Resting at the heart of the Sierra Nevada Foothills, Grass Valley is a Gold Rush era town featuring some of the best views the United States has to offer, from open skies and rocky hills to clear, blue streams and cedar trees. Want to find local movers in Grass Valley? View the list of local Atlas® Agents.
Grass Valley History
The city is rumored to be named after the “grassy valley” that attracted settlers and their livestock looking for greener pastures. The discovery of quartz gold in 1850 caused an enormous population boom as hundreds of thousands of miners from around the world built towns surrounded by miles of subterranean tunnels. After periods of boom and bust, the population stabilized, and mining ceased shortly after World War II.
Grass Valley Weather
Grass Valley’s climate is highly agreeable, with warm temperatures and low humidity. There are far more sunny days in Grass Valley than the United States average, but when it does rain, it rains heavily. The average high temperature in July is a toasty 89 degrees, while the average low temperature in January is a relatively reasonable 34 degrees. With a 42 rating, Grass Valley also scores better on the air quality index than the United States average of 50.
Grass Valley Transportation
The average commute time in Grass Valley is 27 minutes. The city is served by State Routes 20 and 49. While most commuters in Grass Valley travel by car, the Gold Country Stage transfer hubs at Tinloy and Bank Streets do provide public transportation between Grass Valley and surrounding communities like Nevada City and Auburn. The nearest major airport is the Sacramento International Airport, about 60 miles south via CA-49.
Cost of Living in Grass Valley
The price tag of living in such a beautiful place with a great climate is high. The cost of living in Grass Valley is significantly greater than the United States average, with expenses ranging from 25% to 75% higher than the rest of the country. Housing is the greatest expense by far, followed by groceries and utilities. Are you considering relocating to Grass Valley? Want to know how far your salary can go in the Sacramento area? Use the resources below to find out.
Grass Valley Schools
The city is served by the Grass Valley School District, consisting of Bell Hill Academy (grades kindergarten through fourth), Grass Valley Charter School (pre-kindergarten to eighth), Lyman Gilmore Middle School (fifth through eighth), Margaret G. Scotten School (transitional kindergarten through fourth), and a network of Grass Valley Preschools. The nearest college is the Nevada County campus of Sierra College, which offers tuition-free and non-credit courses to adult students with a love of learning.
Grass Valley Hospitals
The nearest hospital is the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, a not-for-profit facility with 104 beds with services focused on advanced cancer care, orthopedic and general surgical services, labor and delivery, emergency services, and cardiology. The Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, an acute care facility with only 64 beds, is also nearby.
Grass Valley Real Estate
There are about 6,637 housing units in Grass Valley with an owner-occupied rate of 42.3%. The median home value is $329,900, about $144,000 more than the United States average. The typical rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,216, about $200 more than average. If you’re unsure whether you’re going to stay in Grass Valley permanently, it may be wise to rent instead of buy.
Grass Valley Hotels
The Sierra Mountain Inn dates back to the 1930s. Originally called the Sierra Motel, it was the lodging option of choice for wealthy travelers who could afford automobiles and appreciated being able to park right outside their rooms. It was redesigned in 2003 to what has been described by guests as a real-life Thomas Kinkade painting. The Holbrooke has an even richer history. Built in 1862, it was originally named the Exchange Hotel, named after the Gold Exchange. Its most notable guests include Mark Twain, Ulysses S. Grant, Emma Nevada, the infamous highwayman Black Bart, and many more historical figures.
Grass Valley Restaurants
Considering how small Grass Valley is, it has an incredible wealth of quality restaurants. Diego’s is a colorful and hip Chilean-inspired joint that serves authentic South American cuisine cooked with fresh, organic ingredients. Kaido Sushi is run by experienced chef Kazuhiko Mukai, who grew up in a restaurant family in Japan and ended up working in the kitchen of the Japanese ambassador in London. The Trattoria Milano serves authentic Italian dishes cooked by chef and owner Gianfranco Maffezzoni in an historic Victorian house.
Things to Do in Grass Valley
Visit Empire Mine State Historic Park to take a tour of one of the oldest, largest, and most successful gold mines in U.S. history, or enjoy the nearly 850 acres of hiking and biking trails. The Towers Casino & Card Room is family-owned and the perfect place to play an easygoing game of poker or blackjack and watch a football game. For the kids, head to the 49er Fun Park and play a round of mini golf, get some practice in the batting cages, save up tickets from the arcade, and take a few rounds on the go-kart track.