Life in Nevada County

People are drawn to Nevada County for many reasons….its history, diverse population, the area’s natural beauty, wide variety of outdoor sports and activities as well as quality of life found in the small town atmosphere.

County Location

Just Northeast of Sacramento, Nevada County is found nestled in the Northern California Sierra Foothills Region…..the perfect place to visit or live. In 1851, its founder took parts of Yuba County to form the new county, naming it after the mining town of Nevada City from which the term Nevada, in Spanish, means “snow covered”. The county offers approximately 974 square miles, 958 square miles of land and 17 square miles of water, for one to experience and enjoy. The western portion is defined by several river courses and irregular boundaries of adjoining counties. The county boundaries resemble the shape of a Derringer pistol which happened to be a common possession among the refined gold rush period residents.


Today, the county seat of Nevada City still exhibits snow covered landscapes during random winter storms. As of 2016, the county census showed a population of 98,095 with 36,894 households and 25,936 families. Also noted in the census were 52,832 housing units.


Towns and Communities



If you are looking into the various schools and educational opportunities for you, your family members or a friend, we have provided you with a list of the individual school district and school sites, both public and private.

Individual School District Sites
Private Schools

Adjacent Counties

Major Highways Accessing the County

Public Transportation

  • Gold Country Stage – bus service in Grass Valley, Nevada City, Cedar Ridge and Colfax. A connection is available between Grass Valley and Auburn (Placer County).
  • Tahoe Area Rapid Transit, operated by Placer County, has a route connecting Truckee with Lake Tahoe and the state of Nevada. Truckee also has its own local bus service.
  • Greyhound and Amtrak stop in Truckee and Colfax.



  • Nevada County Air Park is a general aviation airport located just east of Grass Valley.
  • Sacramento International Airport– Off the interstate 5, Sacramento – 1 hour away from the Western Nevada County area:

Directions to Nevada County from Sacramento

  • Route 1 – Taking Interstate 5 east, to the 99 and head north to the 70 into Marysville. Go east on State Route 20 toward Penn Valley/Grass Valley/Nevada City.
  • Route 2 – Take the Interstate 5 southeast toward Sacramento. Head east on Interstate 80 toward Reno. In Auburn, take the State Route 49 north towards Grass Valley/Nevada City.

Nevada County

National Parks

State Parks

Lakes in the Region

Golf Courses

History of Creative Talent

  • The world’s first long-distance telephone call
  • World’s first commercial air field in Grass Valley
  • The Pelton wheel, designed to power gold mines and currently drives hydro-electric generators
  • Nevada City and Grass Valley – First CA towns with electric lights.
  • Lyman Gilmore developed early powered aircraft and operated the world’s first commercial air field in Grass Valley. There is evidence that he may have flown prior to the Wright brothers.
  • Charles Litton Sr., a Nevada County resident, assisted Raytheon in the development of the magnetron tube.
  • Atari developed its first home computer video games in Nevada County.
  • The Grass Valley Group designed and manufactured the video broadcasting equipment used by the Olympics, NASA and almost every television station
  • Electronic medical dosing equipment was developed and manufactured in Nevada County.
  • The first commercially viable picture-phone was developed in Nevada City.
  • Chuck Yeager, the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound resides here.

Sources reveal that as many as 50 high tech and applied tech companies and more than 1,000 hardware and software design and development professionals are happy to call Nevada County their home.

Housing and Outdoor Environment To Meet Everyone’s Style and Taste

From apartments, co-housing, miner’s cottages, cabins and bungalows to farm houses, ranches, equestrian properties, Victorians, subdivisions and expansive estates with panoramic views, you can find it all in Nevada County. This area offers a diverse range of housing in the setting of your choice. While some desire to live within city limits or reside out in the country, you may want to consider a location on or near a lake, river, stream, golf course or mountain peak. The area offers so many possibilities and, for this reason, Nevada County is known for its diverse population. While walking the streets, a visitor might cross the paths of a Bay Area “Techi” or entrepreneur, world renown pilot, poet, inventor, artist or athlete…or perhaps an organic farmer, aging hippy, rancher, banker, musician, small business owner or employee of tech firm recently relocated to Nevada County. Visitors and residents can truly attest that this county has something that everyone seeks – quality of life.

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