Lake Tahoe Vacation Rentals Tips

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What is there to do in Lake Tahoe?

Visiting Lake Tahoe

If you are looking to take a vacation trip to California or Nevada, you can do both!

Lake Tahoe is very large freshwater lake that is located along the border of California and Nevada. The area surrounding the lake is known as Lake Tahoe or just Tahoe. This beautiful area is home to a great number of ski resorts, as well as other tourist attractions.

While visiting Lake Tahoe, which is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, you can also gamble at the casinos which are located in Nevada near the lake.

The gorgeous lake is known for it's crystal clear water and panoramic views of the surrounding mountain regions. Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the U.S. at a maximum depth of 1,64 feet. About 2/3 of the Lake Tahoe shoreline resides in California, while the other portion is in Nevada.

The largest city bordering the lake is South Lake Tahoe, California, which is on the south shore. Tahoe City, California is on the northwest shore of the lake. Most people don't pay much mind to the actual names of the cities and just refer to the north shore and south shore, or the Nevada side and California side of Lake Tahoe.

You can choose from a variety of luxury vacation rentals in Lake Tahoe, including condos, townhouses right on the lake or at one of ski areas.

How can you find a Lake Tahoe vacation rental?

Finding Lake Tahoe Vacation Rentals

When planning a visit to Lake Tahoe, it's important to understand the geography. Part of Lake Tahoe lies in California and part of it lies in Nevada. Locals refer to Tahoe geography by North and South shores. Some visitors prefer North Lake Tahoe vacation rentals; others prefer South Lake Tahoe vacation rentals.

If you are looking for entertainment and nightlife, head south to the Nevada side. Begin your vacation rental search online using search phrases like “south lake tahoe vacation rentals.” You'll discover hundreds of choices ranging from romantic studios for two to a two-bedroom condo perched high above the lake or a luxury five-bedroom ski-in, ski-out chalet. If you aren't there to ski, save 40% or more off-season in late spring, summer and early fall. For outdoor activities, think north. Using a search phrase “north lake tahoe vacation rentals,” you'll be delighted with vacation rental choices ranging from rustic log cabins to luxurious chateaus sleeping you and 10 or so close friends. Regardless of which side you choose, there is no shortage of vacation home rentals and no shortage of fun in the Lake Tahoe area.

What is northern of lake tahoe?

North of Lake Tahoe

Go ahead and take the whole family to Lake Tahoe! North Lake Tahoe vacation rental packages include lodging, activities calendar, ski resorts, and golf courses. And, if you're worried about your little skier, have no fear, many places offer great programs for the younger ones.

Ski resorts have plenty to please all ages (including “teens” and in be “tweens”). A lot of kids in the preteen group can try snowboarding, cross-country skiing, tubing, and more. Ask the ski resorts if they have any special programs for teens!

Whats in Tahoe Keys?

Tahoe Keys

Tahoe Keys has scenery, sights, culture, and history—everything to offer all ages an enjoyable vacation. A Tahoe Keys vacation rental can range from cozy cottages (to cuddle in) to luxury penthouses and villas for all your vacation getaways. For extra fun in the winter visit nearby Lake Valley for snowmobiling! Before hopping on one, however, here are a few snowmobiling precautions:

• Be a defensive driver
• Be alert of danger because your helmet and the engine can impair hearing
• Be careful in snowfalls and night driving with visibility
• Never think the other snowmobiler knows what they are doing!
• Expect the unexpected and watch out for “Murphy's Law”!

Is Lake Tahoe a Family- Friendly Destination?

Family Fun in Lake Tahoe

For the family who enjoys the outdoors together, Lake Tahoe is a perfect choice for a family vacation rental any time of the year. There is so much going on you will never hear, “Mom…We're bored.” Most area ski resorts offer ski lessons for the kids and off the slope programs. For instance, full-day children's lessons at Heavenly for ages 4-13 cost $155 and include instruction, equipment, helmet, lunch and lift tickets.(Advance reservations are a must!) At Rosebud, the Children's Center is a one-stop center for families. Half-day group lessons start at $ for ages 4-13 and full day lessons are $130 including all ski gear, meals and lift tickets.

