A Lakeside Paradise Awaits | Take A Trip To Tantalizing Tahoe

July 27, 2015

Basking in the serene and natural beauty of Lake Tahoe during the summertime is an unforgettable experience that each and everyone one of us should relish in at least once in a lifetime. The crystal-clear turquoise water, eclectic coastline and friendly people make for a unique and convenient sojourn from beach-side San Diego. We recently enjoyed a fantastic 4-day stay at Tahoe Beach & Ski Club, a prime lakeside location in South Lake Tahoe, filled with fun, excitement, delicious eats and lasting memories. Read about our journey and plan one of your own!

After booking our accommodations on ResorTime, we started researching for our 8-10 hour drive up historic U.S. Route 395 and bulleted what we hoped to see and do during our trip. We always find it better to generate a basic layout of what we wish to accomplish rather than set concrete plans, figuring life is better lived flying by the seat of the pants than following a stringent schedule.

Lobster taquitos from Whoa Nellie Deli
Instead of taking the short flight to Reno-Tahoe International Airport, we chose to take to the open road and drove to Lake Tahoe from San Diego - making our way up Route 15 to historic Highway 395. Although there are many sites to see along the drive, this time around our purpose was one of expediency, so we only stopped for food and fuel. On our way, we enjoyed a hearty lunch at the country-esque Outpost Cafe in Hesperia, right before jumping on 395. We also stopped for lobster taquitos at Whoa Nellie Deli in Lee Vining - an out-of-the-ordinary restaurant with delicious eats right off 395 that sits inside a Mobile Gas Station market near the entrance to Yosemite National Park. Don't be fooled - the ambiance is incredible with delicious food, live music and views for days.

We arrived in South Lake Tahoe late in the evening and checked into our modern and spacious suite in Tahoe Beach & Ski Club. In the morning, we immediately arranged for bicycles to be delivered from Tahoe Beach Cruiser Bicycle Rental Delivery, an extremely convenient rental company that delivers and picks up a variety of bikes.
From the hot tub at Tahoe Beach & Ski Club
Once our cruisers were delivered, we took to the easily traversable bike paths along the lake side and made our way to Camp Richardson for an afternoon on the beach. We enjoyed a couple famous Wet Woodies Rum Runners at the adjacent bar and eatery, The Beacon Bar & Grill, and eventually made our way back to our hotel to relax in the pool and hot tub before making our way to Blue Angel Café for a casual dinner on their outdoor patio.
Curry chicken wrap from Blue Angel Cafe
After taking a bit too much sun on our first day (be forewarned that burns come easier at high altitude!), we decided to explore the lake by car on day #2. We started on the Nevada side of the lake, shooting through Cave Rock Tunnel and up to the picturesque Red Wolf Lakeside Lodge for lunch.
Look at that water!
After our meal, we stopped at Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. to sample a few craft brews, then off to nearby Truckee for some exploration before making our way to Squaw Valley.

There, we checked out the Red Wolf Lodge at Squaw Valley in anticipation of a winter trip to the area and took the Aerial Tram up the mountain to see the home of the 1960 Winter Olympics from the proper vantage point - simply breathtaking.
We stopped along the way back and dipped our toes in the cascading waters of Eagle Falls - a gorgeous waterfall set against the backdrop of iconic Emerald Bay.
Our new selfie stick came in handy!
We finished the evening by hiking to jump the cliffs at the southern Angora Lake, a necessary side trip for the adrenaline junky in me.
Hiking to the cliffs of Angora lake
After regrouping at our hotel, we biked to the village of South Lake Tahoe at the stateside line, stopping at Mc P's Taphouse & Grill for a couple of pints and some snacks before picking up a delicious pizza from MacDuff's Pub, then went back to our hotel to rest up for the following day on the water.

