10Best Christmas Shopping in Lake Tahoe and Truckee

Christmas shopping in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee area is made special with the views of the mountains and the snow, but gets even better when you visit any of these 10Best boutiques, shops and stores in various locations around the lake. Many stores in the Tahoe area feature items created by local artists and those make some of the best gifts.

Check out the handmade items at the Riverside Studios or La Galleria in Truckee. Each of these stores feature beautifully handmade jewelry, scarves, paintings, ceramics and photography for reasonable prices. Other great places to go Christmas shopping in the Tahoe area include Bespoke, where you can find unique clothing items and the fabulous Cooking Gallery which has everything you need for the amateur or professional chef.

If you are shopping for the kids, take them with you to Barrels O' Candy in Virginia City or to Ruffles and Ruffnecks in Tahoe City for some funky clothing. If you are shopping for yourself, visit the clothing stores at the Shops at Heavenly or the Tahoe Hemp Company in South Lake Tahoe offers some unusual and memorable clothing items, statues and other home decor. If you want to treat someone to an experience instead of an item, gift them a class at the North Tahoe Arts Center.


Olympic Valley

Spruced Gift & Home is located in the Village at Squaw Valley in Olympic Valley. This cute shop reflects the Lake Tahoe and mountain lifestyle with gift ideas, home items, toys and handmade items from local artists. The store also offers a unique array of home d�cor, stationary, gadgets for guys, children's toys and a mix of American-made and European-imported items. Special gift and home items include homemade candles from wine bottle, lotions that smell like pine trees and sagebrush, handmade wooden bowls and kitchen items, display clocks and maps of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada. They also offer holiday items and sales.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Spruced will ship your perfect Tahoe gift to anywhere in the world.

Christina's expert tip: Spruced Gift & Home will also sell the shop's furniture pieces.

Read more about Spruced Gift & Home →

South Lake Tahoe

The Tahoe Hemp Company is South Lake Tahoe is not your average counter-culture shop. The emphasis of this business is to emphasize the importance of hemp as a sustainable crop and design material. The THC (a play on words, of course) sells eco-conscience and green items such as men's and women's clothing, T-shirts, jackets, hats, bags, purses, wallets, bath and body products, shoes, books, gift items, local made jewelry and more. The items are of high quality and many of the T-shirts play off the Tahoe/THC theme. The women's jackets and coats are surprisingly soft and stylish. Many of the items are a priced a little high, but the customer service and cool staff make it worth it to spend some time and little of your vacation dollars at this local Tahoe store.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The items at the Tahoe Hemp Company are fun and funky.

Christina's expert tip: Eco-conscious, green shopping on the South Shore.

Read more about Tahoe Hemp Company →

North Tahoe Arts Center
Photo courtesy of Rojer/Flickr

This cute gallery on the shore of Lake Tahoe offers the visitor everything from fine paintings and sculpture to handmade textiles and items for the home. The exhibits change on a monthly basis and include mixed media collage, photography, and sculptures of metal, glass and clay. From June through August, the gallery sponsors workshops taught by artists coming from all areas of the country. Watercolor, drawing, painting and collage are some of the classes offered. Admission is free. A gift shop features the works of local artists in all media. The North Tahoe Arts is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to support the arts in the North Tahoe-Truckee communities through exposure, education and participation.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Support the local community by shopping at North Tahoe Arts Center.

Christina's expert tip: Close to Tahoe City and a great place to buy local art.

Read more about North Tahoe Arts Center →


The Riverside Studios artists shop in Downtown Truckee (in the Brickletown shopping district) is a cute and funky loft-style shop featuring items from various local artists. Here you can find handmade jewelry, clothing, purses and other accessories, photography and prints, pottery, furniture and sculpture. The store is owned by five local artists and the prices are actually quite reasonable when you find out how many hours go into each item. The jewelry by Mary Buchan Guerra is recommended as well as the block print and framed pictures of the local Tahoe area that are sometimes featured on the walls and shelves of the store.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: At most stores, you don't meet the artist who designs your item. At Riverside Studios, you do.

Christina's expert tip: The jewelry by Mary Buchan Guerra is beautiful.

Read more about Riverside Studios →

The Shops at Heavenly are located just below the Heavenly ski area in South Lake Tahoe. The village includes an eclectic mix of shops from fashionable lifestyle apparel, accessories and art. The shops include the Pacific Crest art gallery, the Serenity Spa, Tahoe Old Time Photos, Up Shirt Creek, Apricot Lane Boutique, Blue Sky the Great Outdoor Clothing Company, Patagonia@Heavenly, Posh Punkins and Sealed with a Kiss. Sporting goods stores include Powder House Sports and Quiksilver. There are several eateries including the Nestle Toll House Cafe, Cold Stone Creamery, Base Camp Pizza, Wolfgang Puck Express and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The Shops at Heavenly also have an 8-screen movie theater showing the latest movies.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Shops at Heavenly are conveniently located near various restaurants and bars.

