginia City, Nev., visit online or call the Virginia City Tourism Commission at 775-847-7500.

Holiday Travel from San Francisco/Sacramento to Reno for $1

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells….oh wait…it’s too early for holiday jingles. However, it’s not too early to book holiday travel on megabus.com. Book now for travel between San Francisco, Sacramento and Reno for as low as $1, now through Jan. 7, 2014. Yep, $1.

Megabus.com, the affordable alternative to flying and driving with tickets from $1, announced ticket sales today, valid through January 7, 2014. Megabus.com, which popularized yield-management pricing in the express bus industry, advises soon-to-be travelers to book now to secure the $1 fares and other affordable fares as they will not be easier and more abundant to find than today.

With very affordable fares on state-of-the-art double-decker buses (with free Wi-Fi!), megabus.com would be an ideal way to travel this holiday season.

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Megabus.com is the leader in the fastest-growing form of transportation by a comfortable margin (megabus.com now serves nine million passengers per year and more than 30 million passengers since 2006). With a 7.5 percent rate of growth between 2011 and 2012, city-to-city express bus travel now comfortably outpaces all other forms of transportation, yet this modern travel option remains a secret to some. Not only that, but a recent study shows that motorcoaches are the most environmentally friendly form of transportation, providing 207 passenger miles per gallon of fuel compared to 27 MPG for single passenger automobiles, making them the greatest value on the road.

Electronic Vehicle Car Charging Finder

Electronic vehicles are becoming a common sight on the roads of Reno Tahoe USA as more and more travelers adopt cleaner means of transportation. And to keep environmentally conscious visitors going, a variety of local businesses have installed charging stations for public use.

Harrah’s Reno, along with Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe recently unveiled eight state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging stations at each property, all allowing free access to the public. Also joining the movement to broaden the use renewable energy is the Grand Sierra Resort Casino and Circus Circus Reno, both offering access to multiple stations.

Whether you’re heading downtown for one of the many outstanding special events or making your way up to the mountains for a powder day, keeping your vehicle juiced up for all your adventures is a breeze with 22 charging stations located throughout the region.  And finding a charging station is even easier with resources like plughshare.com, which not only shows you where charging stations are, but also allows you to map out a trip with stations along the way.

Here are a few places where you can stop by to plug in:

Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

Circus Circus Reno

Einstein Bros. Bagels

L-EVlink-Installation-at-Harrah-sHarrah’s Reno

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe

Grand Sierra Resort Casino

Harvey’s Lake Tahoe

Hyatt Incline Village

NV Energy

NV Energy – Carson City

Squaw Valley

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Truckee Donner Historical Society

Washoe County Government Office

For more information electronic vehicle accommodation, visit nevadaeva.org and chargepoint.com.

Spectator’s Guide to Ironman North Lake Tahoe

It’s race week of the inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe! Cheer on the insanely fit Ironman athletes as they compete in a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run race. The event takes place September 22, with 2,500 athletes competing for a slot in the Ironman World Championships and a piece of the $75,000 purse. These athletes are excited to compete in stunning Lake Tahoe… after all, the event registrations sold out in less than 24 hours!

First-Impression_Ironman_2012Here are some of the best places to watch the event according to Ironmon event producers:

BEST PLACE TO WATCH THE SWIM:

Kings Beach State Park, athletes will enter the swim from Kings Beach State Park, and Transition is in the parking lot adjacent to the beach. The best place to park will be at Kings Beach Elementary School, a few short blocks from the beach off Steelhead Ave.

BEST PLACE TO WATCH THE BIKE:

Spectators have a number of great places to watch athletes on the bike course. Spectators can watch athletes at two “hot corners” where athletes will pass multiple times. One is at the entrance to Squaw Valley under the Olympic flame where you can see your athlete pass three times. The second will be in Kings Beach at the Corner of 267 and 28 where athletes will be starting their day on the bike, and then passing 3 additional times. The Town of Truckee will also be having a street celebration closing down Donner Pass road thru old town Truckee with the athletes racing down the middle of the street. There will be live music, activities for kids and adults, and food at restaurants adjacent to the course.

BEST PLACE TO WATCH THE RUN:

The run course has a number of lively spots to catch your athlete multiple times. The

Squaw Valley Village will be an ideal location, close to the finish line, with food, music, the Ironman Village expo, and athletes making multiple passes in the area before finishing. Easy parking also makes this an ideal location to spend the day. The “hot corner” under the Olympic flame will also be a location where athletes can be cheered on three times on the bike, and 4 times on the run.

Be sure to hop over to Reno before or after the race – it’s close enough that the Ironman runners could probably run there!