The desert state of Nevada is a stunning region if one is keen to get out and start exploring its many state forests and mountains. The state has a surprising amount to offer like the Hoover Dam and the chance to see UFOs (sic) on the Extraterrestrial Highway to Area 51. But the state is by far and away best known for its Sin City of Las Vegas. But Las Vegas isn't the only gambling city in Nevada, there is also Reno (or technically Reno-Sparks). So if one is planning to head out to Nevada for a dose of gambling or some other vice or combination of vices, which city should one choose?


Pros And Cons: Reno

Reno is much smaller than Las Vegas and a whole lot cheaper. This is perhaps its biggest benefit - cost. Once inside the Casinos, they may look somewhat similar, but on the outside, the city of Ren0-Sparks is a shadow of that of Las Vegas. Reno is perhaps better suited as a family holiday destination or for those more interesting in the outdoors of Nevada.

  • Population: 475,000 Reno-Sparks
  • Cheaper: Reno Is Much Cheaper Than Vegas

But still, that doesn't mean that Reno completely loses out on everything else, it is a completely different experience. Reno has some other things going for it. It is only a short drive away from the stunning alpine lake of Lake Tahoe just on the border with California and Nevada. This is a picturesque location of forests and greenery and a refreshing break from the deserts that characterize Nevada.

  • Lake Tahoe: The Tranquil Lake Tahoe Is Nearby

Related: How To Visit Las Vegas The Right Way

Another attraction just out of Reno is the living ghost old-timey town of Virginia City. Virginia City is another awesome day trip from Reno only around an hour or so drive away.

  • Virginia City: Stunning Boom-Cowboy-Ghost-Living Town Just Out Of Reno

Finally, one thing that Reno has over Las Vegas is the high desert. Las Vegas is in the low desert. The upshot is that the weather in Reno is far less hot and oppressing. The weather in the summer is much more bearable and one will actually want to be outside rather than continuously hiding away from the sun in the heat of the day like in Las Vegas.

  • Weather: The Weather Is Much Less Oppressive

Pros And Cons: Las Vegas

Las Vegas is THE sin city with Reno being a sidekick at best and a byword or joke at worst. Yes, there are casinos and shows in Reno. But Las Vegas has THE casinos and shows. There is simply no answer to the Strip in Reno. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. What happens in Reno, stays in Reno? - Nah.

  • The Strip: No Reno Answer To That
  • Population: 2.2 Million

When it comes to weather, the reverse is true. It is a low desert and the summer months can be oppressively and swelteringly hot. One is likely to want to spend the whole day indoors. That being said, most folks visiting Vegas are probably only intending to stay indoors anyway.

Two of the awesome attractions nearby that Las Vegas has is the Hoover Dam on Lake Meed (this is a truly impressive feat of engineering), and Area 51 one for those interested in spotting the occasional UFO. It seems aliens from outer space choose Las Vegas over Reno too :).

  • Note: Remember Area 51 Is A Restricted Area

Related: A Travel Guide To Las Vegas: 10 Things To Know While Planning Your Trip

Another great attraction of Las Vegas is that it is one of the main gateways to the utterly eye-popping Grand Canyon. Many tours (including day tours) leave from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. Some of these tours will pick people up at their hotels, fly them to the Grand Canyon in a small aircraft, and then into the Canyon in a helicopter. These tours are easily purchased in Vegas.

  • Gateway: The The Grand Canyon

And of course, there's cost, Vegas is much more expensive than Reno. Even excursions like the Grand Canyon versus going to Lake Tahoe are much much more expensive. But Vegas is far larger with much more to see and do. It is the Sin City of extravagance, vice, and opulence.

So, Which Is Better?

In summary, which is better depends on what the person is interested in. If one wants the nightlife, the shows, the extravagant casinos, and the glittery lights, then there is no competition. Las Vegas wins hands down. If one wants a more chill vacation in Nevada with more pleasant weather with a bit of gambling and pokies on the side, then Reno could very well be the better choice. Of course, as an added bonus it's much cheaper.

Next: 20 Ways You Can Travel To Vegas Without Spending Any Money