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Anyone who visits Tahoe even once or twice a year doesn’t need a “cool list” to know that the North Shore town of Truckee is consistently rated one of the top winter sports meccas in the country. The legions of all-wheel-drive SUVs in the parking lots and the Patagonia puff jackets worn by just about everyone are all part of the vibe — along with seven downhill ski areas, a half-dozen cross-country venues and endless backcountry opportunities within a half hour’s drive.
Thing is, you don’t have to ski or snowboard to have a great winter getaway in Tahoe’s signature ski town; all you need are a pair of warm boots and a credit card — and maybe one of those oh-so-practical puff jackets. From beguiling boutiques and seductive sporting-goods shops to a diverse array of places to eat and drink, there are lots of ways to play without a lift ticket. Here are a few new or often overlooked suggestions.
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Winter hiking or biking at Tahoe? You betcha. In the past few years, municipalities around the lake have been plowing paved, multi-use trails covering dozens of miles. For a taste of the possibilities, head out on the 5-mile Truckee River Legacy Trail, which can be accessed right in town or from Truckee River Regional Park, where there’s also an ice-skating rink. The Tahoe Bicycle Coalition has an online map at tahoebike.org/map, while more options are spelled out at visittruckee.com and chamber.truckee.com.
You don’t need lift tickets to enjoy the charms of downtown Truckee in winter. (Courtesy Paul Hammill) Canopy of stars
Snow-cloaked landscapes can be downright luminescent at night. And the stars? Ahh… You don’t get views like this in the city. On Feb. 15 and 29, join “star guide,” poet and amateur astronomer Tony Berendson on a 2.5-hour guided snowshoe tour ($57-$79) that begins at Northstar California’s Cross-Country Center and concludes over hot chocolate at the mid-mountain Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. In summer, attend a presentation at Northstar’s Dark Skies Cosmoarium, where you’ll gather around a fire pit, learn about the cosmos and get an in-depth look at the heavens through powerful Celestron telescopes. Find details at tahoestartours.com.
Star-gazing snowshoe treks at Northstar. (Northstar California) Elevated pub grub
While at Northstar, check out the new Bourbon Pub at the base of the gondola in the village. Acclaimed chef Michael Mina’s take on elevated pub food runs the gamut from burgers to sashimi. The nachos, which took gold for executive in-house chef Jon Blackley at the 2019 Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival, are a production featuring whole corn tortillas layered with beans, cheese, guacamole and sour cream. Topped with a soft-cooked egg, the entire nacho affair is presented like a trophy and dramatically cut into quarters tableside by a …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle