If you’re searching for things to do, then these day trips from Reno will give you many ideas of how to explore your interests within a few hours’ drive of the Biggest Little City. We’ve gathered up some of the best Nevada and California have to offer so that you can start planning for your next short and unforgettable adventure. 

Unforgettable Day Trips From Reno For Everyone To Have Fun This Summer

History Buffs

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Fort Churchill State Historic Park

An integral part of Nevada history, Fort Churchill Historic State Park preserves a U.S. military outpost that provided resources and protection to early settlers exploring the American West. These ruins highlight a time when the Pony Express and Overland Routes were highly traveled. Nestled alongside the Carson River, Fort Churchill is an excellent place to camp, hike, canoe, bird watch, and horseback ride while also learning about Nevada’s early pioneering days. 

Day trips from Reno - Winnemucca LakeWinnemucca Lake

Northern Nevada’s vast rural landscape is home to many archeological sites. Winnemucca Lake is roughly an hour from Reno and features some of the oldest known petroglyphs in North America. These ancient symbols are believed to be 10,500 to 14,800 years old and are carved in soft limestone overlooking the dry lake bed.

Whiskey Drinkers

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Frey Ranch Distillery

With more than 165 years of generational farming and distilling expertise, Frey Ranch Distillery blends its rich history with modern techniques to produce world-class whiskey products. This whiskey farm is located in the heart of the Lake Tahoe Watershed and receives its water from the Carson and Truckee rivers. Frey Ranch has received national recognition for its dedication to the production of high-quality grain and spirits. With a variety of whiskey products to choose from, you won’t be disappointed. 

Day trips from Reno - Dry Diggins DistilleryDry Diggins Distillery

Nestled in the Sierra Foothills, Dry Diggins uses high-quality and local products from the Sacramento Valley. With optimal weather and agriculture conditions, this distillery is in production weekly and has barrels aging that are more than 10 years old. Visitors are encouraged to visit the tasting room to explore the whiskey products by type. With bourbon, rye, and single malt options, there’s something for every palate out there. The tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday, and reservations are required. 

Small Town Lovers

Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada

Virginia City

If you live in Northern Nevada, then you’ve probably heard of Virginia City. This small town was built during the 19th-century mining boom and is known for its tourist attractions and Victorian charm. From ghost sightings to underground silver mine tours to Bloody Mary’s at the Bucket of Blood Saloon, Virginia City offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences and is a must-see on our list of day trips from Reno

Day trips from Reno - GraeagleGraeagle

This quaint town is about an hour west of Reno and is perfect for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located in Plumas County, Graeagle has championship golf courses, horseback riding, campgrounds, nature hikes, specialty shops, and more. As a highly sought-after wedding destination, you may want to consider staying longer at one of Graeagle’s retreat and conference facilities. 

Nevada CityDay trips from Reno - Nevada City

This little gem of a city is California’s best-preserved Gold Rush town, with so much to offer. Deer Creek flows through the center of town and preserves the ancient history of the Nisenan tribe of Native Americans. Nevada City has a substantial cultural and environmental community from the Nevada Film Festival, the Miners Foundry, headquarters for the Tahoe National Forest, wineries, along with fine restaurants and friendly bars in its vibrant downtown.

Family Fun Goers

Children’s Museum of Northern NevadaDay trips from Reno - Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada

This nonprofit organization offers unique and innovative learning experiences to children and families from economically and culturally diverse backgrounds. With art, science, and humanities at the center of its mission, discovery is unlimited at the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada. Admission is $10 for children ages 2-18 and is free for adults. 

Sacramento ZooDay trips from Reno - Sacramento Zoo

With nearly 500 animals, the Sacramento Zoo is a great place to have fun and connect with wildlife. There are activities for children and adults of all ages, from up-close encounters to park rides to educational centers. You can even get the chance to feed a giraffe or go on a behind-the-scenes tour with the zookeepers. So, if you’re ready to unleash your wild side, the Sacramento Zoo is the place for you.  

Adventure Seekers

Quarry Park AdventuresDay trips from Reno - Quarry Park Adventures

If you are an adrenaline junkie, then you’ll want to visit the nation’s only adventure park built within and atop a former rock quarry this summer. Quarry Park Adventures offers aerial rope courses, rock climbing, paddle boats, zip lines, and more. Personal guide services and group bookings are available to help guide and enhance your experience. This park features several obstacle courses, so don’t forget to bring athletic shoes! 

