Pacific Northwest Road Trip, Part 2: Lake Tahoe (CA)

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If you missed the intro post to this blog series, be sure to check it out here.

Stop two of our Pacific Northwest road trip was Lake Tahoe. For those of you who don’t know, Lake Tahoe is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country, only slightly smaller than the five Great Lakes. It is situated in the Sierra Nevada, with one portion of the lake in California and the other in Nevada.

Luckily, some friends of mine grew up going to Lake Tahoe and were able to fill me in on the differences between North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe. Both were described as an awesome time, yet completely different from one another depending on what you’re looking for. In a nutshell, North Lake Tahoe tends to be great for relaxing while South Lake Tahoe tends to be great for partying. Since this trip was all about R&R, we opted for North Lake Tahoe. More specifically, We stayed in Carnelian Bay, which is on the northwest shore of the California portion of the lake. We stayed at an awesome Airbnb that had a fireplace, pool table, and small deck complete with lake views. It was the perfect mountain retreat.

The hype surrounding Lake Tahoe is for good reason; it is pristine, massive, and absolutely gorgeous. Regardless of the season, there is so much to do. Between hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding – the list goes on and on – it is the epitome of an outdoor lover’s paradise. Since we were there over Labor Day weekend and the weather was bright and sunny, the water and beaches were calling our names. However, I’d love to go back during the winter months to check out the slopes.

Day 3

As I mentioned in my previous post about Yosemite, our drive from there to Lake Tahoe was a long one. As such, we didn’t get to Lake Tahoe until dusk. We saw this as the perfect opportunity to unwind and enjoy our sweet digs. We drank some wine and played some pool by the fire, and it was absolutely perfect. Still, we called it an early night so that we would be well-rested and ready to go the following day.

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Day 4

As planned, we woke up early to take advantage of our only full day in Lake Tahoe. For whatever reason, we decided to drive the entire lake. While I don’t exactly recommend that plan of action, it was an awesome way to catch a glimpse of everything that the lake has to offer… all 72 miles of it.

We first stopped at Emerald Bay, which was hands down the highlight of our excursion. It couldn’t have been more stunning! Next, we stopped for lunch at Sprouts Café, which was extremely nourishing after eating nothing but camp-friendly food for days on end. After lunch, we continued our drive and stopped at several random beaches along the way. Ultimately, we ended up at Patton Beach near our Airbnb. It was a dog beach, so Dan skipped rocks and played with the pooches while I snapped some photos of kayaks; I just love their vibrant colors!

Tip: For an awesome app detailing Lake Tahoe public beaches, click here.

Anyway, after our lengthy drive, we headed back to our Airbnb to freshen up. Per the recommendation of my friend Michele, we went to Sunnyside for dinner. It was fabulous to be wined and dined after several days of eating on-the-go. Similarly, it felt good to get dolled up after several days of living in workout gear. Surprise, surprise – it ended up being another early night for us, as we wanted to wake up early enough to enjoy the lake one last time before we hit the road again.

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Day 5

Prior to checking out, we enjoyed one last game of pool. Being that our Airbnb was the guest house of a larger home, we became friendly with the property owners. It was hardest to say goodbye to their lovable Golden Retriever, Bogey. After loading up the car, we rented some kayaks from Tahoe Adventure Company in Tahoe Vista. Needless to say, it was an incredible kayaking experience that I will never forget.

…Next stop, Crater Lake National Park!

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5 thoughts on “Pacific Northwest Road Trip, Part 2: Lake Tahoe (CA)

  1. Julie says:

    Wow, Lake Tahoe looks amazing! It’s on my list of places to go. Your photos are beautiful! So glad you and Dan had this opportunity.

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