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Lake Tahoe

Top Beautiful Beaches in Lake Tahoe

Not all beaches are created with equal beauty. Some are just mystical enough to remove painful memories or even hook you into a force bigger than yourself. But whether you are up for some rock formations or sugary white sand, beaches are always a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Lake Tahoe can transition from a snow mecca to a beautiful beach destination. It has several on its list, and it is honestly difficult to choose the best.

Sand Harbor Beach – East Lake Tahoe

Sand Harbor has been dubbed as the most beautiful beach in Lake Tahoe because of its fine-grained white sand. Most beaches on Nevada have coarse sand that can be tough on the feet. Other than the crystal clear waters, Sand Harbor features several rock formations that can be quite fun to climb on. Scuba diving and snorkeling are also fun activities to do here.

By the way, if you visit Sand Harbor between early July and late August, do not miss the annual Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.   

Lester Beach – West Lake Tahoe

Lester Beach is located in the D.L. Bliss State Park. For those who want to enjoy the beach, you can dip in its lagoon-like swimming area. Its calm, turquoise water can be a great place for snorkeling too. For adventuresome travelers, you can swim away from the beach and head to the cliff diving rocks. Some of the lake’s deepest parts are around this area.

This tropical destination is not only for swimmers but hikers too. Lester Beach features two scenic trails, the Lighthouse Trail and the Balancing Rock Trail. As its name implies, the Balancing Rock Trail offers a 130-ton granite rock balance atop a tapered rock base. Friendly advice though: make sure you are fit enough to go on hiking; otherwise, sitting this one out can be a practical idea.

Pope Beach – South Lake Tahoe

Pope Beach is the longest beach in Tahoe. It is also the best place to bring your family. Kids will surely enjoy its clear shallow water, as well as the many watercraft rentals and mobile snack shack with delicious goods. The pine trees around offer plenty of good shades, just watch out for those that are falling from the tree. There are a lot of picnic tables and barbeque grills in the area, and clean restrooms are everywhere.

Aside from plunging into the water, Pope Beach offers a nice paved trail too. It can lead to the national forest between the shoreline and Highway 89.

Kings Beach – North Lake Tahoe

King’s Beach is another favorite destination for families. Kids will enjoy its shallow waters and soft sand that is great for building sand castles. There are several restaurants nearby so grabbing some food is not a problem. During warmer winter days, King’s Beach is a nice go-to as it gets a lot of winter sun. It also offers a variety of water activities such as jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing, and paddle boarding. That being said, King’s Beach is quite not ideal for those who want a place to sleep or just relax.

Overall, Lake Tahoe offers a lot of beautiful beaches regardless if you are in the north, south, east, or west part of the lake. Enjoy your summer, people!

 

 

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Travel Essentials for Lake Tahoe

Traveling is always made easier when you get rid of the unnecessarily and bring only the essentials, especially during the winter season. Cramming is stressful. So on your trip to Lake Tahoe, here are the must-have things that you should bring.

Outdoor Gear

If you are a skier or snowboarder, pack all the outdoor gears you would probably need at Lake Tahoe. Ski resorts offer rentals for everything you would possibly need for a day on the slope. However, it is always good to use your own, especially if you intend to make return trips to the snow.

Create a list of things to bring and make sure items such as skis, poles, boots, snowboard, helmet, ski pants, jacket, gloves, goggles, and neck warmers are included. Lightweight, thermal clothing is ideal.

Travel wise too by maximizing the space in your ski bag. Use every inch as much as possible by wrapping items of clothing around the skis and poles. You can also tuck small items like moisturizer, waterproof socks, woolly headbands, and bandanas insides the boots. Just make sure all the liquids and creams pass TSA regulation size.

Clothing

It is pretty certain you will not be spending 24 hours gliding on the slopes. Besides, Lake Tahoe has a lot of other tourist attractions to offer. That being said, pack some clothes enough for the duration of your stay. If you plan to do more outdoor activities, a warm and comfortable pair of boots is very important. Mittens, scarf, tuque, and a heavy jacket will also keep you warm. You can also pack some formal clothes if you intend to experience Lake Tahoe’s fine-dining restaurants.

At Lake Tahoe, sunshine and blizzard are known to share a 24-hour period. So layering is key. Bring several outfits and dress in layers to keep you warm.  Moisture-wicking clothing would make a nice base. Then add some thermal long johns beneath turtlenecks and pullover sweaters. This way, clothes are easier to remove in case the temperature starts to increase, and you begin to feel warm.

Other Items

Do not forget to put your basic toiletries in your suitcase. And if the hotel has a swimming pool or Jacuzzi, make sure you pack that nice swimsuit of yours. Oh, by the way, bring sunglasses too. As I said earlier, America’s highest-elevation alpine lake can have plenty of wintry and sunny days. You can never accurately predict.