Off the ski slopes, sample these activities for family fun:

Borges Family Sleigh Ride and Kirkwood Sleigh Ride take families over the rivers and through the woods.

Families enjoy snow play beyond the big resorts at North Tahoe Regional Park where a $5 fee includes a choice of a sled, tube or saucer.

Schedule a family picnic at the lookout at Vikingshol, a reproduction of a Viking castle.

Ride the Heavenly Gondola for breathtaking views any time of the year.

Step back in history at the Gatekeeper's Cabin Museum.

Let the kids try their hand at boat building, watercolors and other crafts at the Tahoe Maritime Museum.

After a day of fun, gather around the fireplace for old time games and story-telling. Lake Tahoe vacation rentals often become an annual family tradition.

What about tours for Lake Tahoe?

A Tahoe Tour

Stay at a Tahoe vacation rental in Stateline and you will be enchanted by Borges Family carriage rides. A set of rare horses will draw an antique European carriage. You'll pass Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, go through quiet neighborhoods, and onto a sandy beach. You'll see points of interest and learn bits of history.

Bring a camera for a treasured carriage family photo! Some of the carriages can carry up to six passengers—you might get to meet new friends! Before you enter one of these carriages, check out the horses. They're special. Could you see a horse where you live walking right next to/through honking cars? It's a nice alternative way to see the sights.

*Make sure you barter on the price, it's half the fun!

What about food around Tahoe?

Tahoe Cuisine

Is your tummy a rumblin'? Sometimes it's hard to decipher the best places to dine out around your Tahoe vacation rental. Here are a few great suggestions:

• Gourmet shops in South Lake Tahoe
• The Cork and More (with a deli and gift baskets)
• The Incline Village offers Café 333 (with a different menu every 3 months)
• Café Fiore on Ski Run Boulevard (voted "One of the Best Places to Kiss)

Check out restaurants on line and you might find some that offer discounts (and you might also be able to gain access to menus, descriptions, hours, etc.).

What sights are there to see at lake tahoe?

Lake Tahoe Sights

Grab one of many Lake Tahoe vacation rentals and enjoy the breathtaking views. Places in South Lake Tahoe offer hot air balloon rides that let you soar above clouds!

If you do decide to go on a hot air balloon trip remember that the weather is always important—storms are particularly dangerous with possibility of lightning striking. Rain and winds are problems in regard to visibility and damage to the balloon itself. You should only fly when the weather is close to perfect—skies should be clear and winds calm.

What's at South Lake Tahoe?

South Lake Tahoe

Staying at a South Lake Tahoe vacation rental can bless you with golf, water sports, and shopping. Close by is Heavely Ski Resort so you can enjoy top-notch skiing and Stateline casinos to spend that extra cash.

Before you drop lots of cash at the casino, however, be smart.

• Know the games you are playing
• Never drink and play as alcohol impairs your thinking – duh!
• Set a spending limit stick to it
• Don't become overconfident!
• Don't tell anyone how well you're doing!

What is there to do in Squaw Valley?

Visiting Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley was the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics and is currently the second largest ski area in Tahoe. However, Squaw Valley isn't just for skiing. It's also home to a variety of other winter and summer activities and attractions.

Here are just some of the things you may enjoy while in the Squaw Valley area.

Relaxing at the Spa
After a day of skiing, you can relax at the Trilogy Spa. Triology offers special spa treatments for weddings, bachelorette parties, couples and just about everybody else. You can enjoy sugar scrubs, soaking tubs, deep tisue massage, facials, manicures, pedicures and much more.

Fun Family Activities
Bring your family up to Squaw Valley in the summer, where they can enjoy miniature golf, bungee jumping, rock climbing walls, trapeze artists and much more at the Village at Squaw Valley.

Water Sports
Cruise Lake Tahoe by paddle boat, sailboat or motorboat. You can also rent canoes, jet skis, kayaks, charter boats and more.

White Water Rafting
Head to one of the local rivers near the lake for an exciting adventure trip down the river.

Squaw Valley offers several wonderful golf courses nearby where you can enjoy the spectacular views while taking in a round of golf.

