Top 7 Museums In Reno, Nevada - Updated 2021

museums in reno

In the northwest region of Nevada, you will find Reno City. The city is named after Union Major General Jesse L. Reno, who died in action in the American Civil War during the Battle of South Mountain. The city is famous for its casino and tourism industries. Reno has several attractions for recreational activities throughout the seasons. The three popular water bodies — Lake Tahoe, Truckee River, and Pyramid Lake — provide excellent kite and windsurfing destinations in summer. During winter, skiing and snowboarding activities attract many tourists to this city. Art and history are also very much part of the scene here in Reno. Read this article to learn more about top seven museums in Reno, Nevada.

1. Nevada Museum of Art

Nevada Museum of Art is located at 160 West Liberty Street. It is the only art museum in Nevada to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). This museum emphasizes the preservation of nature in all of its collections and exhibitions. It moved into its current location in 2003 to a building designed by the well-known American architect Will Bruder. The museum boasts a growing collections of contemporary arts which are works of devoted national and international artists. These works — which include paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture and digital media — are all curated by living artists who aim to shed more light on the issues facing contemporary society today.

Nevada Museum of Art

Address: 60 W Liberty St, Reno, NV 89501, United States

Website: Nevada Museum of Art

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm; Thu: 10am - 8pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Adults - 10 USD; Student & Seniors - 8 USD; Children aged 6 to 12 - 1 USD; Children aged 5 and under - Free

2. Nevada Historical Society

A-22. Nevada Historical Society Museum (1650 N. Virginia Street) on the California National Historic Trail (2008)
Source: Photo by user NPS Staff used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Nevada Historical Society is located on 1650 North Virginia Street, Reno, within the campus of the University of Nevada. Considered as the state’s oldest museum it showcases historical exhibits, memorabilia, and collections all related to the history of Nevada. Get to know the people who have made the state into what it is today like Dat So La Lee, the famous basket maker, and Jedidiah Smith, the first American explorer to set foot in what is now Nevada.

Nevada Historical Society

Address: 1650 N Virginia St, NV 89503, United States

Website: Nevada Historical Society

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 4:30pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

Price: Adults - 5 USD; Children aged 17 and under - Free

3. Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum

Exterior of the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum
Source: Photo by user Patrickaturner used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum — sometimes only referred to as “The Discovery” — boasts the best honors within the region and the whole state as the “Best Place to Take the Family” and “Best Indoor Activity.” This museum is considered as one of the best places in Reno for family recreation within an educational atmosphere. The museum covers a whopping 67,000 sq. ft. (6,224.5 sq. m.) of exhibitions with an emphasis on science, art, history, technology, and engineering — all designed to stir up your imagination and creativity. This wonderful museum also arranges seasonal camps for school-going children, as well as school trips, teen events, and science demonstrations.

The Discovery - Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum

Address: 490 S Center St, Reno, NV 89501, United States

Website: Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Wed: 10am - 8pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Children - 11 USD; Adults - 13 USD; Seniors - 12 USD

4. W. M Keck Earth Science And Mineral Engineering Museum

Mackay School of Mines Building, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada (3162493646)
Source: Photo by user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

W. M. Keck Earth Science and Mineral Engineering Museum is within the Mackay School of Mines Building at University of Nevada and was opened in 1908. The museum is home to several collections of ores, minerals, fossils, and photographs, among other mining-related exhibits. It also has been offering free admission to all visitors since its inception in 1908. Mining minerals have economically contributed to Nevada even before its statehood in 1864. Even today, the mining industry continues to play a major role in Nevada in commodities production and raw material supplies. For instance, Nevada is among the top gold mining regions in the world.

W. M Keck Earth Science And Mineral Engineering Museum

Address: 1664 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89557, United States

Website: W. M Keck Earth Science And Mineral Engineering Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: Free

5. John and Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by John & Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art on Thursday, March 5, 2020

John and Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art is another museum located at the University of Nevada, Reno. The museum is a member of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries. It encourages campus, local, regional and international visitors in exploring the world today through intellectual and creative inquiry. Their belief is that the community should gain from effective arts learning that ultimately leads to well-informed decisions and proper living. The museum gathers, showcases and shares art research with a clear knowledge of the fact that cultural heritage and future belongs to everyone.

John and Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art

Address:1664 N Virginia St MS 0224, Reno, NV 89557, United States

Website: John and Geraldine Lilley Museum of Art

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 12pm - 4pm; Thu: 12pm - 8pm; Sat: 10am - 6pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

6. National Automobile Museum

National Automobile Museum, Reno, Nevada (23024823560)
Source: Photo by user Tobias Haase used under CC BY 2.0

The National Automobile Museum opened in 1989. It is referred to by the locals here as “The Harrah Collection”. It is located in the south of Truckee River in Reno, Nevada. The museum mainly exhibits historic automobiles of the late 19th century and the 20th century as well. Several of the historic automobiles exhibited were collections of the late casino owner William F. Harrah — hence the name of “The Harrah Collection”. Before his death in 1978, William F. Harrah has approximately 1,450 automobiles stored in a warehouse in Sparks, Nevada. Undoubtedly, this was the largest collection of historic automobiles by a person in the whole world. Although some people tried to acquire the collection, a nonprofit organization was established that ultimately organized the construction of a museum to exhibit these historic automobiles.

National Automobile Museum

Address: 10 South Lake St, Reno, NV 89501, United States

Website: National Automobile Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 5:30pm; Sun: 10am - 4pm

Price: Adult - 12 USD; Senior - 10 USD; Youth - 6 USD; Children (aged 5 and under) - Free

7. Museum Of Natural History, University of Nevada

This is another museum located within the University of Nevada, Reno. The Museum of Natural History houses and exhibits unique specimens of plants and animals used in research, teaching, and outreach. The rare collections of flora and fauna date back to the early years of the 1850s. The University of Nevada has consolidated all of its biological research and specimens from the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources and the College of Science to form one natural history museum. Established in March 2014, the Museum of Natural History is a masterpiece spearheaded by UNR faculties, determined students, skilled technicians, and passionate volunteers. Without a doubt, this is a true collection of diverse and historic natural heritage of Nevada, the Great Basin, and more.

Museum Of Natural History UNR

Address: Unnamed Road, Reno, NV 89557, United States

Website: Museum Of Natural History UNR

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

The merging of education and fun

Nevada proves a point that museums aren’t dull or boring. They all provide a sense of recreation, and without a doubt, educates children and adults about amazing things that happened in the past and present. Of course, the enchanting locations of these attractions make the day enjoyable for everyone.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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