Travel Love: How to spend a weekend in Lake Tahoe
After a week-long blogging break to focus on work, traveling to California the past two weeks and freelancing, I’m coming at you with a full recap of my latest (and first) trip to Lake Tahoe! Tristan and I went for a weekend to attend a wedding and we also were able to explore both the South Shore and North Shore during our stay. I definitely hope to be back in Tahoe sooner than later and a winter vacation here is also on my bucket list.
Tristan and I road-tripped to Lake Tahoe since his family lives in the bay area. I highly recommend driving to and through Tahoe if you can – there are dozens of viewpoints along the way where you can stop for a picnic or to soak in 360-degree views for the ‘gram.
WHEN TO GO AND WHERE TO GO:
Granted, this was my first trip, so I’m by no means a pro. I really enjoyed visiting Tahoe during the summer for my first time visiting. There was a lot going on and a lot of activities to choose from. If you’re a fan of being on or by the water – I recommend staying at South Shore. The lake is walking distance from most places you’d stay and there are so many things to do at the beach! Jet skiing, boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming (although it’s a bit cold) or simply soaking in the sunshine! There’s also great restaurant options at South Shore. I’m not a fan of casinos, but there are plenty of those too. Despite the lake being large, you can navigate your way around in an Uber, your car or by foot (if you’re staying close to the main attractions).
North Shore is a more laid back vibe in the summer. It’s a popular destination for hikers I noticed. Although we didn’t get to explore a lot of the North Shore, we stayed at a hotel close by the village where there were awesome options for shopping and eating. There is also a tram that takes you up to the top of the peak at Squaw for more views and hiking.
For those looking to book a trip to Lake Tahoe in the summer, plan ahead. Summer is a busy time of year and can be quite expensive if you’re looking to stay on the South Shore where a lot of the action is. There are a handful of nicer hotels along the casino strip but I highly recommend a smaller lodge-style hotel. They are cheaper and there are plenty of options to choose from!
At North Shore, we stayed at Red Wolf Lodge at Squaw and it worked out great! A huge shout out to Red Wolf Lodge for the accommodations and for making us feel at home. The lodge also provides guests with a hot tub, sauna and outdoor games so you can feel relaxed or entertained during your stay if you’re looking to stick close the lodge. Our woodland studio was the perfect size for the two of us and we had a view of the chair lift, village and peak. We were walking distance to the village, which made grabbing dinner and breakfast easy! I’d highly recommend staying at Red Wolfe Lodge if you get the chance during your stay at North Shore, we will be definitely be back!
WHAT TO DO:
Tristan and I were with a couple of friends the day after the wedding and we knew we wanted to be on the water. We ventured over to Artemis Lakefront Café for brunch and it was delicious! It’s located right next to the beach and the shopping/activities/rentals. After brunch we decided to rent jet skis for an hour and it was pricey – close to $200. An hour seemed like plenty enough time to be on the water and we weren’t willing to fork over $832 for 8 hours on the lake.
If you’re with a large group, I highly recommend looking into a boat rental for the day – the cost to split it with a larger group isn’t horrendous. Also, if you know you want to be on the water during the summer – investigate where you want to rent from and what time they open! We discovered going in the afternoon resulted in a lot of the rentals being reserved for the rest of the day. Get there early. After jet skiing, we ventured to a nearby gelato shop and grabbed some delicious gelato to cool off before our road trip up to the north side. Despite being sunburned, getting to spend a day out on the beautiful lake was well worth it!
On our way to the North Shore, we stopped at a few different viewpoints to soak in the views. It was incredible to see the Sierras in all of their glory! We kept trekking after a few stops and made our way to Squaw and checked into Red Wolf Lodge. Because it was later when we arrived, our first mission was grabbing some dinner. We freshened up and walked over to the Village of Squaw Valley and indulged in garlic bread, pizza and drinks at Fireside Pizza and it was delicious! I loved it!
The next morning, we ventured back to the village to grab breakfast at Mountain Nectar – we loaded up on a smoothie, coffee, breakfast burrito and bagel! If we had stayed longer, we would have rented bikes from Red Wolf Lodge to explore the nearby area some more – there were a lot of trails you can ride on that take you down to the river and through the town. Instead, we decided to drive over to a nearby town called Truckee and do some shopping! I fell in love with several of the boutiques there and couldn’t say no to a denim skirt I found. Because Sunday’s can be a nightmare with traffic, we started our drive back to the bay area (with a stop at In N Out included) by late afternoon. I definitely hope to come back and explore more of the north and south shore because they both have so much to offer!
Until next time Tahoe!
Thank you to Red Wolf Lodge for collaborating on this Travel Love blog post and providing accommodations during our stay! All thoughts and opinions expressed on West Coast Aesthetic are my own and every collaboration is done with absolute integrity.