Keep on, Truckee
It's not just a pit stop. Hell, there are top-tier burgers and beer.
Sacramento is often, perhaps unintentionally, unappreciated as that sweet spot between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe: conveniently located halfway to either destination. Time for a bathroom break!
Truckee, located up Interstate 80 between Sac and Reno, suffers from a similar middle-sister syndrome.
Now it’s time, finally, for the Jan Brady of tourist towns to step into the spotlight.
Nestled just a few miles northeast of Donner Lake, this mountain town boasts equal parts gold-rush charm and modern touches. In addition to hiking and nearby skiing and boating options, Truckee’s downtown makes for an easy day trip, with both the usual array of touristy traps—antique shops, toy stores and overpriced but alluring candy spots—as well as some good food options.
Because, really, it’s all about the food.
For hearty burgers, check out Burger Me! (10418 Donner Pass Road), which, despite its bro-tastic name, serves a fairly sophisticated selection, including turkey burgers and several veggie options. Or, if you’re in a breakfast kind of mood, the legendary Squeeze In (10060 Donner Pass Road) is a must. Once featured on the Food Network’s Throwdown With Bobby Flay (and no relation to the Sacramento burger joint by the same name), this place boasts an overwhelmingly exhaustive breakfast menu. The omelets here are spectacular—and available just about any way you want them, with several gluten-free and vegetarian options—but there are also some killer French toast and pancake offerings. Or order a burger, burrito or sandwich—but really, what’s the point?
Finally, wash down all that gluttony with a stop at the FiftyFifty Brewing Co. (11197 Brockway Road, Suite 1). The building itself is nondescript, but with all that pretty, surrounding nature and decent brews—it’s known for its Eclipse imperial stouts—who cares about interior design? www.townoftruckee.com.