Animal Ark#10 in Best Things To Do in Reno
Not all wild animals are found in Reno's nightclubs; some are found in Animal Ark. Sitting on 38 acres 25 miles north of Reno, this facility is not a zoo, but rather a "safe haven for nonreleasable wildlife," according to its website. Animals from all over the world have taken shelter within the ark's enclosures because they lack the necessary skills to live in the wild, often because they were injured or abandoned. Visitors have the opportunity to watch the ark's residents – which include several species of North American predators and some exotic species from other geographic areas – interact and play.
Though visitors admit the sanctuary is a bit of a drive from downtown Reno, reviewers said it was worth the extra effort, especially if you're traveling with young kids. If you can, plan to get there in the morning when it's still cool; recent visitors said that's when the animals are most active, especially the bears (they're fed at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – a highlight for many travelers). Aside from seeing the animals interact in their constructed habitats, you'll also have the chance to learn how each creature came to be at Animal Ark – another aspect visitors appreciated. Another tip from travelers: bring a picnic lunch to take advantage of the facility's many outdoor tables and play areas.
Animal Ark is open to the public from the end of March to the beginning of November and the wildlife refuge welcomes visitors Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $11 for adults and $7.50 for children between the ages of 3 and 12. For more information, visit the ark's website.
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#1 Lake Tahoe
Sitting only about 40 miles south of "The Biggest Little City" on the border of Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the country, boasting soaring mountains and crystal-clear waters. It's best known as a skiing destination, where visitors will find top-notch facilities like Squaw Valley (which hosted the 1960s Olympic Winter Games) and the massive Heavenly Ski Resort. But Lake Tahoe also makes for an excellent summer getaway thanks to its sprawling beaches, ample boating and fishing opportunities and well-maintained hiking trails.
For the best views (no matter the season), recent visitors recommend a stop at Emerald Bay State Park on the California side of the lake. According to one TripAdvisor user: "It was breathtaking! I now consider it my new favorite place … I got several great shots from Emerald Bay. Very picturesque!!"
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