I never thought I'd end up here.
Truckee, a rural ski town in the Sierra Nevada, was the last kind of place I thought I'd ever settle down. My twenties were all about moving and shaking and city dwelling. Most twenty-somethings have goals like getting their Master's or getting out of student debt. Mine? To live in as many different cities as I feasibly could, and travel as much as my budget allowed. Actually, scratch that... let's be honest, I never had much of a budget. I just traveled. And was fortunate enough to live in some amazing places (find my guide to Portland here, and my guide to Seattle here).
Truth be told, I thought I'd end up in New York City. But then I met Nick, a unique mix of mountain man + traveling gypsy + Jesus freak and my life was forever changed. And so, I find myself calling Truckee home, where the town's mantra is "base camp for a big life".
And lo and behold — I'm living a bigger life here in this little mountain town of 17,000 residents than I ever thought possible.
I decided to put together a list of my favorite ways to explore in Tahoe, as I'm pretty much convinced that this is the best place to "settle down". Life is just so... alive here. From the thriving local entrepreneurial spirit, to the long lazy lake days, to the race for first chair and the tall tales told at the bar after... this is a place where pursuing an intentional life is valued above all else.
If you're planning a trip to Tahoe, this list is a good place to start — but remember, the best moments are the unplanned spontaneous adventures you find for yourself. So get out there and start exploring!
Food & Drink
1. Order a brat + beer at Mellow Fellow
2. Play Cards Against Humanity with strangers at Alibi Ale Works
3. Go on a date night at Truckee Tavern (sit outside if it's warm enough!)
4. Gorge yourself at Mikuni Sushi in the Northstar Village
5. Pick up a pizza to go from Village Pizzeria and enjoy on the public docks at Donner Lake watching sunset
6. Enjoy a long, lazy brunch at Fire Sign Cafe
7. Sip cocktails overlooking Lake Tahoe at the fire pit outside of Lone Eagle Grille
8. Wet Woody at Gar Woods — 'nuff said
Plan Your Summer Adventures
9. Bike the Legacy Trail
10. Make your own candles at Villager Candle Shop
11. Go backpacking on the PCT
12. Explore Sand Harbor via kayak or SUP
13. Find the petroglyphs on Donner Summit
14. Spend an afternoon at Skunk Harbor
15. Tube the Truckee River
16. Watch 4th of July fireworks at Donner Lake
17. Drink wine and play bocce at Truckee River Winery
18. Go mountain biking along Sawtooth Trail
19. Shop Downtown Truckee
20. Go to Truckee Thursdays
21. Catch sunrise at Emerald Bay
Are you planning a trip to Lake Tahoe this summer? What's on your "must do" list? Let me know in a comment below!
Please note: I am a paid ambassador with Northstar California Resort this winter season. All opinions expressed are my own.