Penn Valley is lower elevation than other areas in Nevada County, at 1400 – 1600 feet above sea level. Fewer Pines and more Oaks. The area is characterized by level lots. As such Penn Valley is ideal for keeping horses and many residents do just that.
Not including Lake Wildwood (see Lake Wildwood). Penn Valley has just under 700 housing units. Houses in Penn Valley are characterized by diversity of styles and sizes. You will find houses priced from $195,000 to $1,300,000. Floor plans from 1,056 square feet to 3,839 square feet. And lots from .12 acre to 20 acres.
Penn Valley is thought to take its name from Madame Penn, the original owner of the town site. The town hosts an annual rodeo event in late spring that attract as many as 5,000 enthusiastic Rodeo spectators. The rodeo was first organized by George Allen Smith, a local cowboy, who got land donated and with the help of friends and family (George married Lynn Margaret Gleason, daughter of the owners of the Lazy Valley Angus Ranch which was the original stage stop between Reno and Sacramento during the gold rush), established the rodeo in 1951. Intermission entertainment was provided by Larry Filer and his horse, Jim. Jim could pull the hanker chief out of Larry’s pocket, count, play dead, take a nap, steal Larry’s hat etc. Larry claimed Jim was never trained.
Penn Valley is home to one of Nevada County’s celebrated restaurants, Twelve 28 Kitchen. Reservations are required far in advance. Check out the Kitchen’s popular Fried Chicken night. Other favorites are the Blue Cow Deli & Squeeze Burger.
Penn Valley Park is a crown jewel of Penn Valley. Eighty-seven acres, open to the public, replete with lots of spaces for outdoor fun, BBQ pits, and covered tables available for events. Local organizations stage a Christmas Holiday Lights event.
The Rotary Club of Penn Valley is active in the community, organizing fundraisers and events to support local area youth events. Interested parties are invited to join the club for lunch Tuesdays at noon at Players Pizza and Pasta in Penn Valley.