Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and pine trees, Lake Tahoe is one of the purest lakes in the world and is the second deepest lake in the United States. Ask a local why they live in Tahoe and they’ll smile, and with a small wave towards the lake and the mountains, they’ll say “this is why I live here.” “This” implies the beauty and adventure of Tahoe. A quintessential mountain town and a key player in the Tahoe community, Truckee is just thirteen miles north of the lake and Squaw Valley lies in between. A forested ski community nestled in the Sierra Nevada Range, Squaw Valley is gorgeous and green in the summer, white and sparkling in the winter, and there’s no question as to why the 1960 winter Olympics were held here. Standing tall over the village, Squaw Valley ski area is a constant reminder of the years of fun, laughter, and adventure that have brought Lake Tahoe to life.
Every Tahoe morning prompts an adventure, whether it’s trying a new activity or trying a new restaurant. In winter, ski at world famous Squaw Valley by day, and indulge in après ski by night at Le Chamois, the famous slope-side ski bar that has housed the laughs of many Olympians, local ski legends, and Hollywood celebrities. If you’re looking for a lakeside adventure, plenty of hiking and biking trails double in winter for great snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. After, relax lakeside with a cocktail, while you watch the alpenglow cast pink and orange hues on the mountains that surround the lake.
The lake and mountains are captivating. They’re so enthralling, that you sometimes forget that the northern Sierra Nevada is also full of history. From the California Gold Rush in 1849 and the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1869, to the glitz and glamour of Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra’s Lake Tahoe nightlife scene in the 1950’s, the stories of Tahoe are endless. Stroll down Truckee’s streets to imbibe at former “boomtown” saloons, and watch the Union Pacific trains, which run through the middle of “Brickelltown,” the name Truckee gave to its restored historical district. Shop, dine, and visit the galleries and museums that line the streets. Make sure to visit Moody’s Bistro Bar and Beats for a true taste of good food, old world cocktails, and live music. Nestled on the ground floor of the famed Truckee Hotel, Moody’s is a mecca for renowned jazz musicians and nationally-acclaimed bands of all genres.
Mountains are the face of Tahoe’s postcards, and many Tahoe adventures are detailed in handwritten notes on the back. Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Nevada Range, its beautiful valleys, and its mountain towns set the stage for skiing and snowboarding, golfing, fly fishing, mountain biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and boating. Tahoe is known for its outdoorsy residents, who love to have fun. You can find everything from kite-surfing and world-class rock climbing, to para-gliding, snorkeling, and backcountry ski touring. Or just kick back at the beach with a beer and a book. Lake Tahoe locals try all of these things. You should do the same.
SIP AND SAVOR
Just three hours east of San Francisco, also known as the “city that knows how,” Lake Tahoe encompasses a wide spectrum of innovative cuisine, catering to well-heeled wine lovers and the après ski crowd alike. With well over a hundred and fifty bars and restaurants in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe, visitors and locals sit side by side to enjoy everything from lamb and fresh California produce, to Pacific fish and sushi. Make note, whether you are ordering that bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape or a Sierra Nevada “green label” beer, Tahoe is dressed to impress with a casual vibe. Mountain attire always welcome. Flip flops always encouraged.
Keep Tahoe Blue is a driving force behind the efforts to preserve Lake Tahoe’s natural clarity, which is why you can see up to 70 feet deep down into the water. Black bears, deer, coyotes, owls and hundreds of other wildlife species inhabit the Sierra Nevada, in addition to countless flora and fauna. While a Tahoe getaway is usually all fun and games, the region works hard to maintain its beauty and vibrant, tight-knit community. Tahoe/Truckee’s eco health is the product of numerous organizations, including Mountain Area Preservation, SierraWatch, California Wilderness Coalition, Tahoe Keepers, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, and more.
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