Late summer and early fall is an underrated time to visit this beautiful area. The loud summer crowds are gone, the lake is calm and devoid of the summer winds and large boats, and the mountains are still free of snow and perfect for hiking and mountain biking. Up until the end of October, Lake Tahoe can have warm enough temperatures to do some late afternoon swimming and the nights are cool enough to snuggle up by the campfire.
Here’s a possible plan for a weekend visit up to the lake to enjoy the last gasp of summer, and the beautiful colors and smells of fall in the mountains.
Fall specials are going on at various hotels and bed and breakfasts including the the Village at Squaw Valley and Marriot’s Timber Lodge in South Lake Tahoe. If you want some time away from other people, rent a cabin a room at the Hania’s Bed and Breakfast in Truckee. Tahoe campgrounds are also less crowded during this time. Get a great view of Emerald Bay at the Bayview Campground or stay near Truckee at the Donner Lake Campground.
For a great breakfast to get you ready for a day of hiking or biking, visit the Fire Sign Café near Tahoe City or Jax Diner in Truckee. To enjoy the crisp mountain air, enjoy lunch out on the decks of Jake’s on the Lake or the Hyatt in Incline Village. You can get a coffee or a snack at Gear and Grinds in Tahoe City or enjoy some books with your caffeine break at the Truckee Book & Bean.
Dinner inside by the fire or in front of some candles is in order for the evening. Christy Hill in Tahoe City has a wonderful view of the lake and a warm ambiance and the Summit restaurant at Harrah’s in Stateline has a roaring fireplace where you can sip some drinks and enjoy some first class cuisine.
The lake is still pretty warm in fall and the waves have calmed down, so kayaking is a fun item to put on your weekend list. You can rent kayaks from Camp Richardson on the South Shore or Zephyr Cove on the East Shore and paddle around the shoreline. Grab a bike rental from Gear and Grinds in Tahoe City and ride along the Truckee River bike trail.
If you want to just take it easy, you can still relax on the beaches of Sand Harbor, Nevada Beach, King’s Beach or the shores of the Tahoe City Boardwalk. If you want some real pampering, visit one of the yoga studios or spas around the lake for some down time.
Photo Courtesy of [RickC/Flickr]