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Headed to Truckee? Discover these 14 incredible things to do in Truckee, according to Truckee top realtor Chris Fajkos.

You don’t have to be an expert skier, downhill mountain biker, or seasoned hiker to enjoy everything Truckee has to offer. The simple act of getting outside, unplugging, and spending more time with your family and friends in the fresh mountain air is really what Truckee is all about. This can mean a night of stargazing in your own backyard, a trip downtown to discover a local artisan’s work, or attending one of the town’s unique events.


There are 37 public piers lining the shores of Donner Lake, all available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day atop your very own pier with an unforgettable view of the snow-capped mountains. 


The Donner Summit Bridge, also known as the Rainbow Bridge for its arched shape, just celebrated its 95th birthday this past August. The bridge was originally constructed in 1926. From the 241-foot concrete bridge, spend the day admiring Donner Lake and the entire town of Truckee; on clear days, you’ll have views that extend beyond Truckee. Wondering where to watch the sunset with your beaux? Sunsets on Rainbow Bridge are truly unforgettable. 


Every Thursday evening, June – August, Truckee’s main downtown corridor closes off to welcome local artists, chefs, bakers, brewers, and other merchants to set up pop-up shops to display, sample, and sell their goods alongside live music, a beer garden, and an array of food trucks. 


With ski resorts in the Truckee-Tahoe area known to stay open until July, it’s not uncommon for people to hit the slopes in the morning and enjoy a quick swim or kayaking sesh at the lake in the afternoon. This exciting thing to do in Truckee is one we highly suggest for any outdoor adventure seeker. 


In the winter months at Northstar California Resort, the outdoor ice skating rink becomes the center of everyone’s evening gatherings. Snuggle around the fire pits with some s’mores and hot cocoa while the kids ice skate under the night sky. And in the summer, grab roller skates while the band plays on the stage and the cabana bar serves up cold drinks and snow cones. 


Truckee is one of only 14 designated, “California Cultural Districts” in the entire state. The town is home to an eclectic mix of artisans and has public artwork on display all throughout the town, from large sculptures to colorful murals and several well-known galleries. Selfies are encouraged with the artwork!


In the summer, the gondolas and ski lifts at Northstar California Resort take hikers up to some of the most beautiful trails in all of Truckee. Jump on a ski lift and transport high above the town where just a short hike can open up views to Lake Tahoe and the entire Tahoe basin. 


The Donner Party Hike is just one of the guided hikes offered in Truckee but by far the most popular. This 2.5-mile hike is guided by local historians who retrace the steps of the infamous Donner Party through the transcontinental railroad tunnels and over gigantic granite rock faces. Take a step back in time while enjoying Truckee’s scenic beauty. 


The unofficial town motto, “The Stars Shine Brighter in Truckee,” is for a good reason. Since Truckee sits at around 6,000 feet elevation, there is less atmosphere to interrupt the view making you literally closer to the stars, plus the town’s “dark sky compliance” mandate minimizes the light pollution making the stars easier to view from the naked eye. Stargazing is definitely one of Truckee’s top things to do; there are several star tours in Truckee, including full moon kayak tours and a one-of-a-kind cosmoarium at Northstar California Resort. 


Connecting Downtown Truckee to the Glenshire neighborhood, this six-mile paved trail follows all along the Truckee River for bikers, skaters, walkers, runners, and even e-bikers to enjoy. It’s common to see people stop along the trail to enjoy a picnic lunch or fishing in the Truckee River. Use the trail as an alternative to driving into town or just for some scenic exercise. 


Spending time outdoors is what Truckee is all about, and the music scene is a big part of that. Regularly scheduled live outdoor music can be found seven days a week nearly all year-round, including at Truckee’s outdoor amphitheater, on the 18th hole of the Gray’s Crossing golf course, and on the shores of Lake Tahoe. 


An airport isn’t a typical place to hang out, but the airport is one of the coolest places to be in Truckee. Grab a bite to eat at Red Truck featuring local and sustainable Indian-inspired cuisine, with views of the entire runway. Then head over to the kid’s park with Northstar’s picturesque slopes as your backdrop. 


With roughly the same amount of shoreline as Lake Tahoe, Truckee’s three reservoirs: Boca, Prosser, and Stampede, might just be the local best-kept secrets. Known for exceptional fishing and water sports, the reservoirs are open year-round for ice fishing during the winter months. Camp, hike, boat, fish, picnic, and more around these gorgeous reservoirs. Is there a better way you’d rather spend the day?


Located just one block off of “commercial row” in downtown is the Old Truckee Jail Museum open on weekends from 10 am to 4 pm. The museum tells the history of a jailhouse that was built in 1873 and is one of the few remaining original buildings located in Truckee.

Still looking for more fun things to do in Truckee? Situated just down the road from the jailhouse is the Truckee Railroad Museum. The museum once serviced the town as the primary means of shipping and travel for the Southern Pacific Railroad. All of the onsite cabooses are restored using original paint schemes and parts, and inside the museum itself is a collection of stories, pictures, recreations, and other railroad-related artifacts that showcase the history and importance of railroads in early Truckee history.