Shop for clothing, fine jewelry, art, housewares and much more at the variety of shops located in Squaw Valley Village.

If you are planning a trip to Squaw Valley, stay at one of the many Lake Tahoe ski vacation rentals in the area. Locate one of the many north Lake Tahoe vacation rentals and book your reservation today.

What type of tours are available in Tahoe?

Tours of Lake Tahoe

The main attractions in the Lake Tahoe area are skiing at one of the top-notch ski resorts in the area, water sports on the beautiful lake, and golfing at one of the world class resorts.

However there are many other unique and interesting things to do in the Lake Tahoe area, including hiking, horseback riding, fishing and gambling. If you are headed to Tahoe for the first time, don't miss out on one of the unique tours of the area.

Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour
You can take a helicopter tour over Emerald Bay or other Lake Tahoe areas for a very affordable cost. Learn about the history and points of interest nearby Lake Tahoe.

The Gondola at Heavenly
The 2.4 mile gondola ride at Heavenly provides an incredible summer sightseeing adventure. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Dine at the observation deck or continue to the top where you can venture on a hike.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour
You will enjoy the horse-drawn carriage tour through the quaint neighborhoods surrounding the lake. This is a perfect tour for young kids, or it can be a romantic adventure for a newlywed couple.

If you are planning a trip to Tahoe, choose from Lake Tahoe ski vacation rentals, Lake Tahoe vacation cabin rentals and other Lake Tahoe vacation rental properties.

Where can I gamble in Tahoe?

Gambling in Tahoe

On the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, gambling is legal. Many people enjoy gambling in nearby Reno, Nevada. However on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, you can gamble at one of the six major casinos in Stateline. On the north shore of Lake Tahoe, you can choose from five major casinos in Crystal Bay and Incline Village.

Stateline casinos include:

Harrah's Lake Tahoe
Harveys Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe Horizon Casino Resort
Bill's Casino Lake Tahoe
MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa
Lakeside Inn and Casino

Crystal Bay and Incline Village casinos include:

Cal-Nevada Resort
Crystal Bay Club Casino
Jim Kelley's Tahoe Nugget
Tahoe Biltmore Lodge and Casino
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

These casinos offer 24-hour gaming and nightlife. You can try your luck at the nickle slot machines, play Blackjack until dawn or experience any number of other slot machines and table games.

There is also food, music, drinking and other entertainment available.

If you headed to Stateline, Incline Village or Crystal Bay to try your luck, stay at one of the Lake Tahoe vacation rental properties in the area. You can choose from Lake Tahoe vacation cabin rentals, condo rentals, house rentals or other Lake Tahoe vacation rentals.

What outdoor activities are popular in Tahoe besides skiing?

Outdoor Activities in Tahoe

Certainly skiing is a huge tourist draw to Lake Tahoe with dozens of ski areas nearby. However, there's more to do in Tahoe than just snow ski.

Many of the ski areas, also offer snow tubing, sledding, snowmobile riding and snowshoeing. There are event designated trails and separate areas for these fun winter activities.

In addition, hundred of hiking and biking trails surround the lake. Some of the trails are very simple and can be utilized by most visitors, while others are more lengthy and difficult. If you plan on hiking in the Lake Tahoe area, do not go alone. If you have never hiked in the area, partner with a more experienced hiker and let others know where you are going, in case you get lost. The most famous trail in the Lake Tahoe area is Tahoe Rim Trail, which is a 165 mile trail that goes all the way around the lake.

When planning your trip to Lake Tahoe, you can choose from Lake Tahoe vacation cabin rentals or luxury vacation rentals in Lake Tahoe.

These lodging options provide the opportunity to stay in a location very convenient to the lake or neighboring ski areas. From the affordable to the luxurious, you will certainly find accommodations that meet your needs.

Where can I ski in Tahoe?

Snow Skiing in Lake Tahoe

Thousand of people from all over the United States flock to Lake Tahoe during ski season to experience some of the best skiing anywhere in the world. Most of the ski areas near Lake Tahoe are on the north end of the lake - which is closest to Reno, Nevada. However, Heavenly, Kirkwood and Sierra-at-Tahoe are located on the southern side, nearly 80 miles from Reno.

