With the yellow and orange pigments of autumn finally making an appearance across the Western Hemisphere, we know the traveler in you may be wondering where is best for an off-season fall getaway, not only for the colors but also the general atmosphere.
If you’ve already taken an international trip this summer, it’s also likely you’ll prefer somewhere closer to home or even just remain Stateside. With so many incredible destinations in the U.S. to pick from, however, making a decision can be incredibly challenging.
Luckily, TripAdvisor has unveiled its top trending fall destinations in America, and we don’t know about you, but based on the list, it’s this small Nevada city we’d be heading to:
Reno Is One Of The Best Fall Destinations This Year
While Las Vegas continues to be Nevada’s number one tourist offer, with its luxurious Hotel Strip, arid landscapes, and world-renowned entertainment, it is nowhere to be found on TripAdvisor‘s top 10 ranking of trendiest fall destinations in the U.S. this year, being toppled by the much smaller Reno.
Home to 264,165 inhabitants, as verified in the latest census, and sitting close to the State Line with California, the ‘Biggest Little City in the World‘ was the highest-charting Nevada destination, just missing the top five in a list dominated by Floridian spots.
While Vegas is indeed the most visited city in Nevada, as stated by TripAdvisor experts themselves, who rank it alongside New York City and Orlando as one of the three most popular destinations in the States, it’s Reno that has seen the most growth in interest in bookings for the past year.
With 74% of Americans planning a trip this fall, up from 61% last year, Reno has risen in popularity, not only due to its surrounding abundant nature, which makes spotting that marvelous autumnal sea of amber foliage much easier, but also for ‘cost and food’.
More Than Just Casinos
These were two key factors cited by travelers for their choice of fall destinations, and while Reno is best known for its casino culture, boasting a high concentration of luxury listings and gambling venues, including the landmark Silver Legacy Resort, it has so much more to offer than (just) that.
A foodie capital for Northern Nevada, Reno is famous in both Nevada and neighboring California for its incredible foodie scene, which includes high-end restaurants run by celebrity chefs, as well as smaller, mid-range, family-owned businesses.
One of the trendiest spots for foodies in Reno – outside the casino zone – is Mari Chuy’s, a regional chain specializing in traditional Mexican food with a modern twist, extremely popular for its vast collection of more than 360 tequilas.
For those on a budget, the new addition to Reno’s restaurant portfolio, Smith and River, may be their best bet at sampling wood-fired pizzas without breaking the bank, or local favorites, such as the roasted organic half-chicken.
If you’d like to combine culinary experiences and a dive into Reno’s craft beer underworld, you should get your orders in at Wonder Ale Works, which requires no advance booking, unlike the aforementioned eateries, and serves 14 beers on tap.
@laurenivyfinds Must do in Reno, Nevada – Death & Taxes Bar! This speakeasy bar with all black vintage decor specialize in rare & soughtafter Whiskeys. The drinks were to die for! #bestbarinreno #todoinreno #renonevada #bestdrinksinreno #mustseeinreno #reno ♬ Creepy Music Box – Terra Fantasy
Nibbly bits include homemade mozzarella sticks, Cuban-style sandwiches with roasted pork, and more pub favorites.
Reno For All Budgets
Though you can definitely go on a spending spree in upscale Reno, where an overnight stay at the Aloft by Marriott, close to the airport, will set you back by as much as $237, you can also enjoy this trendy fall destination on a budget.
In fact, in early October, a King-Size Deluxe Room for non-smokers at the iconic Silver Legacy in the heart of Reno’s entertainment district will cost you a mere $110.
There are even cheaper offers in town, including Reno Suites, 300 meters from the downtown area, for only $92 per night, or the two-star Motel 6 in Sparks, a short 6-mile drive from the airport, for $67.
You can find more offers for Reno on Booking.com.
Beautiful Fall Foliage
Other than the lively nightlife and the delicious food, another reason why Americans will be flocking to Reno this season is the breathtaking natural beauty of the wider Reno-Tahoe Territory, arguably one of the most scenic regions in the mainland U.S.
Comprising desert valleys, densely forested parks, and translucent-water mountain lakes, it is the perfect road trip destination in the fall, especially when the leaves start turning their signature yellow-brownish hue and start piling on the hiking trails.
According to TripAdvisor, some of the best natural areas in the cross-state territory are the Spooner Backcountry, Carson River, Hope Valley, and Carson Pass.
Reno itself sits only 22 miles North from Lake Tahoe, the most famous freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada, and the perfect location for admiring the foliage.
How To Get To Reno This Fall
You can fly to Reno-Tahoe International Airport from numerous departure points in the U.S., such as Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma, Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Salt Lake City, New York-JFK, Burbank, Denver, Oakland, San Francisco, Chicago-O’Hare, and of course, Vegas in Nevada.
One-way flights to Reno from Vegas can cost as little as $54 one-way when booked through budget carrier Spirit Airlines.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com