Gadgets

Capture every moment of your trip with your cameras and video cameras. If you already have a smartphone with you, choose whether you should bring a laptop or a tablet. During skiing or snowboarding, make sure your camera or smartphones are securely placed in a waterproof pouch. Winter gloves that are touch-screen compatible would be a very good idea. This is to save your hands from the cold weather and avoid removing your gloves while using your phone.

Overall, your itinerary or plan of activities will help you know what to pack. Whatever OOTDs you have in mind, just make sure you are comfortable with it. Enjoy Lake Tahoe!

 

 

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When Is the Best Time to Visit Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe has attracted many tourists from around the globe. Who would not be enthralled by its deep, clear water that sits in a bowl of granite mountain peaks in the first place? Regardless of what season you visit, Lake Tahoe has a whole lot of activities to offer. It now boils down to your personal preference. So here is a quick guide to planning your Lake Tahoe visit.

Spring (March to May)

As spring season kicks in, ski resorts in Lake Tahoe close. What used to be a skiing mecca is now a beach destination during March and May. Very few visitors are expected to visit, and prices are also lower.

But the month of May in Lake Tahoe also means the annual Genoa Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival. It is a combination of entertainment, heritage, and Western culture. Furthermore, it is the best place to celebrate unique forms of Cowboy Poetry, Western music, and Western lifestyle.

Summer (June to August)

Summer is the busiest time of the year. A huge influx of tourists in Lake Tahoe is expected during this season. Hoteliers anticipate a surge in guest numbers because most of the attractions are open and several social events are coming up.

The high temperature of the 70s allows travelers to engage in more outdoor activities. Rails are open for hiking, beaches for swimming, and the lake for paddling. Key events on the calendar include the famous Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, which is held between July and August. It also celebrates Lake Tahoe Paddle Festival every June and Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest every August.

If you plan on coming on these months, make sure to save some extra as prices can spike high, especially on weekends.

Fall (September to November)

Lake Tahoe experiences a tourism slump during this season as children start to go back to school. It lasts until mid-November when ski resorts start to open again. But do not worry, there are several activities you can catch on these months.

The Sample the Sierra, a farm-to-fork festival that recognizes the heritage of the Sierra Nevada region, is celebrated every September. It also has the Lake Tahoe Fall Fish Festival every October and the Camp Richardson’s Annual Oktoberfest every October.

But if you did not pack for a festival, you can simply enjoy some fall foliage. Seriously though, you can catch the last few days of trailblazing in late September or jump on ski season in late November.

Winter (December to February)

Winter is the second busiest season next to summer. Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most popular winter activities in Tahoe. This is why a lot of skiers and snowboarders overrun Tahoe during this season. Other winter activities are snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and sledding.

Lake Tahoe’s winter season is not as bad as you think. Its daytime hovers only around the low 40s, but evenings can drop to as low as 20s. Because it is winter, expect plenty of snow with 75 to 80 inches falling each month.

There you have it. Whether you come on winter, spring, summer, or fall, Lake Tahoe always has some fun things for you to do. A few days is enough to visit Lake Tahoe. You can get around the lake, engage in some outdoor activities, attend the long list of festivals, or just hang out and enjoy its mystique view.

 

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How to Travel Smart in Lake Tahoe

Many travelers who are “Not in the Know” almost always find their selves stuck in gridlock in Lake Tahoe. Many easily fall trap into time-wasters and fun-busters activities, like queuing in line at popular restaurants. To make the most of your Lake Tahoe trip, here are some smart tricks you need to learn first-hand.   

Be organized

Make an itinerary of your day-to-day activities. Use a map to cover nearby areas or attractions all at the same time. While being spontaneous sounds fun, backtracking around the lake can be a waste of time.

If you want to eat at a popular restaurant or stay at a nice hotel, book everything in advance. Making reservations guarantees that you will receive what you expect at the time and place you planned. It also saves you from the trouble of waiting and being put on a waiting list or, worst-case scenario, needing to transfer to another place.

Travelers also tend to overlook the possibilities of forest fires, especially in the summer. It is best if you check the California Statewide Fire Map before you start your trail or hike. You can also ask your hotel or any tourism-related businesses.

Finally, make sure you also know where to go, how to go there, and where to find cheap deals. Several options will be laid on the table, but picking the cheapest and safest card is the smartest move.

Stay hydrated

If you plan to go on long walks, bring some water with you. Carry some light snacks like biscuits, cookies, or protein bars too. You will not find any stores while hiking on the mountain or trailing on the forest.

Furthermore, it is best if you avoid alcoholic drinks. Their effects tend to be greater at 6,000 feet. You also do not want to ruin your vacation and spend it behind bars. Police authorities are serious in implementing its drunk-driving laws.

