Category Archives: Truckee

Our County at nation’s largest travel show this weekend

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Nevada County is one of the exhibitors at the 2014 Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show this weekend, the biggest travel show in the country.

Now in its 9th year, the two-day event at the Long Beach Convention Center offers informative seminars, interactive activities and cultural performances.

“It’s like walking through the world’s best travel guide,” says Unicomm chief executive John Golicz, the show’s organizer.

“Californians have an appetite for travel and adventure, and this show is a great way to experience the world through the eyes of well-traveled speakers and the thousands of experts who represent exciting destinations.”

Last year’s show drew nearly 29,000 travel enthusiasts, and this year is expected to break a new attendance record.

Featured speakers include Rick Steves, host of the popular television series Rick Steves’ Europe; Travel Channel personalities including Samantha Brown; and Emmy Award-winning travel journalist Peter Greenberg, travel editor for CBS News.

Additionally, more than 400 exhibitors representing some of the most desired destinations are on hand to entice, educate and give details about destinations and tours to attendees.

The show is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What’s New in Nevada County from February-March

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What’s New in Nevada County?
February – April 2014


New Interactive Trails Web Map
The County has released a new interactive trails web map. These trails can be viewed using the flagship My Neighborhood GIS map viewer by clicking on the hiking boot icon in the list of tools across the top of the page. The County also built a second web map tailored specifically to tablets and smart-phones that is available here.

Nevada County Community Theater Companies Bring Home 8 out of 34 Ellys
Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra, Synthetic Unlimited, Sierra Stages and Quest Theaterworks all were recipients of a 2012/2013 Elly Award. Rodger Hoopman from Nevada County received the Elly Lifetime Achievement award. Hosted by the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance, the annual Elly awards were given to individuals and companies from across a 10-county region. For a full listing of the 2012/2013 Adult Elly recipients and the categories they were awarded in, visit

Birding at Bridgeport with Local Expert Bill Cortright
South Yuba River State Park, Penn Valley, CA
Spring Schedule – February 22; March 15; April 19 and May 10
Saturdays beginning at 8:00 a.m.
Bird Walks lead by local expert Bill Cortright. Over the two hour bird walk you might spot the Canyon Wren, American Dipper, Acorn Woodpecker, Golden Crowned Kinglet, Bald Eagle, Phainopepla and more. Bring snacks, water, binoculars, a field guide and wear good shoes. Meet at the North Parking Lot (across the new Pleasant Valley Rd. bridge) FREE Admission to Park; $5 Parking Fee.

Wildflower Walks along Buttermilk Bend Trail
South Yuba River State Park, Penn Valley, CA
Mid-March through Mid-May
Saturday and Sundays – 11:00 a.m.
The Buttermilk Bend trail is well known among locals for its spectacular explosion of wildflowers most springs. The display changes every week, so come more than once! Docents will identify the flowers and explain some of their natural history and traditional uses. Plan on 1.5 hours and 2 miles. No dogs.

Grass Valley

Foothills Celebration
Historic Downtown Grass Valley
Saturday, March 1, 2014
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Spend the afternoon strolling the shops and sites of Historic Downtown Grass Valley. Enjoy fine Northern California wines, gourmet cuisine and confectioners delights. Tickets are only $35.00 per person / $45 after February 23 and includes unlimited wine tasting and five food selections from over 20 local restaurants.

St. Pirans Day
Historic Downtown Grass Valley
Saturday, March 8, 2014
9:15 a.m. – when the fun is over
Join us for our annual celebration of Cornish Heritage in downtown Grass Valley on Saturday, March 8th in the City Hall Parking Lot! The fun starts at 9:15 a.m. as we raise the Cornish Flag and our very own town crier, Robert Russell welcomes everyone to the celebration! The Cornish Choir will sing some time-honored Cornish tunes from the mining days of yesteryear. We will also have our Pasty Olympics! For our 3rd year we will also have Cornish Pasty Tasting. Our 5 esteemed judges will judge pasties. The event is FREE!!! So come to downtown Grass Valley for the day.

