Sin City, America's Playground, the Entertainment Capital of the World ... all worthy names for this Nevada hotspot. Think of Vegas as a theme park rather than a city – it can awe as much as it can overwhelm, and that's part of the appeal. This is a city where inhibitions are not welcome: Every night, Las Vegas draws pleasuremongers to the brightly lit Strip like moths to a flame. While you may not want to go as far as to re-enact "The Hangover," you certainly don't want to leave without experiencing a bit of "Viva Las Vegas."
The dazzling lights of flashy Las Vegas have outshined their northwestern neighbor – "The Biggest Little City" – for several decades. But Reno is resurging, offering its visitors a broader spectrum of entertainment than it did in the past, especially for nongambling travelers. Now, there's a lively arts scene lining the downtown area's Riverwalk, which boasts dozens of independently owned galleries, boutiques, restaurants and more. There's even an eco-friendly boutique hotel (one of the only nongambling, nonsmoking properties in downtown Reno) that boasts the world's tallest artificial climbing wall. The city is also reclaiming its title as the "Gateway to Nevada Adventure." With the ski resorts of Lake Tahoe about an hour's drive to the south and the hiking trails of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west and south, active travelers will find no shortage of heart-pumping activities.