Navigating Reno — A Newcomer’s Perspective on Thriving in Northern Nevada

When you’re new to town, you’re still navigating things like grocery stores and gas stations and the best place for a nice meal. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could fast-forward to all the insider knowledge you’ll have, say, twelve months down the line? If you’re new to Reno, Nevada, you’re in luck. Not only is there a recent piece in the Reno Gazette-Journal that covers the basics, I have a few tips too. If you’re navigating Reno, read on for a newcomer’s perspective on thriving in northern Nevada.

Know the Neighborhoods

There are 11 neighborhood regions in Reno and Sparks, and they all have their own little vibe. Are you a young professional looking for a lively spot? Beginning family life and prioritizing the best schools? Want space for horses or tons of amenities? There’s a neighborhood for all of that! Figure out what you want, then check out my Reno neighborhood guide to start zeroing in on your best options.

Learn the Hierarchy of Grocery Stores

I’m an organic produce fan, so I head to Natural Grocers in the center of town. Even on long snow delays, the shelves have remained stocked and prices are excellent. There’s also a smaller co-op, the Great Basin Food Coop near Midtown and a new Sprouts at the opposite end. Safeway, Target and Walmart abound, with Raley’s being considered the more pricey option. If you’re looking for Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, those are in close proximity to my favorite, Natural Grocers. 

Watch Your Cat

There’s a surprisingly amount of wildlife in Reno — think geese, ducks, deer, raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, bears, wild horses, and more. Keep that in mind when you’re tooling around town, dragging down the trash cans at night instead of in the morning, or putting the cat out. We just got our bear-proof trash cans — we’ll see if they work when the weather warms and the bears wake up. 

You’re This Close to Amazing Outdoor Recreation

Wherever you are in Reno, you’re probably within twenty minutes to a trailhead. There are so many great hikes close to town and near the lake. Whether you hike, bike, snowshoe, ski, or snowboard, you’re in luck.

The High Desert Has a Lot of Water

In lakes and reservoirs, that is. Lake Tahoe is, of course, second to none, but Pyramid Lake and Donner Lake impressive in their own ways too. Nearby reservoirs like Boca and Stampede are good choices for fishing or water skiing. And in some parts of town, the Truckee River is in your own background. I just made an offer on a home with the Truckee off their backyard today as a matter of fact. 

The Culinary Scene is Pretty Impressive

Reno has some culinary chops, with hundreds of great restaurants serving up tons of great food. You’ll be surprised how far it’s come over the past 15 years. Check out Moo Dang for Thai, Perenn Bakery for great brunch or high teas or one of the many all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants around the city. Lovely cocktail and wine bars can be found in almost every neighborhood these days too. 

Casinos are Really for the Tourists

Sure, Reno has gambling, but there are tons of locals who rarely make it to the casinos. It’s entirely possible — and pretty common — to live in Reno and not play poker or eat at a buffet. That said, if buffet eating is on your list, Toucan Charlie’s at the Atlantis is considered by the locals to be one of the best. Word of warning — if you go on a weekend, get there early and make an eating game plan. There’s so much to choose from, it can be overwhelming. 

Traffic is Fine, But Locals Still Complain

Compared to big-city traffic — anywhere in Northern California, for example — Reno traffic is minor. But when locals sit at a light long enough for it to cycle through twice, or they’re in stop-and-go traffic for a few miles on 395 or I-80, they inevitably start commenting on how terrible traffic is these days. It’s true that it has increased, and one of the best things about living where it snows is it makes people slow down and enjoy the ride. 

It’s a Really Great Place to Live and Work

If you’re lucky enough to move to Reno, you’re in for a good experience. But start things off on the right foot — I can help you find what matters most to you so you find the right home in the part of town that highlights what matters most to you! Experience counts and if I can’t help you, chances are I know someone who can.

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