Burning Man in Reno

Burning Man blazes brilliantly in the Black Rock Desert for one week, then disappears. Ever wonder where all that creative, free-spirited energy goes afterwards?

Say you want to check out the world-famous Burning Man Festival but don’t have the time or resources to make it down to the Black Rock Desert in August. Did you know you can still catch the elusive Burn spirit year-round?

The Gateway to Black Rock City

Yes! Reno and a few surrounding pockets is where you’ll catch remnants of the spirit of the Burn. The city plays host to post-event decompression nights and surviving playa art.

The local burner community, active year-round, throws a huge party around mid-October, and brings the burn closer to civilization.

Keep a lookout for events like these in local newspapers and playa newsletters!

Post Playa Art Tour

Post Playa Tour

Right after the festival, some of the artwork makes its way to exhibitions all over the city. Pedestrians can walk along Truckee River Walk, which runs directly through Reno downtown, where the pathway plays host to installations, sculptures and murals from Burning Man over the years.

Admire the free-spirited style while you make your way to lively taverns, restaurants and cafes.

For a quieter introduction to festival art, drop by the Nevada Museum of Art. In 2007, this museum became the first ever to include so-called “playa art” in its exhibits, and their permanent collection grows with each passing year.

Here you’ll find a giant lotus flower sculpture and soon an archive of Burning Man documents and photographs!

Junkee Clothing exchange

Shop at Junkee Clothing exchange

Located in the heart of Reno is the Junkee, 15,000 square feet chock-full of recycled clothes and antiques. Come here to find your neon-green sneakers, a dress from every decade, and party accessories. Stop by to pick up scraps and throwaways from Burn attendees.

Dare you find inspiration for next year’s costumes?

The Generator Art

Express Your Artistic Side at The Generator

While wandering in Reno, you’re sure to stumble on The Generator, a so-called “oasis of de-commodification,” part workshop and part communal art space. Everyone is welcome to contribute!

One of the 10 principles of Burning Man is creative cooperation and collaboration—a concept that holds just as much weight here. Bring your brushes and welding tools—there’s plenty of space for resident artists.

Morris Burning Man Hotel

Stay at the Morris Burning Man Hotel 

Spend a night at the 80-year-old Morris Hotel, with its décor inspired by Burning Man. The building has an old-fashioned, brick exterior, and an interior that’s guaranteed to twist your sense of design.

This beautiful boutique space is a great place to meet artists, musicians and nostalgic Burners. Where else would you find themed rooms like the Goddess Room or the Sparkle Pony Room?

Reservations are open to members only, so you have to sign up—but don’t worry, membership starts as low as $5 a month. Just be sure to book well in advance, as the place fills up fast and weeks ahead.

Welcome to Reno sign

Pay it Forward

 One of the essential ideas behind Burning Man is gifting, or paying it forward. To give a gift doesn’t imply a return or an exchange—it’s simply a gift.

There’s no better way to catch the Burn spirit than sharing a hug, an idea, a compliment, a sticker, a song and so on. The list is as large as your imagination.

The beauty is that Gifting can be honored everywhere in the world—on the playa, in Reno, or in your own hometown.

READ NEXT: The Beginner’s Guide to Burning Man

SHOP my favorite Reno-inspired outfits!

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Kiersten Rich
Kiersten Rich is the bikini-obsessed author of award-winning solo female travel and lifestyle blog, The Blonde Abroad, featuring travel tips, fashion, food, festivals and photography from around the world.