Reno is the seat of Washoe County, just east of the California state line between Sparks and Carson City. It lies along Interstate 80 on the banks of the Truckee River, near Washoe Lake and Lake Tahoe.
The site was once a busy campsite at a ford called Lake's Crossing on the Donner Pass route to California; a bridge. With the 1868 arrival of the Central Pacific Railroad, the townsite was laid out and renamed.
Today fast-growing Reno, population 180,480, is known as the "biggest little city in the world." It is a year-round vacation destination with casinos, resort facilities and other entertainment. It is easy to get married or divorced in Reno due to liberal state laws. The seat of the University of Nevada is here, noted for its Desert Research Institute. The city is home to the National Bowling Stadium. Toiyabe National Forest has its headquarters in Reno. Many other outdoor recreation areas are nearby, including famous Lake Tahoe.
Reno is part of the Reno, Nevada metro area.