Lake Tahoe, California
The amazing thing about living in Northern California is the amount of options for weekend trips...all within a relatively short driving distance. In any season, Lake Tahoe makes for a great weekend away...
WHERE TO EAT
The Sandbar at Christy Hill has an excellent lakeside location and does a good happy hour featuring house made sausages and local beers.
Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. has a brewpub in Tahoe City with a long list of beers on tap and a great menu of bar bites. Try the pretzel with house made beer mustard.
The Fire Sign Cafe is a popular spot for breakfast and lunch. Expect to queue on weekends; the breakfast sandwich and huevos rancheros are excellent.
The deck at Moe's Original BBQ has a stunning view of the lake and excellent food. The homemade sides (fresh summer tomatoes and sliced watermelon) are delicious and the griddled cornbread is a tasty treat.
Jake's on the Lake has a California inspired menu (get the artichokes!) and a killer location. I'd stick to apps and enjoy the view.
Further south, The Beacon Bar & Grill is another waterfront spot, great for groups.
Chambers Landing is a great waterfront option for the Summer months. Tip: Don't leave without trying a Chambers Punch!
While skiing in Squaw, check out Rocker for lunch. The margaritas are great and they have patio seating for sunny days.
Sunnyside has a huge waterfront deck (perfect for dining alfresco in the summer months) and an eclectic, seasonally inspired menu. The zucchini sticks are a house specialty. Tip: Their retail wine list has loads of price friendly bottles. Order a bottle to-go for a nightcap.
WHERE TO STAY
Sunnyside Resort wins for location and friendly staff. The rooms are well-equipped; Garden suites have wood-burning fireplaces and the Lakefront Suites have terraces.
Plumpjack Inn is located in Squaw Village, walking distance to the main lift. This property is popular with families and kids, so if you're looking for something quiet, it may not be for you.
The Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe offers ski-in/ski-out access for guests during the Winter season and cozy accommodations (most rooms have fireplaces!).
AirBnb is a great option for rentals which are great for groups or families.
WHAT TO DO
During the Winter months, skiers have plenty of choice. Both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows offer world class skiing. Squaw Valley has faster lifts, a village at the base, and overall a newer, fresher feel. Alpine Meadows is a bit more dated, with not much of scene at the base.
Snowshoeing is a great way to see Lake Tahoe during the Winter months if you aren't a skier. West Shore Sportsoffers great rates on rental equipment. There are snowshoe trails in nearby Sugar Pine Point State Park.
In the Summer, book an afternoon sail with Tahoe Sailing Charters; the crew is friendly, the music is perfect and the unlimited beer & wine doesn't hurt. It's a great way to experience the lake close up...the water is crazy blue and crystal clear.
There are tons of beautiful biking trails. West Shore Sports does bike rentals by the full or half day.
For hiking, Eagle Rock trail is a great, quick hike with a spectacular view of the lake.
Meeks Bay is a great beach option; the beach itself is sandy, though it gets a bit rocky in the water.
Emerald Bay is stunning, but equires a hike. Tip: On summer weekends you'll need to arrive early to guarantee a parking spot.