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Assistance needed with fast approaching trip to Reno / Lake Tahoe

Assistance needed with fast approaching trip to Reno / Lake Tahoe

Jul 21st, 2008, 04:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,912
Assistance needed with fast approaching trip to Reno / Lake Tahoe

DH and I leave for Reno / Lake Tahoe in less than two weeks and I've had little time to prepare. If anyone can help answer some questions I would be most appreciative.

We'll spend one night in Reno at the Siena hotel. Our plan for Reno is to visit the National Auto Museum as well as the Nevada Museum of Art.

Does anyone have restaurant recs for the area? We prefer casual, low to mid-range in price, and are open to any type of cuisine. We'll be on foot.

After the one night in Reno we'll return to the airport to pick up a rental car for the drive to Lake Tahoe North Shore. It is my understanding the drive takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour--is that correct? Our return flight is on a Wednesday, 11:30A. I'm curious how much time we should allow to return to Reno, return the car, etc. If we leave Tahoe (Hyatt Incline Village) at 8A would that be sufficient? Southwest's suggested airport arrival time is 1.5 but I know nothing about the traffic in and around Reno.

We'll spend three nights at the Hyatt and could use some restaurant recs there, too. The "Insider's Guide" mentions Austin's--has anyone been there?

In terms of activities we're hoping to hike. The Flume Trail is mentioned on the Hyatt's website--anyone familiar with this trail? What about the Tahoe-Nevada State Park?

Thoughts on visiting Thunderbird Lodge?

This is probably the least prepared I've ever been for a trip so any thoughts, suggestions, feedback, etc., are appreciated--thank you in advance.

AnnMarie_C is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I love Lake Tahoe and have been going there for all my life. Here are some thing you might like to do:

The beach at the Hyatt is very nice. So is the dock. Sometimes they serve drinks on the dock. They also have an activity desk on the beach so you can rent stuff or schedule a sail etc. This side of the lake gets really rough after about 2:30 so water sports or sails should be scheduled early or late after the lake settles down.

Sand Harbor just outside Incline is a great Beach.

In the summer they have Shakespeare in the outdoor theater.

You can also tour the Thunderbird from Incline Village.


Other areas of the lake:

South Lake Tahoe:

You can shop and eat at the village area, take a scenic ride on the Heavenly gondola or visit casinos.

Zephyr Cove is good for lake cruises and water craft rentals or walk on the beach.

Other great beaches in SLT are Pope, Camp Richardson and Baldwin. All of these are past the Y which is really now a 4 way light but habits are hard to break!

You should visit the Tallac site.

Also if you are interested in fish this is pretty interesting:

Hikes to take near South Lake Tahoe are the Moraine Trail which is a pretty easy hike of 1 mile (one-way) Walk a relatively flat trail through the forest and along the shore of picturesque Fallen Leaf Lake. Take Highway 89 to Fallen Leaf Road. Continue approximately 2/3 of a mile to Fallen Leaf Campground. Drive through the campground and park just before campsite #75 on the right Look for the trailhead sign near the parking area.

Another hike is Angora Lakes which is an easy hike and hikers are rewarded with several lakes. You can rent row boats or just swim and lay around on the sandy beach. It’s only ½ mile and the scenery when you get there is great. The lake is surrounded by cliffs and giant rocks. Take Highway 89 to Fallen Leaf Lake Road and turn left. Turn left at the first paved road. Continue to Forest Service Road 12N14 and turn right. Watch for bicyclists along this road. Continue past Angora Lookout to the road's end at the parking lot. The little store there is famous for its lemon ade.

On the West side on 89:

Vikingsholm at Emerald Bay with short side hikes to Eagle Falls or Cascade Lake & Falls

Emerald Bay - Vikingsholm Trail starts at the parking area on the north side of Emerald Bay, on Highway 89. It's a wide, well-maintained trail, but fairly steep, about 2½ miles round trip. At the bottom of the trail is a picnic area, as well as world-famous Vikingsholm, a replica of a Scandinavian castle. The island in Emerald bay had a tea room on it and the remnants are still there only in poor shape due to vandals.


