Moving to TRUCKEE: Base Camp for a Big Life
Moving to Truckee is such an exiting move because the choice says a lot about you. Love nature? Check. Enjoy skiing or riding? Check. Hiking, biking, and boating? Check, check, check.
If you’re thinking about moving to Truckee, then you’ll really enjoy the material I’ve outlined here as a relocation guide. I’m calling it 11 Reasons You’ll love Moving to Truckee. (Because 10 wasn’t enough). I’m actually a transient myself – our family moved to Truckee about 10 years ago, and I think you’ll love it here too.
Why Relocate to Truckee?
Truckee is named one of the Best Mountain Towns by publications such as Men’s Journal, Jetsetter and Sunset Magazine. Moving to Truckee has a ton of draw for the winter sports crowd – NBC Bay Area calls Truckee the ‘Coolest Ski Town in North America.’
It’s also named as one of the World’s 25 Best Ski Towns – National Geographic, and Best Adventure Town – Sunset Magazine.
Truckee’s strong, tourism-based economy, our UC Davis Designated Hospital System, and our impressive four seasons of adventure make moving to Truckee quite enticing.
Maybe it’s not cheap to live here – but look at what you get. Living here is value loaded. 11 Reasons You’ll Love Moving to Truckee will let you in on some of our town’s characteristics that make our town such a fun place to live.
11 Reasons You’ll Love Moving to Truckee
1. Recreation at Altitude!
With breathtaking peaks and clean lakes, streams and rivers, moving to Truckee shifts your fitness routine outside. Whether you choose to hike Castle Peak, bike the Flume, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, or kayaking Lake Tahoe, you can be sure that getting your endorphins elevated up here at altitude will have you feeling fit in no time.
From a lakeside stroll, to paddleboard yoga, I assure you moving to Truckee will keep even to most active individual busy. Considering that Truckee delivers on four seasons of fun, your thirst for activity, any kind of activity, will be satisfied.
2. World-Class Skiing
- Tahoe area ski resorts all boast their own edge, needless to say our area has a great variety of ski and snowboard offerings from the beginner mini-shredders to the advanced and adventurous. Northstar California, with it’s elite amenities and excellent tree skiing, was named by TRAVEL + LEISURE the Perfect Family Ski Resort.
Did you know that Truckee is home to the world’s ONLY Burton Snowboard Academy? That means you can learn to shred from a legit Burton instructor at Northstar California.
- Squaw Valley USA’s undeniable success can be largely credited to recognition from hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics. It is the second-largest ski area in the Tahoe Lakes Basin, after Heavenly, and has 30 lifts on 3,600 acres and the only funitel in the U.S.. Since Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are co-owned, the resorts offer pass holders joint access to 6,200 acres and over 270 trails.
- Located at Donner Summit and boasting an impressive annual snowfall is Sugar Bowl. In 1938 Walt Disney was among the pioneers who helped pick this ideal location, and placed upon it the first chair lift in California.
Also mentionable are Boreal, Homewood, Diamond Peak, and Soda Springs which each have their own draw, and are located within reasonable driving distance if you are moving to Truckee.
3. Mild, Magical Summers
Get used to hearing, “I moved here for the winter but I stayed for the Summer.” It’s a really common sentiment that means just what it says: often times visitors dream of one day having a ski property, and end up moving to Truckee because they’ve fallen head-over-heels for Tahoe summers.
In a typical Tahoe Summer, you’ll find yourself at West End Beach on Donner Lake, hiking down to Hidden Beach on Lake Tahoe, golfing, paddle boarding Sand Harbor, rafting the Truckee River, and lots more. Considering our mild temperatures, kids can hang outside all day biking and exploring.
While it certainly does get nippy at night, Truckee likes to maintain a nice 80 degree average during summer days – with evenings naturally leading you to throwing on a layer, starting up the fire pit, and hosting dinners on the patio. In fact, if patio life and entertaining is important to you, you may want to check out the beautiful new construction home offerings at Gray’s Crossing.
