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- Reno at-a-glance
- What it’s like to live in Reno
- Economy and job outlook in Reno
- Real estate, cost of living in Reno
- The top neighborhoods in Reno
- How to get around in Reno
- School and education snapshot
- Weather and climate in Reno
- 10 can’t-miss things to do in Reno
Maybe you’re looking for fresh career opportunities. Or maybe you’re hoping to move out West without the higher costs of living associated with California or nearby Las Vegas. Whatever your goal, you’re not alone in moving to Reno.
More folks have been moving to Reno than leaving thanks to big changes the city has undergone in recent years. Today, Reno proper is home to nearly 300,000 people, making this mid-size spot the third most populous city in Nevada.
Once known primarily for its gaming industry, Reno is becoming better known for its culture, general well-being and access to great outdoor activities year-round. Yes, you’ll still have plenty of casinos if you’re looking to try your hand, but living in Reno also means enjoying craft breweries, public art, a short drive to ski slopes and more. Is it any wonder that it recently made a list of happiest places to live in the U.S.?
Keep reading for a few more things to know before moving to Reno.
Today, Reno is More Than Casinos
Reno was dubbed the Biggest Little City on the Map a century ago, and while the city isn’t so little anymore, the beloved nickname has stuck thanks to the variety of things to do and see.
Like its big sibling city, Las Vegas, Reno is known for its gambling, entertainment and other recreational activities. But many may not realize that living in Reno also comes with unique street art and murals, museums, culture and the stunning landscapes and outdoor fun of nearby Lake Tahoe and the Nevada Mountains.
Wondering how you’ll spend your weekends?
Take time to consider the connection to the land at the Nevada Museum of Art, or get hands on STEM experience at the Discovery. Looking for live performances? The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts brings Broadway shows and more, while you’ll catch great concerts thanks to the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and Reno Pops Orchestra.
When it’s time to grab a drink and dinner, you’ll find diverse food spots offering anything from fine dining experiences to great street food. If you love craft beers, the Brewery District is home to some of the best craft breweries in Nevada.
Reno’s Labor Force is Growing
Although gaming, tourism and recreation have historically been the major industries in Reno, the city has been diversifying its employment base. Manufacturing, construction, financial services, communications and transportation now make up 25 percent of the workforce.
If you’re moving to Reno in search of a new career, you’ll find the top employers to be in the education, healthcare and casino/tourism sectors.
Reno, like the rest of Nevada, has seen strong labor increases this year, with 8,900 jobs added between September 2022 and September 2023. The city’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in August 2023, a percent lower than the Nevada rate.
Happiness Comes with a Price
Reno has evolved from a secondary Las Vegas vibe to be named one of the happiest places to live in the U.S. But that happiness comes with a hefty price tag.
Although the median household income is just $67,557 (lower than the U.S. average), Reno costs about 5 percent more to live than the national average, most of that spending coming from its booming housing market.
The median home sale price was $515,000 in September 2023, up 3 percent over a year prior, and about a fifth of those homes are still selling above list price. If you’re looking for some good news, there was a slight uptick in how long homes were lingering on the market, giving dream buyers more time to make their offer.
If renting is more your style, you’ll be happy to know that median rents are lower than the national average, with the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment at $980. The median for a two-bedroom is only a little higher at $1,242.
Choose Nature and a Commute, or Downtown Living for Convenience
Whether you prefer living surrounded by nature trails and greenery or you’re looking for the convenience and amenities of downtown, Reno has plenty to offer. Check out these highly recommended neighborhoods for those moving to Reno:
Full of cafes, restaurants, vintage clothing shops, trendy bars and located close to several great trails, Midtown offers a little something for everyone. There are a mixture of homes, from older and cost effective to modern and pricey.
You’ll have to have a bigger budget for this planned community, but it’s worth it if you’re looking to live in a quiet area surrounded by lakes, big parks, nature trails and more. There’s also a state-of-the-art fitness facility among the subdivisions.
Just 20 minutes from downtown Reno, Stead is ideal for those searching for lower-cost homes. You’ll trade in some of the amenities of other neighborhoods, but shopping is still only a few minutes away by car.
RIVERWALK DISTRICT (DOWNTOWN)
If you prefer a walkable area, this is your neighborhood. A stroll along the Truckee River will bring you to shops, restaurants, cafes, galleries and more. Housing is made up mostly of multi-story condo buildings.
One of the most affordable neighborhoods in Reno, Mira Loma is full of lower-priced condos and single-family homes. There are still several restaurants and shopping options in the neighborhood, with the Meadowood mall area nearby.
Other neighborhoods to include in your Reno home search:
- Galena Forest Estates
- Kings Row
- Donner Springs
- Newlands Historic District
You’ll Want a Car in Reno
Although Reno gets big points for the safety and reliability of its public transportation, its convenience leaves something to be desired. One of the biggest complaints is that while the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) bus system has wide reach with plenty of routes, there are so many that you’ll usually need several transfers to get to exactly where you want to go.
Reno High Schools Rank High in Nevada
Reno has some of the top high schools in Nevada (and the U.S.), with Davidson Academy; Academy of the Arts, Careers and Technology; Coral Academy of Science; and Reno High School all in the state’s top 10. The city’s K-12 proficiency scores consistently outrank those of the stage’s public school average. That aside, however, parents are still left wanting more and some prefer instead to check out one of the 37 private schools available.
The primary spot for a higher education is the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR).
Desert Warmth Meets Cooling Mountains
Located in a high desert valley, Reno celebrates a dry, year-round warmth and plenty of sunshine. However, thanks to the cooler air from the Nevada Mountains and Lake Tahoe, the city still enjoys distinct seasons. This means you can expect toasty summers and snowy winters—although the white stuff doesn’t stick around for long!
July and August battle it out for the hottest month in Reno, with each seeing most days reach or exceed 90 degrees fahrenheit. December and January are the coldest months, with lows around 26 degrees, but highs still get into the mid-40s.
10 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Reno
While Reno is known for its gaming tourism (you know, the slots), it’s also home to some stunning public artwork and surrounded by natural beauty. Here’s a list of 10 must-dos in the Neon Babylon:
- Stroll the pedestrian walkway along the gorgeous Riverwalk District.
- Join a street art tour to experience Reno’s unique public art through its many murals, or pop by the Nevada Museum of Art Sculpture Garden.
- Grab a bite to eat and get your shopping down on Dickerson Road.
- Hitch a ride through history at the National Automobile Museum, home to over 200 historic vehicles.
- Get the kiddos hooked on STEM at The Discovery Museum downtown.
- Go surfing on the Truckee River—one of its two main standing waves can be found in Wingfield Park in downtown Reno.
- Scale the World’s Tallest Artificial Climbing Wall, a 164-foot climb found on the side of the Whitney Peak Hotel.
- Place your bets at one of the city’s many casinos.
- Have a swim or grab a jet ski for fun at Pyramid Lake.
- Touch grass at the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, a pleasantly green getaway next to the University of Nevada, Reno campus.
- Make the move official with a photo under the Reno Arch, the iconic entrance welcoming visitors to downtown Reno.