The Center for the Arts presents
 Two Great Concerts at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Grass Valley, CA

Back by Popular Demand – Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Friday, March 7 2014 – 8:00 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
225 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
$58 members, $68 non-member
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is composed of 15 of jazz music’s leading soloists under the leadership of musical director Wynton Marsalis. Drawing from an extensive repertoire that includes original compositions by Mr. Marsalis, Ted Nash, and other members of the orchestra, as well as the masterworks of Ellington, Mingus, Coltrane, and other great jazz composers, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis concerts are internationally critically-acclaimed. E.J. Gold’s dramatic 7′x 11′ JazzArt® stage panels and paintings will once again grace the performance space, as Wynton Marsalis takes the stage at the Grass Valley’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

Arlo Guthrie – Here Comes the Kid(s)
Friday, April 11, 2014 – 8:00 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
225 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
$48 members, $58 non-member
Legendary singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie and band come to Grass Valley’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium for an evening featuring his most beloved songs. For the past year Arlo has toured in recognition of father Woody Guthrie’s centennial. The younger artist continues to honor the elder’s remarkable legacy with this celebration, a spirited musical tribute from a son to his father. Woody Guthrie instilled in his children the commitment to fighting the good fight, a notion that Arlo has always brought to his own work throughout his career spanning over four decades.

Arlo’s songwriting, humor, activism and unequaled manner of telling a tale discernibly exhibit the Guthrie family traits that Woody imparted. Arlo also draws from the extensive catalogue of songs taught to him by Woody and friends such as Lead Belly, Cisco Houston, and Brownie McGhee. More than fifty years after his first performance opening for Cisco, Arlo’s commitment to music and tradition is as strong as ever. The Here Come The Kid(s) tour emphasizes the best-loved songs and stories that the Guthrie family most closely associates with the distinguished patriarch.

Nevada City

Nevada City is selected as one of’s 15 “Coolest, Small Town” finalists. Vote for your favorite town here.

“Nevada City may be a little off the beaten path (60 miles northeast of Sacramento, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains), but residents value the Gold Country town for its music and art scene, food, and proximity to some of California’s amazing rivers, lakes, and the Sierra,” the travel website states. “For live music, locals swear by the Miners Foundry. For a Sundance feel without the hordes, savor the Wild and Scenic Film Festival. And if you’re hankering for a pro cycling race and don’t plan on dropping in on the Tour de France anytime soon, hightail it to the Nevada City Classic.”

The other contenders are: Berlin, MD; Buckhannon, WV; Cazenovia, NY; Deadwood, SD; Elkin, NC; Estes Park, CO; Everglades City, FL; Galena, IL; Huntington Woods, MI; Kelleys Island, OH; Mathews, VA; Nevada City, CA; Pahoa, HI; Rockport, TX; and Travelers Rest, SC.

Nevada City Mardi Gras 2014

Historic Downtown Nevada City
Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2, 2014
A Downtown Parade, Masquerade Ball and Carnevale are featured March 1 & 2, 2014 as this colorful Sierra foothills town again celebrates Mardi Gras in Nevada City. Weekend activities open Saturday night with a Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball from 8pm to midnight, featuring a live band, in historic Miners Foundry at 325 Spring Street. Cajun food will be available for purchase throughout the evening. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Chamber Office for $12. Or, you can purchase tickets at the door for $15. 21 and over only.

On Sunday, the Mardi Gras Street Faire will be held on North Pine Street, in Historic Downtown Nevada City, from 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be food, drink, crafts, and clothing. The Mardi Gras Parade begins at 2 p.m. Sunday and moves down Broad Street through the center of town. Merry spectators of all ages line the parade route while gaily masked societies parade through the historic district handing out beads, toys, trinkets, bangles and more. Everyone is encouraged to attend in festive Mardi Gras attire. Join us for a festive after-the-parade Carnevale for the whole family at the Miners Foundry from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.! Enjoy New Orleans style food, hot dogs, ice cream & desserts, soft drinks & specialty coffees. Also featuring a full bar for the adults serving Hurricanes, plus a special Bloody Mary bar. Delight in Cajun music, drummers, belly dancers, a bounce house, and more! Tickets at the door only $5 for adults – Kids are FREE!


The Sierra Nevada, home to Truckee, Donner Summit and our eastern County, has been named one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges by, a skiing and snowboarding website.

The Sierra Nevada runs 400 miles north-to-south, and is approximately 70 miles across east-to-west. Notable Sierra features include Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America; Mount Whitney at 14,505 ft, the highest point in the contiguous United States; and Yosemite Valley sculpted by glaciers out of 100-million-year-old granite. The Sierra is home to three national parks, 20 wilderness areas, and two national monuments. These areas include Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Parks, and Devils Postpile National Monument.

The others on the list, which include the Tetons, Andes, Japanese Alps and Himalayas, are described here.

Tahoe Donner Ididarun
Tahoe Donner Ski Area
Sunday, March 9, 2014
12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Dogs pulling covered wagon sleds across a snow covered course against the clock! This is a great spectating event from the trackside or on the Lodge deck. Event sign ups start at noon, and the race begins at 1 pm. Food & Drinks are available for purchase at The Lodge, so come on out and join in all the fun with the whole family today! Tickets are $20 per person.

