Truckee vacation rentals
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Your guide to Truckee
Welcome to Truckee
Nestled in the Sierra Nevada against the majestic backdrop of the Tahoe National Forest, Truckee comes by its frontier vibe honestly. Fortune seekers of all types made their way to this mountain outpost, from Gold Rush hopefuls en route to nearby mines to men seeking work in the booming logging industry. In 1867 the first train rolled into town on the newly forged Central Pacific Railroad, and the passengers who spilled forth were greeted by a rough-and-tumble boomtown populated with saloons and gambling halls. Truckee’s well-preserved downtown, with its brick storefronts and wooden sidewalks, is now home to boutiques, candy stores, and art galleries. Not that Truckee has gotten too highfalutin’ for its own good: this is a place where hearty diner fare lives comfortably next to farm-to-table prix-fixe menus. More than just a picturesque mountain town, Truckee is an outdoor recreation mecca situated at the nexus of several top-notch ski resorts, numerous lakes, and pristine forests criss-crossed with scenic hiking trails.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Truckee
Thanks to Truckee’s advantageous location, there are activities to enjoy here every season. During the hot summer months the streets, vacation rentals, nearby lakes, and parks course with visitors. In fall, the temperatures dip along with the crowds and the surrounding forests turn brilliant shades of yellow and red. Winter means snow and a second high season, as people flock to the nearby slopes or to traverse the powdery landscape on cross-country skis and snowshoes. Spring can still look a lot like winter in Truckee, but as the snow starts to thaw, waterfalls spring to life.
Top things to do in Truckee
Lake Tahoe is the celebrity body of water around here, but smaller Donner Lake has its own charm, such as a more secluded atmosphere. A clear freshwater gem ringed by conifers and a few impressive estates, this lake is ideal for lazy days of sunning and swimming. If you’re feeling more active, kayaks, canoes, and jet skis are available to rent shoreside. The West End Beach Park has BBQs, horseshoe pits, and volleyball, and a concession stand slinging burgers, ice cream, and other treats.
Donner Memorial State Park
The name Donner is unavoidable in this area, and is attached to part of the region's darkest chapters. In 1846 a wagon train called the Donner Party attempting a shortcut through the mountains near Truckee became stranded during an unforgiving winter. Only 45 of the 91 travelers survived. A visitor center and museum displays artifacts of the doomed pioneers. Outside, a memorial statue sits atop a 22-foot granite base — the same height as the snow drifts that fateful winter.
Old Jail Museum
This circa-1875 jail once housed the brawling baddies of historic Truckee. With 32-inch stone walls, steel ceilings, and doors weighing nearly 200 pounds, it is a veritable fortress. The jail was restored in the 1970s and is now operated as a museum displaying historic photographs and artifacts significant to the town’s history, including antique ski equipment. The museum is open seasonally, so check ahead before you go.