Reno bills itself the "Biggest Little City in the World," although it's not clear why. For it is neither the biggest nor the littlest city around. It is, however, the second-largest city in Nevada, after Las Vegas, and the largest in northern Nevada, with a population of around 150,000. It has all the trappings of a gambling town – casinos, hotels, restaurants, arcades, big-name entertainment – and something more: its location along the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, at an elevation of over 4,000 feet, some 50 miles from Lake Tahoe, opens up all the outdoor recreational possibilities available in the mountains and at Lake Tahoe, and that includes skiing, hiking, boating, camping, fishing, lake cruises and what not. It also has a university, the University of Nevada, Reno.
Reno was once the divorce capital of the world, with easy access to instant divorces. Today, it is associated more with quickie marriages, no waiting, no tests, very much like Las Vegas. "Wedding chapels," which provide all the props, depending on one’s budget, and are open long hours, can be found throughout the city as well as on the Nevada side of nearby Lake Tahoe, .
Reno's other draw is its lineup of several well known events, notable among them the annual Air Show, one of the largest such shows in the western US, and the festive Hot Air Balloon Races. Reno is also the closest city to that yearly, one-of-a-kind event in the Nevada desert, "Burning Man," and the real-time camel races at nearby Virginia City.
Reno is located at the intersection of Interstate 80 and the north-south Highway 395, approximately 35 miles east of Truckee and 50 miles east of Lake Tahoe. It can also be reached by rail on Amtrak, or by air on any of several different airlines that fly in and out of its airport located right in the city. The city has a population of around 225,000.
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