Carson City is a hidden gem for those who want easy access to culture and adventure while enjoying a slower pace of daily life. The state’s capital is home to nearly 60,000 residents, and while it’s smaller than nearby Reno, there’s a ton to do packed within a relatively small radius.

Like many notable places in Nevada, Carson City rose to prominence thanks to the discovery of gold and silver nearby in the Comstock Lode. Initially established as a small community by Western settlers, a group of “well-connected attorneys” with money to spare purchased some of the land for $500 “and a herd of horses,” reads Carson City’s official website.

A pioneer named Abraham Curry then had the foresight to earmark some land for the town’s future use as the state capital — a vision that came to fruition on October 31, 1864, when President Lincoln approved Nevada’s statehood (a day celebrated annually as Nevada Day).

In the decades after, Carson City’s population grew exponentially during the mining boom but petered off in the early 1900s when the hubbub around the Comstock Lode subsided. However, a midcentury resurgence and new industry and opportunity put Carson City back on the map, and now it’s an eclectic hub all its own (with enticingly close proximity to Lake Tahoe).

“What I love about Carson City is that it still has a small-town feel,” says Elizabeth L. Quinn, Senior Vice President of Dickson Realty, who oversees the Carson City office. “It has a slower pace of life.”

Don’t be fooled in thinking it’s a slow town by any stretch—Elizabeth says there is no shortage of activities to do year-round. She cites public parks, wine walks, and annual events like the state fair as some of the top reasons people of all demographics are seeking out Carson City.

Heidi McFadden, who has served as a realtor in Carson City for more than 20 years, agrees that the balance of easy daily life and ample activity has renewed interest in this often overlooked town. Plus, Carson City remains more affordable compared to nearby Carson Valley—which includes Minden, Gardnerville, and Genoa—and Reno, but without sacrificing proximity to daily amenities.

Art and Culture in Carson City

A variety of personalities will find their needs met, and then some, thanks to the many local attractions in Carson City.

For history buffs:

Carson City boasts an impressive selection of museums including the Nevada State Museum, which used to be the site of the Carson City Mint. Peruse exhibits about the communities that shaped Nevada. “Nevada’s Changing Earth” is a must-see for those fascinated by the state’s primordial origins.

Families with young kiddos will enjoy the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada—and consider getting a membership, as a new “theme” is announced weekly so you’ll want to go back often. And no trip to Carson City is complete without a stop at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, where the state’s rich rail history is on display.

Carson City is one of few state capitols so easily accessible to the public, and perusing the grounds is especially lovely in the spring or summer. You can also book a tour ahead of time.

The Kit Carson Trail is a self-guided tour through Carson City’s historical district. And the Carson City Ghost Walk is a must for visitors and locals alike; although tours are offered year-round, traversing the old neighborhoods on a spooky, crisp October evening is unbeatable.

For foodies and festival-goers:

Those with an itch to scratch for a good meal and a show will have to choose between several excellent options. Few places in Carson City hold more history than Comma Coffee, which has served as a vibrant hub for artists for more than twenty years. The building itself dates back to the 1800s, having previously served as a candy parlor and a mortuary, among other peculiar services. For a bite and a brew, stop by Red’s Old 395 Grill or The Fox Brewery and Pub. For fresh Thai fare, there’s a reason The Basil has been one of the city’s top eateries for 20 years.

Festivals abound year-round in Carson City. Mark Twain Days, an annual springtime literary festival, includes several days filled with shows and workshops. In the fall, the Carson City Murals and Music Festival is jam-packed with activities for the whole family, satisfying art lovers of all ages. And the Brewery Arts Center has been a cultural landmark in Carson City for more than 40 years, so keep an eye on the robust events schedule to catch a concert.

Community and Lifestyle

Amenities like grocery stores, shopping, restaurants, and more are within close proximity anywhere in Carson City, but prospective residents can choose from a selection of neighborhoods based on their lifestyle.

“The most desirable area has been the West Side of Carson for some time now,” says Heidi. This region is home to the city’s Historic District, where unique, historic architecture is right on your doorstep (literally).

Both Heidi and Elizabeth say that Carson City is a draw for all types of people, but especially families with children and retirees. For the latter, Silver Oak in Northwest Carson is perfectly suited for those who want an accessible, affordable, and beautiful neighborhood (nestled right up against the Silver Oak Golf Course) that isn’t too far from the hub-bub. Heidi notes Kings Canyon and Timberline as other desirable areas, both of which boast new, expansive homes with unbeatable views.

“We see a lot of growing families that are upgrading into bigger homes,” says Heidi.

To get even more bang for your buck, consider checking out Dayton, where a short 11-mile jaunt provides plenty of affordable options for growing families and all the benefits of Carson City.

And when you’re ready to check out Carson City for yourself, a brand-new Dickson Realty office is ready to serve you! You’re invited to the grand opening of our new office on May 22, 2:30-5:30 p.m. Enjoy refreshments and hors d’oeuvres and at 3 p.m., Carson City’s mayor Lori Bagwell will be facilitating the ribbon cutting – it’s a great opportunity to meet the representative of your new home.

Ready to find your creative oasis in this one-of-a-kind town? Explore homes in the town of Carson City with Dickson Realty. Whether you’re perusing museums or enjoying a brew at a festival, an inspiring life awaits you here.