Although both Reno and Las Vegas started out as nothing more than train stops, it was Reno that first rose to prominence as the country's most notorious town, with liberal divorce laws and rowdy game rooms. Nowadays, Reno is a slower, less crowded, and prettier version of Vegas, but still teeming with arts and entertainment.

Reno has two faces. It is the gateway to the gorgeous skiing and golfing excursions of the Lake Tahoe and Sierra Nevada areas, and it is also a boisterous casino hub downtown. The Reno Arch is where the desert ends and Reno begins, as it overlooks bustling Virginia Street, declaring that Reno is "The Biggest Little City in the World." This reputation rings true as the small-town neighborhoods give way to neon lights, gleaming slot machines, and a thriving cultural scene.