The Mountain-Adjacent Town
Median Household Income: $57,125
Park Acreage: 3,446
A new Amazon fulfillment center and the Tesla Gigafactory have brought tech jobs and higher home prices, but the Biggest Little City is still inexpensive, with two-bedrooms renting for just over a grand a month.
The tattooed thirtysomething with a fixed-gear bike and a bartending job, or the cowboy-hat-wearing rancher with a truck and a gun rack.
Once known for its strip clubs and seedy bars, Midtown Reno has been reinvented with maker spaces, coffee shops, apartment buildings, and great food. "I love the Eddy, a beer garden and community space with bocce ball and live music," says Zoe Richards, a ski patroller at nearby Mount Rose. "Like everywhere in Reno, you can bring your dog."
Burning Man takes place in August three hours from Reno, and the festival influences Reno's culture year-round, from post-festival civilization-reentry parties to the Space Whale, a stained-glass-and-steel sculpture that's currently on display downtown.
Just north of town, the Peavine trail network has over 40 miles of mountain-biking and running routes in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Send it on the black-diamond downhill, or ride the eight miles of all-mountain and cross-country tracks.
At the nonprofit Reno Bike Project, you can buy new or upcycled rides, get a tune-up, or take a repair class.
"There's a whitewater park on the Truckee River in the middle of downtown that brings a big crowd every May for the Reno River Festival," says Eddie Davis, a wholesale planner at Patagonia's Reno office. "The river is also great for tubing and cooling off when it gets hot."
Skiing in Tahoe, climbing in Yosemite, and mountain biking in Downieville are all within a couple of hours. Locals head south on U.S. 395 to climb, ski, or hike in the eastern Sierra Nevada, then soak at Travertine Hot Springs just across the state line in Bridgeport, California.