If there is one word to describe Lake Tahoe, it is pristine. If it isn’t the mountain air and mountain pine tree scenery, it must be the endless blue sky and blue water below.
We have been so lucky to visit Lake Tahoe year after year. However, the last time we were there was in 2019 (our lapse was caused by both COVID-19 and a raging forest fire). We only visit in the summer, but Lake Tahoe is an all-year-round vacation destination. The summer offers various water sports, and there are many snow activities in the winter. There are also endless hiking trails for walking and biking.
This past trip, we stayed at the Marriott Grand Residence, which is next to the Heavenly ski resort. It is the largest ski area in California and Nevada. In the past, we have stayed in Harrah’s and Harvey’s, which are on the Nevada side and have casinos. In addition, the Hard Rock Hotel and Bally’s are also casino hotels in this area.
Our favorite activity is going to the beach. Some of the nicest beaches are Secret Cove, Sand Harbor, Incline Village, and Zephyr Cove. The lake temperature averages 70 degrees during the summer. This year this area is having a major drought; the water level in the lake is five feet lower than average; therefore, there was much more beach available than before.
A drive around the lake should not be missed; the scenes are magnificent. A famous area and the “ultimate in scenery” is the Emerald Bay area of the lake. It is here that dinner cruises are a must.
On the lake, two of our favorite restaurants in the area are Kalani’s (next to the Marriott Grand Residence) and Scuza Italian. South Lake Tahoe is the main town of this area. It has many unique shops, restaurants, bars, art galleries, hotels, and motels.
Lake Tahoe is the largest lake in North America and the second deepest in the United States. The elevation is 6,224 feet and is accessible by flying into Reno, Nevada, and Sacramento, California. From Reno, take 580 to 431 and pass over Mt. Rose; it is approximately a 45-minute drive. From Sacramento, you take 50 east, it is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive.
JetBlue Airways has a non-stop flight from New York’s JFK Airport directly to Reno and Sacramento. For most other airlines, you must connect through major hubs.