Living in the Bay Area of California affords us endless opportunities to road trip throughout the beautiful West Coast. In this post, we will be covering one of our favorite destinations for any season: Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe sits at just over 6,200 feet above sea level, meaning crisp mountain air, stunning mountain views and the largest alpine lake in the US. Lake Tahoe is made up of beautiful little towns dotted around the perimeter of the lake, as well as over 10 ski resorts in the area. Whether you’re in California or Nevada, each town has its own adorable shops, restaurants and personality.
We had the pleasure of working with North Lake Tahoe on our recent trip to the area and were ecstatic to experience all the activities North Lake has to offer! Here are some of our recommendations if you’re planning a trip to Lake Tahoe and are looking for the perfect weekend warrior itinerary.
Where to stay:
Particularly in the summer, lakefront trumps all. There are very few resorts that offer direct and private lakefront access on property. The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe is a true gem in that regard, with its expansive beachfront with beverage and food service directly to your beach chair.
If you’re looking for a splurge, check out the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. They are not located on the beach, but they offer a complimentary shuttle from their property to their private beach club (20 minute ride).
Where to eat:
One of our favorite things about the North Lake Tahoe area is the expansive list of dining options. There are so many restaurants, catering to so many different palettes that you can not go wrong when dining out.
Brunch at the Manzanita at The Ritz-Carlton in high season is a must. They offer a champagne brunch at $75 per person that includes an extensive buffet. The views, ambiance and high-quality food is worth the price.
The Dam Cafe in Tahoe City is a great spot to pick up breakfast sandwiches before heading to a picnic lakeside. Their coffee is delicious and you can’t go wrong with a tasty pastry.
The Steak & Lobster House at Crystal Bay Club is an incredible treat and so tucked away! We dined here on a Saturday night and had an amazing experience. We learned the history of the Caesar Salad while it was being made tableside, heard tales of the rat pack days when Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra used to sit in a neighboring booth, and dined on exquisite local Steak and fresh lobster. Go big and order the Bananas Foster, also made tableside. The best part? The restaurant was recently redone to look exactly like it did in the rat pack days, making it a classy, beautiful fine-dining restaurant. The service from Tom, our waiter, Tara who found me mango sorbet and John, the F&B manager, made this experience so memorable. We can’t wait to return here next time, so definitely check it out on your Tahoe adventure.
Bite is local tapas restaurant with an extensive list of drool-worthy tapas. Max and I checked it out this past weekend and really enjoyed our meal. We particularly loved the ribs and roasted cauliflower. Their cocktails are delicious and the ambiance is lovely.
Le Bistro is a small fine-dining restaurant located directly across from the Hyatt Regency. They offer a pre-fixe french-inspired menu. The restaurant itself is quaint, cozy and has a very romantic vibe.
What to do:
Lake Tahoe is surrounded by endless activities. Whether you’re looking for an active holiday or a relaxing spa retreat, there are so many options to choose from.
Start your morning with a 2.5 mile roundtrip hike on the Tunnel Creek Trail to see the infamous Monkey Rock. Not only can you check out this odd Monkey shaped rock on top of a mountain, but you also get some killer views to match. There is nothing quite as breathtaking as the lake from above.
Kayak in glass-bottom boats on the Lake with Wild Society. The first of its kind, Wild Society offers the ability to kayak around the lake, while viewing the incredibly blue water beneath you. A 1-hour rental is $50 and they do offer tours as well.
Explore the adorable towns of North Lake. One of our favorite towns is Tahoe City. This quaint little town is located along the beach and offers restaurants, bars and cute shops, all with a gorgeous view of the lake. Spend some time wandering the shops and end with a delicious margarita at The Blue Agave.
Spend your afternoon in a hot tub at the top of Squaw Mountain. Yes, you read that right. There is a pool and hot tub at the top of Squaw and it is an awesome experience. Squaw mountain is open until July this year, so Max and I skied some runs before jumping into the hot tub. Tickets to the hot tub are $10 for Ikon pass holders and $15 for non-pass holders. You do also need to take the tram up (which costs extra), but is a beautiful view.
Recipe for the perfect weekend
So, whether you’re looking to hang by the beach and do nothing, hit the trails or dine out, there are endless opportunities to explore the beautiful region of North Lake Tahoe. A weekend trip is a short one, but can be an excellent step away from reality. Personally, we feel like every trip to Tahoe is like a trip abroad: there are always new activities and places to explore.
Disclaimer: We were hosted by North Lake Tahoe on a media trip. Please know the opinions expressed are all our own and may not reflect the agency’s own views.