Carson City, Nevada

Best Places to Retire in Nevada


Carson City (population 53,000) is the state’s capital. Its founder, Abraham Curry, named it after the Carson River in 1860. The legendary frontiersman, Kit Carson, made a permanent mark on the area as he journeyed in 1842 with John C. Fremont of the Army Corps of Engineers to map California. His maps of this area refer to “Carson Pass” that would guide the early settlers. Today you can walk the Kit Carson Trail through the city’s historic residential district. Following a painted blue line with bronze medallions you will find 59 landmarks, including Victorian homes, museums and churches.

The Eagle Valley is in one of the most scenic and historic areas of the west. It is just beyond the long stretches of desert to the east, and before reaching the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In 1851 it had become the site of a trading post and a small ranch that served as a welcome respite for the waves of weary settlers and prospectors heading west. In 1859, prospectors searching for gold struck silver in the hills east of Carson City – the Comstock Lode. It was to become the largest silver discovery in the world. Tens of thousands of miners and others poured into Carson City and Virginia City.

Carson City is the sixth largest city in the state, and unlike many state capitals, it has retained the flavor of a neighborhood community. It has a large historic residential area and beautiful old buildings, including the state capitol building, which was completed in 1871. Shoppers enjoy browsing through the large mix of specialty shops and antique stores in the historic downtown district. There are a number of casinos, some which offer live entertainment, and there is a very active arts calendar. There are also plenty of good eating establishments, including ethnic choices and fine dining.

It is only a 35-minute drive to the nightlife and hustle and bustle of Reno, the beauty of Lake Tahoe, or the “Old West” of Virginia City. There are also some world-class golf courses in the area and there is fishing, hunting, biking, hiking, horseback riding, and more.

Carson City has a very diversified economy, with 1,750 business establishments. Services workers constitute the largest group, followed by state employees which make up 25 percent of the workforce. Manufacturing accounts for another 14 percent of workers.

Arts & Culture

The Brewery Arts Center is Carson City’s local arts agency and community arts center. The organization offers more than 130 cultural events yearly in theater, music, vocal performance, dance, literature and visual arts.

Carson City Symphony has been performing since the early 1980s. . The Carson Chamber Singers is an affiliate of the Symphony.

Carson City Community Center has an 802-seat theater (Bob Boldrick Theater) that serves as one on the important venues in the city.

The Capital Arts Coalition’s mission is to “advocate, coordinate and act on behalf of cultural life, arts organizations, and artists in Carson City to enhance the quality of life.”

Virginia City, site of the famous Comstock Lode silver strike, is located just 15 miles northeast of Carson City. This historic landmark attracts 2 million visitors each year to see its mines, museums, and historic mansions, and catch a glimpse of what the 1860s must have been like.

Nevada State Museum, built in 1866, features a life-sized ghost town, a silver mine, and equipment used to stamp gold and silver coins from the Comstock Lode.

Nevada State Railroad Museum displays restored historic Virginia and Truckee Railroad equipment used to haul silver from the Comstock Lode.

The events calendar is crowded with activities year-round. A few of these are the Carson Rendezvous which celebrates the coming of spring with a mountain man jamboree and Indian pow-wow.

There is the Nevada Day celebration in October, the Silver Dollar Car Classic and the Run-What-Cha-Brung classic car shows with rock and roll and family fun. Nearby events include Hot August Nights, hot air balloon races, Virginia City Camel Races, Reno Air Races, and Genoa Candy Dance.

Nevada Shakespeare Company, Reno, NV –

Reno, Nevada Opera –


There are nine outstanding golf courses nearby, called the “Divine Nine.” They offer play year-round and appeal to all skill levels.

Snow skiing is a major sport in the area with more than a dozen resorts, from 35 minutes away to not more than 75 miles. In addition to world-class down hill skiing, there is equally good cross-country skiing.

For cyclists, there are a great many trails with both challenging and scenic routes. For example, Spooner Summit features a loop to Marlette Lake along Tahoe’s eastern ridge, down to the site of the Ponderosa. There are beginner trails of four miles or less and there is the 13-mile McClellan Peak climb which reaches 7,465 feet.

Outdoorsmen are able to fish year-round for Cutthroat trout. The Carson River has rainbows, carp, bass and whitefish. Clear Creek offers small stream fishing. There is also the Truckee River, Topaz and Washoe lakes and Hobart Reservoir. Big-game hunting includes elk, antelope, deer, and bighorn sheep.

There are over 600 acres of parkland within the city offering lighted tennis courts, an aquatic center with both indoor and outdoor pools, ball fields, an equestrian arena, community center, gymnasium, and much more.


Western Nevada Community College, Carson City.

Senior Programs

The senior center offers support programs including Meals on Wheels. It also features a gift shop that sells handcrafted items created by seniors. The center has a great many activities, including art classes, bingo, bunco, cards, crafts, exercise programs, gems and minerals, line dancing, Tai Chi, tap, pool/billiards, quilting, signing, Senior dances, singing and a monthly gambling bus tour.

Nevada Senior RX (drug purchase program) is the state’s plan to provide Nevada seniors some relief from high cost prescription medicine.


Carson-Tahoe Hospital is a 128-bed community hospital with185 physicians on staff.


Reno/Tahoe International Airport –

Carson City Airport is a general aviation airport with a 5,900-foot asphalt runway.


Carson City is at 4,687 feet above sea level. Average annual snowfall is 31.8 inches. The average temperatures are a high of 45 degrees and a low of 19 degrees in January. In July, the average high is 89 degrees and low is 50 degrees.


Nevada Appeal –

Property Taxes

Tax Assesor –

State Taxes

Nevada Department of Taxation –
There is no state income tax.

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency


Lake Tahoe – 14 miles
Reno – 30 miles
Sacramento – 165 miles
San Francisco – 261 miles
Las Vegas – 411 miles

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