Eagle Falls / Eagle Lake Trail starts at Eagle Falls Picnic Area, highway 89 across from Emerald Bay. Permits are required on this hike and a self-registration station is at the trailhead. The hike is only about 2 miles round trip to Eagle Lake (only about 1/3 mile to the falls); the terrain varies from steep to flat and crosses beautiful Eagle Falls on a steel footbridge.

Cascade Lake & Falls – Turn into the Bayview Campground across fro Emerald Bay Inspiration Point, drive to the end and park at the trailhead. Take the trail that veers left. Spectacular views of the 200 foot high falls and Cascade Lake can be seen from this short trail.

You can also take a trail that leads north around Emerald Bay and comes out at DL Bliss. Stunning views form this trail, stuff you can’t see from the road.

Also on 89 on the west side you can find any or all of the following:

DL Bliss – nice beach but very hard to get into so if you go get really early start.

Meeks Bay – great beach, there is a grill shack right on the beach. Paddle boats and tricycles available for rent. Beautiful views of the lake.

Sugar Pine Point – Beautiful grounds and daily tours of the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion

Chambers Landing – It has 2 beach sections. One part is roped off as private and the other part is open to the public. Not really great sand, and the shore is rocky. The best part is the dock with the historic Chambers Bar at the end. This place will be hopping on weekends. Many people boat in and the dock is like a party at happy hour, reduced Chambers Punch prices.

You can also rent bikes and ride along the bike path from Tahoe City southward all the way to just south of Sugar Pine or north along the Truckee River.

River rafting out of Tahoe City. Take an ice chest full of your favorite beverage and food supplies. Rafting is completely weather dependent.

Nice beach in Tahoe City is Commons Beach:

Squaw Valley

You can take the tram up to High Camp for a great day of hiking around or sitting at the pool and giant Jacuzzi or ice skating. Lots to do there.



Carnelian Bay – Garwoods – fab food great lake views

Tahoe City - Sunnyside – Fab food great lake views
Suzie is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 266
Try The Beacon Bar & Grill for "Rum Runners" out on the beachside deck in Camp Richardson Resort. Local bands usually play during the summer. Great spot to hang out & enjoy a burger w/a view.
JayZee is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 08:10 PM
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The mundane - yes, it about 45 minutes from Reno to Incline Village, and it won't take any longer on your return. My husband just piped up and said it's a shorter trip if you go over Mt. Rose Highway rather than going back to Interstate 80. If you mapquest "Incline Village, NV" to "Reno International Airport", it will give you this route.

If you find yourself in Truckee,the restaurant at the Bar of America (Cafe Pacific?) is good. It's a nice town to walk around too.

Squaw Valley has a good selection of restaurants - Plumpjack and others.
Jul 21st, 2008, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,130
dmlove's thoughts were mine - perfect. Suzie always gives good suggestions. Have a great time.
TTess is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 09:08 PM
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I lurve Plumpjacks!
Suzie is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 04:05 AM
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Wow, thank you all so much!

Suzie, thank you for taking the time to write all that you did, I sincerely appreciate it and will print this post to take with us.

dmlove, thank you for the route info, it was one of the questions I forgot to ask. The LT Visitor's Guide gives a couple of driving options without stating the pros/cons of either.

Please excuse my ignorance but I take it that it is possible to drive to the South Shore easily?

We are so very excited to finally experience this area, thank you for your help!
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 04:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 34,027
In Reno..LuLu's is an excellent restaurant. Not cheap but I'm not sure what our price range is. It's not outragously expensive either. Bistro Roxy in the Eldorado Hotel is a really good restaurant. Harrah's Steak House is always good.

You might want to cab it to LuLu's if that interests you. The Siena has restaurants but I've never tried any of them. I have never set foot in the Siena since it was finished some years ago.

Depending on what night you are staying down towm, there is a new farmer's market that opened a couple of weeks ago. They have converted an old building on West Street and will eventually have restaurants and shops and the farmers market when it is all completed.

Use Mt. Rose HW to get up to the Lake. It's HW 431. It will take you right into Incline Village. It's about 45 min to an hour to the airport. They have the airport torn up..they are building new check in area and adding new scanning equipment etc., so give yourself a few extra minutes. Other than that, it's an easy airport. Two concourses.
crefloors is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 05:38 AM
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Thank you, crefloors. We'll be in Reno over a Saturday night, departing for the Lake on Sunday.