Christina's expert tip: The high-end shops at Heavenly include a great mix of food, clothing and sports gear.

Read more about The Shops at Heavenly →

Ruffles and Ruffnecks has been selling adorable clothing for children and infants in Tahoe City for the last 40 years. They not only have every day and special occasion outfits for kids, but also sell unique toys and games. Another great area is their accessories for little girls that includes purses, boots and shoes and items for the hair. The store's infant section includes sweet onesies, dresses, outerwear and a great selection of cloth diapers and eco items for both mom and baby. Ruffles and Ruffnecks will have regular sales both online and at the store. The store is located in the Cobblestone Center in Tahoe City and it fun to browse�even if you don't have children.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Ruffles and Ruffnecks is located conveniently at the Cobblestone Center in Tahoe City.

Christina's expert tip: Ruffles and Ruffnecks' infant and baby section has some great gift items for new mothers.

Read more about Ruffles and Ruffnecks →

La Galleria in historic downtown Truckee is an exquisite gallery that is dedicated to beautiful works of art from Asia and South America, jewelry and other accessories, statues and fountains and local arts from the Truckee area. They specialize in gifts from around the world and will deliver any purchase to your home address. The store is small and tight, but chock full of beautiful items that are also surprisingly affordable. They sells items like stone Buddha statues, handmade items from local pinecones, silver and gold jewelry, stone and marble fountains, handmade and knitted scarves and hats, paper items and handmade cards, and natural items made from local branches, flowers and tree bark.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The quality of work at La Galleria is incredible, even in this small place.

Christina's expert tip: The jewelry selection at La Galleria is amazing.

Read more about La Galleria →

This small, but sweet boutique in the Cobblestone Shopping Center in Tahoe City has made a name for itself for selling only handmade items from over 30 different artists in the Reno, Tahoe and Truckee area. The store is full of unique items like statues and vases, Sierra Nevada photography, original paintings, jewelry and clothing, Tahoe inspired lotions, essential oils and candles and the Lovin' Tahoe brand of clothing and bumper stickers. The prices at Trunk Show are affordable. The owner's own brand of jewelry is made of recycled items and a beautiful handmade necklace is around $40. Trunk Show also has a customer appreciation party every first Friday of the month, from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. The store serves cocktails and showcases the new collection of local art.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Trunk Show features local art and jewelry as well as Tahoe inspired soaps and candles.

Christina's expert tip: Trunk Show packs up your items in post consumer recycled paper boxes and bags.

Read more about Trunk Show →

This independent shop for both amateur and professional cooks is nothing short of a culinary lovers dream come true. The shop is two stories of beautiful cooking equipment, cookbooks, spices, cutlery, pots, pans and anything you can think of for the kitchen and dining room. They also have a load of bakeware and glassware, small appliances like juicers, coffeemakers and food processors. They also sell gourmet coffee and specialty foods. Their selection of candles and cloth napkins is impressive. The place is cramped full of so many items you could spend an hour or two just in the downstairs floor before you realize there's a second floor. The Cooking Gallery is located right in old downtown Truckee.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The Cooking Gallery has an amazing collection of gift items for any level of chef.

Christina's expert tip: A chef's Heaven on Earth. They do close a little earlier than most stores in the area, so head here first.

Read more about Cooking Gallery →

Owned by a high fashion designer turned mountain girl, Bespoke is a fun and unique shop in historic downtown Truckee that celebrates everything vintage, kitschy and natural. When you first step into the small shop, you will first be drawn to the wall of the flora and fauna of the United States. Each state has a handcrafted print by San Francisco company Dutch Door Press. Other letterpress prints are scattered around the shop along with locally made pottery, clothing, scarves and hats, books, jewelry and unusual magazines. Bespoke also has special events like Ladies Nights, art workshops and classes on making your own print stamps or terrariums. Items in the store are actually very affordable and you will be sure to find the perfect gift while browsing.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Bespoke has some of the most unique gift items in the Truckee area.

Christina's expert tip: This shop is so much fun to browse around in and it changes all the time.

Read more about Bespoke →


Meet Christina Nellemann

Christina has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since she was a baby. A first-generation Nevadan, her Danish parents instilled in her an intense love of travel and the wild, rugged outdoors...  More About Christina