Truckee and Tahoe City: Arts, Culture & History

TRUCKEE-TAHOE BOASTS WORLD-CLASS scenery and a High Sierra setting that inspires arts and culture. The area’s historic past includes the transcontinental railroad, the infamous Donner Party, and the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley.

The Truckee Cultural District is one of 14 state Cultural Districts. Downtown Truckee also is a designated Historic District, giving it a unique “sense of place.” “The award of the California Arts Council’s State Cultural District showcases the bright future of the arts in Truckee,” says Nancy Tieken Lopez, executive director of Trails & Vistas, dedicated to bringing art, music and dance to the Tahoe region.

Truckee is poised for further expansion that will enhance its Cultural District. The Truckee Railyard project is a multimillion-dollar redevelopment project east of the historic downtown. It includes affordable rental apartments, a movie theater and an amphitheater for live performances. It will feature public art throughout the site.

Truckee’s recent cultural attractions include the Donner Memorial Visitor Center, offering a journey through Truckee’s past. Visitors can experience artifacts and stories of the Donner Party, the Washoe Tribe, Chinese construction of the transcontinental railroad, and motoring on Old Hwy. 40 over Donner Pass.

Neighboring Tahoe City is home to the new Tahoe Maritime Center’s Museum & Gardens, where Lake Tahoe regional maritime heritage is preserved. This summer’s exhibits include “The T Files: The Search for Tessie,” exploring tales of aquatic monsters in lakes, rivers and coastal waters; and “Dealers of Dreams,” examining the relationship between boats, buyers and Lake Tahoe.

The High Sierra region also offers a robust art scene. Tahoe City is home to North Tahoe Arts, and Truckee is home to numerous galleries, including The Carmel Gallery, Art Obsessions and Riverside Studios.

Truckee and Tahoe City boast fine dining restaurants that rival any big-city experience. Examples range from Restaurant Trokay in Truckee, awarded four stars by the Sacramento Bee’s restaurant critic, to lakeside dining at Christy Hill and Wolfdale’s in Tahoe City.

The Truckee River Winery offers award-winning wines and its tasting room includes picnic tables, a horseshoe pit and bocce courts. Truckee’s FiftyFifty Brewing Co. is a pub and brewery with seasonal brews on tap, and Alibi Ale Works is a brewery and taproom in Incline Village.

TRUCKEE CULTURAL DISTRICT

All summer long Truckee will promote its local artists, makers, performers, writers, organizations and other “cultural assets” as it spreads the word about Truckee’s designation as a California Cultural District.

Each week at Truckee Thursdays town officials will showcase its district through “featured artist” appearances using Truckee’s Base Camp for a Big Life booth.

(Painting: Jude Bischoff)

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