Do you know whether or not it is generally safe to walk around Reno at night? And by night I mean 9-10PMish--walking between the areas where the Siena is located and the El Dorado / Harrahs?

The airport sounds similar to what we're experiencing in San Antonio--torn up and re-arranged for expansion but still manageable.

Thank you!
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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It's only a few blocks from the Siena to the Eldorado etc. It is perfectly safe that time of night. There are homeless people downtown, as in a lot of cities, but they keep them fairly well contained and there is good police presence downtown, especially on the weekend. Someone may try to panhandle but I've never seen anyone agressive. They are a lot of groups plus the city are really working hard on opening and maintaining facilities for the homeless. Five or six years ago it was really pretty bad, but it's much better these days.

Downtown is really changing. It should have been started much sooner so there is still some years to go before it is all complete but they are really making a nice start to rehabing it.
crefloors is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 129

It will be a great time to be in Tahoe. Austin's is one of our family's favorite restaurants in Tahoe and it fits the description of what you are looking for perfectly. All you will have to do is walk across the street from the Hyatt. The team there will also be happy to make other restaurant suggestions for the meals you decide to eat at other places.

Yes, it is easy to drive to South Lake Tahoe from North. You'll probably want to go around the east side for speed. It is about 30 minutes from the Hyatt to the SLT casinos. Hiking is wonderful, we always do the river rafting, too (very mellow). The Hyatt beach is spectacular. Do try to hit Sand Harbor as well for both the beach and the Shakespeare. Renting a kayak there is also fun for a couple of hours.

It will be nice for you to get out of the Texas heat.


ChiDad is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2008, 08:30 AM
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crefloors, thank you for that additional feedback.

"It will be nice for you to get out of the Texas heat." --yes it will, Kevin! Thank you for your suggestions--I cannot wait to sink my teeth into Austin's buttermilk fries....yummmmmm.
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 03:40 PM
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One more thing:

The wooden boat show, Concourse d'Elegance will be going on in Carnelian Bay 8/8 & 8/9. It's really wonderful!!


Suzie is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 03:49 PM
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Sorry one more thing:

On Friday and Saturday nights you can take the tram up to High Camp in Squaw Valley for only $12 and do some stargazing. It's free put on by Gigi & Paul Giles

And on 8/11 the Perseid meteor shower will be going and Tahoe is a great place to view it.
Suzie is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 06:07 PM
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AnnMarie, We stay at the Hyatt in Incline a couple times a year. Just got back fromt there a few weeks ago. It will take you 45 min. to go there over the Mt. Rose Hwy.

Tomaato's is one of our recent discoveries across from the Hyatt on Country Club Dr.. It's in the same center as Austin's, and has great pizza and Italian food with indoor or outdoor seating in the pine trees. Also there is a China Wok restaurant, La Fondue, Le Bistro all next to each other.

Reno Airport is the easiest in and out airport to travel to. Once you rent your car, you are just a couple blocks to the freeway. Returning is easy as well, the return place is across from the terminal.
MBnancy is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 04:32 AM
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Thank you, Suzie, those boats are gorgeous! And we will be there during that time--we've been to Concourse d'Elegance car shows but never a boat show, this will be fun!

MBnancy, thank you for the additional restaurant recs, I really appreciate it.

We leave dark and early Saturday morning.
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Aug 7th, 2008, 05:15 PM
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Just a quick note to thank you all, again, for your help with our trip--it was great and went off without a hitch.

We really enjoyed our short stay in Reno--love the weather! My gosh, if our summers were that nice I wouldn't be such a grouch. The National Auto Museum is fantastic--we were really impressed by the collection. The River Walk is beautiful--we enjoyed a very nice, long walk along it Sunday morning--just beautiful! I think what impressed us most was how friendly and kind everyone is.

Lake Tahoe is a dream--it is even more beautiful in person... And those buttermilk french fries at Austin's...yum! We enjoyed some great hikes along Lake Tahoe Rim, around Spooner Lake as well as at State Line. We were scheduled to go out on the Hyatt's catamaran one day but that was the one day that called for rain and looked a little ugly so we decided to hike instead. No regrets there--the views of the lake and mountains are just spectacular from the trails.

If we could do anything different it would be to schedule more time in both places!

AnnMarie_C is offline  
Aug 7th, 2008, 07:13 PM
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Sounds glorious!

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