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Truckee Things to do

30 things to do in Truckee and Lake Tahoe

ASK A LOCAL: While the team at Martis Camp Realty excels in helping you find that Truckee luxury home of your dreams, they’re also very talented at helping you locate the ultimate coffee shop or bakery. Or pointing you in the direction of the area’s best pubs, powder stashes, breakfast joints and more. Considering they’ve collectively racked up 162 years as local residents (and 103 years combined at Martis Camp), that means they’ve had time to discover those secret stashes that can elevate your getaway from good to great. Read on and discover those places that locals typically keep close to their vests.

Brian Hull Martis CampBRIAN HULL: Broker / President
16 Years Martis Camp  – 16 Years Truckee Local

DINE: Outside of Martis Camp, our go to favorites are Moody’s and Pianeta. When we moved to Truckee 16 years ago, we met JJ Morgan (owner of Moody’s). He has done an exceptional job at creating one of the best places in Truckee for consistently great food and an amazing Jazz Vibe. Having Moody’s in Truckee has been an incredible asset to the community for both locals and visitors as a fun place to enjoy this amazing mountain town. We also love the ambiance and food at Pianeta on a winter evening after a day on the mountain. Great food and fun atmosphere.

PLAY: I think one of my favorite winter activities, outside of skiing, is snowmobiling on the O6. The experience of arriving at Mt. Watson overlooking Lake Tahoe is truly breathtaking. Hard to believe this is in our backyard!

DRINK: It is hard to beat Ryan’s Old Fashion or a CampRita (Margarita) by the fire pit at the Camp Lodge.

SKI/RIDE: Living full time in Truckee allows you to take advantage of some of the best powder days each year. At Northstar California it’s hard to beat the glades off of Prosser or sugar pine glade on a powder day. I also love Challenger and the look back to the Pacific Crest after a big snowfall.


Kim Kennedy Martis CampKIM KENNEDY: Sales Executive
16 Years Martis Camp – 21 Years Truckee Local

DINE: Pianeta in Downtown Truckee is a great place for a date night or dinner with friends. Their Italian food is delicious and consistent. I love the cozy ambiance especially during a winter storm.

PLAY: I really enjoy grabbing a pair of cross country skis from The Barn and hitting the Martis Camp trails. It’s a great excuse to get outside. I love the perspective of the back 9 when it’s covered in snow. It’s very peaceful and the views of Lookout and Sawtooth feel more dramatic in the winter.

DRINK: Truckee Brew Company in the Pioneer Center is a great place to get a beer with friends after a day on the slopes.

SKI/RIDE: If I only have a hour or so on a powder day, laps on Lookout Mountain are the best! You’ll most certainly run into a friend in the Lookout Lodge to ski with.


Paul HAmill MArtis Camp Creative DirectorPAUL HAMILL: CREATIVE DIRECTOR
11 Years Martis Camp  – 26 Years Truckee Local

DINE: If you are looking for good bar food and a cool new après scene, I would head over to RMU in downtown Truckee – it has a really fun vibe after a good day on the slopes. I love pizza and one of my favorites is Rubican Pizza Company in the Northstar California village. I always get the Mediterranean or the Fire Roasted Medley. The village has live music most weekends and be sure to bring your ice skates for a little skating session after dinner at the village rink.

PLAY: I could argue that Truckee/Tahoe is the play capital of the world. So many choices but I’ll narrow it down to two of my favorites. 1: The backcountry ski touring area up by Chickadee Ridge near Mt Rose has some diverse terrain and something for everyone. 2: Truckee is known for a huge trail system, and as such, some pretty great snowshoeing. We like to explore up on Donner Summit along the Pacific Crest Trail. It has easy access along Old Hwy 40 and stunning views. So bundle up and get out there.

DRINK: To start your day you pretty much can’t go wrong at any of the coffee shops here in Truckee but my all time favorite is a mocha at Pacific Crest Coffee. I also tend to have a bit of a sweet tooth so I love stopping in at Cornerstone Bakery after picking up coffee. My favorites are the Blueberry Lemon Scones or the Pumpkin Scones. And then in the evening head over to Alibi Ale Works. They have a core set of Pale Ale, Kolsch, IPA and a Porter plus a nice set of limited beers depending on the season.

SKI/RIDE: We have the Epic Pass so we tend to ski the most at Northstar California with Axe Handle and Burnout as favorite runs. We have made a goal to ski Heavenly Tahoe and Kirkwood at least once this year since they are also part of the Epic Pass. Who knows maybe we’ll even make it over to Verbier4Vallées, Switzerland too.


Jeff Hull Martis CampJEFF HULL: Sales Executive
16 Years Martis Camp  – 16 Years Truckee Local

DINE: During the summer, we try to eat dinner outdoors as much as possible in Truckee/Tahoe. But in the winter, our favorite restaurant is hands down Pianeta. The mix of brick and stone interiors create a warm atmosphere and the menu never disappoints!

