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National Automobile Museum

An awesome peek into the world of automobiles — not just for speed demons, bikers and grease monkeys. 

Since opening in 1989, the National Automobile Museum has firmly parked itself onto the A-list of Reno attractions. See more than 220 automobiles, a collection that traverses the history of the motor vehicle, from the winner of the first and only Great Race, The Thomas Flyer, to the star of a hit 1960s TV series, Batman,The Batmobile.

This museum is sometimes referred to as The Harrah Collection. Casino mogul and avid vehicle collector Bill Harrah was responsible for the majority of the museum’s vehicles, and after his passing in 1978 the collection continued to develop. 

Start your visit in the theater where The Bill Harrah Story and the Magic Carriage are screened on the hour, lasting for approximately 25 minutes.

The museum is neatly laid out with the collection divided into four chronological galleries that span the automotive ages. Wander through stylized street scenes, such as the cobblestoned 1930s Street. It’s easy to spend hours examining the photographs, collectables and period fashions that help recreate the atmosphere of decades past. Throw on a vintage coat and hat from the “dress up” area and slip behind the wheel of a vintage classic for a charming souvenir photo.

Celebrities and automobiles go hand-in-hand, and you’ll find some silver screen favorites here. Look for James Dean’s sleek Mercury Coupe from the movie Rebel Without a Cause. Take an imaginary spin in Elvis Presley’s 1973 Custom Cadillac or John Wayne’s 1953 Corvette.

This museum prides itself on being far more than just a collection of gleaming autos. Be sure to visit the Changing Exhibits Gallery. Displays here have included a celebration of the life and times of Bill Harrah, which examined not only his passion for cars but his fast-paced and turbulent lifestyle. Other exhibits have featured automotive paintings and memorabilia.

The National Automobile Museum is located along the Truckee River in downtown Reno. There’s free parking, and it’s accessible to public transporation. It’s open every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving.


Guide to Exploring around National Automobile Museum


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Lodging Near National Automobile Museum

See all 775 Hotels near National Automobile Museum
$45
Circus Circus Hotel & Casino Reno

Circus Circus Hotel & Casino Reno

500 N Sierra St, Reno
3.7
of 5, from 3,857 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located just over 3.5 miles from Reno-Tahoe International Airport and covering an entire city block in downtown Reno, Circus Circus Hotel & Casino is connected by skyway to the Silver Legacy and Eldorado hotels.

$42
Grand Sierra Resort and Casino

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino

2500 E 2nd St, Reno
4.0
of 5, from 3,766 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This destination resort is adjacent to the Truckee River Recreation Trail, 2 miles from Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and less than 3 miles from downtown Reno. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is 30 minutes away.

$59
Silver Legacy Resort Casino

Silver Legacy Resort Casino

407 N. Virginia Street, Reno
4.0
of 5, from 3,584 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

A skywalk connects this downtown Reno hotel to the Circus Circus and Eldorado casinos; Nevada Museum of Art and Performing Arts Center are less than a half-mile away.

$40
Nugget Casino Resort

Nugget Casino Resort

1100 Nugget Ave, Sparks
3.7
of 5, from 3,375 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

An icon since 1955, this 1,382-guestroom resort is in downtown Sparks, 3 miles from downtown Reno and a 10-minute drive from the Reno-Tahoe airport.

$44
Harrah's Casino Hotel Reno

Harrah's Casino Hotel Reno

219 N Center St, Reno
3.5
of 5, from 1,737 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located 1 block from Bowling Stadium and within 3 miles of the convention center, this downtown Reno hotel first opened as a bingo parlor in 1943. It now occupies both sides of North Center Street.

$49
Desert Rose Inn

Desert Rose Inn

655 West 4th Street, Reno
3.0
of 5, from 15 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Reno, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of Reno Events Center and National Bowling Stadium. Nevada Museum of Art and National Automobile Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$55
Eldorado Resort Casino

Eldorado Resort Casino

345 N Virginia St, Reno
4.0
of 5, from 1,954 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

4 miles from the Reno-Tahoe airport and covering an entire city block, the Eldorado Hotel Casino is connected to Circus Circus and Silver Legacy by skywalk.

$35
Sands Regency Casino Hotel

Sands Regency Casino Hotel

345 N Arlington Ave, Reno
3.0
of 5, from 2,809 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

This 830-room hotel and casino is 2 blocks from Reno Arch, 4 blocks from the National Bowling Stadium, and 6 miles from Reno-Tahoe International Airport.