Experience historic Truckee, California’s Old-West mountain charm with unique shops, wonderful restaurants, wine tasting, art galleries, entertainment, and year-round recreation and adventure. Set high in the northern Sierra Nevada just a short distance from Lake Tahoe and home to beautiful Donner Lake, Truckee, California’s rustic mountain appeal is second to none. Visit this amazing sleepy town during your next North Lake Tahoe vacation!
History of Truckee
Historic downtown Truckee, established in 1868 as a railroad community linking Reno and Sacramento, as well as a bustling lumber town, has kept its small-town charm even now in the 21st century. Strolling through this historic downtown, you will find an Old-West mountain feel that you cannot find anywhere else. Historic brick buildings house unique shops, historic hotels, art galleries, and wonderful restaurants and entertainment. History buffs and those who love a rich local history will love this little sleepy downtown area.
Top Ten Things to Do
1: Enjoy Downtown Truckee Festivals
This is not just a spot for visitors to shop and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery. Locals love joining the festivities hosted in downtown Truckee, such as Truckee Thursdays and the Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop, as well as just coming to one of Truckee’s restaurants to grab a delicious meal.
2: Dine at One of Truckee’s Amazing Local Restaurants
In the summer, you can have a scrumptious meal out on the patio at Dragonfly or join one of the summer events that are always a good time. In the fall, you can enjoy the stunning fall colors surrounding Historic downtown Truckee while shopping at The Pharmacy or Down by the River, two favorite places for trendy clothing and accessories. In the winter, you can bundle up and walk along the beautiful snow-covered streets and cozy up in one of our warm restaurants like Pacific Crest or Pianeta’s.
3: Visit Downtown Truckee’s Historic Sites
You can also visit some of the historic sites located in downtown Truckee, like the Truckee Hotel, built in 1873 and still renting rooms, or the Old Jail, built in 1875 and used until 1964. Even though fires swept through this town in early years, the townsmen continued rebuilding the town after every fire, stronger than before, and many of those buildings are still standing and in use today.
4: Spend an Afternoon at Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum
Only a short drive away you’ll find the Donner Memorial State Park, where beautiful scenery offers vacationers a wide array of outdoor recreation. The park is home to the Schallenberger Ridge, with ancient rock formations left over from glaciers long ago. You can also visit the historical Emigrant Trail Museum to learn about the original settlers that made the long journey to California just centuries ago.
5: Ride a Horse at the Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center
If you’re a horse lover or just looking to get closer to these magnificent creatures, the Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center offers guided trail rides for adults as well as children, pony rides for the little ones, as well as lessons if you have the time! It’s a great way to experience nature and bond with a horse!
6: Stop by the Truckee Railroad Museum
Whether you’re a lover of history and trains or just looking to learn more about Truckee, the railroad museum is a great spot to spend an afternoon! You can find it right by the historic railroad station that once was the lifeblood of the town, receiving shipments from across the country on the South Pacific Railroad. In the museum, you’ll find stories, pictures, and artifacts that tell the vibrant history of Truckee.
7: Golf on the Coyote Moon Golf Course
Designed by former PGA tour player Brad Bell, this is a must visit for golf enthusiasts, spanning across 250 acres of pristine greens, epic pine trees, natural rock formations, and Trout Creek. And it’s right here in Truckee!
8: Indulge in a Glass at Truckee River Winery
These amazing wines are stored in barrels at high altitudes that lead to a creation of vibrant flavor profiles! Stop by their tasting room to see what it’s all about!
9: Hike the Truckee River Legacy Trail
This newly opened trail was 20 years in the making and features a Class 1 bikeway and multi-use trail right along the gorgeous scenery of the Truckee River. It’s a relaxing way to spend a morning, and is dog, stroller, and handicap accessible.
10: Frolick on Lake Donner’s West End Beach
You don’t have to drive to Tahoe for some lakeside fun! West End Beach features kayak and paddleboard rentals, as well as fishing, playgrounds, tennis and volleyball courts, and swimming area!