Founded around the construction of the transcontinental railroad, the first settlement in the area now known as Truckee was built to house Central Pacific Railroad workers. Truckee grew rapidly with the help of lucrative lumber market and booming mining operations in nearby Virginia City, but in the late 1800s, the railroad opened the way for increased tourism and soon people flocked to the area during the summer months to experience the comfortable climate and beautiful views.
This year, Truckee celebrates 150 years since its establishment and 20 years since the first town council was incorporated. Experience the fusion of railroad-based history, outdoor recreation, small boutiques and restaurants with a day in Truckee.
Owned by Truckee local and former Olympic skier Kristin Krone, Wild Cherries offers a menu that encompasses everything from coffee and smoothies, breakfast sandwiches and wraps to fresh-baked goods and a changing menu of lunch specials including lasagna and enchiladas, all using locally sourced ingredients when possible. In addition to keeping the food local, Wild Cherries strengthens the community through supporting local businesses, artists and athletes. Grab a bite before heading downtown.
Shop historic Truckee
Donner Pass Road and West River Street in the heart of historic downtown Truckee are home to dozens of shops and restaurants. Spend the morning browsing the galleries and boutiques for your next art piece, outfit or souvenir. Discover Truckee’s history with a walk through historic downtown. Be sure to visit the Old Jail Museum, one of the oldest jails in continuous operation in the West, and the Truckee Railroad Museum. Both museums are open on weekends and during Truckee Thursdays throughout the summer. Maps of historic downtown Truckee are available at the California Welcome Center in The Depot.
Head a few blocks west on Donner Pass Road and grab some grub at Burger Me! In addition to the traditional hamburger, Burger Me! offers a diverse menu of bison, turkey, chicken, lamb, Ahi tuna and veggie burgers to satisfy the adventurous burger consumer. The menu, featuring locally sourced ingredients, was once featured on the Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”
Explore, play and have fun
Work off lunch with a round of disc golf at Truckee Regional Park. The park also is home to a rodeo arena, skate park and nature trails including the river trail, which provides access to fishing on the Truckee River. Bring a picnic for the family to Music in the Park every Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Salty Gebhart Amphitheater.
For those who have boating, fishing and swimming on their minds, Truckee is near several lakes and reservoirs including Donner and Martis lakes, and Stampede, Prosser Creek and Boca reservoirs. These lakes are home to several species of fish including Brown, Mackinaw and Rainbow trout and Kokanee salmon. Be sure to check rules and regulations, including catch and release policies and speed limitations before visiting each lake.
From 5 to 9 p.m. every Thursday during the summer, the town closes a few blocks of downtown on Donner Pass Road to make way for local vendors, artists and musicians during Truckee Thursdays. The evening is an opportunity for the community to mingle and discover the local talent. With live music, a variety of food stands a beer garden and a kidzone, Truckee Thursdays has something to offer the whole family.
Sample locally crafted libations at any of the local wine tasting rooms or breweries. Support the Truckee Humane Society with LegLifter ale from FiftyFifty Brewing Company or play a few rounds of Bocce ball while sampling offerings from Truckee River Winery. Keep an eye out for the grand opening of the new tasting room at Tahoe Mountain Brewery Company featuring beers that aim to “close the gap between beer and food,” according to brewmaster Elijah Pasciak.
As dinner rolls around, you can find a variety of options for fine dining in Truckee. Enjoy a meal accompanied by live music in one of the nation’s oldest ski lodges at Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar, or learn from Executive Chef Jacob Burton at The Stella Culinary School. In addition to an elegant menu, the kitchen staff at Stella is dedicated to sharing techniques and recipes to bring some of the flavors of Stella to your home cooking.
From the Thai, Japanese, Indian and Malaysian influences of Dragonfly to the live entertainment and lounge setting of Moody’s Bistro Bar and Beats, the culinary artistry of Restaurant Trokay and the Mediterranean and Italian fusion of Pianeta Ristorante, you are sure to find something in Truckee to satisfy the refined palette.
An Italian-inspired café by day, the Coffeebar is now offering a variety of nightlife activities including live music and DJs. Weekly events include Tuesday pasta nights featuring prix-fixe meals of homemade pasta and wine or beer pairings. Wednesday nights are home to FIFA soccer Xbox tournaments and following Truckee Thursdays, the Coffeebar hosts live music and DJs Thursday nights. Additionally, Coffeebar holds showings for local artists on the first Friday of every month and plans to announce the start of its Wine of the Month club soon.
End the day mingling with the locals at any one of the watering holes in town. Once included in a list of the rowdiest ski bars in America by liftopia.com, the Tourist Club is known for cheap drinks and late night rounds of pool, or swing by the Pastime Club for a night of live music and dancing.
Bus service is offered from surrounding communities to Truckee; visit laketahoetransit.com for a schedule. As well, parking in the downtown historic district is paid from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily with free parking starting at 5 p.m. during Truckee Thursdays (a free bike valet is offered during the event at the Old Jail). There’s also a free, all-day lot on the west end of Donner Pass Road across from Carmel Gallery. See Events in every issue for details on upcoming events.
Photos by Jenn Sheridan
Live music | Entertainment section in this issue
8 a.m.-1 p.m. | Farmers’ Market | Truckee River Regional Park
6:30-8 p.m. Music in the Park | Truckee River Regional Park
5-7 p.m. | Wine tastings | Pour House & Uncorked Truckee
5-9 p.m. | Truckee Thursdays | Commercial Row
8:30 p.m. | Fresh Air Flicks | California 89
10:30 a.m. | Story time | Bookshelf
Until July 28
Hours vary | California Carnival | Truckee River Regional Park
10 a.m.-5 p.m. (until 4 on Sun.) | Antique Show | Truckee High School
7 a.m. | Endurance hike | Cedar House
Noon | Culinary lunch series | Stella
5:30 p.m. | “Voices of Youth” poetry reading | Cedar House
California Welcome Center
The Depot | truckee.com