Give the Gift of Experiences

©MarcelloRostagni2020 art gallery at prism

The Locals’ Shopping Guide: Find Great Holiday Gifts in Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley

‘Tis the season for all things holiday in Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley and many locals are staying home this year to enjoy a Sierra staycation. As the snowflakes fall and evergreen trees glitter in tinsel and lights, we’re reminded how lucky we are to live in this winter-wonderful area in a tight-knit, friendly community. 

When you begin ticking items off your gift list, consider showing your love and do the holiday shopping right here at home. By shopping locally, you get double the satisfaction in finding one-of-a-kind gifts for loved ones and in giving back to the community by supporting local businesses.

12 Local Businesses Where You Can Shop Small and Give Big

There are many stores in Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley where you can purchase a gift card or find unique, locally-made gifts and make your holiday shopping a breeze. Check out our curated list of local businesses for great gift ideas and make the season special for family and friends.


Everyone loves Italian food and if you have someone who’s hard to shop for, make it easy with a Capisce? gift card. This Lake Tahoe restaurant is family-owned and serves handcrafted Italian food and spirits made with generations of love. Featuring handmade pasta with gluten-free options and an extensive wine list, this Italian eatery is perfect for a holiday meal.

Chocolate Shoppe

Chocolate Shoppe treats

Chocolate Shoppe

Indulge friends and family with handmade chocolates, truffles, and every sort of delectable sweet you can imagine. The Chocolate Shoppe in Gardnerville is a local business where passion and creativity shine in each cherry cordial and nut cluster. Design your own chocolate box or choose from gorgeously wrapped, premade ones. 

DST Coffee

For the caffeine fiend, consider purchasing a gift card at DST Coffee in Gardnerville and give the gift of high-quality, sustainably-sourced coffee. DST Coffee is a great spot to take a study break, have a meeting, or just hang out. This cozy cafe also serves ice cream, and is a local favorite with children and adults alike.

Fox & Hound

Every longtime Heavenly skier has dropped into the Fox & Hound for après drinks and eats. If you have a friend or family member who loves hitting the Nevada side of the ski resort, a gift card to this iconic bar is a surefire Christmas hit. Fox & Hound is known for their epic views of Carson Valley, slow-smoked BBQ, and strong pours. Cheers!

Lake Tahoe AleworX

lake tahoe aleworx brian walker

Lake Tahoe AleworX

Got a beer lover on your Christmas list? Give them the gift of every hoppy, bitter, citrusy flavor with a gift card to Lake Tahoe AleworX. With two locations, this locally-owned brewhouse features a self-pour station with dozens of seasonal rotating handles to choose from, as well as wood-fired pizza and appetizers, so your beer-loving friend or family member can fill their stomach with grains both brewed and baked. 

Minden Meat and Deli

A gift card to this family-owned deli is perfect for the hardworking man or woman in your family who loves a hearty, high-quality sandwich accompanied by an equally powerful brew. Minden Meat and Deli has 31 beers on tap, a mind-boggling selection of bottled microbrews, and fresh sandwiches and burgers served on brioche buns from the Truckee Sourdough Company. 

Overland Restaurant & Pub

For history buffs and foodies, a gift card to Overland Restaurant and Pub makes the perfect present. Located in downtown Gardnerville in a historic building constructed in 1902, this restaurant originally served local Basque sheepherders and not much has changed in the decades since. Savor a rustic meal, a little bit of Nevadan history, and wash it all down with a brew. A trip to this salt-of-the-earth eatery is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Prism Photographics

Diehard locals who love the rolling, sagebrush hills, empty dirt roads, and Tahoe sunsets, will cherish a painting or framed photograph from Prism Photographics. This fine art gallery features local artists with a propensity for the area’s epic landscapes. Find a unique gift here that your loved one will hang on the wall and admire for years to come.

Shelby’s Book Shop

©MarcelloRostagni2020 minden meat and deli

Minden Meat and Deli

Bookworms rejoice! There is still a place in Carson Valley where the magic of storytelling is brought to life and you can browse shelf after shelf of books. Shelby’s Book Shop in Gardnerville is a secondhand book boutique where you’ll find the perfect gift for loved ones of all ages. 

This & That Marketplace

Not sure what to get your friend or family member? Head over to the This & That Marketplace in Gardnerville! This eccentric shop has a variety of items that range from jewelry and artisan crafts to chic home decor. Browse for hours and find gifts for everyone at this one-stop holiday shop. 

Yogurt Beach

Coworkers and friends will love a gift card to Yogurt Beach – a self-serve, create-the-fudge-and-sprinkle-covered-sundae of-your-dreams, dessert shop. This Gardnerville favorite makes for an easy, last-minute Christmas present that is sure to delight. Swing by for a gift card and sample a few flavors while you’re at it.

Alpine Union and Kitchen

There’s nothing like an intimate dining experience in South Lake Tahoe. Grab a gift card to Alpine Union and Kitchen located in the Hard Rock Casino and ring in the holidays in style. This restaurant is the perfect destination to cozy up to an outdoor fire pit, listen to live music, sample a craft beer or dig into something savory. 

Get More Holiday Goodies on the Sierra Safely Trail

Check out the full shopping guide on the Sierra Safely Trail and discover more gift ideas from Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley that support small businesses and locals. Many places are offering holiday discounts, so be sure to check out business webpages for exclusive deals. Additionally, you can download the Sierra Safely Passport and present your phone at participating businesses to redeem discounts. Keep it local. Support your community. Happy shopping and happy holidays!