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Songdoc May 25th, 2019 04:04 PM

2 Tahoe Questions
It looks like we will arrive in Reno around midnight. I’m thinking of staying in a Reno airport hotel to avoid driving to Tahoe in the dark (presuming we could even get a rental car that late). My body will think it’s 3 hours earlier, so I shouldn’t be too tired. But my question is whether the roads between Reno and Tahoe are easy to drive – or whether the route is something better done during daylight hours.

And ... how many nights do you suggest? We are mostly wanting to do some long walks/easy-moderate hikes for photography – not “activities,” (other than seeing one or two plays at the Shakespeare festival). I was thinking 4 or 5 full days, but am concerned we’ll get bored.

What sounds about right to see the highlights?


janisj May 25th, 2019 05:04 PM

>>presuming we could even get a rental car that late<<

Sure, you can certainly get a rental car that late -- but it isn't a great idea to drive some of those roads that late at night.

Which route will you take -- makes a huge difference where exactly you are staying. Incline Village -- you'd take the Mount Rose Road -- definitley NOT at night.

Kings Beach - you'd take I-80 to Truckee and 267 south to the lake -- the 267 bit isn't great at night. (you could also take this route to Incline but it is a bit round about)

Tahoe City and south along the west side of the lake - you'd take I-80 to a different exit in Truckee and Hwy 89 from there -- would be OK-ish at night

Southshore - you'd take 395 south to Carson City and Hwy 50 to the lake -- mostly OK at night but I prefer not to.

4 full days would be good -- enough to easily fill that much time.

sf7307 May 25th, 2019 05:06 PM

What Janis said!

Songdoc May 25th, 2019 05:31 PM

That's a BIG help.

MoBro May 25th, 2019 07:20 PM

Brilliant directions from Janis.
I would stay 4 nights myself, just to relax with a book or video.
Have you ever been there?
We enjoyed an afternoon at the base of Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. (DH loves that stuff.) They have several types of fun festivals there. Also nice hiking.

Paqngo May 25th, 2019 07:43 PM

I agree with Janis but would add that driving during the daylight hours will allow you to
see the lake and enjoy the views. Driving around the lake is one of my favorite things. There is a good hike at DL Bliss State Park. Nice walk and the views are incredible.

Songdoc May 25th, 2019 07:54 PM

Thanks for all the great advice. I've copied all the info into a file.

MoBro: I was there for a work conference about 20 years ago. I only had one day off and I loved it.

annabelle2 Jun 18th, 2019 10:46 AM

If you do end up driving after dark on any of the roads, keep your eyes open for deer! Other wildlife too, from porcupines to coyotes to bear, but the deer are everywhere right now.

Speaking of bears, there have been numerous car & garage bear break ins lately. They are smart and hungry. Don’t leave ANY food or drinks, empty food wrappers, visible coolers, etc. in your car.

Songdoc Jun 18th, 2019 08:25 PM

annabelle: Thank you for that warning!!!

FYI, for those following this thread, I booked Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort for 4 nights, 7/16 - 7/20. It was partly chosen because it has a kitchen. It looks like a long drive to the Shakespeare Festival performances so we might not do that because it would require driving back in the dark. We'll stay the night of 7/15 at a Reno airport hotel. Then 2 nights at the Mirage in Las Vegas before heading to Nashville.

Why Las Vegas? Because it was $200 cheaper to fly Reno - Vegas - Nashville than just Reno to Nashville. Crazy! But it is essentially a free trip to Las Vegas. The main attraction for me is Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon. We'll do them VERY early -- before it's sweltering.

Thanks for your help, suggestions -- and warning!

janisj Jun 18th, 2019 09:07 PM

>>I booked Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort for 4 nights<<

Is it pre-paid - non cancelable?? There are many places on the lake with kitchens and I'd personally not stay on Hwy 50 at southshore. It is like staying in a city.

Songdoc Jun 18th, 2019 09:16 PM

janisj: It is pre-paid/non-cancelable. I got a fantastic rate through Hotwire. I hadn't been able to find anything anywhere near that price w/ a kitchen in a more desirable location.

janisj Jun 18th, 2019 09:28 PM

Great price on Hotwire is a good thing -- just get away from southshore as much as you can.

