Nicknamed the ‘Biggest Little City in the World’, Reno is a fascinating destination in northern Nevada. It was once considered the gateway to the old west and is packed with a fascinating history in every street. As a tourist destination, it’s known for casinos, live entertainment, and incredible cuisine.
However, figuring out where to stay in Reno can get a little tricky. The boundaries between each region are a little blurry, and information can be hard to find. Reno is a diverse destination, so it’s important to base yourself in the right neighborhood to really get the most out of your stay. The area which you end up staying in can really make or break your trip.
That’s where we come in! We’ve combined personal experience with hints and tips from locals and travel experts to bring you the best places to stay in Reno. Whether you’re here for casinos, dining or family-friendly fun, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get started!
Best Airbnb in Reno – The Middy
This bohemian dream in the heart of Midtown is the perfect escape for those looking for a laid-back experience. With two spacious bedrooms and a cozy lounge area, you’ll have plenty of space to soak up the chilled vibes. It lets in plenty of natural light, with some great views across Midtown from the windows.
Best Hostel in Reno – Morris Burner Hostel
As a major casino hub, Reno can get really expensive. A great way to watch your spending (apart from staying away from the slots) is to book yourself into a hostel. The Morris Burner Hostel is the best-rated in the city, and it’s easy to see why. Despite the cheap rates, the furnishings are super comfortable and the location is unbeatable.
Best Hotel in Reno – Silver Legacy Reno
Reno is known for its casinos, and the Silver Legacy Reno lets you stay in one of the most famous in the city. With a 24/7 casino, spacious lounges, and upscale restaurants, this is one for anyone wanting to splurge. It even comes with its own golf course and fishing area! Silver Legacy is right in the heart of the city, so you’re never more than a short walk away from the best bars and attractions.
Forming the western portion of Downtown Reno, the Riverwalk District is an eclectic neighborhood that offers a small slice of everything the city has to offer. Whether you’re looking for casinos or cuisine, you’re sure to find it in the Riverwalk District.
Freight House District
So what about the other side of North Virginia Avenue? The Freight House District was once the industrial heart of the city, but fell into decline in the ’90s and 2000s. More recently, it has seen a major revival as both the youth hub of the city and a growing tourist destination.
On the other side of the river, Midtown has a more laid-back vibe than the two Downtown districts. This makes it a great choice for families. Whether you’re interested in nature, museums or dining, you’ll also find some great attractions in the area that will appeal to all ages.
Reno’s Top 3 Neighborhoods to Stay in
This unique destination in Nevada acts as a gateway to the old west. Reno has seen a lot of growth over the decades, and it shows no signs of stopping. It’s got everything Vegas has and more, making it more and more popular as a destination as the years go on. It should definitely be on your hitlist for an awesome staycation this year.
The city center is where all the action is at, so we’ve split it into three different neighborhoods.
Riverwalk District is the perfect choice for first-time visitors, as this is where you get to discover classic Reno. The bustling casinos, cosmopolitan restaurants, and vibrant parties that the city has become known for are all based here. It’s also next to the riverwalk – a unique urban hike along the banks of the river.
On the opposite side of the main strip, Freight House District has a more hip vibe. Contemporary cool can be found around every corner – with a range of breweries, local boutiques, and quirky cafés found across the area. This neighborhood offers some great deals on accommodation and dining, making it ideal for anyone traveling on a budget.
Midtown is the calmer cousin of Downtown Reno, offering many of the same attractions at a more laid-back pace. There’s also a better selection of family-friendly attractions, making this our top pick for those traveling with kids. South Virginia Avenue is the main strip here, but it definitely has a more peaceful vibe.
Still undecided? No worries! We’ve got more information on each neighborhood below to help you narrow down your options. We’ve even included our top accommodation and activity picks in each, to help you plan your itinerary.
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Forming the western portion of Downtown Reno, the Riverwalk District is an eclectic neighborhood that offers a small slice of everything the city has to offer. Whether you’re looking for casinos or cuisine, you’re sure to find it here. This is why we recommend it for first time visitors to the city.
Named after the hike that follows the Truckee River, it’s also a great destination for those interested in Reno’s natural attractions. Throughout the year you can hire a kayak or rowboat and take a casual paddle along the river. It forms the western half of North Virginia Avenue, meaning you’ll never be too far from the most popular attractions in Reno.
Best Airbnb in Riverwalk District – Remodeled Home
This modern condo in the heart of the city comes with floor-to-ceiling windows, giving you unbeatable views across Reno. It’s super spacious and there is a large balcony for basking under the Nevada sun. This apartment has recently been refurbished and comfortably sleeps four guests. The river is only a ten-minute walk away, and there are some great nightlife options on the doorstep.
Beautiful Views in Riverwalk District – Trendy Location
If you want to stay right on the banks of the river, look no further than this serene apartment. You’ll get to enjoy views across the water from your bedroom, giving the apartment a peaceful vibe despite the city-centre location. Guests also have access to bikes – perfect for exploring the neighbourhood!
Best Hotel in Riverwalk District – Silver Legacy Reno
Beaten only by Las Vegas, Reno is a fantastic casino destination. The Silver Legacy Reno is one of the most famous in the city, and the adjoining hotel offers the ultimate luxury. You can roll right out of bed and head straight to the slots, or enjoy a casual stroll down the river.
