Although located in the same state as Las Vegas, the casino destination of Lake Tahoe is worlds away geographically. Casino and chain hotels dot the landscape around the lake, offering gambling and accommodations in this mountainous part of northern Nevada. Visitors will find lodging in several small towns around the lake. The Lake Tahoe area offers plentiful skiing in the winter and water sports in the summer if you want to take a break from the one-armed bandits.
The east side of Lake Tahoe, featuring most of the casinos and hotels, is about 100 miles northeast of Sacramento, California, and 60 miles northwest of Reno, Nevada. Tahoe Biltmore, Cal-Neva and Crystal Bay Club Casino are in Crystal Bay. Stateline features several casino resorts, including Harrah's, Harveys, Lakeside Inn and Montbleu. Incline Village is home to the Hyatt Regency. Each of these areas offers the usual assortment of chain hotels such as Holiday Inn and Best Western.
Some of these resorts differentiate themselves from the competition with certain amenities. You might call Cal-Neva the marriage capital of the lot, as the resort offers three wedding chapels, a photo studio and a bridal boutique. Harrah's provides cruises of Lake Tahoe, while Harveys entertains with its 2,000-seat amphitheater on the shores. Golfers flock to Hyatt Regency for the two Robert Trent Jones designed courses there. Lakeside Inn offers $2 drinks on a regular basis with specials for birthday celebrants.
Plan to rent a car if you are flying into the area so you can take the loop road around Lake Tahoe and visit the nearby silver mining town of Virginia City where Mark Twain cut his teeth as a journalist. Lake Tahoe Airport is on the southern end of the lake, but if you want to fly through Reno, shuttle buses run regularly offered between there and Lake Tahoe.
Each casino resort includes the most popular casino games such as slots, blackjack and craps. Harrah's and Harveys feature some of the best poker action in the area, according to American Casino Guide. Most also offer a sports book, as well as additional games such as three card poker and Let it Ride. Sign up for a player's club card before you play so you can earn comps as you wager. If you bet enough during your stay, you may get your hotel room for free or a discounted rate.
- "American Casino Guide 2010 edition"; Steve Bourie; 2009
- lake tahoe image by Mariusz Blach from Fotolia.com