(Photos: Wine Tasting by Kial James; Mardi Gras by Gary Swenor)

Truckee’s Cedar House Sport Hotel on Best Hotel List in U.S. News and World Report

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For the second year in a row U.S. News and World Report names The Cedar House Sport Hotel located in Truckee, CA to the list of Best Hotels in Lake Tahoe. The privately owned Cedar House Sport Hotel ranks second out of forty-five Lake Tahoe hotels based on expert ratings, awards and user reviews.

“We are honored that our guests and travel industry experts recognize all of the small touches that make a big difference when they stay at the Cedar House Sport Hotel,” said Patty Baird, owner of The Cedar House. “We continue to evolve and refine our business to attract and exceed our guests’ expectations and this includes paying close attention to adventure travel trends.”

Frequently asked about the meaning of a “sport hotel,” Baird explains that The Cedar House is a year round destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Both she and her husband Jeff place enormous importance on the value and sheer joy of spending time in nature and through Tahoe Trips & Trails, The Cedar House’s adventure company, they share their love and knowledge of outdoor adventures with guests from near and far.

Located fifteen minutes from Lake Tahoe, The Cedar House attracts both outdoor and culinary enthusiasts. Tahoe Trips and Trails hosts single and multi-day adventures throughout the region and Stella, run by Food & Wine recognized executive chef Jacob Burton, delights diners from near and far.

“As a family owned business we offer something many large corporations cannot: Exceptional service with attention to personal details. Aesthetically, we know hotels need to be warm and inviting, but they should also transcend the function of shelter into an experience,” shares Baird.

“When we first opened in 2006, it became evident that marrying Tahoe Trips & Trails with our hotel would be an ideal match. Today we offer the ultimate vacation.” On site yoga sessions, nature walks, snowshoe hikes, summer treks and ultra-light backpacking adventures are offered through Tahoe Trips & Trails.

“This is real wilderness, real adventure, and real gratification,” share the Bairds about backpacking trips, but they also appreciate a good night’s rest indoors and understand that finding the right hotel can be challenging.

U.S. News has taken the guesswork out of booking by identifying the best hotels using an unbiased methodology including the prominence of industry awards plus reputation among travel experts and guests to create this year’s rankings.

In total, 1,693 U.S. hotels were evaluated. Hotels named “Best” in their destination are typically the properties that have ranked in the top 30 percent of evaluated properties in that region.

“The 2014 Best Hotels were selected because they meet the highest standards of travel experts and guests alike,” said Miriam Weiner, travel editor for U.S. News. “These properties are renowned in the travel industry for their luxury amenities and quality customer service.”

The complete list of 2014 Best Hotels in Lake Tahoe is available at

—Text and photo from Cedar House Sport Hotel

Lift tickets as low as $15 at Boreal on Fridays

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On Fridays, come up to Boreal to take advantage of $15 lift tickets! Ski and ride from 9:00am – 9:00pm, enjoying the area’s closest ski resort. Available for only College students and active duty military.


Plan your Fridays at Boreal where your lift tickets are just $15! Bring a valid college student I.D. and ski/ride for just $15. Holiday restrictions include Nov. 29, 2013; Dec. 27, 2013; Jan. 3, 2014; Feb. 21, 2014.


Check with your Outdoor Recreation Office for discounted lift tickets. We also offer $15 lift tickets on Fridays for all active military with a valid I.D. Holiday restrictions include Nov. 29, 2013; Dec. 27, 2013; Jan. 3, 2014; Feb. 21, 2014.

—Boreal Resort

New York Times lists Truckee-Tahoe among top U.S. places to visit in 2014

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This weekend’s New York Times has listed Truckee-Tahoe as one of the top 52 places in the world to visit in 2014. It is a reminder of our region’s world-class amenities. An excerpt is here:

“Tahoe, Calif.
A ski area spruces up with new terrain, lodging and an entire base village. For decades Northstar-at-Tahoe, on the north end of Lake Tahoe, was a mostly overlooked ski hill. Since 2004, however, more than $1 billion has poured into the resort.

“Though weather in the region has been fickle so far this season, the improvements are impressive. And they aren’t limited to the base village that has risen at the renamed Northstar, centered around a huge ice rink ringed by couches and fire pits.

“The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe opened a few years ago, and Vail Resorts, since buying the ski resort in late 2010, has built an on-mountain day lodge, added more terrain and installed the new Promised Land Express lift on the resort’s Backside.