Major Ski Resorts in Tahoe

Heavenly Mountain Resort
This is the largest ski area in all of California and Nevada.

Squaw Valley
Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, this is the second largest ski area in Tahoe.

This is a very popular Lake Tahoe north shore ski area.

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
This is a medium-sized, ,but fairly well know ski area at Donner Pass.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort
This Tahoe south shore ski area get more snow than anywhere else in the area.

There are also dozens of other ski areas located near Tahoe. If you are headed to Lake Tahoe for vacation, consider booking a condo or townhome in the area, rather than staying at larger, commercial ski lodge. You can find a variety of independent Lake Tahoe vacation rentals from the extravagant to the affordable.

Whether you are looking for north shore lake tahoe vacation rentals or something on the southside of the lake, you can find plenty of available accommodations.

What is nearby Lake Tahoe?

Day Tripping Around Lake Tahoe

In the unlikely event that you have your fill of action on the slopes and in the casinos of Lake Tahoe, there are plenty of day trips to fill the gap.

Truck on over to Truckee. The scenic 90-minute drive to Truckee winds through the Sierra Nevadas. The most scenic trip is Route 207 Kingsbury Grade, west on Highway 50 to Highway 28. Continue west, passing through Incline Village to California Route 267. Turn right on Route 267 and follow it to Truckee. Once in Truckee , the downtown area is a walking history lesson combined with contemporary specialty shops.

Go on a treasure hunt . In summer and early fall (before snow covers the ground) is a great time to drive over to the Gold Hill/Virginia City area and scour the countryside for crystals and gem stones. Gold and silver streak through quartz and granite crystals. Large and small crystals are on the ground and tucked into nooks and crannies in the hills among bigger rocks. The best crystals are often found along the ditches in the road to Silver City, especially after a big rain when they get washed from the surrounding hills. (Heads up: Obey “No Trespassing” signs and watch out for rattlers on hot summer days!) Take your treasures back to your vacation home rental; they make great free souvenirs and gifts.

Many years ago people believed that special curative powers existed in natural hot springs . Maybe so; maybe not. Regardless, a relaxing soak a perfect way to soak away aches and pains from exertion on the slopes or sooth the spirit after a long night at a casino. Rejuvenate with a soak at Grover Hot Springs State Park . From South Lake Tahoe it's a 35-minute drive through scenic Hope Valley , across the West Fork of the Carson River and east on U.S. Highway 88. Return to your vacation home renewed and ready for another night of fun.

What's going on in Lake Tahoe?

Enjoy Lake Tahoe Special Events

With more than 400 events ranging from “Pray for Snow Parties” to quirky bashes, contests and festivals, there's always something going on in Lake Tahoe. Here's a short sample of annual events on the calendar at Lake Tahoe:

  • The Annual May Ski Nautique Gates & Wakes Fun Day and Pro Challenge at Alpine Meadows combines skiing or snowboarding in the morning at Alpine Meadows and wakeboarding or water skiing on Lake Tahoe in the afternoon.
  • Elvis Day is all about the King at Mt. Rose. Elvis is everywhere. He's lifting your ski ticket, fitting your skis and teaching ski lessons. Elvis entertains in local nightclubs and pubs. Skiers don their best Elvis look-a-like garb. Don't forget your camera for this hilarious event on the Saturday closest to the King's birthday January.
  • On a cultural note, Lake Tahoe is home to the nationally recognized summer Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor State Park . For more than 25 years, visitors have spread out on the pristine beaches with wine and cheese, enjoying the Bard at his best.
  • Audiences of all ages are delighted by the summer-long ake Tahoe Music Festival . Each summer the festival offers a wide variety of programs, including classical, pops, Broadway, bluegrass, swing, blues, and jazz played in gorgeous, mostly outdoor locations around Lake Tahoe.
  • The American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Golf Tournament, held in July each year at Edgewood Tahoe, is rated as one of Golf Digest's Top 25 public U.S. golf courses
Heads up: Check the calendar at Lake Tahoe Chambers of Commerce and Visitors Centers for a full list of special events. Plan ahead. Many visitors schedule their Lake Tahoe vacation rentals around favorite special events.

