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North Lake Tahoe in Summer--things to do


May 3rd, 2009, 09:13 AM
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North Lake Tahoe in Summer--things to do

Will be going to Hyatt at Incline Village towards end of June for a long weekend. I am curious as to suggestions for things to do and see in area. Most of what has been submitted in the past has to do with winter activities, not summer. What is scenic, photogenic, adultish (i. e., not traveling with kids). Would also appreciate any thoughts on restaurants where the chef takes pride in what they cook. Thanks.
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May 3rd, 2009, 09:40 AM
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We enjoyed the gondola ride to the top of Squaw Valley. It's a scenic ride up there, and you can walk around at the top. They sell a gondola/dinner package, but I don't really recommend it. We were glad we hadn't bought the dinner when we saw the restaurant up there. It's very simple for the price they ask. But it was fun to get a drink at the bar and walk around at the top of the mountain.
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May 3rd, 2009, 09:57 AM
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Check out some guidebooks!
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May 3rd, 2009, 10:00 AM
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Here are some websites for the area:


We haven't been there for a long time, but I remember visiting some historic houses in the area that I enjoyed (Pope and Baldwin if I remember correctly). The paddle boat ride is fun, with lots of opportunities for picture taking. Vikingshome (?spelling) is another very interesting house that can be reached by boat or a pretty good hike down a trail.

We're hoping to go back in August for a Fodor's GTG. Hope this helps.
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May 3rd, 2009, 10:05 AM
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Here's the sire for Vikingsholm:

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May 3rd, 2009, 11:00 AM
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My husband and I were there last August...camped in South Lake Tahoe as usual, but enjoyed a day of river rafting on the Truckee w/Tributary Whitewater Tours (www.whitewatertours.com). Visited Donner Memorial St. Park and Lake and learned about the ill-fated Donner Party incident at the museum. Old Downtown Truckee was nice to pass the afternoon away after a filling lunch at the highly recommended "Smokey's Kitchen and Catering" at 12036 Donner Pass Rd. We also did our usual exploring of the bike paths. The year before we rode from South Lake Tahoe to Tahoe City. Last year we began in Tahoe City and rode along the river to Olympic Valley (most popularly known as Squaw Valley where the 1960 Winter Olympics were hosted). There are most certainly plenty of outdoor activities to do. If you do decide to visit some of the historical homes like Vikngsholm prepare to hike & purchase tickets to enter the property. You could also pack a light lunch & enjoy a picnic & swim at Emerald Bay or you could forgo the hike & instead, rent a boat for the day, drive it into Emerald Bay, park, visit the home or simply enjoy the day out on the lake. If you're a fan of the hit t.v. show "Bonanza" you could also visit Ponderosa Ranch. I haven't done this since I was a little girl so I don't know how it is today. You could also consider a trip to silver mining city, Virginia City and/or little-Las Vegas, Reno. There's a lot to do in Tahoe so enjoy!!!
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May 3rd, 2009, 01:43 PM
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So mush to do so little time....But sadly Ponderosa Ranch closed many years ago

North Shore:

At the Hyatt they have a sailboat called the Sierra Cloud. There is a great afternoon sail on the catamaran that we’ve done several times. You can also rent watercraft from the activity desk.

Sand Harbor is just outside Incline and is a great Beach. This area of the lake is really beautiful and the rock and water are amazing.

Tour Thunderbird Lodge. Quite Historic and amazing:

Better yet do the cruise and come in from the lake side. So pretty form the lake:

Heading West from north shore:

In Crystal Bay check out the Fire Lookout for amazing views of the lake:

From Incline heading west near the Biltmore casino turn north on Reservoir Road. Then turn right onto Lakeview Ave. Continue on this road, if it forks stay left and do not turn onto Tuscarora. It will bend back before you reach the parking area for the short walk to the lookout. The lookout provides you with really beautiful views of the area and lake.

Turn right at the North Shore Road (267) in Kings Beach and you can go mountain bike riding at Northstar. http://www.northstarattahoe.com/info/summer/biking.asp

At Carnelian Bay stop in at Garwoods for a Wet Woody – Rum drink.

When you arrive in Tahoe City, head north on 89 toward Squaw Valley. You could visit Squaw Valley. Our kids always enjoy a day at High Camp. Take the tram up to the giant pool and Jacuzzi. They can also ice skate. There is a pool side grill and palapa bar as well.

If it’s open and running, river rafting out of Tahoe City is a must. Take an ice chest full of your favorite beverage and food supplies. Rafting is completely weather dependent. Some years when there is too much or too little snow the rafting season is affected. Check to see when rafting begins. Here’s a link to one of the companies with an online coupon:

What to do in the south:

You can shop and eat at the village area, visit Zephyr Cove for watercraft rentals or walk and hang out on the beach.

For boat tours, I would try to take the Safari Rose west side tour. It will include the fabulous Rubicon coast as well as Emerald Bay. Or try Blue Wave for a great tour and if not them then maybe the big paddle wheelers located at the Marina or Zephyr Cove.

You can take a sight-seeing ride on the Heavenly Gondola for fab views.

Great beaches in SLT are Pope, Camp Richardson and Baldwin. All of these are past the Y, which is really, now a four way light but habits are hard to break! You could grab a sandwich at Yellow Submarine on Tallac just off the main drag west of the green belt (Regan Park)

You should visit the Tallac site.

