Sparks combines hometown charm with a scenic setting in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The town was founded in 1904 and has a proud railroad heritage. Shop and dine in the historic downtown district, hunt for bargains at the outlet mall and paddle on the Truckee River.
Things to do in Sparks
Learn about the town’s colourful narrative at the Sparks Museum & Cultural Centre. Exhibits cover everything from the city’s railroad heritage to the mining boom. Snap a photo with a larger-than-life statue of a Sparks miner and check out the steam engine, caboose and first-class carriage in the open-air train exhibit.
The Truckee River flows past Sparks and provides a perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures. Rent a kayak and enjoy a scenic paddle along the river or get your pulse racing with white water rafting. The river is well-stocked with rainbow trout and other species. Cast a line in nearby Pyramid Lake and reel in Lahontan cutthroat trout, the official state fish of Nevada.
Sparks is the outlet capital of Washoe County and attracts bargain hunters from across Nevada. Shop iconic American brands like Levi’s, Nike and Banana Republic at The Outlets at Legends Shopping Mall. In addition to retail stores, the enormous complex features a movie theatre, wax museum and Ferris wheel.
You can find everything from steakhouses to craft breweries in Downtown Sparks. Some of the best picks are clustered around Victorian Square, a spacious plaza that hosts pop-up festivals, markets and community events.
Enjoy the Silver State sunshine in Sparks Marina Park. The park is set on a cobalt-blue lake and is a great place to swim, sunbathe and enjoy a picnic. Work up a sweat with a game of beach volleyball and rent water sports equipment like kayaks and paddleboards.
Getting around Sparks
Downtown Sparks is compact and easy to get around on foot. The city is in Washoe County, a 10-minute drive from Downtown Reno and 15 minutes from Reno-Tahoe International Airport.