Lake Tahoe Road Trip Jan 2, 2017 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
Whether you’ve been there before or not, there’s always something new to experience at Lake Tahoe. Known for its incredibly clear water, Lake Tahoe has an average of 300 sunny days each year but deep snowpack in the colder months, this is both a summer paradise and a winter wonderland. You can’t go wrong with a Tahoe road trip. Your only problem will be deciding what to do first.
Tahoe is 1,685 feet deep at the deepest point, covers 193 square miles, and has a 72-mile shoreline of lakeside beauty divided between California and Nevada. Often divided into two distinct areas, north and south, both offer unparalleled beauty. There are several towns scattered along the lakeshore on both sides of the border. King’s Beach, South Lake Tahoe, and Tahoe City are on the California side. On the Nevada side, you’ll find Incline Village, Glenbrook, Zephyr Cove, and Stateline.
Driving into Tahoe can be a fun experience. The roads were well-maintained and well traveled. However, during the winter it is important to use winter tires even on an AWD or 4WD vehicle. You must also stop and put on chains when highway signs indicate to do so; chains are necessary during the snow. Always check the weather before starting out on a trip to Tahoe during the winter.
In the summertime, bringing your bike (or renting one in the area) is a necessity. You can challenge yourself on a breathtaking downhill run or choose a scenic bike path for a more relaxing ride. If hiking is your thing, there’s no shortage of hiking trails to explore. Then there’s boating; after all, this is a lake. Bring your own or there are paddle wheelers you can rent from the shore. Boating also includes water-skiing, tubing, jet skiing, fishing, or just drifting along letting the water wash away all your cares, so don’t forget your swimsuit. But if you do forget anything, there are shopping opportunities all along the way. You’ll find enough of the basics, gear shops, cute boutiques, and artisan galleries to satisfy your most compelling shopping urges.
Give in to your inner gambler at one of the casinos (on the Nevada side). Who knows? Maybe you’ll win big and pay for your trip. But in all likelihood you won't win, so keep in mind you're a winner if you play within your limit and have a good time in the casino. Enjoy a luxury spa, dine in one (or more) of the world-class restaurants, and enjoy live entertainment at one of the nightlife spots.
You’ll find top-notch ski resorts and runs at Lake Tahoe. Skiing isn’t the only snow sport here, there’s also sledding, snowmobiling, sleigh riding, ice skating, and snowshoeing, so choose a road trip car that can bring along your gear. Tahoe celebrates Christmas in a big way, with a plethora of decorations everywhere, seasonal entertainment, plays, and, of course, Santa Claus. If playing in the snow isn’t your cup of tea, cozy up indoors in a classy hotel or an intimate bed and breakfast. There is plenty to do indoors during the cold months, too. Treat yourself to a spa day while your sweetheart is on the slopes, and then meet in the evening for dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants. Snuggling in a hotel room is the best way to end a perfect winter’s day in Tahoe.
Tahoe is a great destination during the winter and the summer for fun driving and an even more exciting destination.