the must-stop ski town for Palisades skiers and boarders
Why Truckee is the must-stop ski town for Palisades skiers and boarders
Skiers and snowboarders flock to California’s Palisades Tahoe every winter. At 6000 acres of skiable terrain, it’s one of North America’s biggest resorts and sees an impressive 11m of snowfall every season.
But when you’re not on the slopes, you’ll want to be getting your fix of the Tahoe favourites - everything from the best coffee to the après spot loved by all the locals.
Truckee is your answer. An easy 15-minute drive from Palisades Tahoe, arriving into this old railway town feels like you’ve stepped onto the set of a Western movie. But don’t be fooled by the 1800s-era architecture, as there’s plenty to keep you busy here.
Here’s everything we love about Truckee, and what cements its status as a must-stop ski town.
The best spot for morning fuel
There are plenty of options to start your morning well in Truckee. For a quick stop, Coffeebar is a favourite for Italian-style coffees, breakfast bowls and donut holes to stash in your jacket pocket.
There’s also Pacific Crest Coffee, opened by professional snowboarder Ralph Backstrom, which offers a coffee tasting room and roastery; or Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, so good that you’ll find Aussies flocking to it for their caffeine fix.
If you have time to sit down, Squeeze In is an institution that’s been in town since 1974. The restaurant was so tiny, guests would literally have to ‘squeeze in’ to enjoy their breakfast at one of the 39 seats. These days, the space is bigger, but they still serve up the “Best omelettes on the planet” - a claim that’s easy to believe, considering the food’s been praised by everyone from Vogue to the New York Times.
History, history, history
What’s a holiday without a bit of culture? Truckee is rich with railway history, and the trains that go through town are a legacy to the pioneers who worked so hard to make a life for themselves in the mountains.
You can learn more about it all at the Truckee Railroad Museum, which showcases the town as a railway hub; or at the Emigrant Trail Museum, which tells the story of those who journeyed across the Sierra Nevada at the Emigrant Trail Museum.
A walk through town will also take you past iconic spots such as the 19th-century jailhouse on Truckee’s Jimboom Street. Or you can wander all the way down to the Truckee River Legacy Trail, which winds its way through meadows and forests, all alongside surrounding mountains.
Sports buffs will also find their kicks at the Olympic Museum at High Camp, which tells the stories of the Winter Olympic Games held in town in 1960.
Easy access to daytime adventures
There’s a free bus between Truckee to Palisades Tahoe, making for easy access in mere minutes. Iff you want a different kind of adventure, Donner Memorial State Park is just out of town and offers incredible snowshoeing and cross-country trails.
For those really seeking their thrills, there’s also the nearby Coldstream Canyon for ice climbing. Experienced guides can help you navigate the frozen waterfalls and cliffs, providing a unique and adrenaline-pumping experience for adventure enthusiasts.
Shopping and crafting
You’re going to need a souvenir from your time in Truckee, and the local boutiques are well-stocked with artisan items like hand-painted local pottery, jewellery, art and textiles.
Bespoke is one great option to buy everything from cosy wool blankets to thrown pillows; or there’s the Mountain Arts Collective, started by three local artists in 2017 and a great place to find a gift.
There’s also the option to make your own memories through workshops and classes that teach woodworking, metal, ceramics and more. The Truckee Roundhouse is a not-for-profit maker’s space, or there’s Atelier, which offers lessons on everything from basket-making to painting - all with that local touch.
There’s nothing like sipping locally-brewed craft beers while enjoying views of the snow-capped Sierra. Favourites include Alibi Ale Works, with rotating beers on tap and some of the fanciest plates of nachos to be found in the mountains; or the Truckee Brewing Company, famous for that ol’ Truckee hospitality.
Can’t decide? You’re in luck. Tahoe Brew Tours will take you on to all the best breweries and tasting rooms in town, ensuring you don’t miss any of the local favourites, and maybe even helping you find a souvenir or two.
As for food, there’s no going past Truckee Tavern for the highest-quality ingredients across their seasonal menu, including farm-raised meats and locally-grown produce. This is where you’ll find the locals enjoying their steaks alongside a spirit from the prohibition-inspired drinks menu, and where - if you’re lucky, and friendly - you may just be able to convince them to tell you their favourite place to go skiing on a powder day.
Convinced you need to visit Truckee – and ski Palisades Tahoe while you’re there? The team at Skimax have you covered. Find out more or book a chat with us here: Palisades Tahoe