If you are planning a trip to California, you most likely have one of three destinations in mind: Los Angeles, Hollywood, or San Francisco. Maybe San Diego and Malibu made the list. Chances are Lake Tahoe did not. Chances are you have never even heard of this dream destination.
Few travellers have Lake Tahoe on their radar, but locals know the name well. This magnificent destination is a huge vacation spot for Californians and with good reason. Tahoe is best known for its great skiing area and sparkling blue lake and while the skiing really is incomparable, this mountain town is charming in all seasons.
Around every corner is another beautiful landscape
I was born and raised in California, so I grew up visiting Lake Tahoe on a regular basis. Even so, I am never prepared for just how gorgeous it will be when I get into the mountains. The bright blue lake practically forces you to feel relaxed. If you are visiting during the warm season, be sure you find time to get on the water (via boat, paddleboard, kayak, etc.) as you are guaranteed to be stunned by how clear it is. Keep Tahoe Blue is a local organization dedicated to eliminating pollution from the lake and they take their job seriously. This is the second deepest lake in the United States, and yet you can almost see the bottom. Which is why it is surprising that no one has seen the legendary friendly sea creature, Tahoe Tessie, hiding below.
Tahoe is a winter wonderland reminiscent of the North Pole
When winter hits, snow covers the mountains and everyone embraces the holiday spirit. Yet the California sun still shines, making this the ideal place to spend your winter. Ski and snowboard fanatics flock to Tahoe in the winter to enjoy the mountain’s legendary slopes, famed for their soft powder and unmatched scenery.
The ski resorts are the place to be during this season. Squaw Valley, one of the biggest resorts in the area, puts a giant ice skating rink in the center of Squaw Village. It’s definitely worth a trip, even if you aren’t interested in testing your balance on the ice. The rink is surrounded by outdoor fire pits where visitors spend the day eating, drinking, and watching the ice skaters twirl (or scoot) across the rink.
Once the snow melts, explore the endless network of hiking trails
Hikers, bikers, and nature-lovers, rejoice! You can stay as long as you want in Lake Tahoe and you will never run out of wilderness to explore. The seemingly infinite network of hiking trails throughout Lake Tahoe is perfect for the amateur adventurers and hardcore outdoorsmen alike. Some trails lead to smaller lakes in the mountains, some wind through the trees, and others lead to magnificent views like the one above.
One of the favorite activities for people traveling to Tahoe is to pack a picnic and spend half a day lost in the woods. But keep your eyes peeled! Bears and other wild animals are known to populate these mountains. Though like all Californians, the bears are generally friendly.
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Traveling with pets? Even better.
If you are searching for a pet-friendly vacation, look no further. Of course this is a little impractical for foreign travelers, but for all you US travelers out there, it is time to hit the road with your furry friend in the back seat. You may love Tahoe, but your dog will adore it.
Most Tahoe residents think of their dogs as four-legged children. This means there are a ton of dog-friendly beaches, restaurants, and accommodations in Lake Tahoe. Even if you don’t bring a pet of your own, expect to see leashless dogs running around wherever you go.
Moral of the story? Don’t miss California’s own slice of paradise!
California is a huge state full of beautiful destinations, so it is easy to overlook places like Lake Tahoe. It is easy, but it’s also a big mistake. Whether you are in search of a quiet place to relax or eager for some outdoor adventures, Lake Tahoe is the perfect destination.
If you can afford it, there are some really spectacular resorts in Lake Tahoe, Squaw and North Star being the most famous. If you are a budget traveler, fear not. There are a ton of affordable housing options (including camping). I recommend skipping the hotels and motels in the area and checking out the AirBnb options. While the prices are about the same, the AirBnb apartments tend to be cleaner and in more peaceful locations.
Still reading? What are you waiting for?! Get out there and enjoy this hidden Californian dreamland. And be sure to let us know how much you love it in the comments below.
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