On our third day, we took the lake by storm. We got sandwiches from Sprouts Cafe and headed to Ski Run Boat Company to learn about the various lake activities we could enjoy, and though we considered conquering the famed Flyboard, parasailing or embarking on a guided jetski tour of Emerald Bay, we chose to rent a powerboat to head our own exploration of the lake - this time from the inside. We made our way up the east side of the lake, mirroring our drive, eventually anchoring in the clear waters and sandy beaches of Sand Bay where we enjoyed a brisk swim.
Next, we slowly cruised, enjoying views of the amazing lakeside mansions in Incline Village before venturing to the west side of the lake. We considered stopping for waterside cocktails at Jakes on the Lake in Tahoe City, but since the weather was becoming even more fantastic by the minute, we reached into our cooler and continued on. We could not help but stop for a swim in the turquoise waters of Rubicon bay, then made our way into Emerald Bay. There, we anchored the boat and swam ashore Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe, hiking to the top where we took in the majestic views from the "Tea House" - a stone structure constructed in the late 1920s by the owner of nearby Vikingsholm.
Teahouse atop Fannette Island
After an absolutely incredible day on the water, we biked over to the lively Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe. We enjoyed a few craft pints at the very-popular Base Camp Pizza Co., imbibing outside as the sun set over the lake. We enjoyed a tasty dinner at Azul Latin Kitchen, then tested our luck at Harrah's, where we quickly won $100 playing the Wheel of Fortune slot machines - a longtime favorite of my family. Gambling stirred up an appetite, so we headed to nearby Lucky Beaver - a 24 hour bar/restaurant with casino games and amazing burgers. Tired and stuffed, we headed back to the resort to rest up for our last full day in town.
By our final day we had seen the lake from all angles. We had an energizing lunch at Artemis Lakeside Cafe, then hiked our 2-person tube down the trail to Emerald Bay, swimming it to the island and anchoring it for a lazy day floating around and soaking it all in. We hiked the island once again, checked out the Vikingsholm mansion grounds and finished the night with burritos-to-go from Jalisco Grill, obviously inspired by a bit of home sickness. Believe you me, we slept soundly.
Lamb gyro from Artemis Lakeside Cafe
The next day we awoke early and embarked on our journey south through Yosemite National Park, explored the valley floor via an open air tram, touching on each of the iconic sites, and ravished an amazing and fulfilling meal at the famed Ahwahnee Lodge before we continued back home to San Diego.
The Lake Tahoe region tops our list of favorite places in the world. Check out our recommendations below, plan your own vacation and use discount code CW3YK by December 31, 2015, for 20% off site-wide on ResorTime.com (includes any accommodations, not just Tahoe) for travel through 2016 (holidays excluded).

Tahoe Beach & Ski Club
Red Wolf Lakeside Lodge

Explore the crystal waters of Emerald Bay
Enjoy the lake with a rental or activity from Ski Run Boat Company
Shoot down the mini-rapids with Truckee River Rafting
Check out the sites from the Heavenly Gondola or Squaw Valley Skytram
Rent bicycles from Tahoe Beach Cruiser Bicycle Rental Delivery
Hike the many trails around Lake Tahoe
Test your luck at one of the area casinos

Evan's American, South Lake Tahoe - upscale casual
Cafe Fiore, South Lake Tahoe - cozy and romantic
My Thai, South Lake Tahoe - amazing Thai food
MacDuff's Pub, South Lake Tahoe - everything house made and great craft beer
Key's Cafe, South Tahoe - breakfast and lunch
Base Camp Pizza Co., Heavenly Village, South Lake Tahoe - pizza and craft beer
Blue Angel Café, South Lake Tahoe - casual and delicious
The Beacon Bar & Grill, Camp Richardson, South Lake Tahoe - lakeside bar and eatery
Himmel Haus, South Tahoe - German food and beer
Azul Latin Kitchen, Heavenly Village, Latin food and great taco Tuesday
Sprouts Cafe, South Tahoe - healthy breakfast or lunch
Artemis Lakefront Cafe, South Tahoe - delicious gyros
Riva Grill, South Lake Tahoe - upscale eatery on the water
Jax Truckee Diner, Truckee - Favorite from Diners, Drive Ins and Dives
Moody's Bistro, Truckee - upscale eatery
Burger Me!, Truckee, Another from Diners, Drive Ins and Dives
Jakes on the Lake, Tahoe City, boat in and out
Front Street Station Pizza - NJ owners, Tahoe City
Red Hut Café, South Lake Tahoe, Multiple locations for breakfast and lunch
Harrah's Buffet, Stateline - great views at buffet

Mc P's Taphouse & Grill, South Lake Tahoe
FiftyFifty Brewing Company, Truckee
Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co., Tahoe City
Whiskey Dick's, South Lake Tahoe
Cold Water Brewery & Grill, South Lake Tahoe
Brewery at Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe
Mellow Fellow, King's Beach
Gunbarrel Tavern, South Lake Tahoe
Lucky Beaver, South Lake Tahoe
Harveys, South Lake Tahoe

Fales Hot Spring
Keough Hot Springs
Bodie Ghost Town
Bishop Creek
Rainbow Falls
Mono Salt Lake
Hot Creek Geological Site

Food (South to North)
Nessy Burger, Fallbrook
Emma Jean's Holland Burger Cafe, Victorville, Route 66
Outpost Cafe, Hesperia
Astro Burger, Boron
Erick Schat’s Bakery, Bishop
Mahogany Smokehouse, Bishop
Raymond's Deli, Bishop
Tioga Gas Mart & Whoa Nellie Deli, Lee Vining
Walker Burger, Coleville
Still Life Cafe, Independence
Mammoth Brewing Co., 18 Lake Mary Road, Mammoth Lakes
I’d Eat There, Mindon, NV