Truckee, CA is a quaint yet modern country-style mountain town with plenty to offer to adventure seekers of all ages. With Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park just a quick drive away, it’s the perfect starting point for a grand adventure. Truckee’s also just a stone’s throw away from Reno, NV, giving you the best of both worlds: scenic nature and big city living. Spend your first day boating, swimming, and picnicking on the lake, and then spend the next exploring casinos, exquisite restaurants, and world-class entertainment. Here are eight of the best places to search for the perfect Truckee vacation rental both in town and in the greater Tahoe area.

1. Tahoe City, CA

lake house
Source: Flickr / Laurent Goujon

If you’re planning on spending a lot of time at Lake Tahoe, you may want to stay in Tahoe City. Of course, what you do in this seasonal area depends largely on when you visit. During the winter, Granlibakken Tahoe is a wonderful place to hit the slopes on your skis, snowboard, or even a sled. During the summer, enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing in Commons Beach Park. Once the sun sets, finish the day with an outdoor movie — the park hosts them on Wednesdays at dusk, so bring the whole family. Regardless of when you visit, you’re sure to enjoy Tahoe City’s vibrant culture, including great places to eat and drink, art galleries, and even a lakeside boardwalk.

2. Reno, NV

theater lights

Truckee’s just a half hour’s drive away from Reno, so it’s a fantastic option for those outdoor adventurers who prefer to hang their hat in the city. Often called “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno can give you a taste of the Vegas experience without all the hassle. Of course, there’s plenty more to do in Reno besides gamble. Explore the Riverwalk District by kayak, then stash your boat back at your vacation rental when you’re done. Once you’re back on land, spend some time exploring the city’s fantastic restaurants, shopping, sports, music, and anything else that strikes your fancy. If you’re in the mood to take in some culture, swing by the Museum of Art. Whether you’re traveling alone, with family, or with friends, you’ll never be bored in Reno.

3. Alpine Meadows, CA

blue lake water
Source: Flickr / cariberry

Alpine Meadows is one of the best places in the area for skiers and snowboarders, as it boasts the longest snow season out of all of the resorts in the area. With plenty of fun classes and activities available, it’s a great place to bring the kids. You don’t need to come during the winter for a delightful experience though — Alpine Meadows offers plenty of natural beauty and outdoor activities year-round. Wake up at the crack of dawn and go fly-fishing or rafting at Bear Creek, then head to Ward or Scott’s Peak for a hike. If you’re an active person, or if you just enjoy relaxing surrounded by gorgeous scenery, you’re bound to fall in love with Alpine Meadows.

4. Incline Village, NV

trees and mountains near the lake
Source: Flickr / Ken Lund

Another hot spot for those who love the great outdoors, Incline Village offers a wide range of activities for people of all ages and experience levels. Store your mountain bikes in the garage of your vacation rental, and then bomb Flume trail whenever the urge strikes. It drains conveniently right into the village, so why drive? Feel like cooling off in the water or just relaxing in the sun? Incline Village boasts a number of beach and lake areas that are perfect for just that.

5. King’s Beach, CA

sea and sky
Source: Flickr / Sean Munson

Named after Joe King, a legendary card shark who won the town in a poker game, King’s Beach is the place to go if you and your family just want to relax. This mellow area gets plenty of sun all day long, so it’s the perfect place to kick back, enjoy a good book, and work on your tan. If you decide to leave your beach chair, you can visit plenty of unique shops, vendors, restaurants, and other attractions nearby. The Kings Beach State Recreation Area is a fantastic place to bring the kids to play on the playground, and Kings Beach Miniature Golf provides endless entertainment for anyone who’s young at heart.

6. Olympic Valley, CA

aerial tram
Source: Flickr / Ray Bouknight

Nestled right in the middle of Truckee and Lake Tahoe, Olympic Valley is conveniently located. While all of Olympic Valley is truly spectacular, Squaw Valley is an especially beautiful area to stay that gives you convenient access to all of the surrounding hot spots. With six peaks and 3,600 acres to explore, you could spend a lifetime adventuring in this scenic ski resort town. Besides the obvious attractions like skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and hiking, you can enjoy fun activities like paintball, swimming, disc golf, and roller skating nearby. Don’t forget to take a trip up the aerial tram for a breathtaking view that you’ll never forget.

7. Homewood, CA

lake shore
Source: Flickr / Reno Tahoe

The West Shore area of Homewood is a welcoming, tight-knit community with a rich history and enchanting forest views. Located right between Tahoe City and Emerald Bay, it’s the perfect home base. When it comes to nature and outdoor activities, West Shore has it all. Spend the day kayaking, rock climbing, or biking, then head to the pedestrian village to unwind with a glass of wine. Enjoy a leisurely moonlight paddle on the lake, then toast to the day’s fun over a fire-cooked meal. There’s something about West Shore that’s pure magic — let the area put you under its spell.

8. Carnelian Bay, CA

beach view on sundown
Source: Flickr / David Spencer

Carnelian Bay is named after the gorgeous red and yellow semi-precious stones scattered across the shores. If you enjoy fishing, Carnelian Bay won’t disappoint with its abundance of large Mackinaw trout. Be sure to take advantage of the multiple dog-friendly beaches if you’re traveling with a four-legged friend. Rent a boat, and take the kids out for a day of tubing on the water, or charter a fishing boat and try your hand at catching dinner. Explore the scenic area from above by zip line, or take a snowmobile tour during the winter. If you’re really feeling adventurous, give flyboarding a try — it’s a water-propelled jetpack that lets you soar above the water like a seafaring astronaut.