We have been hearing and reading about legendary Lake Tahoe for years. It is a place that boasts beauty and fun in every season of the year. It is especially known for its ski resorts, alpine forests, turquoise waters and water sports. There are some wonderful resorts, hotels and even more elite real estate all around its vast shores too.
We finally made it, in the height of summer season. It is certainly a different atmosphere than in winter but it was incredibly enjoyable and less crowded, although not for lack of things to do. Summer seems just as busy, people are boating, parasailing, jetskiing and in the nearby mountains hiking, running and mountain biking as well as road biking. The sun is out and the mountain air refreshing.
We experienced two great hotels while we were here. The Ritz Carlton and Northstar. These hotels are more like compounds with loads of facilities, gyms, bars, shopping plazas, garages and any amenity one can think of. Whats great is that they stay true to their luxury service and while summer is not as crowded as winter there are still good numbers of people which allows the hotel to put on great events. Lodging prices are also far less what they would be in the apex of winter.
The Lake sits half and half between Nevada and California. We stuck mostly to the California side and explored the quaint town of Kings beach. Here you can find restaurants, crafts and all sorts of places that sell mountain and water supplies. This is a great place to stock up on food if you are utilizing the full kitchen that many of the top resort properties offer.
We drove Southeast around the lake forty minutes and the most famous section of the lake came into view. This is Emerald Bay. It has the most lovely shape, an amazing panorama and flawlessly emerald waters with a set of springs, waterfalls and redwood trees at the base. Even a manmade attraction called Vikingsholm sits at the bottom. It is well worth the small parking fee.
The rim trail in the mountains around the lake but especially on the North end provided us hours of hiking and running with wonderful views. It is mostly shaded so you can go at almost anytime of day and enjoy a cool run. The lake itself offers lots of water activities and although we didn’t try any other than some swimming, they were very abundant and reasonable for what water activities normally run elsewhere.