Reno Travel Guide
Just one more thing for your iCal: the Great Reno Balloon Race from September 7-9, 2012.
C'monadmit it. You've totally had that fantasy where you're in a field surrounded by hot air balloons launching, or, even better, you're in a balloon, and surrounded in blue skies by countless others. Making this dream a reality isn't hard at all, since hot air balloons can be had for a price; however, witnessing a mass flight of them is far rarer.
To do this, just head on over to Reno, Nevada for the 31st annual Great Reno Balloon Race, the world's largest free hot-air ballooning event. For the estimated 150,000 race-goers and 100+ balloons, the action begins early each morning with a glow show as the balloons fire up and whoosh heated air into their billowing fabric for the beginning of the mass ascension.
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They’re not getting ‘Move B*tch Mac & Cheese’ like travelers in Atlanta, but despite lack of a Ludacris restaurant there’s still much to be excited about in Reno, Nevada. The Biggest Little City in the World is upgrading their airport, and they’re doing their best to make it one of the best around.
In total airport officials have secured lots of cash to upgrade and update, and it looks like they’re planning to spend around $40 million to spiff things up. Bulldozers and construction crews have already arrived at Reno-Tahoe International Airport as of this week, and the overall plan is to give the airport more of a Lake Tahoe feel and theme. Workers will be at the airport doing their thing for at least a year, as the grand reveal isn’t expected to arrive until April of 2013.
We may not have been so impressed with Reno, what with its tattoo shops-slash-wedding-chapels, but there’s no denying the landscape around aint half bad.
Here’s a view of the Reno valley – aka the Truckee Meadows, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. Look how green it is for a desert! How lush! How beautiful!
We took this on Highway 341, which climbs up, up and up some more (as far as 6789ft at the Geiger Summit), before inching its way down to a mere 6220ft at Virginia City (which is, by the way, a delight), and then winds down to Carson City.
Things that go with marriage like a horse and carriage: love. Devotion. Bravery. The barfing of your single friends out back.
Oh, and if you’re in Reno, tattoos and discount liquor and cigarettes. How romantic!
They all share a building with the Arch of Reno wedding chapel on Virginia Street. Just the kind of place you’d want to pledge your troth.
If you want something more, uhh, classic, you can go for the Antique Angel wedding chapel, a block further down. It has nice views of the Truckee River!
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It may not be as famous as the Golden Arches, but here’s an arch we always wanted to see: “The Biggest Little City In The World” on Virginia Street in Reno.
We always wanted to go to Reno to check it out as a grubby Vegas but were sold on the idea when we came across a postcard from the 1940s of Reno, with old cars passing under this glorious arch. And we knew we really had to go.
The Reno Arch was built in 1926 in advance of the Transcontinental Highways Exposition the following year, but it was only in 1929 that the slogan was coined, after a competition (the winner got $100 for inventing the phrase).
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Next time you're in Reno, Nevada, take a little gambling break and keep your eyes peeled for the subversive street art of the Glenn Group.
The group recently won an award at the 2008 Society for Environmental Graphic Design Awards for guerrilla street signs illegally installed around the city to commemorate Valentine's Day and Christmas. The signs, which featured feel good sayings like "Love your enemies" and "Reindeer parking only" were designed to look official, down to the reflective metallic letters and everything.
Reno isn't known for it's street art, and the Glenn Group was hoping to add some subtle excitement and playfulness through symbols of daily life. Probably a good idea. Better to start small, than say, bombing the side of a building with a huge graffiti mural.
Balloons! It's a rainy day here in New York City, but that doesn't stop us from having thoughts of drifting away--in a hot air balloon. This time-lapse film was taken at the Reno Balloon Festival. The biggest balloon festival is in Albuquerque, but this one looks big enough to us. Be sure to notice the balloon animals (like, enormous ones, not kid's party ones) about halfway through. All this and the town has casinos? We might have to check it out in person.
If you can get up real early one weeked of the year, make Sept. 9th-11th it. That's when the Great Reno Balloon Race takes place in Reno. More then a hundred hot air ballonists gather before dawn to inflate, and lift off into the sky.
On Sat. & Sun, there's a Glow Show and Dawn Patrol event, where the balloons are choreographed against the morning sky and appear to be actually "glowing" as the sun rises.
Daytime brings events like the Balloon Blackjack and the Hare & Hound Competition race. Another perk: the weekend's totally free. No admission charges anytime. And you can probably do a little gambling on the way home...