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Lake Tahoe - North and South shores, please enlighten me

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I'd like to understand more about Lake Tahoe. I've read online material only (not a guidebook) and would appreciate learning a little more about the area. Closest we've been is Gold country, a long time ago. We like good food, nice lodgings, walking (not mountain hiking but long walks in the forest). I would say quieter rather than a really active area - and we're not into casinos or skiing, so we'd go in the summer or fall, i think. For comparison, we love Santa Barbara and Sonoma/Napa. We might go as a couple, but at some time may rent a house for our extended family of seven adults and two young children (so far).

Which side of Tahoe should we look into? I've read some info but am still a little confused. Any bed and breakfast places or nice hotels you'd recommend? Or maybe a house rental for our extended family. Again, I've looked online but don't know where to base ourselves

Thanks!

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