4. Proximity to Reno, Sac, and the Bay Area
Truckee, California is located just North of Lake Tahoe in Nevada County. With it’s centralized location right off Highway 80, our little mountain town is parked 40 minutes from Reno, 2 hours from Sac and a little north of three hours from the Bay Area. With easy flights in and out of Reno, and private flight memberships from companies like Surf Air, arrival by air is becoming increasingly popular for visitors to Truckee/Tahoe.
If you want to live in a Ski town yet feel like getting to the city is manageable, moving to Truckee will fit the bill. Ski towns can often get a bad rep for being remote, so Truckee residents never take for granted the easy drive into Reno. Clothing, furniture, and household goods are just within reach. In fact, if proximity to Reno is important to you, check out the Glenshire neighborhood – it’s located only 30 minutes from the first few Reno exits.
5. Strong Schools and Families
Parents, can we agree that the greatest commodity ever traded is time? Time with family is invaluable, priceless, and irreplaceable. If you’re thinking of moving to Truckee, you’ll be able to detach from obligations – time seems to slow down, creating boundless opportunities of time with which to fill up your family memory book.
I have school-aged children, and I’ve been really impressed with the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. On average, we have only 19 students per classroom (state average is 24!) Our school district’s rating on Greatschools.org averages out to about a 7.57, with some individual schools receiving as high as a 9.
That’s good news for families moving to Truckee, and for the future of our young students, who will one day hold our country in their hands. As for kids activities, check out the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Parks – your kids can be introduced to a plethora of sports and activities.
At Lake Tahoe, the beaches are absolutely unforgettable. Lake Tahoe offers such dazzling crystal clarity that for a minute you think you’re looking at tropical waters. During the summer, crowds are buzzing around the more popular beaches like bees drawn to honey. The reason is obvious – the fine, white sand and whale-sized granite boulders make beaches like Sand Harbor, Zephyr Cove, and Speedboat Beach something extraordinary.
My tip for the popular beaches is to go on weekdays whenever possible, and to get there as early as you can for maximum enjoyment. And on Weekends and Peak Seasons – hit up the lesser-known spots, like Moon Dunes, Hidden Beach, and the West Shore.
7. It’s a golfer’s paradise
Your golf ball never soared like it does here in the Sierras. While golf here in Truckee/Tahoe can be challenging, even amusing at times, it’s also very rewarding when you read the course right. I am lucky enough to have played some of the most exclusive courses in the region, and the options up here for golfing in the Sierras are endless.
Moving to Truckee, you’ll have over 20 golf courses within an hour’s drive, 10 of which I’d say are up to the luxury standards that you’d seek on vacation. For me, my go-to courses are always Old Greenwood and Gray’s Crossing, both located in Truckee. I can say with confidence, moving to Truckee will really please the golfer in your life.
8. Art, Culture and Dining
Moving to Truckee means you’ll never have a shortage of entertainment. Community activities include Concerts in the Park, pop-up dinners at Stella, Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor, Snowshoe Tours, Truckee Thursdays festival, the Snow Parade, Art and Wine Festival, Beer and Bluegrass, and more throughout the year.
Artists and creatives flock to Truckee, and it has transformed from a logging outpost into a chill yet bustling downtown scene, with upscale boutiques, galleries and dining. For music lovers moving to Truckee, Summertime Concerts at Gray’s Crossing, Regional Park, and Commons Beach are a family favorite – just bring a low backed chair or beach blanket and enjoy the scene.
Dining Hot Spots
- Pianetta: An upscale Italian restaurant with a cozy sunken dining room in Downtown Truckee. (reservations highly recommended)
- Old Town Tap: Contemporary foods including specialty pizzas, craft beer, and creative cocktails. Great ambiance and upscale share plates.
- Moody’s Bistro, Bar and Beats: We love to pop into Moody’s bistro for dinner or drinks and to see the Shotgun Wedding Quintet performing their unique brand of Jazz.
- Cottonwood: Located on a Hilltop, overlooking downtown Truckee, where you can still see the remnants of an antique chairlift, is rustic bar and grill, Cottonwood.
