Truckee in Autumn is Great for Couples

Few towns in California stir such a vast array of feelings as this one. History buffs recall the ill-fated pioneers whose lives and families were forever changed by this setting. Locals and visitors hold dear the rich history, diverse culture, and unique environment experienced only in this little Mecca.

Although Truckee’s mystique and charm is enjoyed year-round through varied seasons, perhaps no season embraces Truckee’s comfortable mountain facade quite like the fall while the ravages of winter have not yet enveloped the tiny basin and the streets are still sparsely populated before the skiers and the travelers arrive.

Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a day trip, Truckee provides a delightful destination for experiencing autumn’s splendor.

The Historic Truckee Hotel has 36 guest rooms, eight with private baths and claw foot tubs and provides its guests a set of earplugs to cushion the whistle and rumble of the nearby train, which proves to be no nuisance without them—actually charming. A lavish continental breakfast served in the elegant Victorian parlor with fine teas and coffees only adds to the flavor. The history is as rich as the decor. A quaint gift shop near the main lobby offers scores of gift or souvenir ideas and a warm and inviting parlor is the perfect place to warm up after a leisurely stroll through town.

Hania’s Bed and Breakfast Inn is another charming spot within walking distance of all historic downtown Truckee’s shopping and dining. A completely remodeled 1884 Victorian with southwestern style decor and hospitality second to none, Hania’s has Queen size beds, a cozy romantic hot tub overlooking the town and mountains for a soothing respite from the elements, modem outlets, quality linens and beautiful pine lodge pole furniture. This is the perfect place to unwind overlooking Truckee from a hilltop and to escape Jack Frost or the drizzle. Ask Hania about her Donner Lake condos available. This way you can be by the lake, yet just a minute or two from downtown Truckee.

From this vantage point you can enjoy the nearby enchanting Donner Memorial Park. There you’ll view actual artifacts from the Donner Party and scan the gripping list of the survivors and the deceased. The McGlashan Butterfly Collection, one of the world’s largest, is astounding. Beautiful nature trails offer a spectacular way to drink in the fall colors throughout the park.

No need to pack food for a day trip or an overnighter as Truckee has wonderful fare to choose from. If you choose to taste the flavors of Truckee at the Cottonwood Restaurant overlooking the historic district with its historical artifacts and photographs, this dining haven sits atop fascinating history and today makes its own with a famous “eat with your fingers” Caesar salad, succulent steaks, delectable fish dishes and extraordinary desserts. All are prepared with signature sauces to please the palette. This is the perfect place to watch the sunset over the High Sierra and enjoy live music and incomparable dining.

Yellow Aspen. ©Bayard Langsdale

It doesn’t matter whether you’re both outdoor enthusiasts or window shoppers; Truckee has something for everyone.

If you crave a treat for your sweet tooth, stop in to Smart’s Wagon Train Coffee Shop. There you’ll find both old-fashioned and modern style baked cookies and pastries worth every bite. Purchase a few at the counter to go.

Or if decadent chocolate gets you going, sample the town’s best hand dipped chocolates at Sweet’s.

While you’re strolling through town, be sure to browse through Vrooman Woodcarvings & Wildlife Gallery.

How about a round of golf at one of the nearby courses? Tall Ponderosa Pines line beautifully maintained greens and fairways at the Ponderosa Golf Course in Truckee. Or the Old Brockway Golf Course just twenty minutes from Truckee offers nine holes of history and proudly applies organic management practices. This course was home to the first Bing Crosby Golf Tournament where Bing invited his cronies for golf get-aways while performing nearby at Cal-Neva. Holes one through three, and eight and nine, are known as “the loop” after Dean Martin’s drinking escapades there.

Be sure to plan a visit sometime, to Truckee, during the glorious fall months. The brilliant colors of nature there are a lovely compliment to the cornucopia of endless activities and pastimes that await you anytime of year.