Reno often flies under the radar in terms of livability, but with its stunning scenery, low taxes and booming tech scene, it's a sure bet.
Reno, Nevada, often flies under the radar in the “best places to live” conversation, at least among outsiders. But when Ma Nature and Uncle Sam both smile upon a place as special as The Biggest Little City in the World, experts — and anyone with an open mind — sit up and take notice. So without further ado, here are eight of many noteworthy reasons to seriously consider calling Reno home.
There’s natural beauty at every turn.
Beauty is in the eye of the Renoite, for the city is sitting pretty amid the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Perfectly perched at an elevation of 4,505 feet in the valley known as the Truckee Meadows, Reno is surrounded by tall mountain peaks (hello, skiing and rock climbing), dense forests (hiking and horseback riding) and Lake Tahoe (woohoo, boating and beach time). Also, meandering from Lake Tahoe through Reno and ending 120 miles later in Pyramid Lake is the Truckee River (rafting and fly fishing). Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or just appreciate breathtaking views, Reno’s your kind of place.
You’re close to other cool places. (Not that you’d ever want to leave.)
Just about everything a person could want exists in Reno. However, if you do get the travel bug, it’s nice to know you’re just a stone’s throw away from lots of fun destinations like Monterey Bay or Santa Cruz, each less than a five-hour car ride; the Bay Area, a four-hour drive; Napa Valley, Mammoth or Yosemite, just three hours by car; and our neighbor’s capital, Sacramento, a mere two-hour road trip. Want to keep it in Nevada? You can hit the road and be in Las Vegas in about seven hours.
If flying’s more your jam, the Reno/Tahoe International Airport is small in the best possible way. It’s easy to navigate (and park) and has more flights and destinations than most communities of similar size.
Tax season is a walk in the park.
It’s a good thing Reno has many parks, because that’s where you’ll spend your tax season as a Renoite. Nevada tops just about every tax-friendly state list ever compiled for both individuals and businesses. Just check out this long list of no’s, to which you’ll be saying, “Heck yeah!”
- No corporate income tax
- No inventory tax
- No franchise tax
- No personal income tax
- No inheritance tax
- No estate tax
- No unitary tax
- No intangibles tax
- No capital gains tax
No wonder smart companies and top talent are attracted to Reno. Keep reading for even more reasons why.
It’s like Silicon Valley, only affordable.
For the past seven years or so, technology and manufacturing companies have been flocking to Reno — even during COVID. Flying in the face of nationwide trends, Reno has a thriving economy plus job opportunities galore. Thanks to nearly 90 tech and manufacturing companies and headquarters like Tesla, Microsoft, Switch, Apple, Intuit and Panasonic Energy North America, the region is expected to add thousands upon thousands of high-paying jobs over the next five years.
Add in a relatively low cost of living (especially compared to Silicon Valley) along with short commutes and you’ve got a recipe for success. And happiness.
There is no “i” in team. Or Reno.
Competition is alive and well in The Biggest Little City — year round. Whether you’re a team player or a superfan, Reno has a definite sportsy vibe. For starters, it’s home to the Reno Aces, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league affiliate team. The family-friendly stadium has a whopping 9,100+ seating capacity and Friday night home game fireworks. Ka-boom! There’s also a brand spankin’ new NHL-regulation-size hockey arena, 20+ alpine and cross country ski resorts, and approximately 45 golf courses within 90 minutes from downtown Reno (including Edgewood Tahoe, home to the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship). Yep, game on.
If you’re the cheering kind, the University of Nevada Reno welcomes you with open arms. This Division 1 school attracts many gifted athletes each and every year. A school this cool turns out many professional athletes, including NBA stars for the past 17 consecutive years, more than 100 MLB players and 70 plus NFL stars. Suffice it to say, the Wolf Pack brings it, and you’ll certainly enjoy watching it.
Your family tree will thrive here.
Though its population is approximately 523,000, Reno holds tightly to its coveted small-town feel. You’ll find young, vibrant areas like Midtown District and Dickerson Road that exude quirky Reno-ness, as well as family-friendly neighborhoods and master planned communities. For unlimited family fun opportunities nearby, check out the many museums, zoos, malls, arcades, waterparks and riverwalks, just to name a few.
“I grew up here but lived in Boston for 10 years,” said Amy Fleming, Reno native and mom of two. “It’s super kid-friendly and accessible here. You don’t have to spend an hour in the car to enjoy all the city has to offer. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”
Reno’s got a great energy. Literally.
Sustainability is a way of life in Reno, and it shows. The buck starts with Reno’s mayor, Hillary Schieve, who was instrumental in making Reno the first American city to use real-time energy and emissions tracking to monitor the city’s carbon footprint 24/7. The local energy company, NV Energy, has joined forces with Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Edison Electric Institute to focus on key sustainability issues. And not surprisingly (to Renoites, at least), Nevada ranks #8 in the nation for renewable energy efforts in 2022. Data storage innovators Switch recognized Reno’s eco-friendly ways and expanded their footprint in the area with a zero net output data center.
Quality of life in Reno? You bet!
Yes, Reno is gambling town. (Translation: Big-time entertainers and world-class dining abound in this smallish city.) But that’s just the tip of Reno’s quality of life index. A thriving arts community, a busy events calendar, culturally diverse restaurants, clean air, short commutes, friendly people, and the aforementioned natural beauty, parks, sports and economic vibrancy have put Reno on the map — and on many a list of best small cities. At long last, people are chatting up Reno.
We reached out to Valerie Cotta, a Canadian-born Reno transplant to get her take on the quality of life in Reno. At 3 p.m. on a Wednesday in June, she said, “I’m hiking in a meadow right now. Can we talk tomorrow?” Drop the mic.
This article was sponsored by EDAWN.