Reno LGBTQ City Guide

Often called “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno is a very popular vacation destination, especially for those who want to gamble but don’t necessarily want all of the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas. It is a bustling, sophisticated metropolis that has boundless opportunities for hiking and recreation within fifty miles of the city perimeters.  You can choose to lie in areas that are close to the glittering downtown core with its wonderful LGBTQ bars and casinos, or you can live in a more rural area to enjoy all that the beautiful outdoors has to offer. Whatever you choose, Reno would make a wonderful place to call home!

A Look at Reno’s History

Interestingly, Reno was named for a man who had never been to Reno, Jesse Lee Reno. Reno was shot in a battle in Maryland, and at the time that Reno was founded, it was customary to name train stops after fallen soldiers. Reno was officially established in 1868, which was the same year that the transcontinental railroad reached the town. After its founding it grew quickly, with the University of Nevada being founded in 1874. The founding of the University encouraged Reno’s cultural growth and the establishment of many businesses in the area as well, eventually earning it the nickname “Biggest Little City in the World.” As with Las Vegas, because of Nevada’s early legalization of gambling, Reno became a frontrunner in hotel and casino gaming in the country and continues to be so to this day. In addition to offering plenty of entertainment and fun as well as many artistic and cultural activities, the city is also one full of opportunity, diversity, and plenty to see and do for all.

A Few Fun Facts About Reno

  • Reno is known for its casinos – but in fact, its history of gambling dates back much further – to pre-colonial times, in fact, with gambling games being played to celebrate hunts and harvests.
  • Before he took the pen name “Mark Twain,” future author Samuel Clemens went to Reno in search of gold and silver, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
  • Basecamp Boulder Park in Reno is home to the world’s tallest climbing wall, which rises 164 feet into the air.

Read more fun facts about Reno here.

Reno’s LGBTQ Community                                           

Reno is a city that loves and supports its LGBTQ community with a variety of resources, including:


PFLAG Reno is the city’s local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. PFLAG is well-known for its mission of supporting LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies across the country in a wide variety of ways. With 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members in the United States, PFLAG plays a critical and important role in providing advocacy, support, and resources to the LGBTQ community.

Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Nevada

The Nevada Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is an advocacy group with the mission of expanding economic opportunities and advancements of LGBTQ businesses across the state of Nevada. It is a great resource for discovering businesses you would like to support, as well as for networking and promoting your business. It’s a great way to become involved with the LGBTQ community across the state of Nevada. 

What's the Weather Like in Reno?

Those who live in Reno can expect to experience warm summers and cold, snowy winters. That may seem a bit unexpected for the Nevada area, but that's what makes skiing in Reno in nearby Lake Tahoe so wonderful! Typically, the city receives 9 inches of rain and 22 inches of snow per year, and an average of 250 sunny days. The highs in July usually reach to around 91°F, while the lows in January typically drop to about 24°F. Spring and fall are usually very pleasant times to enjoy all of Reno's outdoor beauty.

Can’t-Miss Events in Reno                                                     

Reno Gay Pride

For two decades, the Reno Gay Pride Festival has been celebrating diversity, equality, and all that the LGBTQ community adds to the city. Each year, the festival draws large crowds and offers plenty of great events for guests to enjoy. It’s one event you’ll definitely want to put on your calendar.

Northern Nevada Pride

The Northern Nevada Pride Festival is definitely a can’t miss LGBTQ event each year. The event includes parades, parties, family-friendly events, networking opportunities, and more. It’s a great way to have fun, make friends and be involved. Don’t miss it!

Nugget Rib Cook-Off

The Reno Nugget Rib Cookoff is a famed Reno even each year. For more than 30 years, this competition has been held to showcase some of the best rib cooking skills in Reno and across the country. Some of the country’s best barbecuers enter the event each year, and thousands of barbecue enthusiasts can enjoy the festivities and consume thousands of pounds of mouthwatering barbecue.

The Best Neighborhoods in Reno

Unlike some cities which tend to have one particular area of town that’s the “gayborhood,” the LGBTQ population in Reno tends to be a bit more spread out. This isn’t bad news though – in fact, it simply means that the entire city is quite welcoming.

There are many different interesting neighborhoods to live in; the most gay-friendly tend to be closest to Downtown. A good example is the Wells Avenue neighborhood and shopping area which is a mix of historic businesses and homes and which is known for its many diverse restaurants. The median sale price of homes in Downtown Reno was approximately $289,000.

Old Southwest Reno is a neighborhood right next to downtown that is a mix of well-preserved houses from many different areas.  It is close to the Nevada Museum of Art and Reno's Riverwalk District. Homes in this area can tend to be pricier, with many reaching up to close to a million dollars in price.

If you want to live in a lovely rural neighborhood nearer the mountains there is also a development called Hidden Valley in southeast Reno that is near the Rosewood Lakes Golf Course.  The homes here are sprawling and ranch style with some acreage on each property.

Arts and Entertainment

National Automobile Museum

Many might not think of automobiles as art, but they certainly can be, and one place where this is very evident is the National Automobile Museum. Many of the vehicles displayed here were originally part of the extensive collection of William Harrah, famed casino owner. The collection of almost 1500 automobiles is a fascinating and interesting look into the art of automaking over the last century. It's certainly well worth a visit!

Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts

The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts is a stunning theater which was designed by a famed Oklahoma City architectural firm. It has a very distinctive geodesic gold dome roof, so it’s very hard to miss! Throughout the year, a wide variety of performances from concerts, to Broadway to stand-up comedy and everything in between are performed at this theater. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a show - or several - for yourself!

Parks and Recreation

Lake Tahoe

One can hardly mention Reno without mentioning nearby Lake Tahoe. This stunning lake near the Sierra Mountains straddles the border of California and Nevada, and is well-known for its amazing beach and ski resorts. Whether you enjoy boating, skiing, fishing, or simply relaxing and enjoying nature’s beauty, Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to do so.

Reno Riverwalk

For those who enjoy mixing the beauty of the outdoors with shopping, dining, and fun, the Reno Riverwalk District is a great place to go. The area offers restaurants, boutique shops, bars, recreational opportunities, and even frequent events like wine walks and concerts. It’s a great place to enjoy so much of what Reno has to offer.

Reno Nightlife

5 Star Saloon

The 5 Star Saloon is a very popular LGBTQ nightspot in the Reno area. This sprawling bar is known for its great DJs, strong drinks, and lively dance floor with bars and a platform stage. It's a great place to dance the night away with old friends - and even make some new ones!


Splash is another great Reno nightspot. It is one of the newer nightclubs in northern Nevada, and it has state-of-the-art sound, video screens, and lighting, in addition to lively crowds, a large outdoor patio, friendly bartenders, and plenty of opportunities for socializing and fun.

Contact a Reno Gay Realtor Today

If you're ready to make a move to Reno, at, we're here to help you take the first step toward finding an agent who knows and loves the community, and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood you'll love. We're proud to have a network of excellent realtors in Reno, and we would love to help connect you with the right one. Contact a Reno gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!