Things to See and Do in Riverwalk District:
- Reno is the closest city to Burning Man and a lot of the art from the festival is displayed here. Take a tour of the best bits in this cool experience.
- Silver Legacy Reno isn’t just one of our top accommodation picks, it’s also home to the newest casino in Reno with a wide selection of games and entertainment areas.
- Wingfield Park is a small island in the middle of the river, home to short hiking trails and regular events throughout the year.
- If you’re looking for great food, stray away from the main strip and check out the eateries along 1st Street and North Sierra Street – we love Liberty Food and Wine Exchange.
2. Freight House District – Where to Stay in Reno on a Budget
So what about the other side of North Virginia Avenue? The Freight House District was once the industrial heart of the city, but fell into decline in the ’90s and 2000s. More recently, it has seen a major revival as both the youth hub of the city and a growing tourist destination. This has created one of the most vibrant areas of Reno, with some cool alternative attractions on offer.
The Freight House District isn’t short of old-school attractions, either. The main difference here is that you’ll find many of the attractions and eateries are far more affordable. This is a fantastic destination if you’re traveling the USA on a budget.
Best Airbnb near Freight House District – Private Midtown
This spacious duplex is a great option for those on a budget that want a little extra privacy. It has recently been remodeled, so you’ll get to enjoy contemporary furnishings and modern appliances. It’s in a quiet part of Midtown (just across the bridge from the Freight House District), where you will find some of the hippest cafés and quirkiest boutiques in town.
Best Hostel in Freight House District – Morris Burner Hostel
As a hostel, Morris Burner is naturally one of the most affordable places to stay in Reno. It isn’t just about a cheap place to crash, though. Morris Burner Hostel runs regular social events where you can meet up with other backpackers before heading out on the town. They operate on a membership model, but short-term memberships are available.
Best Hotel in Freight House District – Courtyard by Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott is the global brand’s budget-friendly range, known for its upscale service and affordable rates. Their Reno hotel is located right on the banks of the river and is more peaceful than the bustling city centre. A complimentary American-style breakfast is offered every morning, saving you even more cash.
Things to See and Do in Freight House District:
- Visiting as a couple? Take in the sights and bright lights of Reno in this unique Pedicab Tour around the main attractions on the strip.
- Club Cal-Neva is another popular attraction in the city, and is Silver Legacy Reno’s largest competitor.
- Catch a baseball game at Greater Nevada Field, or check out the competitive bowling at the National Bowling Stadium on rainy days.
- There are some great breweries on the junction between East 4th Street and Valley Road. Our favorite is the Depot Craft Brewery Distillery.
3. Midtown – Best Area in Reno for Families
On the other side of the river, Midtown has a more laid-back vibe than the two Downtown districts. This makes it a great choice for families. Whether you’re interested in nature, museums, or dining, you’ll find some great attractions in the area that will appeal to all ages.
Midtown is the creative heart of Reno, so make sure to keep an eye out for the street art that lines the walls. Many of the shops and cafés here also replicated this artsy vibe, resulting in some truly unique spaces.
Best Airbnb in Midtown – The Middy
This peaceful retreat is the perfect getaway if you just need somewhere calm. It can sleep up to four guests across two bedrooms, making this perfect for families. The interiors are beautifully decorated in a modern and homely style. It’s located just off South Virginia Street where you will find some of the hippest bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood.
Best Family Home in Midtown – Plumb Lane
Visiting with a larger family? Look no further than this gorgeous family home on Plum Lane. With five bedrooms and a sofa-bed in the living room, it has enough space for up to 12 people! It’s located in a quieter part of Midtown, so it’s ideal to have a car, but this is definitely a win for those after a peaceful night’s sleep.
Best Hotel in Midtown – Renaissance Reno
Nestled on the boundary between Midtown and Downtown Reno, this hotel is within walking distance of all three neighborhoods in this guide! It’s also pretty affordable, even during the peak season. There is a large outdoor pool during the summer months, as well as a modern fitness suite onsite.
Things to See and Do in Midtown:
- If you’re interested in street art, this experience will take you around the iconic murals dotted around Midtown.
- The Nevada Museum of Art is the largest of its kind in the state, featuring work from across Nevada and the rest of the world.
- It isn’t the only good museum – the Discover is packed with child friendly interactive exhibits, whilst the National Automobile Museum has some fascinating displays.
- The food scene here is a little more casual – you’ll see what we mean at Old Granite Street Eatery.
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Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in Reno
Reno is a fascinating city that has a little something for everyone. Long trailing behind Las Vegas as the second most popular destination in Nevada, Reno is now starting to catch up. It’s a little bit more affordable and has more family-friendly options, while still enjoying the same relaxed pace of life.
For us, the neighborhood that really stands out is the Freight House District. Once one of the most industrial parts of the city, it has since grown to become a major tourist hub. It’s really well connected to both the Riverwalk District and Midtown, making it an ideal base for your trip.
That being said, the best place for you really depends on what you want to get out of your stay. If you’re more interested in classic entertainment then the Riverwalk District is the place for you. Prefer something easygoing? Head to Midtown! We hope we’ve managed to help you narrow down your options.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
Thanks for reading – that was fun! 😀
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