Nevada, also known as the Silver State, is home to many famous landmarks and gorgeous desert landscapes. From Lake Tahoe to the vibrant nightlife of Las Vegas, Nevada is a state for those who seek natural beauty and culturally diverse fun. Although many think of Nevada as a tourist destination, make no mistake, there are some great small-town treasures within its borders, perfect for retirement! Here are some of my favorite small towns in Nevada!
Boulder City, NV
Boulder City is somewhat the “anti-Las Vegas.” It’s a mere 20 miles from Sin City but is one of two cities that prohibit gambling. The town has a population of approximately 16,000. The Hoover Dam is close by and is an excellent point of interest. Boulder City also features two golf courses, Lake Mead, several parks, and Nevada Southern Railroad Museum.
Elko, whose motto is “The Best Small Town in America,” has a population of approximately 45,000. Elko has been referenced in several books and movies such as X-Files and Groundhog Day. The town has several cultural events including the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Elko Motorcycle Jamboree, and the National Basque Festival. Plenty to do for a Nevada retirement!
Reno is located in Washoe County, Nevada, and is known as the “Biggest Little City in the World.” Reno is known for its entertainment options including its casinos and outdoor recreation. Besides its hotels and casinos, Reno offers its guests and residents outdoor sports all year round including a whitewater rafting park.
Spring Valley, NV
Spring Valley is located just two miles west of Las Vegas. It is the home of celebrity tennis couple Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf as well as Palms Casino and Sacramento Kings owners Gavin and George Maloof. The city has plenty of great shopping options in its numerous strip malls and great family parks.
Best Small Towns Near Las Vegas
Las Vegas is popular for its bright lights, amazing shows, casinos & nightlife; and is known as an adult playground of sorts. But when it comes to settling down, retiring, and building a home, all that glitters is not necessarily for the golden years. What is not commonly known is that all the grandeur of Nevada does not lie solely within the big glittery city of Las Vegas.
Many towns near Las Vegas hold some of the best neighborhoods as well as some of the friendliest, most wonderful small-town communities to live in. With plenty of activities, rich culture, history, and beautiful natural surroundings, these small towns are highly desirable for retirement.
Blue Diamond, NV
Nestled within the amazing scenery of the Red Rock Canyon, with its breathtaking view of red mountain tops & luscious green trees, is the rural community of Blue Diamond, an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Originally established in the 1940s and one of the smallest communities in Nevada, Blue Diamond sits on the skirt, just southwest, of Las Vegas, and has many natural treasures amongst its beautiful homes. Although it’s a small town, there are many adventures in the immediate area. Places like Bonnie Springs Ranch, Red Rock Canyon, the Super Summer Theatre, and Spring Mountain Ranch State Park ensure that there is no shortage of historical sites, rock climbing, delightful shows, mountain biking, gorgeous views, or rustic adventures. Residents have been quoted as saying, “this is a tight-knit community and a great place to live”.
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With its attractive and moderate cost of living it is hard to believe that this small town was once a boomtown with over 20,000 residents. Due to a devastating fire in 1923 and the high cost of gold mining this town dwindled to just 275 residents by 1950, and remains a golden area near Las Vegas today, for tourists and residents alike. Full of many outstanding recreational opportunities, miles of terrain great for riding ATVs, and many historical buildings (including the Goldfield Hotel which was once considered the most luxurious hotel in the US and one of the oldest saloons in Nevada, the Santa Fe Saloon), and plenty of camping locations this town’s still a gold mine to live in, and proof that retirement can be exciting.
In 1965 two pilots had a dream of building their own airport. They found a landing strip in the remnant of a closed-down military base, decided it would make the perfect start, and the small town of Cal-Nev-Ari was founded with a population of four. As far as towns near Las Vegas go, this airport-based town is one of the quaintest! However, it’s also among the most highly thriving little communities in Nevada. With a casino, airport, and nearly 520 of its 640 acres of land remaining to be developed, it may just be one of the best neighborhoods to settle down, in the state of Nevada.
Mount Charleston, NV
One of the most popular places for Las Vegans to escape the heat and fast pace is also, arguably, one of the best places to live. This small town called Mount Charleston, although only 35 miles away from Las Vegas in distance, is a world away in lifestyle. Full of wildlife, wildflowers, waterfalls, majestic mountain surroundings, and breathtaking views Mount Charleston is home to a myriad of activities. Whether one enjoys the outdoors scenic or active there is never a shortage of activities year-round. Amongst the most popular there is mountain biking, skiing, hiking, snowboarding, sledding, camping, horseback riding, golfing, sightseeing, picnicking, and various others…an outdoor activity for every season!
Summit Lake, NV
If you are in search of a slowdown for your retirement years then you should definitely consider Summit Lake Nevada as a place to live. Rich in early American heritage, Summit Lake is home to the Paiute tribe who works hard to preserve the beautiful natural surroundings and its inhabitants. A fishing trip to Summit Lake will find you an abundance of some of the most handsome species of fish in America! If you enjoy hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, and the simple things in life – then you would definitely love to live in Summit Lake.
Silver Peak, NV
The small town of Silver Peak in Esmeralda County was founded in 1863 because of its abundance of silver and is one of the oldest mining communities in Nevada. Chemetall Foote Lithium Operations, the largest employer in the area, is the only source of lithium in the US. This small town is symbolic of the old west and is rich in volcanic history. With its beautiful surroundings, there is plenty of local recreation (lighted tennis courts, swimming pools, shooting range, sand dunes, petroglyphs, and more) as well as nearby recreational activities (trails, fishing, hunting, ghost towns, mining camps, and more).
Carson City, NV
This Midwestern Nevada town serves as the state’s capital and has a population of approximately 55,000. Because Carson City serves as the state’s capital it has a lot of museums and cultural landmarks for citizens and visitors alike. The city also offers several great outdoor recreational activities including skiing at the nearby Heavenly Mountain and Diamond Peak resorts.
Robert FowlerContributing Writer
Robert Fowler is a retired blogger who lives with his wife, Mary Ann at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community in North Georgia. Robert was previously the President of Retirement Media Inc. He has visited numerous 55+ Active Adult Communities over the years, sharing his experiences along the way with readers. View more posts