by , SmarterTravel Staff
Reno, Nevada (Photo: S. Alden/PhotoLink)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on June 6, 2011. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, beach, Christine Sarkis, Costa Rica, Fort Myers, hotel, Houston, New York City, Reno, vacation package.

In the Biggest Little City, affordability comes in large and small packages. New air service, affordable hotel rates, and tons of free and cheap activities make Reno a bargain this summer. Reno's emerging identity as a cultural and outdoors destination ensures that even nongamblers have plenty to do.

New and upcoming air service puts Reno within easy reach of more of the country. In February United started service from Houston, and later this summer, Delta will launch service from Minneapolis.

The savings start early in a trip, since most of the downtown hotels offer free shuttles from the airport. Weeknight stays in late June start at $60 at the Atlantis and $65 for July weeknight stays at the Peppermill. Weekends can be affordable as well: At the Eldorado Hotel Casino, we found weekend rates in August for $89 per night.

Start factoring in all the free and inexpensive activities this summer and Reno's bargain star really shines. Case in point: Most of the 400 events that take place during the city's annual arts festival, Artown, are free or low cost. Music, dance, theater, and other performances and exhibitions run throughout July. Events range from break dancing workshops to a performance by Yo-Yo Ma. Meanwhile, the Aces Ballpark, close to downtown, offers the chance to catch a minor league Reno Aces baseball game for just $6.

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