The great outdoors meet country charm in this small town located north of Lake Tahoe.
All 737 residents of Graeagle, Calif., could fit inside one of the grand resorts at Lake Tahoe, its semiurban neighbor 60 miles south. Despite its postage-stamp size, the town offers notable architecture, shops with one-of-a-kind finds, and well-preserved history. Area code is 530.
1 Designed in 1923 by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Nakoma Golf Resort & Spa’s clubhouse is adorned with octagonal towers and bold, geometric stained glass. You don’t golf? Grab a drink in the Wigwam Room to enjoy the architecture and views of the Sierra Nevada. 345 Bear Run, Clio, 832-5067, nakomagolfresort.com .
2 Graeagle Outpost & Yacht Club equips summertime outdoor enthusiasts with canoes, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and paddleboats to traverse adjacent Mill Pond. The modest cottage also serves snow cones, ice cream, frozen mocha, and espresso. 836-2414, graeagleoutpost.com .
3 Steep slopes, winding paths, and a moving windmill challenge players at Graeagle Miniature Golf (open through Halloween). 836-2107, graeagle.com . Follow a round with a thick chocolate shake from Graeagle Mountain Frostee.
4 Housed in a 1920s building, the Gold Rush Gallery sells intricate jewelry in gold, gold quartz, and sterling silver. Vintage American Indian pieces, procured at powwows in the 1960s and ’70s, feature turquoise, coral, white mother-of-pearl, and black jet. 836-2712, thegoldrushgallery.com .
5 John Wayne posters, commemorative plates, and, on occasion, lifesize cutouts festoon Mt. Tomba Inn in nearby Cromberg. The restaurant, opened in 1934, serves honest comfort food, including chicken-fried steak and beer-battered prawns. 836-2359, mttombainn.com .
Photography by Asa Gilmore
This article was first published in May 2014. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.