Destination Drinking: Explore the Reno/Tahoe region with the help of a beverage, or two

There’s this quote that sums up my favorite summer activity: “I’m outdoorsy in that I like to drink wine on patios.”

And, I think a good portion of the region’s population agrees with me. So much so that this area offers a variety of festivals, tours and regular monthly events centered on alcotourism. In addition to pouring a variety of libations, these attractions are also a fun way to explore the area.

Tours and Trails

Crusin’ and boozin’

Sip on Camp Richardson’s signature cocktail, the Rum Runner, while cruising around Emerald Bay. This 1.5-hour round-trip departs three times a day and offers non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, beer and wine. You can even charter a boat for a private cruise.

Or, experience Lake Tahoe’s premier wine tasting tour company on the Golden Rose, a 1953 Chris Craft Venetian Water Taxi operated by Tahoe Tastings. The Golden Rose departs daily for mid-day and sunset cruises. During the tours, guests sample eight wines from various wine regions in Northern California.;

Bike for Brews

For the past few years, the Reno Brew Bike has been a staple of a downtown Reno summer scene — its participants joyfully peddling the massive bike bus from one brewery to another. Now, you can enjoy the same experience in South Lake Tahoe with Off the Chain Lake Tahoe. Both touring companies offer trips of various distances and can be rented out entirely for parties.;

A Trail for Ale

The North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail is a choose-your-own-adventure beer tour. First, pick a trail to travel by foot, wheel or paddle with an interactive map. When you’re done, pull up a chair at one of the North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail‘s watering holes, share a picture and receive a Tahoe Ale Trail sticker.

Monthly Events

Wine walks and bar crawls are a staple for many of the area’s downtown streets.

In Reno, stroll the Riverwalk District’s Wine Walk from 2 to 5 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month. For $20 you get an artsy wine glass and wine tasting at about 20 participating locations. If brews are more your cup of foam, check out the Reno Beer Crawl, which takes place the fourth Saturday of the month. For $5 you get a wristband, map and glass to use for $1, 6-ounce samples at multiple downtown Reno locations.;

If you’re in Gardnerville the third Thursday of the month, visit Main Street for the town’s Thirsty Third Thursday Wine Walk. Each month features a theme (July is “Patriotic” and August is “Fun T’s”). Participation costs $20 if you don’t have a glass from a previous event or $15 if you do.

To get ready for a summer this boozy, you may need to start doing liver push-ups or something. It’s all about tolerance.


By: Annie Flanzraich