9. Lake Activities
Lake Tahoe’s grandeur and beauty is a sight to behold. From a distance. But to actually get on the water? Magical. I highly recommend you explore the 72 miles of Tahoe shoreline with renowned beaches and later, buoy up for some fine lakeside dining.
Emerald Bay is a must if you are boating Lake Tahoe. It’s located really close to South Lake Tahoe, so from North Shore, you’ll want to boat down the West Shore of the lake, and maybe even stop halfway for a cocktail at Lake Tahoe’s oldest pier Bar, Chambers Landing.
Paddleboard and kayak rentals can be found multiple places near both Lake Tahoe (and Donner Lake). From a paddleboarder’s perspective, the clarity of Lake Tahoe’s water give you the feeling you may just catch a glimpse of a sunken ship or pirate’s treasure.
Donner Lake, while dwarfed by Lake Tahoe is a great spot for boating and beaching as well. You’ll find that Donner Lake has more of a ‘step back in time’ feel – in lifestyle and real estate offerings. For families moving to Truckee who have young children, West End Beach, with 2 playgrounds, basketball courts and lifeguards is really great for the little ones.
10. Hiking and Biking
Moving to Truckee, you’ll be certain to take up one or both of these hobbies. There’s simply too much adventure to be uncovered that cannot be experienced out the window of your SUV. Families can cruise their bikes following the Truckee River, down a stretch of the Legacy Trail or even park near the entrance to Squaw and ride the easy trail into Tahoe City for lunch.
For the more advanced bikers and cyclers: dare to ride the 72 mile loop around the entirety of Lake Tahoe. The massive boulders along the East shore and looking down on Emerald Bay exiting the South Shore are some of my favorite view points. Since moving to Truckee 10 years ago, biking has remained one of my favorite ways to get out and enjoy the fresh air.
The endless hiking here in Truckee/Tahoe will amaze you. Different trails for different abilities, but for the easiest, I suggest you explore Donner Summit and the abandoned train tunnels off Old Highway 40. Easily one of the most scenic drives in the state of California, you’ll want to drive over the renowned Rainbow Bridge for vistas of Donner Lake, and experience a remarkable historical moment in California’s History – the ill-fated Donner Party.
Other Great area hikes include the Pacific Crest Trail, Eagle Falls, Shirley Lake and Castle Peak.
11. Thriving Economy
Being a great place to live also means being a great place to work. A thriving economy helps the tax base (so there’s more money for city improvements) and helps us attract and retain talent. North Lake Tahoe and Truckee depend on a tourism-based economy. Visitors spend over $500 million annually in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee. With Truckee’s centralized location off I-80, around 45% of our visitors are from the Bay Area, which has affected our real estate trends and mountain modern design aesthetic.
- POPULATION: 17,000 (swells way beyond that during peak season)
- AVG SUMMER TEMP: 40 – 79
- AVG WINTER TEMP: 17 – 42
- AVG TOTAL SNOWFALL: 202 in.
- AVG DAYS ON MARKET: 88
- MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $600,000
- AVG FAMILY INCOME: $78,000
- TOTAL HOUSING UNITS: 13,500
- AVG RENT: $1,850
- TOP INDUSTRIES: construction, accommodation, healthcare, and food service. In addition, if you have skills that are not limited by location, then Truckee seems especially enticing. Truckee has more than its share of writers, artists, designers, recording artists, and software engineers. I’m also seeing many more telecommuters moving to Truckee. And – because of the new investments that Apple, Amazon, Tesla and others have broken ground on in the Reno/Sparks area, many more job opportunities are coming.
Maybe it’s not cheap to live here – but look at what you get. Living here is value loaded.
If you’re thinking of moving to Truckee and would like to start checking out the real estate market offerings, please contact me – I’d be happy to help you out.
Neighborhoods to consider:
I’d love to help you with finding the right home for your family! Please contact me anytime and we’ll meet to discuss your preferences, so I can help find the right property for you.
RESOURCES: see more Town of Truckee facts at the following sources
Truckee Business Directory 17/18