Being a parent in northern Nevada is an experience like no other. Boasting vibrant city life, quiet rural retreats, historical landmarks, majestic mountain ranges, and plenty of adventure — it's no wonder that home means Nevada to so many, including me. There are plenty of reasons to love raising a family in Northern Nevada. From the wonderful weather, to a bustling arts and culture scene, to its seriously breathtaking landscapes — Northern Nevada is just an amazing place to live.

The one biggest misconception that people have about the entire state of Nevada is that we're literally just a placeholder for Las Vegas. People forget that there's a whole state to see beyond the Sin City strip, with so many amazing things to do and ample space to explore. I love the fact that there's always an adventure waiting to be had, and that my kids get to spend so much of their lives outdoors, exploring, and getting familiar with nature. Las Vegas may be our largest city, but surely it's not our most exciting.

Raising my kids in Northern Nevada has been a gift. It's quiet, we're surrounded by history, and we're close to the cities we love, and there is rarely ever a good reason to opt indoors when the beautiful outside awaits. Here are just a few of the fabulous perks I've grown to love as a Northern Nevada mom:

300 Days Of Sunshine

My kids (and, let's face it, all kids) love to be outside. As Nevada moms, we never have to worry about cabin fever — even in the winter. Why? Well, are you guys ready for this? Nevada boasts an amazing 300 days of sunshine a year. Yep. Three hundred. We're able to play outside year round, and that is a seriously amazing perk when you have three very active kids to keep up with.

Lake Tahoe

There are very few places in the world that can rival the beauty of Lake Tahoe. Known for its pristine blue waters and panoramic mountain views, Tahoe is the gem of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Beyond the obvious lure of the lake, Tahoe is also a great place for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding, and is filled with amazing hiking and biking trails to enjoy in the summer. Every time we make the short drive to the lake, I marvel at how lucky we are to have this vacation destination right in our backyard.

Snowy Winters

When I was growing up in California, I longed for snowy winters. Every once in a while we would drive through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, and my brother and I would dive into the snow, sometimes loading it into a cooler so we could bring some of the glorious ice-cold fluff home with us.

Now I live with that mountain range practically in my backyard, and my kids get to enjoy winter sports, sledding, and plenty of snow days off school.

Great Hiking Spots

Northern Nevada has more hiking trails than I'll ever be able to explore in a lifetime. (This reality is so sad.) Desert destinations, mountain wilderness, lakeside trails and walks along the river are all a mere few miles away. There are plenty of easy, short hiking spots for little ones and more strenuous hikes to enjoy as they get older.

Family Friendly Festivals

While lots of people may think of Burning Man and beer crawls when they think about Nevada festivals, the truth is Northern Nevada hosts plenty of family friendly festivals. The World Championship Outhouse Races, The Reno Rodeo, The Great Reno Balloon Race, The Best in the West Rib Cook-Off, and Genoa's Candy-Dance Festival are just a few of our family's favorite festivals.

Images Courtesy of Gemma Hartley (6)