Lake Tahoe is one of my very favorite places on the planet. I’ve been lucky enough to visit South Shore many times over the years, but some of the best memories I’ve made have been from vacations our family has taken in recent years with close friends. When the children range from two to sixteen years, and when the adults are anything from athletes to foodies, you have to choose a destination that has something for everyone. That’s Tahoe.
There’s never a bad time to visit Lake Tahoe. Even though the drought has hit the state hard this year, Tahoe still delivers. Just getting there requires a mental transition, because even if you travel by airplane, you still need to drive into the Tahoe area; and that drive is nature’s way of helping you slough layers of city bustle and working pressure. Driving into the region, the views of deep gorges, craggy mountains and tall green trees are stunning; and when in the winter those characteristics are accentuated by the white of snow, it is singularly beautiful. Whatever the season, by the time you arrive at South Shore, you’re ready for some serious mountain fun – in the snow or in the sun.
Visitors descend by scores each winter season to snowshoe, cross-country and downhill ski and snowboard to their hearts’ delight, while kids and kids-at-heart have everything from inner tubing to outdoor ice skating and good old snowball fighting to make them feel like they made the most of winter. In the springtime and summer there’s biking by the lake and through the mountains, or hiking on any number of trails.
In any season there are daytime scenic cruises or evening dinner cruises on spacious paddlewheelers that leisurely meander the lake, which reaches depths of 1,645 feet and never freezes, so you can boat and fish even in the coldest months. Boating the lake provides views for those aboard that just can’t be seen by land. On a recent visit our group opted for the family-friendly Tahoe Queen boat tour of Emerald Bay. From the Tahoe Queen we took in some of the most incredible scenery in the world (offering amazing photo opportunities), enjoyed lunch, hot cocoa and a good dose of South Lake Tahoe history with the Captain’s live narration.
In recent years we have ditched the hotel scene in favor of big mountain vacation rental homes that accommodate at least ten people and usually many more. Last year we had no less than nineteen people in one house. Was it noisy? You bet! But did we bother anyone with all that noise? Nope! Having the run of a house where you can cook, nap and hang together is not only cost effective, it’s more fun and relaxing. If you’re looking for a great rental agency offering giant and beautiful mountain homes with all kinds of amenities, connect with Lake Tahoe Vacation Guide (laketahoevacationguide.com).
Whether you’re in a house or a hotel; whether you’re on the mountain or on the lake; whether snow or sunrays are coming down, you pretty much can’t lose in South Tahoe. No matter which way you slice it, Tahoe is a slice of heaven. M