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Living in Reno, NV: The Biggest Little City

Reno began promoting itself as “The biggest little city” in the summer of 1910. Visitors were streaming into town to watch the prize fight between Jack Johnson and Jim Jefferies, perhaps the most anticipated sporting event in American history. Expecting a one-horse town full of log cabins and cattle barns, newcomers were instead surprised to find a flourishing business sector, sophisticated university, and prosperous downtown full of fashionable shops and restaurants. Small in size, but big in opportunity, living in Reno provides a chance to lay down roots in a growing and thriving community, surrounded by some of the most beautiful country in the United States.

Reno, Nevada

Inspiring Scenery

Reno is situated in the Truckee Valley, with the Sierra Nevada Mountains stretching off to the west and the Virginia Range rising up in the east, Reno has one of the most spectacular backdrops of any city in the world. Its diverse terrain includes meadows, forests, and rivers, not to mention the largest alpine lake in North America, which has made it one of the most popular outdoor destinations in the western United States, a gateway for all types of adventure, including:

  • Skiing and Snowboarding. There are nearly twenty ski resorts around Reno, with a mix of groomed runs, moguls, glades and open bowls suitable for beginners and experts alike.
  • Boating. People come from hundreds and thousands of miles to cruise the crystal waters of Lake Tahoe. Visitors can sail, kayak, canoe, or paddleboard along 72 miles of green and rugged shoreline. The more adventurous can go whitewater rafting down the Truckee River, which flows right through the center of Reno.
  • Fishing. The lakes, rivers, and streams of Northern Nevada are teeming with trout, carp, and bass. You can charter an expedition out onto the lake or grab a pair of gaiters and snag a prize catch from one of the hundreds of crowdless fishing holes throughout the state.
  • Hiking. Reno is one of the biggest portals into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Besides climbing the lofty peaks around the city or exploring the wild shoreline of Lake Tahoe, hikers have access to hundreds of miles of trails through the pristine woodlands, meadows, and deserts that make living in Reno such a thrill.


One of the reasons people move to Nevada is to escape high taxes in neighboring states. Nevada has no inheritance tax, no estate tax, no intangibles tax, no capital gains tax, and no personal income tax. Residents are still required to pay a small amount of sales and property taxes, but these are minimal.

Besides allowing Nevadans to keep more of their earnings, the state’s relaxed tax policies have also drawn a number of businesses into the area ‒ particularly technology companies. Tesla, Apple, Google, Switch, Intuit, Microsoft, and Panasonic Energy North America have all set up shipping, manufacturing, and logistics centers in and around Reno, allowing them to distribute their products to nearby markets without paying corporate, franchise, or inventory taxes.

The growth of the tech sector has also drawn a number of startups, supplying parts and providing support for the city's large multinationals. Though small by the standards of Silicon Valley, in 2022 they managed to attract over $1 billion in capital investment. In fact, Reno’s tech industry has grown to such an extent that it’s begun to rival the gaming industry.

Stellar Education

Living in Reno offers incredible opportunities for students. The city is home to the top ranked high school in the state, which is also the 4th highest ranked in the country: the Davidson Academy of Nevada. The school’s AP participation is 100 percent and its students’ scores in math, reading, and science are at the top of the charts.

Graduates go on to attend some of the best schools in the nation, including the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). UNR is the state’s flagship academic institution: a Carnegie R1 research university and a national Tier 1 university, with a wide range of degree programs that prepare students for success in high-paying industries, such as accounting, chemistry, neuroscience, microbiology, human development, and metallurgical engineering.

For students interested in pursuing postgraduate studies, UNR offers a diverse array of Masters and Doctoral programs, including finance, psychology, computer science, judicial studies, business administration, environmental science, and biomedical engineering.

In addition to its rigorous curriculum, UNR is also hard at work, developing solutions for some of the medical, environmental, technological, and engineering challenges facing Nevada. The institution houses over 60 laboratories and facilities researching new approaches to earthquake engineering, cyberinfrastructure, agriculture, nuclear technology, and more. Collaborative learning is central to the UNR experience, giving students a chance to expand their knowledge outside the classroom and gain an edge in their chosen field.

Thriving Downtown & Midtown

The growing economy has slowly transformed Reno into an artistic, culinary, and cultural hub. Though not yet large enough to rival San Francisco or New York, it offers a vibrant mix of restaurants, museums, breweries, and entertainment. In addition to its iconic casinos, residents can also enjoy:

  • Truckee River Walk. Take a delightful stroll through the heart of downtown. Savor the trees, grass, and rushing water, not to mention the mountain views, as well as the cafes, brew pubs, and Burning Man sculptures lining the route.
  • Reno’s Art Scene. In addition to its brightly colored murals, visitors can also experience works by Reno’s painters and sculptors at the Sierra Arts Gallery or The Wedge Ceramics Studio. For a deeper dive into the state’s creative legacy, stop by the Nevada Museum of Art, just a short walk from the Truckee River.
  • Eats and Treats. You don't have to look hard to find a memorable meal while living in Reno. Downtown and Midtown have an exciting food scene, everything from fine dining to quirky cafes and neighborhood barbecue. Atlantis Steakhouse serves wet-aged Chicago beef in a classic and contemporary atmosphere. Old World Coffee Lab brews specially roasted blends, while Brothers Barbecue brings you a taste of Texas with apple and mesquite smoked ribs. With such an exciting variety of food right on your doorstep, you could go a whole year and never eat the same dish twice!
  • Lively Nightlife. Thanks to the tourism industry, Reno always has something fun for you to do after hours. Whether you’re interested in live music, craft cocktails, or karaoke fun, there’s plenty of bars, lounges, and nightclubs where you can unwind. You'll find great laughs at the Reno Tahoe Comedy Club, great drinks at the Loving Cup, and great music at the Lex Nightclub.

Sensational Public Festivals

Reno knows how to throw a party. No matter the time of year, it always seems as if there’s another celebration right around the corner, such as:

  • Great Reno Balloon Race. The largest free ballooning event in the world. 100 hot air balloons are launched into the heavens every year in early September, filling the air with brilliant colors and designs as brave pilots soar through the clouds, jockeying for position.
  • Reno Air Races. Aviation fans come for miles to see dozens of high-performance aircraft roar through the sky, as their operators swoop, dive, and speed overhead at hundreds of miles an hour, astounding onlookers with their daring and bravery.
  • Hot August Nights. Held in honor of America’s two favorite pastimes: classic cars and rock n’ roll. You’ll not only see antique and collectible automobiles, lovingly restored and ready to drive, but hear live performances by some of the hottest musical acts in the country. For a real thrill, visit the drag races and watch powerful hot rods burn rubber down a 1/16 stretch of open road.
  • American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament. Held along the glittering shores of Lake Tahoe, it’s the premier charity golf tournament in the country, with dozens of entertainers and athletes teeing off for the benefit of their fans and the less fortunate.

Moving to Reno

North American has been a leading provider of long distance moving services for the past 90 years. Our experienced team tailors everything to your needs, from packing to transportation, delivery, and final setup. With an extensive network of agents operating in every state, you can be assured of personal, on-the-ground support every step of the way to your new home. Contact us today for a free quote!

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