One of the most convenient and most desirable areas to live in Reno is Old Southwest Reno.  Near downtown and midtown, Old Southwest Reno is bordered by the Truckee River to the north, I-395 to the east, McCarran to the west and Plumb Lane to the south. Since this Reno neighborhood is so close to downtown, the commute time is about five minutes to downtown by car and 15-20 minutes walking distance.  This area is located on the MLS map as area 160. Old Southwest Reno is named due to the number of older homes in the area. Most of the homes are brick and have been built between 1920 and 1960 with mature landscaping throughout the tree-lined neighborhood.  As this neighborhood is the first bedroom area for Reno, you can find smaller brick homes on one street and larger mansion type homes just a few blocks over. So with a variety of home sizes, prices of homes for sale will vary, but most average between $320,000 and $450,000 with smaller lots.  However, there are homes that have sold in the millions.

One of the largest and most popular parks in Reno is in Old Southwest.  Idlewild Park is located next to the Truckee River and hosts numerous activities and opportunities at the park throughout the year. Some of the activities include:

  • Reno Earth Day – Reno has had an Earth Day celebration for over 20 years and since 2012, the event has tripled in size. It has become a regional event drawing participants from all over the High Sierra and neighboring states.
  • Rose Garden - The only rose garden in Nevada that has been certified by the American Rose Society. The Rose Garden is over one acre with 200 varieties of roses. The season begins in early June and lasts through September.  The Rose Garden was established in 1958.
  • Idlewild Park Swimming Pool
  • Idlewild Park Train – Open Memorial Day to Labor Day
  • Walking and bike riding paths (a section of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway)
  • James D. Hoff Peace Officers Memorial
  • California Building
  • Rentable park shelters – Rose Garden, Snowflake, and Terrace
  • Skate park
  • Grassy areas for games and sports
  • Picnic areas
  • Reno Street Food  Food Truck Fridays May-October
  • Duck Feeding

Idlewild Park and the California Building were given the Reno from the state of California. The original Reno Arch was built for the Transcontinental Highway Exposition and after the Expo it was displayed at Idlewild Park before moving to its final home on Lake Street.
The next major park in the area is Betsy Caughlin Donnelly Park which is a 30-acre park located west of Reno.  There are walking trails, benches and great views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Neighborhood parks in Old Southwest Reno include Ivan Sack Park and Water’s Edge which both have walking trails.  Newlands Park has trails along with a playground.  Barbara Bennett Park includes a playground with picnic shelters and a basketball and tennis court. Plumas Street Park is great for sports enthusiasts with soccer fields, football fields and a basketball court. Last is Crissie Caughlin Park with a picnic shelter, playground, horseshoe pits, barbeques and a bicycle path.

For Washoe County School District, Old Southwest is zoned for Reno High School and Swope Middle School.  Elementary Schools include Roy Gomm, Hunter Lake, Beck and Mount Rose. Mount Rose Elementary School was built in 1912 in an open field on the (then) southern edge of Reno.  In 1977, Mount Rose was nominated and added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Since Old Southwest borders Midtown and Downtown Reno, these are popular shopping spots for residents.  Also, nearby is Shopper’s Square which contains some smaller shops and restaurants and California Avenue that contains many local stores.

If you are looking to relocate to a neighborhood that is close to downtown and shopping, but you want to keep the feel of a close-knit, quiet neighborhood, Old Southwest Reno is a good place to look.  With tons of history and a variety of homes, Old Southwest can offer something for almost everyone.