Lake Tahoe, California is a place that has been a vacation destination for my family for generations. My grandparents took my mother there on their yearly trips back East to visit family in Nebraska. My mother and father, as they became adults, took skiing trips here with their friends to celebrate newfound freedom. By the time I came along, one of my mom’s friends, Jim had bought a cabin in Tamarack Pines, just a short drive from the lake. For 18 out of my 24 summers I have been blessed with a visit to Jim’s cabin, and, through all my travels, it still remains my favorite place in the world.
Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in the United States, straddles the boarder of California and Nevada. With crystal clear waters and panoramic views of the Sierra Mountains, Tahoe is a definite must add for your bucket list.
My family and I only had one day to spend in our favorite destination this go around, so we packed in the best of the best.
After a leisurely morning relaxing at the cabin in the woods, we headed to Echo Lake for a quick hike. On longer trips we like to rent a boat and explore this more secluded lake or take the water taxi to the other end and do a three mile hike back to the car.
Another great place to hike is Bassi Falls in the El Dorado National Forest. There is a parking lot for the trail right off the main road into Tahoe, and after hiking just 10 minutes you reach the falls and stunning vistas of the mountains.
Following our hike we headed to our favorite beach on South Lake Tahoe’s shore—Pope Beach. Bringing lunch a long is a must for a beach day in Tahoe. I recommend take out from Three Brothers Burritos. Excellent Mexican!
Tahoe’s waters are frigid—about 68 degrees Farenheit in the summer—but that never stops me from swimming around. The water is crystal clear and feels so fresh.
After a few hours of relaxing, we took a break from the beach and headed to Emerald Bay for another view of the lake. If you buy a postcard in Lake Tahoe, chances are it is of this bay. Home to the lake’s only island, Emerald Bay is also home to Vikingsholm, a 1929 Scandanavian mansion. For those with more time, a hike down to the mansion is worthwhile.
After stopping for ice cream at Camp Richardson we went back to Pope Beach for sunset. The clear water filled with pink hues as the sun slipped behind the mountains and we had a “family hug” grateful to have made it back for another year.
Back at the cabin we ended the evening in true mountain fashion with a blazing fire, s’mores and card games.