Tahoe City, an attractive, well-maintained alpine town located along the shores of the country’s second-deepest lake, blends stands of mature pine trees with cozy pizzerias, water sports shops and chic boutiques. Early visitors to Tahoe City arrived by train or wagon train for relaxation. Today’s guests may arrive in winter for world-class skiing at nearby Squaw Valley resorts or during summer for sailing, swimming and relaxing on Lake Tahoe’s sandy shores. Visitors can choose from numerous lodging options.
Rafting down the sometimes-lethargic Truckee River can be a popular family activity, but the river gets busy near Tahoe City’s River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant. Mild rapids set rafters to squealing, much to the entertainment of lodge guests dining on the cantilevered outdoor patio. The comfortable lodge holds 19 rooms and offers complimentary breakfast, wireless Internet access, down comforters and quilts, and balconies with views of the river. Ask for discounts on river rafting and skiing.
Lake Tahoe prices for gas, groceries and other items can be noticeably higher than off the mountain, so visitors may want to save money for preferred vacation activities by booking budget accommodations. Tahoe City’s Lake of the Sky Inn blends cheaper prices with serviceable amenities including heated pool, ski shuttle and continental breakfast. While basic, rooms offer peek-a-boo views of Lake Tahoe, the region’s South Shore mountains and nearby forest.
The Sunnyside Steakhouse & Lodge, located lake-side in Sunnyside-Tahoe City, offers 23 guest rooms and suites featuring goose-down pillows and private patios. Guests can relax before the lobby’s oversize stone fireplace, or stop by the on-site restaurant for prime beef chili with homemade cornbread or rosemary aioli Pacific lump crab cakes. The restaurant’s lakefront deck can be an ideal spot for watching wakeboarders perform aerial tricks or graceful stand-up paddlers navigate the tranquil waters.
Some visitors want nothing to do with the hustle and bustle of Tahoe City’s larger accommodations. For do-it-yourself guests wanting peace and quiet, renting a private cabin can be a relaxing way to enjoy Lake Tahoe. Cabins can range from humble affairs to extravagant log palaces with hot tubs, gourmet kitchens and fancy electronics. Avoid disappointment by thoroughly researching cabins before booking, reading customer testimonials, and viewing street maps to determine how far the cabin lies from preferred destinations including ski resorts, favorite Lake Tahoe beaches, casinos or shopping centers.
- lake tahoe image by Mariusz Blach from Fotolia.com