DRINK: If you have the time before dinner or just looking for a nice glass of wine, I prefer to stop by Uncorked. Great atmosphere and a very cool wine wall display. The staff working there is highly knowledgeable and will help pinpoint the right choice based on your palate. I usually go with any Pinot recommendation they have from Sonoma Coast.

SKI/RIDE: After a storm, my favorite spot to venture at Northstar are the Camp Glades. It is the area east of Washoe run on Lookout Mountain. The tree separation is welcoming and there is enough slope to keep it exciting. And if you are looking to turn and burn, my favorite groomed run is always Prosser!

PLAY: With younger kids, our default winter activity is sledding (if we are not on the ski mountain) and nothing beats the sled hill on the 10th hole of the Martis Camp golf course. Local tip, grab hot chocolates from the Family Barn before heading down.


Tracy Feik Martis CampTRACY FEIK: Transaction Coordinator
7 Years Martis Camp  – 16 Years Tahoe-Truckee Local

DINE: I have many favorites, but if I had to tell you my go-to for a good meal that hits the spot, especially on a cold winter night, is some authentic Thai food at Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant. Favorite dishes of mine include Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls, Pumpkin Curry and the “mild” Spaghetti Noodles with Vegetables and Tofu or Shrimp.

For a quick and great breakfast/lunch spot you must try Red Truck Café located inside the Truckee/Tahoe Airport terminal. They have specials every day that include homemade soups, samosas, and quiches. The Breakfast Bowl is a must and comes with a mouth-watering yogurt tahini sauce. Or you never can go wrong with one of their lunch Bowls with your choice of filling. I love the Falafel Veg Bowl! Oh, and make sure you try their “green avocado sauce”.

DRINK: When it comes to meeting some friends to tell the tales of my incredible pow day on the slopes, or how many hours it took me to dig out from the latest storm, Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar with it’s authentic ski lodge feel is a favorite for sure. Locals will go there for their happy hour and their specialty, the Cottonwood’s French Margarita! Favorite items on the menu include their Buffalo Cauliflower, Wedge Salad, and their homemade Vegan Meatloaf.

SKI/RIDE: I have too many to count! HAHA. One of many is at Palisades Tahoe off the Granite Chief chair. I love riding in the trees, off little hips, and dropping some cliffs into pools of fluff and this is a great place to check all those off your list. After getting off the chair stay to the right and hike up Hidden Bowl (if its open). It is steep enough to get some speed into the bowl and knock off a couple wide flowy surf turns and get some air off the rock ledges on the way down, you’ll make your way to some cliff drops or you can take it the less aggressive way through the trees. Either way you are bound to hear the hoot and hollers from the crowd on the chairs going up. They get the best view from above while you get the best face shots from below.


Dominic Cristalli Martis CampDominic Cristalli: Property Coordinator
8 Years Martis Camp  – 9 Years Truckee Local

DINE: There are so many good restaurants in Truckee, but two of my favorites are Old Town Tap and Golden Rotisserie. Old Town Tap has great drinks, food and a great vibe. There is always great music playing and everyone is having a good time. Old Town Tap is my go-to spot to meet up with friends for cocktails or dinner, but Golden Rotisserie is my go-to spot to pick up a great burrito. Golden is more of a takeout option, but the food is delicious!

PLAY: My favorite Tahoe winter activity is backcountry skiing on the West Shore. You should definitely check out Jake’s Peak & Rubicon for a fun adventure, provided you know what you’re doing in the backcountry!

DRINK: Get your morning started right at Pacific Crest Coffee with a great cappuccino and on Friday’s there is an awesome bakery open next door, Sierra Bakehouse. They have amazing cinnamon rolls & grab a loaf of bread for later! Cap off your evening with any of the tasty beers at The Good Wolf Brewing Company.

SKI/RIDE: Some of my favorite runs are at Palisades Tahoe in the Silverado zone. There’s steep chutes, cliffs to navigate around (or jump off of), and some of the most challenging runs at Palisades.


Mark Murrell Martis CampMARK MURRELL: Sales Executive
12 Years Martis Camp  – 21 Years Tahoe-Truckee Local

DINE: Dining in the Truckee/Tahoe area just keeps getting better and better. In addition to 6 dining venues in Martis Camp, which never disappoint, one of my newer favs in town is Great Gold in the Pioneer Center. Nice indoor ambiance, unique Italian dishes, (including designer personal pizzas) and always a friendly and knowledgeable staff. LOCALS Tip: Reservations are typically needed but for spontaneous dining I’ve usually found room for 2 at the bar counter with little to no wait.

