Families across the nation are wondering where it’s safe to vacation this summer/fall, amidst a continuing pandemic. It has been advised that time outdoors is an absolute best-bet for keeping distance while exploring, enjoying a meal, and experiencing new activities. During this often weary and uncertain time, we are finding ways in Tahoe to be creative in the pursuit of simple joys. The sweet little ski town of Truckee, California is now the ultimate traveler’s summertime getaway and here are some reasons why.
Perfect day temps complimented by crisp, cold nights.
From June through September, Truckee relishes in delightful temperatures ranging from 74 to 83°F. At night, you’ll need a sweatshirt as temperatures dip down between 37 to 42°F. It’s never sweltering, the lakes are refreshingly chilly and we’d be remiss not to mention the billions of stars twinkling overhead, intermingled with the heavy scent of pine.
Whichever type of traveler you are, there’s a stay perfectly suited to your taste.
From campgrounds to yurts, motels to 5-star resorts, homes and condos for rent, Truckee has it all. Better still, there are oftentimes significant discounts for long-term stays (7+ nights), and many options have kitchens, washer/dryers, outdoor space and family rooms so your lodging can be a comfortable home-away-from-home. Our favorite spots are:
Old Greenwood: beyond being surrounded by the opulence of a luxe, 4-star “cabin”, you and your guests have access to golf, adult and family swimming pools (with chairside food/beverage service), tennis courts, an on-site bar/grille and much more. Folks can ride bikes throughout the resort or into downtown Truckee, if they’re feeling a bit more energetic.
Northstar California: A top family, wintertime ski resort in Lake Tahoe, Northstar doubles as an incredible retreat in the warmer months, too. With studio to four-bedroom, 4-star lodging set amidst a ski village, dining, Starbucks, roller skating, hiking and mountain biking are steps from your door. Plus, Lake Tahoe is only about a 10 minute drive away.
Easy access to Truckee via Reno-Tahoe International Airport, about a 30 minute drive away.
Ah, The Biggest Little City in the World… home to Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) with 9 airlines providing130+ daily flights from 21 non-stop destinations. Alternately, you can fly into quaint and lovely Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK/KTRK). You’ll land smack dab in the middle of mountain fun.
Truckee’s recreation is endless, equally welcoming young, old, the fit and not-so-sporty.
Even during a time when what to do choices can be more limited, Tahoe visitors can partake in:
After a day packed with summertime fun you can refuel at a delightful outdoor eatery.
There’s nothing quite like dining alfresco; and, Truckee’s taken it to an entirely new level. A picture-perfect, quaint downtown has been transformed into restaurant row with pizzerias, bar/grilles, cafes, Mexican and Italian joints dotting Donner Pass Road. Diners will be surrounded by twinkle lights, the breathtaking Sierra Nevadas and the whistle of passing trains. Our favorite spots include:
Pianeta: upscale Italian with the town’s best happy hour. Must-samples include Bruschetta Two Ways, Insalata Robyn and the pasta of the day.
Casa Baeza: locals favorite, tasty, traditional Mexican fare with near-clear, permagrin-making margaritas.
Marty’s: best breakfast in town, especially the hefty, hearty Huevos Rancheros; we dig the Fried Egg Sando too with a zippy lemon aioli.
Burger Me: the name says it all—get the real deal or step outside the lines and try a bison or elk burger; turkey, chicken and veggie varieties are available too.
Some of the most stunning, natural scenery in the country is yours to enjoy at Lake Tahoe.
Whether you choose to appreciate her from an aerial vantage point (we recommend a mountain bike ride on the Tahoe Rim Trail or hike up steep but speedy Eagle Rock for magnificent 360-degree vistas) or from the ground, you simply cannot come to Truckee without checking out Lake Tahoe. You’ll see the iconic, turquoise waters with granite boulders jutting out at Sand Harbor but get there before the park opens (8 am), or you’ll likely be out of luck nabbing a parking space.
You can also drive all the way around Lake Tahoe, 72-miles in total. It’s gorgeous from start to finish and you’ll pass Emerald Bay, another must-see of the Sierras. Stop here for a nice hike up to Eagle Falls.
Biggest Little City Bonus!
Just 30ish moments to the east of Truckee is Reno, Nevada, a city worth the day trip. You can wander downtown and along the Truckee River, visit the trendy Midtown area for a coffee or try your hand at the tables. If you have wee ones, check out Animal Ark – a “sanctuary to orphaned, injured and non-releasable wildlife” set outdoors in Northern Reno.
For the extra adventurous, drive a bit further (about 20 miles northeast) and discover Virginia City, Nevada. This charismatic town is a throwback to yesteryear, found on the National Register of Historic Places. Pose for an old-time family photo, step into a saloon, take a ghost tour or go in October for the ostrich/camel races