Truckee: Coffee Bar, Donner State Park & Cottonwood

I hope you guys aren’t getting sick of the Tahoe posts yet because I still have one more to go. I’m sharing a little more of Truckee with you today because I think there are a few more spots worth mentioning. It really is such a nice little city; Brandon and I have even tossed around the idea of retiring there one day.

You see those little houses at the top of the mountain there? I’m thinking maybe one those, what do you think?

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Okay, back to reality.

From what I’ve read, there are plenty of great hikes in and nearby Truckee but since we had Coco and were limited on time, we chose to do a short one at Donner State Memorial Park. We went later in the afternoon {after a fun morning of stand-up paddle boarding-more on that later} so we stopped for lunch at the Coffee Bar to refuel beforehand.


Coffee Bar is near downtown Truckee and specializes in organic coffee, gelato, European handmade crepes and other lunch options such as sandwiches and salads. They’re also passionate about using organic and sustainable ingredients whenever possible so of course, I had to eat there.

I opted for their Garden Crepe with seasonal fresh vegetables.


Brandon got the vegetable Panini with smoked mozzarella.


And we split a Nicoise salad on the side.


I know, it’s a lot of food but he’s a growing boy.

Coco did a pretty good job resisting the birds on the patio. She likes to chase them.


After an awesome lunch, we packed-up and took about a 10-minute drive to Donner State Park.

The park is located right along Donner Lake which turned out to be really pretty.

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Our hike was actually more of a stroll but we had a good time taking in the scenery and not having to worry about Coco falling off a cliff.

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The trees along the path were kind of unusual looking and reminded me of something out of a Tim Burton film.

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Maybe that’s just me.

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True to form, Coco was not interested in the water at all but she had fun exploring all of the new scents in the park.

We didn’t stay there long because we wanted to make time to walk around downtown but the park seemed like a great alternative to Lake Tahoe for swimming and watersports.

After cleaning up, we went to dinner at Cottonwood Restaurant.



Cottonwood is perched on the side of a hill with an outdoor patio that has a perfect view of downtown Truckee. It felt great to relax in the fresh air with that view and a glass of wine.


For my meal, I ordered the butternut squash enchiladas.


Brandon had the polenta gratin with fresh mozzarella and roasted garlic. He’s a garlic lover.


As we ate dinner, the sun started to set and it made for a very romantic setting.


We made sure to save room for dessert this time and savored every bite of the chocolate fudge brownie with vanilla ice cream.


Oh my, that was good. The whole meal was amazing and we would definitely go back to Cottonwood again.

Of course, we forgot to ask for a picture when the sun was still up so all I have is this one by candlelight.


Okay, that’s all I have of Truckee but even in that short amount of time, I fell in love. Truckee is my jam!


Do you have plans yet for Labor Day?

Where do you want to retire?