Day trips from Reno - Zephyr Cove Horse Back RidingZephyr Cove Horse Back Riding

Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to plan summer day trips from Reno. Zephyr Cove Stables offers guided horseback rides with spectacular views and unforgettable trails in the High Sierra wilderness. You don’t need any prior experience, and there are several rides to choose from when planning your visit. The lunch and dinner packages include food and drink refreshments. 

Nature Park Enthusiast

Day trips from Reno - Donner Memorial State ParkDonner Memorial State Park

This alpine park offers summer camping, boating, fishing, hiking, water-skiing, and more. At 6,000 feet elevation, Donner Lake preserves the history of local Native Americans, California emigrants traveling west during the mid-19th century, and the transcontinental railroad. Visitors can expect to spend about one hour exploring exhibits and are encouraged to check out the surrounding area. 

Day trips from Reno - Lassen Volcanic National ParkLassen Volcanic National Park

California is home to many of the country’s active volcanoes. Lassen Volcanic National Park is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Reno and features a landscape formed by its eruptive past. Stretching across 160,000 acres, this park features meadows filled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and roaring fumaroles (steam and volcanic gas vents). For safety, there are established trails and boardwalks. 

Day trips from Reno - Washoe Lake State Park
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Washoe Lake State Park

For thousands of years, the Washoe Valley region has provided sustenance to the Native American Washoe tribe and diverse wildlife. Situated between Reno and Carson City, this park is a popular area for camping, hiking, picnicking, water sports, and equestrian activities. You may even get the chance to see wild horses grazing or galloping through the sagebrush. The park is open year-round. 

Fashionistas and Shoppers 

Day trips from Reno - Folsom Premium OutletsFolsom Premium Outlets

If you’re looking to discover new and fresh summertime deals, then we’ve got you covered. The Folsom Premium Outlets offers world-class shopping experiences with more than 50 retailers to choose from. From designer labels to leading industry brands, you will have the hottest style out there this summer. Make sure to visit one of the restaurants and coffee bars nearby before making your way home to Reno!

Day trips from Reno - Arden FairArden Fair

Located in the heart of Sacramento Valley, this shopping mall offers in-person shopping, curbside pickup, virtual queuing, and in-store pickup options. With complimentary visitor incentives, Arden Fair is the perfect getaway for out-of-town shoppers. Receive your savings pass by texting 910-407-5270. 

Art Aesthetes

While we’re lucky to have the Nevada Museum of Art, a world-renowned art museum, right in our own backyard, there are also several other art hot spots a few hours drive from Reno.

Day trips from Reno - Crocker Art MuseumCrocker Art Museum

Known for its international holdings and prominent display of California art, the Crocker Art Museum is truly one of a kind. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Crocker serves as the primary regional resource for studying and appreciating fine art in Sacramento. Through a diverse spectrum of exhibits, events, and programs, visitors will leave feeling a greater connection to art. 

Day trips from Reno - Art Works GalleryArt Works Gallery

Located in Grass Valley, California, Art Works Gallery is at the center of a vibrant visual and performing arts community. With more than 30 juried artists, this gallery features a diverse range of ceramic, glass, jewelry, painting, woodturning, furniture, metal, mixed media, photography, and sculpture work. Every second Saturday of the month, visitors are invited to attend demonstrations and classes to learn more about the creative process of making art. 

Chocolate Lovers

Day trips from Reno - Chocolate Nugget Candy FactoryChocolate Nugget Candy Factory

With more than three generations’ experience, the Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory has just what you need to satisfy your sweet tooth. Every chocolate is hand-crafted using fresh dairy cream, butter, nutmeats, and cocoa butter. From rocky road fudge to peanut butter patties to saltwater taffy, you won’t be disappointed. There are two locations in Nevada, and both are short day trips from Reno. 

Day trips from Reno - Sweets Handmade CandiesSweets Handmade Candies

This charming chocolate shop is worth the 30-minute drive to Truckee from Reno. With handmade and fresh daily recipes, Sweets Handmade Candies has a wide assortment of products. There are gift boxes and specials for every occasion and season. Treat your taste buds to rich and savory chocolate imported from Belgium and other parts of the world. There’s no way you can just have one. 

Whether you want to enjoy the great outdoors, taste craft spirits, spend time with the family, or just take in the sights, one of these day trips from Reno will be just the ticket. Travel safe!