If you like fish take a look at the Stream Profile Chamber if it’s still open during your visit:

Hikes to take from South Lake Tahoe are:

The Moraine Trail, which is a fairly easy hike of 1 mile (one-way). It’s a relatively flat trail through the forest and along the shore of Fallen Leaf Lake. Take Highway 89 north approximately 3 miles from South Lake Tahoe 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. There is no fee for day use. Look for the trailhead sign near the parking area.

Another hike is Angora Lakes, though the area south of the lake was affected by the fire you should be able to hike to the lake and still see the beautiful area. It is an easy hike, and hikers are rewarded with several lakes. I know in the summer you can rent rowboats or just swim and lay around on the sandy beach but in September it’s still worth a look. 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 north approximately 3 miles from South Lake Tahoe 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.

West side:

Vikingsholm at Emerald Bay. The trail starts at the parking area on the north side of Emerald Bay, on Highway 89. At the bottom of the trail is a picnic area, as well as world-famous Vikingsholm, a replica of a Scandinavian castle. Be warned though it’s a super steep trip down which means a steep walk back up. It’s about 2.25 miles round trip and the path is wide and well-maintained You may find you prefer to enjoy it from above or on a lake cruise

You could take a short side hike to Eagle Falls or Cascade Lake & Falls
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 from 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.

Meeks Bay – great beach, during the summer there is a grill shack right on the beach. Paddle boats and tricycles available for rent. Beautiful views of the lake. We go there almost every day when we visit during the summer. Look closely across the lake and you’ll see cave rock form this beach.

Sugar Pine Point – Beautiful grounds. The Mansion Tour and a walk to the boat house and peak in at the amazing silver boat are a must.


Grab a sandwich at the Tahoma Market. So many bread, meat and cheese combinations. Super big so you may want to share.

You can rent bikes in Tahoma, Homewood or Tahoe City and ride along the bike path that runs from Tahoe City southward all the way to just south of Sugar Pine (the path ends/begins just prior to Meeks Bay)

Great places to eat around the lake:

At Carnelian Bay stop in at Garwoods for a Wet Woody – Rum drink and a great meal with a fab view of the lake.

Our most favorite is Evans American Gourmet in South Lake Tahoe near Camp Richardson. You’ll need to make reservations. It’s located in a little cabin on the west side of 89 north of the Y. The food is so fresh and very remarkable. All the meals we’ve had there have been memorable.

For a nice lake view in a rustic setting but right on the pier is Blue Water Bistro in SLT also. You park behind Best Western Timbercove Lodge.

On the west side eat at Sunnyside Resort which has great lake views and good food.
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May 3rd, 2009, 01:51 PM
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In Tahoe City, go to Wolfdale's Restaurant. I haven't been there in 3 or 4 years, because we usually are in So. Lake Tahoe, but it has always been great in the past. Very creative, but not weird, food, and delicious. Also not inexpensive, but well worth the money.

Also Sand Harbor State Park on the Nevada side (about 1/2 hour south) has great beaches and also a summer Shakespeare Festival.
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May 3rd, 2009, 02:04 PM
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One caution on many of these recommendations: It's a long winding drive to many of the spots on the west and south sides, when coming from from Incline, so you have to make it an all-day trip.

You can drive to the top of Mount Rose on the Nevada side for some great views and I'm sure there are some hiking trails there. Also at Tahoe Meadows there is a long loop trail around the meadow that is used for cross-country skiing in the winter.
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May 3rd, 2009, 02:16 PM
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I don't think going from Incline to SLT, Zephyr Cove is more than perhaps 20-25 minutes and it's not the kind of winding that makes you car sick.

Going Zephyr Cove to Camp Richardson to see Tallac or The Stream Chamber or to take hikes near Fallen Leaf Lake is about 25 minutes.

Going to Tahoe City from Incline is probably only 20-25 minutes as well. And from Tahoe to Squaw Valley is about 10 minutes. Tahoe City to Emerald Bay is about 30-35 minutes but you have all those sights along the way.

The only really winding part where you must slow down and be cautious is Emerald Bay.

If you were to drive completely around the lake without stopping it certainly wouldn't take you much more than 2 hours and is that really long?
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May 3rd, 2009, 02:30 PM
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The Shakespeare Festival does not begin until mid July.
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May 3rd, 2009, 02:36 PM
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I have yet to make it from Incline to SLT in 20 mins. There is always some traffic and no passing allowed for most of the route. I normally allow 30+ minutes and am not surprised when it takes 40+. But still a nice drive . . . .
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May 3rd, 2009, 05:46 PM
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25- 30 - 40 minutes - all different experiences for us. I guess the point I was trying to make is that nothing at Lake Tahoe is so far away that you'd consider going anywhere worthy of an all day trip - especially at the end of June when we get nearly 15 hours of daylight.
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May 3rd, 2009, 07:30 PM
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You're right -- unless you are racing down to Zephyr Cove to catch the catamaran. As happened to me a couple of years ago when I was hosting 12 folks at Incline and I tried to explain to them the boat would sail if they were there or not. It took nearly 45 minutes and the only thing that saved them was there was a lady in a motorized wheel chair disembarking from the previous sailing and they had to carry both the chair and her off the boat. And that was in May - not in the heavier traffic of June/July.
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