While visiting Lake Tahoe, you will want to plunk down a little bit of cash to take home something that reminds you of this beautiful place. However, don’t be tempted by the typical gifts shop items. Anyone can get a coffee mug or tee-shirt, but you want to bring home something that truly reminds you of your experience at the Lake.
There was an article recently in the Tahoe Daily Tribune about the ubiquitous chain saw bears of the Tahoe area. They are the totem of the Tahoe area, high-fiving visitors as they walk through stores and restaurants or as they pass by local driveways. Bear and other wildlife are a large part of life in Lake Tahoe so the first thing you should pick up is…
1. Chain Saw Bears
Papa, mama and baby bears. You can get these mainstays of Tahoe outdoor decor in all sizes. They are created from large blocks of local wood and shaped with a chain saw by various artists in the Tahoe area. They can be found at several shops around the lake.
2. Tahoe Photographs
Pick up a scenic landscape or wildlife print from the Jon Paul Gallery in South Lake Tahoe. Jon Paul really captures the color and light of the Tahoe area and his prints are beautiful high quality pieces of art.
3. Sugar Pine Cones
The Lake Tahoe Basin is home to the conifer tree species that produces the world’s largest pine cone: the sugar pine. Some of these pine cones can grow up to two feet long. After years of extensive logging in the 1800s, the sugar pines are limited throughout the area. But you can still find the hefty cones of this tree in shops around Tahoe and downtown Truckee.
4. Western Wear
I’m not a cowboy, but I wanna be a cowboy when I walk into Cabona’s Jackass Ridge store in Truckee. The warm colors of the horse blankets, huge selection of cowboy hats and beautiful handmade boots will seduce you into pulling out that credit card. You may even buy a horse next.
Some of the best gifts are meant to be eaten. Pick up a wine from Pichetti Winery, a coffee from Alpen Sierra Coffee Roasting Company, a bag of bagels from the Truckee Bagel Company or fudge, truffles and other chocolate from the Sweets Handmade Candies shop in Truckee.
Photograph by [uzvard]