Re the Shakespeare festival - It would be an OK drive -- because there will be lots of other cars driving down hwy 28/hwy 50 to southshore after the performance so you wouldn't be isolated. It is about 30 miles to your resort and the last 15 miles from the junction with hwy 50 it is 4 lane.

Songdoc Jun 18th, 2019 10:44 PM

Thanks, Janis. Re: the Shakespeare festival, that seems doable. I appreciate the info.
I don't plan to be at the hotel other than to sleep and eat.

sf7307 Jun 19th, 2019 06:46 AM

The hotel you chose is very nice (we took a peek while riding bikes around the area). it’s just that Janis and I prefer a different side of the lake v the south shore. That said, we stayed on the south shore for a week last summer (followed by two weeks on the north shore). and had a great time.

Paqngo Jun 19th, 2019 07:05 AM

Songdoc- if you can go the the Shakespeare show....GO. The location is amazing and the views are wow. They do have food for purchase which was excellent. Driving afterwards would not be bad. Janisj is right. It is not that far and there will be cars going that direction. Enjoy Tahoe.

Songdoc Jun 19th, 2019 10:24 AM

sf7307 & paqngo: Thank you for those comments! Much appreciated.

annabelle2 Jun 19th, 2019 07:34 PM

If you go to the Shakespeare Festival, you may want to bring a flashlight (phone flashlight works but a real one is better) because after the show the parking lot is pretty dark (filled with people & cars of course, but there are no lights).

Songdoc Jun 20th, 2019 05:16 PM

Thanks, Annabelle2. Good advice!

tom42 Jun 21st, 2019 09:48 AM

Originally Posted by janisj (Post 16938857)
>>It is like staying in a city.

We must have very different ideas of a city! We've stayed on the south shore several times and never felt like we were in a city.

MichelleY Jun 21st, 2019 11:06 AM

Compared to the rest of Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe seems like a city. Lots of traffic, congestion.

sf7307 Jun 21st, 2019 01:24 PM

I wouldn’t call it city-like, but rather because it’s developed with hotels, etc, it does have some of what Michelle describes - a lot of cars and people, particularly on summer weekends. It isn’t densely developed, nor does it have a lot of high-rises (just the 3 or 4 big hotels fit that category).

janisj Jun 21st, 2019 01:55 PM

Originally Posted by tom42 (Post 16940163)
We must have very different ideas of a city! We've stayed on the south shore several times and never felt like we were in a city.

Southshore - especially along the hwy 50 corridor, the Stateline area, and around the Y, It is very much a 'city' with a lot of traffic, fast food outlets, supermarkets, etc. Songdoc's property is very nice --but yes, the area is very city-like.

It is nothing like the west or east sides or most of the north shore.

starrs Jun 21st, 2019 02:13 PM

Corny, but we loved visiting the Ponderosa Ranch when we were there YEARS ago.
It's now closed, but here's a fun video (not mine) -
Interior shots and excepts from Bonanza are in the 4 to 5:30 marks on the video.

Lake Tahoe is gorgeous! Enjoy!

MichelleY Jun 21st, 2019 06:31 PM

We loved the Ponderosa Ranch, too. Each summer we would take our daughter on the hay wagon breakfast, hang out, tour the house etc. So fun and a gorgeous setting. The property was sold a number of years back. Not sure what or if there are any development plans.

Songdoc Jun 21st, 2019 08:59 PM

I went to the Ponderosa Ranch, too! It must be at least twenty years ago (which is the only time I've been to Lake Tahoe.).

FYI, I don't think the "city" atmosphere will bother me. It will be a contrast because I live on Kauai where there are no buildings taller than a palm tree and a population of 72,000.

