Is north Tahoe most distinctive shopping village that offers a variety of businesses for locals and visitors a like. Just to the left of this store is a clock tower that chimes at the hour. The shops are a Bavarian style that was built in 1966 by Dan and Joan Hauserman.
There are plenty of small shops in Tahoe City where you can stock up on things you need and even things that you don't. Since my beloved waterproof boots sprung a leak courtesy of a break in the gortex (a fatal condition for boots, I was told, by an eager shop employee), I needed to look for replacements or walk around with frozen feet for a few days. We found a great pair of boots. Crisis averted, I was able to keep my feet dry through many treks in the snow and slush.
We found a small sporting goods store with reasonably priced merchandise. In fact, there were some decent sales going on in this small town. In fact, I'd recommend this area over the shops at Incline Village where the prices were considerably higher (although the selection was larger as well.)
As an alternative, nearby Truckee has a hodge podge of shops, mostly of the arts and crafts variety. Another place to go looking for your souveniers, if that's what you like to do.
Tahoe City's shopping gets better every time I go there. There are so many fun little shops selling clothing, gifts, antiques and crafts that it is impossible to name them all. Just head to the main part of town and have fun browsing!
What to buy: Good selection and generally good deals on ski wear. Don't bother to buy your ski gear down in the flatlands. The variety and quantity are much better up here. We like Porters for ski gear. We also go to Dave's to rent good quality skis for the kids, who are growing like weeds.