After Chris and I had finished wining our way through Napa (you can read about our 2 days in Napa here and here), we were ready to head to our next destination, Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is about 3 hours north from where we were staying in Napa, so we decided to take our time leaving that morning, and ended up leaving at a decent that morning.
The drive really wasn’t that bad to get from Napa to Lake Tahoe. The route cuts you through Sacramento, and it was pretty cool to see the scenery change from hills of the Napa Valley to the mountains that are close to Lake Tahoe. A word of warning, when you’re about an hour from Lake Tahoe, the roads change from a 4 lane highway to a 2 lane highway that hugs the mountains. It was scary enough sitting in the passenger seat and having Chris drive us during the summer, I couldn’t even imagine driving those roads in the winter with the snow and ice (and that gives away the fact that I’m a Texan right there)!
After our drive, I was very ready for lunch. We were planning on riding the Gondola to the top of the Heavenly Ski Resort that day so we decided to eat lunch in the Heavenly Village, a big shopping center with a lot of shops and restaurants, located at the bottom of the mountain. When we were at Peju, we were talking to a couple that had been there previously and they suggested Base Camp Pizza Co to us. I was so glad that we took them up on this recommendation because the food was very good. The day was beautiful and cool so the hubby and I sat outside and enjoyed a pizza and beer, and listened to a local singer that was singing at the restaurant. Once we had finished stuffing ourselves with pizza, we attempted to ride the gondola like we had planned, but it turns out that it was too windy so the gondola was closed for the rest of the day.
We really didn’t have anything else planned for the day, so we decided to make our way to our hotel and relax. We stayed at the Hyatt which is on the North side of the Lake, and actually located in Nevada and not California (because they have the casino, and gambling is legal in Nevada and not California). We really enjoyed the drive along the lake to the hotel. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking, and around every corner we would get an even more beautiful view of the lake than a few minutes ago. After we checked in to the hotel we explored the property a little bit before heading to one of the bars to watch the USA World Cup Game. Good thing we won! After the game we just spent the rest of the day relaxing, and enjoyed the sunset in front of one of the fire pits before heading in.
The next day we spent exploring Lake Tahoe. Thankfully, it wasn’t as windy as the day before, so we were actually able to start our day off with the Gondola ride up to the top of the mountain. Although the price was kind of steep for this, I would definitely recommend spending the money. By riding the gondola up to the top of the mountain, you get the most spectacular views of the lake, and it really puts it into perspective how big Lake Tahoe really is! The gondola stops at viewing platform before reaching the top of the mountain, and I definitely recommend stopping here to take some pictures before continuing to the top. Some of my favorite pictures are from this viewing platform!
After we finished at the viewing platform, we continued on to the top of the mountain. There really wasn’t much else to do once you reached the top, besides taking more pictures of the lake or paying for one of the other activities that’s up there. The other activities included a ropes courses (that’s more for children), and a zip-lining course that looked fun. (We debated doing the zip-lining, but the line was super long and it was pretty expensive). The hubby and I ended up just walking around then taking the ski lift up even further on the mountain where we were able to see even more of the lake and parts of Nevada as well. (It was really cool to see beautiful Lake Tahoe with all of the green trees, and on the other side of the mountain, the desert of Nevada). After we were done taking pictures, we rode the gondola down the mountain again and grabbed some lunch at the Stateline Brewery before we explored around Lake Tahoe some more.
Like I’ve said before, I’m obsessed with planning vacations, and after looking around on tripadvisor and other internet travel sites, the place that I knew I wanted to see the most along Lake Tahoe was Emerald Bay. After lunch, we drove south along the lake and drove to Emerald Bay for some hiking. (If you go during the summer, there’s going to be a lot of people so just be prepared to have to park farther away and walk). The views of Emerald Bay were absolutely breathtaking. The water was so blue that it didn’t look real! We also got some great views of Vikingsholm, a beautiful old house that’s on an island in the middle of Emerald Bay. Apparently, the owner of the house used to take a boat out there to have tea.
After a few more hours of hiking we finished driving around Lake Tahoe towards our hotel, where we relaxed for a little bit before heading to Lone Eagle Grille for dinner. Lone Eagle Grille is the nice restaurant on the Hyatt property, and you need a reservation if you would like to eat dinner there. Overall, the food and the service was good, but definitely not the best meal that we’d had on the vacation. After dinner, we made our way back to the firepit that we were at last night and had s’mores for dessert while watching the sunset again. (At the Hyatt you can buy s’more kits that include everything you need for making this tasty campfire treat). It was the perfect ending to a beautiful day exploring Lake Tahoe!
I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip to Lake Tahoe! Stay tuned to read about our stay in San Francisco!