Explore Historic Truckee, California
on your cowboy hat and head downtown. Downtown Truckee that is. Dubbed the Gateway
to the Sierra, Truckee lays between the desert of Nevada and the gold country
of California, with Lake Tahoe only fifteen miles away. The Pacific Crest Trail
traverses Truckee as does the Emigrant Trail. But it’s the Historic Downtown that
delights most families.
You might be able
to catch the Wild West Shooters out on an exhibition weekend. Gun fights, saloon
dancers, it’s a reenactment of the wild Truckee heydays when cowboys and gold
hunters rode into town to quench their thirst and appetite.
comprises the Commercial Row section. Now historic buildings have been transformed
into trendy shops, galleries and restaurants. They once housed saloons, herb shops
(Chinese influence), general store and rooming houses; even a red light district.
Kids will probably
get bored dawdling over baubles in the shops, but there are some attractions that
are kid friendly.
The Old Truckee Jail Museum is pretty interesting if you can catch it open. Built
in 1875, this jail was the longest operating jail in California. With iron bars
on the windows, the jail has four cells, two upstairs and two down. Converted
into an eclectic collection of Truckee history, there are historic photos, Chinese
artifacts, historic skis, and various "stuff" of interest. It is located on Jiboom
Street behind Commercial Row.
The Truckee Variety
Store is another must see for families. Just like an old time general store, they’ve
got penny candy (well the idea is the same), rows of inexpensive toy cars and
novelties, and stacks of Beanie Babies.
Another stop is
Bud’s Sporting Goods and Fountain. They carry fishing supplies, sleds, and various
other sporting goods. But the draw is the old fashioned soda fountain, complete
with revolving stools and mirrored fountain. Enjoy a Cherry Coke or a real Ice
Cream Soda. Throw an arriving train in and you’ll have a memorable day.
You can’t escape the numerous trains rumbling through the center of Truckee. Visit
the Depot, now housing the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center to get a feel
for historic train travel. They have a nice collection of historic photos, as
well as activity maps and brochures..
On the train theme,
make a stop in Truckee Train and Toy. Train aficionados, they’ll get you hooked
on toy trains. The kids will like the aerial tram that traverses the store as
well as the wide toy selection. If you are looking for a place for breakfast or
lunch, check out the Squeeze In. They offer a huge selection of omelets, plus
a game of checkers while you wait. For a good coffee shop (and some great pancakes),
try the Wagon Wheel. For dinner try the new Dragonfly or for excellent food in
a casual ambiance, the Bar of America (the food comes from the Pacific Crest next
include May’s Windows on History, July’s 4th of July
Hometown Parade, September’s Truckee Railroad Days, and March’s Snowfest. All
are wonderful family activities that can be combined with a day of exploring Historic