Screen Test

Before you go on any activities, determine your sustainability first. Make sure you are familiar and comfortable with what you are dealing with. For instance, the lake’s surface is around 6,225 feet elevation, while the mountains surrounding it are higher. You can search for some high elevation checklists online.

Avoid traffic jams

Lake Tahoe, particularly South Lake Tahoe, can experience heavy traffic congestion at times. Nobody wants to deal with traffic during their vacation, right? You can avoid gridlock by taking advantage of the Blue Tahoe Trolley or Emerald Bay Shuttle.

But if you want to avoid the crowd totally, it is best to visit Lake Tahoe on weekdays during summer. You can go either in June or after Labor’s day. For the winter season, come before Christmas or early spring for some skiing.  

Keep warm

Lake Tahoe can share sunny and wintry conditions within 24 hours. Cold nights are expected even during the summer season. So a warm jacket and a long pair of pants or warmers are pretty handy.  During the winter season, layering is key. It is easier to remove clothes in case the temperature rises than shivering from cold.

Lastly, make sure you pack lots of patience and the spirit of adventure before you embark on your Lake Tahoe journey. Every trip has its ups and downs, and these are good memories and lessons ought to be learned and remembered.

If you want to learn even more, you can check out the Lake Tahoe Travel Guide from U.S. News.

 

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Lake Tahoe: A Brief History

Before you enjoy all the recreational activities and picturesque scenes Lake Tahoe has to offer, here is a quick look at its history. Lake Tahoe was inhabited by Native American tribes for thousands of years. This is where they gather medicinal plants, hunt food, fish at the clear water, and make tools. The artifacts of the Washoe Tribe found in the area over a decade ago can confirm all these theories. They were basically isolated until the exploration party of General John C. Fremont partly discovered the lake in 1844.

However, even after its discovery, the area was kept secluded until the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859 in Virginia City, Nevada. The Comstock Lode emerged as the richest known silver deposit in the United States. It converted Virginia City into a metropolis. And this also laid the groundwork for Tahoe to become the center of wealth and culture.

However, such lively development also resulted in Tahoe’s destruction. The Comstock era brought massive deforestation to the Tahoe Basin. In fact, more than 80 percent of the Basin’s forests were logged to sustain the underground tunnels and excavation. It is sad to say, but evidence of this extensive logging can still be seen until today.

In 1868, the western part of the transcontinental railroad was completed. This extended the Central Pacific Railroad via Donner Pass at Donner Lake. In 1905, the first automobile also arrived in Tahoe. And in 1913, the Lincoln Highway, which was one of the earliest transcontinental highways for automobiles, crossed the Sierra. All these new routes paved a way to increase the flow of goods and other products. Also, it also made the Tahoe Basin a scene to behold for travelers. Eventually, words of its captivating beauty created a buzz, making it one of the sought-after vacation destinations.

Since the public has grown appreciation to Lake Tahoe, several conservationists and congressional sessions exerted efforts to make the Tahoe Basin a national park in 1912, 1913, and 1918. However, all the attempts made failed. But the battle did not end there. During the 1940s and 1950s, a group of environmentally concerned residents and visitors organized the League to Save Lake Tahoe.  

It was only in the 1960s when Tahoe was finally on the map. It has beckoned not only the public but also famous personalities such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Cher. Furthermore, it gained international recognition after the 1960 Winter Olympics was held at Squaw Valley. This was the first Olympic Games to be televised by the way, and North Lake Tahoe’s tourism industry skyrocketed. Several hotels, restaurants, and ski lifts were built to accommodate all the athletes and fans.

Today, Tahoe attracts people from around the globe to enjoy its breathtaking views, cool blue water, and fresh, clean air. It also boasts of its unique art, music, and varied sport and entertainment activities. An estimated of 3 million visitors come to Lake Tahoe each year. And a huge chunk of its income comes from tourism. The place has a wide variety of indoor and outdoor recreational activities to offer. So make sure you enjoy as much as you can when you are in here.  

 

 

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Child-Friendly Winter Activities at Tahoe

Family vacations are always fun when everyone is present. Lake Tahoe is a definition of Winter Wonderland for both old and young ones alike. From snow angels and snowball fights to sled rides or ice skating, kids can truly have a memorable vacation at Tahoe. Here is a list of child-friendly activities in the area.

Go skiing

Some parents may be giddily excited to finally put their little ones on skis. There are a lot of resorts in the area so you can be choosy. Also, most of the large ski resorts have ski schools that are good for beginners, even tiny ones. But if you want to do it yourself, you can easily find several slopes and tiny terrains that are perfect for practicing.

