Reno Tahoe: Alpine Lakes & Artistry / by Joelle Friend

Every now and then, you discover a hidden gem in your travels. You know that feeling when you spend some time in a new city and know beyond any doubts that you'll be back? That's how I felt exploring Reno Tahoe. From the moment I arrived everyone I met made me feel like I was home.

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On the first night, I met up with a team of explorers and bloggers from all over the US at the Renaissance Reno Downtown to hear what our week would look like. The sunset out the window started to steal my attention from the live music and yummy snacks and I began to wonder if I could make it somewhere to watch the sunset in the wild. Because Reno is so close to Lake Tahoe, I was able to hop in my car and make it to the lake before sundown. Zack & I parked on the side of the road and found a trail through the woods to a rocky outcropping. We sat up top and watched the light fade over the bright blue waters of Lake Tahoe.

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The next morning we kickstarted our day with coffee at Hub Coffee Roasters. I almost wish I didn't try the quiche, because I can't find anything like it at home and now I know what I'm missing! Finding tasty gluten free snacks isn't easy, so Hub won a piece of my heart pretty quickly. Once we were fuelled up we headed out to Lake Tahoe to paddle board. When the sun is overhead, you can see right through the water to the rocks below. It's some of the clearest water I've ever seen! 

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Anyone who knows me well knows I love playing around in lakes whether it's swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding or even cliff jumping. I got to do all of that in one morning at Sand Harbour!

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The next day we explored Virginia City, an old western town that totally made me think of Westworld! I teamed up with Christine for my adventures and we had a blast exploring together.

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We spent the next whole day in the city taking in Reno's arts culture. We started with an amazing brunch at the Nevada Art Museum and toured their incredible collection of pieces. Then we walked around the city to check out the murals and art installations. I loved seeing such thought provoking and beautiful pieces everywhere in the streets. Some of my favorites were the sculptures brought back from Burning Man. We finished it off with dinner and drinks at the most beautiful distillery.

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On my last morning in Reno we took some bikes out for a spin through the city... and of course stopped by Hub one more time.

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During my time in Reno I also got to help out with a video! The crew we worked with along the way were so laid back and had such great senses of humour. I can't wait to see the video they made!

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I'm counting down the days until I go back to Reno Tahoe. The week I spent there really showed me how much more there is to explore, and any time I can have amazing gluten free snacks and paddle board crystal clear waters in the same day, I'm a happy girl.

-Jojo

photos by Zack Melhus