PLAY: The Truckee/Tahoe area is a haven for back country skiing & riding for all levels. It’s an incredible way to challenge and immerse yourself (always with a friend) in the winter beauty of the local mountains. Having climbed and skied in the backcountry for over 35 years I’m often asked by friends who are proficient alpine skiers how and where to get started. To get outfitted, I recommend a visit to The BackCountry or The Sports Hub in Truckee where they can rent all of the basic gear. If already serious and committed to learning, I always recommend they enroll as soon as possible in a 3 Day, Avalanche 1, Certification Program which will start them off with all of the basic safety information they will need. Often, friends just want to get an initial taste of the experience before going “all in”. In that case, I find myself taking them to some beautiful areas that have the safety of lower angle slopes (<25%), yet with stunning views, and a moderately difficult ascent so they can get a positive introduction to the backcountry experience – climbing (skinning) uphill and working for your downhill turns while being intimately aware of your surroundings. Tip: A few of my favorite spots for this introduction are in Tahoe Donner on Sunrise Bowl or Hawks Peak. But please find a local to take you for the first few times.

DRINK: The Martis Camp Lookout Lodge Deck has always been a favorite of mine after making afternoon turns at Northstar. A nice draft beer or a CampRita (Margarita) is ideal or any beverage of choice. Such a wonder spot in the sun or around the fire pits to wind down your day, collect your kiddos and share conversations with other members. Outside of Martis Camp, I often find myself after summer bike rides enjoying the back deck of Alibi Ale Works in Downtown Truckee. Alibi has an excellent selection of locally crafted brews, unique appetizers, and fun sunny patio ambiance with both locals and visitors eager to share their stories of adventures the day.


Mary Jo Johnson Martis CampMARY JO JOHNSON: Sales Executive
15 Years Martis Camp  – 25 Years Truckee Local

DINE: Pianeta is by far my favorite restaurant, it is highly popular so best to make reservations or go early when they open for a seat at the bar. The Italian flair and pasta dishes are fresh, authentic and delightful. The ambiance downstairs if you can get a booth feels like you are in the grotto. Wait staff is friendly and you leave feeling satisfied not overstuffed. Leave room for dessert!

PLAY: On a crisp sunny day the shores of Donner Lake with the dogs is delightful. As the water recedes, the shore becomes a sandy walk around the lake. You can cozy up against a rock in a sunny spot and soak up the sun or bring a picnic lunch, even in the winter. The doggies love to romp up and down the shore and even take a cool dip.

DRINK: The Truckee Tavern located upstairs on commercial row offers hand crafted cocktails of unique sorts, always fun to apres downtown after a day on the slopes. Whiskey Sour with Egg White is a personal favorite.

SKI/RIDE: The best days to be on the mountain are storm days skiing with my girls. We love to get on the mountain at Lookout, and time it to dip under the poma to the backside of Northstar. Coming out on Drifter then float down to the Backside Express and over to Railsplitter or Burnout. You can dip in and out of the trees off these runs.


Katey Jerome Martis CampKATEY JEROME: Office Manager
2 Years Martis Camp  – 12 Years Tahoe-Truckee Local

DINE: Date nights aren’t always easy to coordinate with two young boys so when my husband and I are able to sneak away, our favorite date night choice is Christy Hill in Tahoe City. You cannot beat the view or the food! Hands down, it has the best view of any restaurant on Lake Tahoe. It sits about 100 feet above the shoreline, so the view of the Lake is amazing. We love going there in the summer and dining on the deck. But don’t worry, if you go in the winter the dining room has a romantic ambiance and panoramic views of the lake. If you can time your reservation with sunset, you are guaranteed a romantic evening no matter the season. With the spectacular views and outstanding cuisine, be sure to book a reservation in advance.

PLAY: Winter activities are certainly abundant in Lake Tahoe. If you are looking to do something unique and off the ski hill, I highly recommend grabbing your snowshoes and driving up Mount Rose Hwy to hike Chickadee Ridge. On a clear day there is a beautiful meadow that leads into the tree line where you can find flocks of darling Chickadees. If you bring some bird seed, you can sit down by a tree, and these friendly little birds will eat out of your hand. It’s an easy hike if you have children with you. You will also find families sledding and having a great time. Directly across the highway, is a more adventurous spot for snowmobiling. My family and I take this little day adventure a few times each season.

DRINK: Truckee has no shortage of inventive cocktails. The local restaurants take a lot of pride in producing uniquely infused aperitifs to enjoy after a long day of winter fun. Cottonwood and the Truckee Tavern create some of the most unique and tempting libations. Cottonwood has a stunning view of downtown Truckee and the mountains. If you can make it for après hour you can catch great specials while the sun sets over the mountains.

SKI/RIDE: My family and I are big fans of skiing at Northstar California, you can’t beat cruising down East Ridge and hitting up free s’mores and champagne at Tōst, however on busy weekends we like to ski at Diamond Peak in Incline Village. It’s quite a gem. The lift lines are usually shorter, and the terrain looks directly over Lake Tahoe. The view from the main runs is a stunning panoramic view of Lake Tahoe. It’s a great family ski mountain.

Truckee photography courtesy of Paul Hamill Photography »