Before I Begin…
I’m going to backlog a couple of my trips from this year and last to get some content for my blog and then go from there! Bear with me as I may be a bit foggy on some details 🙂
[Really looking forward to what my elderly brain has in store for me!]
So without further adieu…
A Quick Background…
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Lake Tahoe, It’s a gorgeous 191 sq. mile lake straddling the border of Nevada and California at a shocking elevation of 6,225 ft above sea level. To put this in perspective, “Mile-High City” Denver, CO is only 5,280 ft above sea level. The winding cliff drive over the mountain from the airport was enough to bring the fear of heights out in anyone!
[A.k.a. Acrophobics need not apply!]
Lake Tahoe’s defining characteristic is it’s crystal clear blue water. Hundreds of years ago, the lake had many natural filtration systems, but due to the development of the surrounding towns, many of the natural filtration systems have been disturbed. Strict building and roadway regulations as well as tough boat laws have been put in place to try to maintain the lake’s natural clarity and avoid pollution. Scientists are also constantly researching and recording the water and specimens living in the lake in order to keep close watch on the condition and clarity of the water. It is apparent that the clear water is the main priority of the inhabitants of the area.
Tahoe also has a year round draw which keeps the tourism flowing. The large concentration of surrounding ski resorts bring skiers, snowboarders and other winter sport enthusiasts from all over the world. Come summer, the lake provides a perfect summer getaway with plenty of activities taking place on, in and around the lake. The mountains also provide tons of hiking and mountain biking opportunities for people of all levels. We were lucky enough to visit Lake Tahoe in May which provided warm spring/summer weather but with the picturesque snow-capped mountains in the background. It made Tahoe even more breathtaking, if possible!
[But don’t be surprised if it snows on your “summer” vacation there!]
For the Adventurous Travel Crew….
If your travel companions are anything like mine were, then Lake Tahoe is an ideal destination. Every day was spent doing something athletic in one way or another. Whether it be hiking down to Vikingsholm, an old Scandinavian castle, paddle boarding in the
ice-cold lake, or extreme downhill mountain biking, there’s an endless list of things to do for the adventure seekers.
[Pro Tip: If attempting downhill mountain biking, wear all the padding possible. Speaking from experience!]
Everywhere you look there is a look-out spot with beautiful views so you can’t go wrong choosing a hike. Some trails tended to be geared more towards mountain biking than others though, so make sure to research ahead of time.
For the More Leisurely Traveler…
I highly recommend driving the entire loop around the lake upon arrival. It may take about 3 hours but not only will you get an understanding of what the surrounding towns have to offer, but the views that you will see are unparalleled. We also took a boat cruise out on the water and got to see the lake from the opposite perspective and some of the views you see from the water are unreal.
[No lie, I started to question if we somehow ended up in Switzerland!
Tahoe also has plenty of other mild activities, such as walks, scenic spots, tours of homes, and plenty of restaurants and bars. For the science geek, I recommend visiting the Tahoe Environmental Research Center to learn all about the lake, how they take care of it, the plants and animals living in it and how the lake was formed in the first place!
[Even if you aren’t a geek like me, you should check it out!]
For the Foodies or Alcohol Enthusiasts…
I won’t touch on this too much since I personally didn’t experience much of the food and alcohol, but I can tell you there are countless good places to choose from.
[I prefer the local dive bar but I’ll spare you from my review of that!]
We were lucky enough to have dinner at Gar Woods Grill & Pier on the Lake on a beautiful warm night around sunset. This restaurant is located right on the water with a large deck filled with massive umbrellas and heat lamps. Though a tad bit pricey, the food was phenomenal and I’d recommend it to anyone! On the opposite side of the lake, you’ll find Heavenly Village, which is one of the more “touristy” areas on the lake, with shops, restaurants and resorts at the base of a ski mountain. We had dinner at Azul Latin Kitchen then proceeded to sit outside at their fire pits and listen to an acoustic guitar performance with blankets provided by the restaurant.
[Pro Tip: Make sure you drink as many Margaritas as possible!]
Below is my GoPro edit from my trip to Lake Tahoe last year with my family. Make sure you watch all the way to the end to see my downhill mountain biking wipe-out!
If you’ve ever traveled to Lake Tahoe in the winter, please leave me a comment and I’d love to feature a winter perspective of the area as well!
Stay wild and adventure on!