Off topic, but at the moment, I'm working at a conference on the Big Island on Hapuna Beach and it's absolutely beautiful. But my work schedule is intense and I wish I had more time to enjoy the island! I walk on the beach in the morning and tomorrow I'll have three hours off. I don't expect too much sympathy. I've been here many times -- and I get to return to Kauai for three weeks before leaving for Tahoe.

janisj Jun 21st, 2019 09:11 PM

>>I don't expect too much sympathy<<

We can fake it :)

To clarify - Southshore is not a huge metropolis but South Lake Tahoe CA total population is just under 25,000. The entire region (the whole Tahoe Basin which is enormous) has a little under 70,000. So more than 1/3 of the entire Lake Tahoe population lives in the 4+ miles from one end of SLT to the other

Songdoc Jun 22nd, 2019 01:56 PM

Wow. Thanks, janisj

cas4075 Jun 22nd, 2019 07:13 PM

All of Lake Tahoe is busy in the summer. I lived on the South shore many years ago, although I now prefer the north and west shores. But, you can enjoy the Lake Tahoe very much from the South Shore.

Sand Harbor (for Shakespeare) is only about a 30 minute scenic drive. It's a great experience. If you go early, you can enjoy the beach before the play.

Drive to Fallen Lake Leaf - from there you can hike into Desolation Wilderness for beautiful scenery. Be sure to see Emerald Bay. Nice hike to a waterfall. Take a boat tour from Zephyr Cove or Ski Run Blvd, or rent kayaks or SUPs. It's very special to be on the lake looking at the shore.

Songdoc Jun 23rd, 2019 12:09 AM

Thank you, cas4075. I've copied all the suggestions into a file. Much appreciated.

sf7307 Jun 23rd, 2019 07:09 AM

[QUOTE]Sand Harbor (for Shakespeare) is only about a 30 minute scenic drive. It's a great experience. If you go early, you can enjoy the beach before the play.[\QUOTE]

in fact, that’s the best time to go to the beach at Sand Harbor - after 3 pm or so when the early-birds leave. And parking spaces open up. Otherwise, especially on a weekend, getting in is really hard (and traffic is bumper-to-bumper until the parking lot fills up) and there’s no other nearby parking. The warmest part of the day is late afternoon. You could combine Sand Harbor beach/kayaking/Shakespeare.

MichelleY Jun 23rd, 2019 03:08 PM

This^^^ if you are going to see Shakespeare. Get there at 3 or so to spend time on the beach.

We we go for the day. Last year we got there at 9 am. By 10, the beach was packed and they were already turning cars away.

janisj Jun 23rd, 2019 04:53 PM

The beach at Sand Harbor is great (as is the kayaking) . . . and definitely think about a late picnic on the beach before the show. But you living in Hawaii the beach may be semi-ho hum ;) But the boardwalk out around the point and through the rock formations will knock your socks off.

Songdoc Jun 23rd, 2019 08:44 PM

Thanks so much for all the great info!
I just got back from the Big Island and now I get to look forward to Lake Tahoe! :-)

cas4075 Jun 24th, 2019 08:19 AM

One of our favorite things to do on a Sunday is the concerts at Commons Beach. You could drive from South Shore around Emerald Bay to the West Shore. Stop at Sunnyside, Chambers Landing or West Shore Cafe for a drink/lunch on the deck. The concerts are from 4-7 and are at Commons Beach Park right in Tahoe City. You can bring a chair/blanket and a picnic or they have food and drink to sell. If you don't linger after the music, you could still make it home by dark. You could also rent bikes there and ride up to Squaw Valley or back to Meeks Bay.

For this year's Shakespeare Festival they are alternating Taming of the Shrew and a Musical Rock n Roll tribute. You probably already have it but can find the schedule here.

I'm not a big fan of Las Vegas but Valley of Fire is beautiful.

Have a great vacation.

sf7307 Jun 24th, 2019 08:59 AM

Ditto re the Sunday concerts in Tahoe City. They’re wonderful.

Songdoc Jun 24th, 2019 09:37 PM

I appreciate the suggestion, but I won't be in Lake Tahoe on a Sunday. I'll arrive late Monday (6/15) and overnight at a Reno airport hotel. We'll drive to Lake Tahoe early Tues. and leave Sat. morning.
We're trying to decide between "Taming of the Shrew" and "Million Dollar Quartet." To be honest, neither is high on our lists, so we're having trouble deciding on which show.

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