Walking along the main downtown drag of Truckee is like taking a step back in time. Historic buildings, charming storefronts, views of the mountains in the distance, sounds of the train and a stone’s throw from the river – is this place real?
But get a little deeper into the town and your highest of expectations will be shattered. Truckee might be a small town, but this mountain town goes big when it comes to their arts, culture and community.
If you’re looking to create tangible art and need inspiration or tools, the Truckee Roundhouse is the community’s makerspace made up of 5 shops: wood, metal, ceramics, technology and textiles. You can get a membership to utilize the space and equipment on your own or attend any one of the weekly classes. In the heart of downtown is Atelier, a retail-studio space that offers several classes a week, from knitting to watercolor painting and beyond.
If dance lessons or performance is your thing, there are three excellent dance studios to choose from, each with a different focus. The Tahoe Truckee School of Music is a non-profit providing lessons and putting on several rockin’ performances throughout the year. And it wouldn’t be an arts and culture list without theater and the Truckee Community Theater is a local favorite with multiple performances a year. There is a great music scene in Truckee, with many well known as well as local bands playing in downtown bars and restaurants. Alibi Ale Works & Truckee Public House hosts live music several nights a week as well as trivia, bingo, and free swing and Latin dancing lessons once a month. Arts For The Schools lives up to its name by bringing world class dance, theater and music performances to Truckee-Tahoe students for free during school, with paid evening performances for the public.
If you’re up in the summer and looking for more authentic local immersion, Truckee Thursdays is an absolute must. A stroll down Donner Pass Road allows you to get a snapshot into all-things Truckee – sample local brew, listen to live music, browse a wide variety of local artisan vendors and then get the kids’ faces painted and a super swirl cone before getting back on the free shuttle home.
Venture out and you’ll stumble upon local and award-winning breweries, Alibi Ale Works, Fifty Fifty Brewing and Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company. The longer you stay, the more likely you are to start sporting a Big Truck hat, but this isn’t just any hat, Big Truck is one of the 3 certified B Corporations in Truckee, holding accountable to their employees, customers and the environment. But alas, if duty calls and you still need to get some work done, there are 3 co-working spaces in town that you can pop into at any time.
Truckee is beautiful at first glimpse, but with a little more time and a little more inspection, you’ll begin to understand why this small mountain town truly is a Base Camp for a Big Life.