The City of Reno is becoming a work of art. Muralists from around the world left their creative mark on the biggest little city during the Reno Mural Expo. Thirty-one new vacant walls and alleyways have turned into an outdoor art gallery, ready to explore. Art Spot Reno has great interactive online maps pinpointing these creative finds, but I opted for the docent-led tour held every second Saturday for only $10 per person. While gallivanting around the city streets, keep your eyes open for playa art — monumental art installations on display from the iconic annual Burning Man event. More than a dozen pieces can be found in the once dusty mix, the newest addition is the “Space Whale,” with life-size stained-glass mother and calf humpback whales. The views of this piece at night are breathtaking, as the glass creates a kaleidoscope of colors. Just neighboring this is the 12-feet-high, 70-feet-wide “Believe” word series, making this the perfect photo op for you and your art-inspired friends. artspotreno.com
Entertaining Food + Drink
Playing with your food makes any dining experience much more exciting. Tahoe Hot Pot is a do-it-yourself Thai fusion soup restaurant on Tahoe’s south shore, perfect to nip that winter chill. My friends and I made it a fun communal experience. The welcoming environment with an easy-to-do menu is perfect for beginners. With built in burners on the table, choose your broth, choose your ingredients and cook away. My favorite broth is miso because it really pairs well with everything. The fresh seafood platter was delicious and is easy to share with two, likely with some leftovers to take with you. Leave room for their homemade Thai desserts. Get ready for a bowl full of laughs and yummy home cooked soup, a dining adventure that can’t be missed. Just down the street, The Sage Room inside Harvey’s Lake Tahoe is firing things up, literally right in front of you. Celebrating 70 years of fine dining, they’ve created a special prix fixe anniversary menu featuring their signature table-side preparations. My favorites include the steak Diane, filet mignon flambéed in an aromatic brandy sauce. For dessert, order the cherries jubilee, a caramelized mixture poured over vanilla bean ice cream. To finish, go for the classic Café Diablo for the most entertaining show sparked with fire and sizzles. Also in the line-up for new locations to try is Wet Willie’s Daiquiri Bar inside MontBleu Resort, Casino & Spa. With almost 20 locations back east, this popular spot finally made its way to the west coast. For those ages 21 and up, seventeen colored flavors are there for our imbibing pleasure and mixed with top-of-the-line spirits including Patron, Makers Mark and Tito’s Vodka. And, yes, I asked, samples are encouraged! The combinations are endless and their drink menu is ever changing. Try the Lake Tahoe Sunset made with sex on the beach, mango, strawberry and pina colada. My tip, buy the koozie container with discounts on refills. harveystahoe.com; wetwillies.com
Indulge in a few too many holiday cookies? That’s the perfect excuse to visit these boutique fitness studios. The Bar Tahoe is making it fun to raise that heart rate. Combining dance and fitness, Coyote Ugly is a sassy, heels-optional, confidence-boosting, pussycat dolls-like class. Learn simple choreography and get your sweat on. Their Barre class is a low-impact workout with routines originating from ballet. Don’t be fooled though, movements may be small but your muscles will be happily exhausted. With Studio Dance & Aerial Arts you can fly your way to fitness with their AIRYoga class and try added poses on silks. AIRFit combines conditioning with a hammock to give that extra stretch or learn aerial poses, wraps, climbs and drops on silks, trapeze and lyras (aerial hoops) during their Aerial Apparatus class. After contorting in ways I never knew I could, after one of these classes I feel fit and inspired to join the circus. Body Chisel Pilates in Reno lives up to its name. With class sizes of four clients max, you get the personal attention to better your body. Specializing in reformer Pilates, which is an apparatus that adds more intensity versus the mat-based version, instructors keep the motions controlled, ensuring optimum toning, tightening and strengthening. The classes are so intimate that I couldn’t wimp out in the corner, you’ll appreciate it after. thebartahoe.com; studioedance.net; bodychisel.com
Whether you’re looking to add some art and culture to your day, nosh and sip the region, or add some extra activity to your visit, explore these fun finds! Tell me what you think #getawayrt and tag @meghan_burk.
By: Meghan Burk