Truckee is one of those towns that just grabs you. It’s such an amalgamation of energies — old Wild West, vibrant new shops and restaurants, street fairs, rodeos, repurposed and restored historic buildings and homes, super healthy, beer drinking, young and vitally aging. When you’re first here, it’s almost confusing. Wait, is this a kind of town that time forgot? Or is this a place that has been recharged and made cool but that has kept its historic look and feel? The answer to both of those, actually, is yes. Then, when you add in the uptown yet totally comfortable appeal of Northstar California, the super-popular ski "town" that mingles borders with Truckee, you're in for an interesting mix of experiences.
Northstar California, with its luxury slopeside lodging, appealing shops, restaurants, impeccably groomed trails, world-class terrain park and cross country center combines, as they themselves describe it, California cool with high-end luxury, on-mountain exhilaration with a sophisticated alpine village atmosphere.
The historic downtown area of Truckee mirrors the town of decades ago. The railroad tracks still run through the middle of town with the intermittent line of rail cars passing by accompanied by the siren song of the engine ... a sound that not many city-locked people ever hear anymore. Truckee residents might not even notice it, but visitors do. It punctuates the fact that they’re not in the middle of tall buildings, noise and a press of humanity. Looking up and down the main street, the buildings that house current-day restaurants, retail and hotels stand in the same configuration as they originally did more than a hundred years ago, shoulder to shoulder. It’s just as easy to imagine that a hitching post would be out front of them as parking spots.
But that’s the charm of Truckee — that bringing together of the forward-thinking and fun with the respected past. Keep the building that once housed a saloon but fill it with a fantastic restaurant that accents its food offerings with a vast wine list. Refurbish the hotel that’s more than 140 years old, add in a bistro but keep the ghost.
Of course, there’s a more recent side to Truckee, with every amenity and necessity you’d expect of a town with more than 16,000 year round residents. Try Truckee activities, like walking the path that leads up the hill from downtown and you might come upon a summer-time, family-based softball game. If you’re lucky, the rodeo will be in town, and the 13-something Rodeo Queens will parade out in their curls and fancy cowgirl outfits. Again, you’re not in your city anymore. You’re in Truckee. Sit back and take it all in.
If you’re visiting Truckee or just looking for something to do, check out the daytime and nightlife events happening in town and in Northstar. Whether it’s swishing down ski slopes or checking out an outdoor festival, you don’t have to look hard to find good times in Truckee.