After a day filled with exploring crystal clear lakes, schussing down slopes, hiking through wildflowers, or any other outdoor excursion, nothing beats a cold beer or a glass of wine to celebrate. These watering holes will quench your thirst and give you a glimpse into the past.
Out of all the hamlets and towns surrounding the Lake Tahoe region, the historic town of Truckee arguably has some of the deepest history you can still see today. Within the main drag, you’ll see beautiful brick and wooden structures that have existed for more than a century. And within one of the buildings, you’ll find the Past Time Club. Established in 1886, it has served railroad workers, lumberjacks, and now outdoor enthusiasts. It’s survived harsh winters and even was a speakeasy for a time during Prohibition.
Chambers Landing Bar & Restaurant
Just a bit east and on the lake itself, you’ll find the quaint hamlet of Homewood. Here you’ll spot Chambers Landing. Built in 1875, it was the first boathouse on the lake and has hosted a bar since its inception. In the late 19th Century, the “Tahoe Steamer” would pull up to the Chambers dock on its route around the entire lake. Sitting here sampling the signature Chambers Punch, you can still imagine seeing the large steamship pulling into the dock.
If you’re heading up to Yosemite, make sure to set aside time for a pit stop at the Hideout Saloon. While the actual bar has only been around since 1990, the building and bar’s location is from California’s Gold Rush Era. You’ll feel the history as you make it inside. The entrance is a bit hidden and tucked away around a corner. Walking down the stairs, you’ll be greeted to a one-of-a-kind saloon experience decorated in well-worn wood tables and a bar within a real stone cavern. If that wasn’t enough, they smoke their own meats!
Tiger Bar & Café
What is called the Switzerland of California, words cannot describe the sheer beauty of the June Lake Loop. Even though mining was happening around the area, this valley was left mostly unscathed. Rather, it was the fishermen, hunters, and hikers that realized its bounty. And like any good fishing destination, a bar to tell fish tales is required. The Tiger Bar in the town of June Lake has been around since 1932 and still holds one of the two longest standing alcoholic beverage licenses in California. Serving up classic bar-fare in a slow-paced relaxed atmosphere, it’s a great way to finish off the evening after catching some trophy-sized fish.
From Wild West Saloons to original tourist destinations, these bars aren’t just places to get a drink but an opportunity to soak up some history with your beverage.
Author: Alex Silgalis
Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at https://localfreshies.com
Stay Up to Date
Join our mailing list for updates on hidden gems, events, and more from California's High Sierra.