Watch shows

There are several great performances you can enjoy with your kids during the winter season. Watch and cheer for an ice hockey team at South Lake Tahoe’s Ice Arena. Enjoy a ballet show by Tahoe Youth Ballet or listen to musical masterpieces by Tahoe Symphony and Orchestra. You can also take your kids to see a movie or participate in a local film showing at Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema.

Enjoy some rides

There are several fun ways to enjoy a day-off from the slopes. Younger kids, for instance, can enjoy a sleigh ride pulled by horses. Meanwhile, older kids can hop on a dogsledding trip. Just make sure they are fit enough to stand while a husky pulls the sled for an hour.

Your tot can also pull their sled as different sledding hills, and tubing parks are easily accessible around. For example, resorts like Squaw, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Sierra-at-Tahoe all boast of tubing parks where kids can slide in a giant doughnut.

Let us not forget about the classic ice skating activity too. The rink at Northstar is open all year-round. But the outdoor rink at Squaw Creek makes Instagram-worthy photos, thanks to its majestic Sierra background.

Take some snowshoe tours

With the advent of technology, snowshoeing can be a perfect way to inspire your kids to enjoy nature. And Lake Tahoe is just one of the best places to go snowshoeing. Do not worry, there are a lot of winter-safe trails around the lake that are perfect for strolling with kids. You can ask for a tour guide too in case.

Other than sightseeing, picking and cutting down your own Christmas tree can be a very good snowshoeing reason. Make sure you secure a required permit and hike into the National Forest.

Visit Kidzone Museum

This museum for all ages is found in Truckee. This is a small town located between Northstar and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. The museum offers a lot of indoor fun activities such as art projects, rotating exhibits, and indoor play spaces. All activities are designed to engage young minds. Even little crawlers have an area to explore too.

Celebrating the holidays or winter at Lake Tahoe with your family is not a bad idea after all. The place has more indoor and outdoor activities to offer. So do not worry, your kids will just have a lot of fun as you.

 

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How to Get to Lake Tahoe

Planning to visit Lake Tahoe? Here is a quick guide on how to get to your dream destination.

Lake Tahoe is located on the border between California and Nevada. It is about 200 miles east of San Francisco and 30 miles west of Reno, Nevada. There are many ways to get there. You can take the plane, bus, or even trains. However, before anything else, find out first what part of the lake you want to visit – North Lake Tahoe or South Lake Tahoe. The lake is bigger than you think, and it will take you at least two hours to go around.

North Lake Tahoe is less developed compared with its south shore. However, it is closer to Northstar and Squaw Valley Ski resorts. South Lake Tahoe, on the other hand, is more advanced. It has gambling casinos, more hotels, shops, and restaurants. There are also several ski resorts in the area too.

By Air

There are three international airports near Lake Tahoe with door-to-door shuttle service. There are 20 airlines that fly to Reno-Tahoe International Airport with non-stop flights to 17 cities. More than 970 domestic and seven international flights depart here every week. Taking the plane is the easiest and most convenient way to reach Lake Tahoe. From here, you can decide whether you are heading on the northern or southern part of the lake.

Meanwhile, if you go some extra cash, the Truckee-Tahoe Airport is the fastest air option for those going north. Private pilots and charter services are welcomed here. On the other hand, the Lake Tahoe Airport is for south travelers. It is just three miles south of South Lake Tahoe.

By Train

Different Amtrak lines will get you close to both North and South Lake Tahoe. However, you still have to drive for the last leg of your trip. You can take the California Zephyr line from San Francisco or the Capital Corridor from Sacramento or San Francisco. Other stops available are Denver, Salt Lake City, Elko, Sparks, Reno, Colfax, Roseville, Davis, Martinez, and Emeryville.

By Bus, Shuttle, or Car

Hotels and resorts usually have shuttle services to take their guests to Lake Tahoe from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. But if your hotel does not offer such service, you can take the North Lake Tahoe Express Bus for those heading north. The bus will make your way to the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee Regions. Trips start as early as 6:30 in the morning until about midnight.

You can take the South Tahoe Airporter if you are going south. The nearest Greyhound bus station available is in Carson City, Nevada. Greyhound also connects to Las Vegas or Los Angeles. You can also hail a cab. Fare between the airport and South Lake Tahoe costs usually below $200.

Anyways, private cars for hire and transportation companies are also available in both directions.

Lake Tahoe can be easily accessed by cars too, especially for those who love long drives. If you are already in California or Nevada, you can take the US Route 50 and 89. But if you are up for more scenes and driving, you can follow US Route 80 that goes through Nevada.

After your reach North or South Lake Tahoe, ot02her modes of transportation are available to get you around with your tour. Now all you need to do is make the best of your vacation.

 

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