“Tahoe is resurgent, as resorts from Squaw Valley to Homewood undertake improvements with an eye toward bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympics. In the next few years expect to see everything from the Cal Neva Resort, once owned by Frank Sinatra, open after a big renovation, to a South Lake Tahoe with new waterfront hotels.”

The rest of the article is here.

(Photo: Jonathan Selkowitz and Northstar California)

Tour the HGTV Dream Home 2014 in Truckee starting January 9

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Schaffer’s Mill in Truckee is proud to be the host community for the incredible HGTV Dream Home 2014. You can tour this amazing 3,200-square foot home beginning Thursday, January 9th and continuing every Thursday-Sunday from 10:00am – 4:00pm through February 14th. Tickets to tour the home are $20 each and available online at All proceeds from tour ticket sales will benefit the Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation.

The HGTV Dream Home 2014 will be revealed to a national television audience on HGTV during a one-hour January 1st special scheduled for 8:00pm PST. HGTV will be giving the home away to one lucky winner through its HGTV Dream Home 2014 Giveaway. Enter to win the home twice online per day – once on and once on The winner will receive the luxuriously furnished HGTV Dream Home 2014, an all-new 2015 GMC® Yukon Denali and a $250,000 cash prize provided by Quicken Loans. For more information or to enter to win the HGTV Dream Home 2014, visit

The HGTV Dream Home 2014 was designed by Truckee-based Ward-Young Architects and was built by Tanamera Builders. Blending traditional and contemporary forms, the home is designed with two wings: a living wing and a bedroom wing with large expanses of glass and sliding door systems to create transparent and direct connection between indoors and outdoors.

Past locations for the HGTV Dream Home include Kiawah Island, South Carolina in 2013, Park City, Utah in 2012, Stowe, Vermont in 2011 and Sandia Park, New Mexico in 2010.

New photo galleries for our County

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Click on each one:

Cornish Christmas 2013

Christmas Card Movie

December 2013

Artisan Festival

Bridgeport Fall Festival

Nisenan Heritage Day

Wine Tasting

Popular blog posts of 2013

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Here are some of our most popular posts from our “All Aboard” blog on our website. Many of them have informative and entertaining videos to watch too:

•Nevada County on list of top hidden swimming holes around the world.

•Hallmark’s Christmas card, filmed in Nevada City, air times in December

•Horse-drawn carriage rides return to Nevada City

•Top ten places to take your grandparents in Grass Valley

•December 2013 snowfall

Nevada County Tourism promoted in S.F. this week

•Bill Cosby performs at Nevada County Fairgrounds on July 5

•Grass Valley Foothills Celebration for wine & food on March 2

•Nevada City named as a small-town escape in the San Francisco Chronicle

•Old Highway 40 bypass — “The one less traveled”

•Wine Tasting

•National Trails Day 2013

•Grass Valley plans to bring skating rink back to downtown Jan. 17-20

•Campaign launched to help restore historic Bridgeport covered bridge

•Nevada County exhibit at State Fair wins a Gold Medal

•North San Juan Cherry Festival is June 23

•ART OnSite debuts first public art project on September 7

•Snow falling at HGTV Dream Home

(photos and illustrations: Denise Wey, Smith Vineyards and photo archives)

Video: Tahoe Donner Torchlight Parade on December 31

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Tahoe Donner is located in Truckee, and Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area is committed to being one of the best places for family fun and learning in the Tahoe region.

It also has some wonderful events, including the Torchlight Parade on New Year’s Eve.

It is a fun event for intermediate skiers and riders ages 10 or older who can ski or ride unassisted. Come early to secure a spot in the parade.

A DJ and snacks will be provided in the bar area prior to the parade. Sign-ups are from 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. with a chair loading time at 6:15 p.m. This is a free event.

Date: Tuesday, December 31

Time: 4:30-5:45 Sign-up

—Tahoe Donner

Christmas Day Dining in our County

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Here are some restaurants in Truckee, Grass Valley and Nevada City that are serving lunch or dinner on Christmas Day. The menu items at the various restaurants include Prime Rib, lamb, duck, roast turkey, pork tenderloin and vegetarian items:

Bar of America
10040 Donner Pass Road
Truckee, CA 96160
Lunch, Dinner, 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

120 E. Main St.
Grass Valley, CA 95949
Lunch, Dinner buffet 12-6 p.m.

Trattoria Milano
124 Bank Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Dinner, 5-9 p.m.

Holbrooke Hotel
212 W. Main Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Dinner, 1-6 p.m.

National Hotel
211 Broad St.
Nevada City, CA 95959
Breakfast, 8 a.m.-noon
Dinner, 1-8 p.m.

Our guide to restaurants is HERE.