One small step turns into a giant leap for the National Automobile Museum. This summer you’re able to experience the Center’s newest exhibit Be the Astronaut. Fly a spaceship, pilot a lunar module, or, my favorite, drive a surface rover on Mars. This is one of only two places in the world that uses scientifically verified data to recreate NASA expeditions. Take a seat in the cockpit as 70-inch monitors, touchscreens and industrial-quality joysticks make the experience come to life with animated lighting effects, game visuals and space sounds. Plus, access to the Nevada Space Center is included in price of museum admission. Get ready to geek out and become a space cadet. If taking off into space isn’t enough for you, then warp into the future at Need 2 Speed, as they’ve transformed their indoor track into a kaleidoscope of lights and colors with black light kart racing. This summer be one of the first to race this special cosmic experience, with glow-in-the-dark barriers, reflective LED lights through the ceiling and illuminated electric karts. Reaching speeds up to 40 mph, driving the course I felt like I was virtually racing in Nintendo’s Mario Kart. This sensory experience is one-of-its-kind in Nevada and is an adventure beyond your imagination. Check times online for this intergalactic session. automuseum.org; need2speed.com
Dine + imbibe
The food forecast is ever changing and Reno/Tahoe follows suit. Around the country, contemporary versions of comfort food are on the rise and chez louie is a haute French-inspired eatery setting the pace. Located inside the Nevada Museum of Art, the modern atmosphere complements the sophisticated menu. For starters try the smoked salmon toasts with local honey drizzle and hand-cut truffle frites with housemade tarragon aioli. Move onto the sole meunière, flour-dusted petrale sole with brown butter, lemon, parsley, pomme purée with grilled asparagus. This certainly is a lighter alternative to traditional deep-fried battered fish. Finish with the caramel budino for a delightful finishing touch. You’ll be happy to know they’ve expanded dinner hours Thursday – Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. Continuing with French influences, Creative Crepes is a fun new interactive establishment in South Lake Tahoe near the Heavenly Village. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, choose a savory or sweet option then watch the “crepe-atier” create this culinary delight in front of your eyes. These light and flavorful bites are fun for the entire family. My favorite is the Chicken Florentine, a blend of Swiss cheese, onions mushrooms, spinach and chicken wrapped in a blanket of fluffy homemade batter, then drizzled with dill chive sauce. For sweetness, I’d go for Nutella, strawberries and banana. And when I do it all over again, I’m going halfsies with a friend to choose both savory and sweet! Another trendy resurgence is fired foods like the Neapolitan-style specialty pies at Lake Tahoe AleWorX. The Pera is my favorite, with a layer of thin crust topped with a bed of arugula sprinkled with mozzarella, gorgonzola and fresh pears, wood fired to perfection. This place tops the charts in cool spots to hang as they also feature the latest in restaurant technology, with self-serve beer taps. For those 21+ you’ll get a wrist band embedded with a chip reader where you’ll have access to a self-pour beer wall fixed with eclectic craft brews from near and far, kombucha, nitro coffee and wine. You only pay for what you pour! I like to make my own sampler and sway in a rocking chair around the fire pit, while listening to live music, nightly 6 to 9 p.m. chez-louie.com; @creative-crepes; laketahoealeworx.com
Hip community gatherings is the new wave in wellness and Reno/Tahoe-land is keeping up with the trend. In Reno’s Riverwalk District, The Eddy, is a blend of outdoor beer garden meets art spot meets food truck park, and is entirely constructed of shipping containers. This collaborative community space hosts numerous events from live music, free fitness classes, silent discos, and local brewery tap takeovers. All ages are welcome to soak up the sun and play lawn games like oversized Jenga and corn hole, then warm up at their bocce ball court as this is the newest game to takeover downtown. Bundox Bocce is an attraction all on its own. This phenomenal indoor/outdoor space is 22,000-square-feet of fun. Adjacent to the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel, it features nine bocce courts, nine skeeball machines, oversized television screens and an enormous full bar. Open Thursday – Sunday, go with a group of friends to watch a sports game while playing a game! Catch the evening hours at night as the lights go down, the courts are illuminated with colorful LEDs and the vinyls start spinning. Another gaming mecca is The Glass Die, Reno’s first and only board game parlour located in the Midtown District. You and your opponents can gather around nine handcrafted tables to play as many of the 250 games you fancy, free of charge. For those Minecraft fanatics or Dungeon’s and Dragons enthusiasts you can play for hours while tasting 14 beers on tap. theeddyreno.com; bundoxbocce.com; theglassdie.com
There’s been a big push for improved health and wellness in 2017, so following the times I conducted some difficult research at day spas and healing centers. Along my quest, I discovered two incredible detoxifying fixes. In South Lake Tahoe, BioSpirit Day Spa now offers one of the hottest facials on the market, the O2 Lift by Image Skincare. Oxygen facials are best known to exfoliate, illuminate, and oxygenate the skin, which in turn brightens, promotes collagen and hydrates the face, fighting the signs of aging (An endless battle!). This five-step facial starts with a gel-to-milk cleanser, followed by an enzymatic facial peel, and next comes the oxygenation facial masque. Then, a stem cell facial enhancer helps with signs of aging and a tinted moisturized massage gives the face that extra glow. I love the results.
For a full body detox, Elevate Wellness combines Traditional Chinese Medicine with the latest functional medicine practices to restore natural balance. I take good care of my body but I avoid hospitals and think time heals all wounds, so this type of wellness is new for me. I’m hooked. Recently they’ve introduced the Dry Brushing Technique. This has been practiced for centuries but it’s new to this area. Why did I want to try it? Well, I needed a pick-me-up as summertime fun, playing on beach, late nights and bottomless mimosas are catching up to me. The skin eliminates over one pound of waste acids each day in the average adult (Ewww.). This treatment is a restorative body boost. Start with a full body brush to stimulate lymphatic circulation and a warm towel wipe down. Soothing body butter oil with sage and lavender is massaged followed by an abdominal massage. Then you’ll be wrapped with Himalayan salt packs with a collagen peptide and oatmeal facial. The botanical facial cream and jade rolling was the final touch. I feel awesome, trust me, you need this. massagetahoe.com; elevate-wellness.com
Connect with me and share your experiences. Tag #getawayrt @meghan_burk. Happy adventuring!
By: Meghan Burk