Is there year-round golf in Lake Tahoe?

Golfing in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe boasts a dozen championship golf courses and a spring, summer or fall golf vacation rental is a great getaway for guys, gals and couples. (Area courses close for the winter season.) And, you may play the best game of your life. Adjust your swings and putts; they say balls go farther at the 6,200 foot altitude. Settle into your Lake Tahoe vacation rental and head for the greens.

To the south, Lake Tahoe Golf Course boasts being Tahoe's best championship golf value. Located in a mountain meadow surrounded by the High Sierras, this par 71 spectacular golf course challenges all levels. Green fees are seasonal ranging from $41-$74. The Tahoe Paradise Golf Course is a relaxing 18-hole executive course with affordable greens fees of $27-$57. Want to play the most upscale course in Lake Tahoe? Get ready to hand over $250 in green fees at Edgewood Tahoe.

Headed north, Incline Village Championship and Incline Village Mountain, both designed by Robert Trent Jones, demand accuracy and creativity with challenging play against a breathtaking mountain backdrop.

How's the nightlife in Lake Tahoe?

Lake Tahoe Never Sleeps

If indoor action and hot nightlife are important, a South Lake Tahoe vacation rental near the “border” in Stateline is a good choice. Harrah's, Harvey's, Horizon and MontBleu are the leading South Lake Tahoe razzle-dazzle casinos. Bill's Casino draws a more laid-back party crowd and Lakeside Inn & Casino is a low-key favorite with Lake Tahoe locals. Away from the gaming tables, South Lake Tahoe nightclubs include: Attitude , voted the “Best of Tahoe;” blu, a high-tech club in MontBleu and Cabo Wabo , Sammy Hagar's club that draws unannounced celebrity entertainment and nightly promotions.

Why should you plan a Lake Tahoe ski vacation?

Ski Vacations in Lake Tahoe

There are many accolades for Lake Tahoe ski resorts. Online, Travelzoo recently named Lake Tahoe a “Top 10 Ski Resort Choice” and Skiing magazine consistently ranks Lake Tahoe to their Top 25 Resorts. Whether you are a beginning, intermediate or expert skier, there's a ski resort waiting in Lake Tahoe. If you prefer alpine or cross-country skiing, it's there. And, off the slopes there's sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice-skating, sleigh rides and year-round fishing.

With 18 area ski resorts, Lake Tahoe claims the largest concentration of ski resorts of any U.S. ski destination. Ski resorts range from tiny north lake Granlibakke (a one lift resort primarily for beginning skiers) and Soda Springs with two lifts and $25 lift tickets to upscale Heavenly Mountain Resort in the south with 30 lifts, ski trails and $72 ski lift tickets. Kirkwood Resort and Sierra at Tahoe are also popular South Tahoe ski venues. Squaw Valley, Northstar and Alpine Meadows are popular North Lake Tahoe Resorts. If cross-country skiing is your game, look at resorts like: Kirkwood Ski Resort, Northstar and Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Resort.

Return to the warmth and privacy of your personal vacation home rental after an exhilarating day on the slopes. Prepare dinner and enjoy the camaraderie of sharing stories of the day around the table before heading out to a local casino for a night of gambling and entertainment. Or, imagine a romantic dinner and evening for two in front of a crackling fire in our cozy condo or ski chalet and create your own entertainment.

Will you need a car for a Lake Tahoe vacation rental?

Getting To and Around Lake Tahoe

Once you have booked your vacation home rental, it's time to plan travel logistics. Traveling by air to Lake Tahoe, most visitors fly into the Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose or Oakland airports. Reno-Tahoe Airport is just 45 miles from Lake Tahoe and offers over 170 flights with major airlines. Sacramento is 90 miles to the west and San Francisco is 200 miles away. In summer, it's a pleasant drive from Sacramento or San Francisco, but be sure to check Lake Tahoe weather and road conditions when driving during winter months.

Most national rental car companies offer car rentals at the Reno/Tahoe International Airport. If you want to take full advantage of seeing Lake Tahoe and interesting day trips, you will find a rental car helpful. If you are in Lake Tahoe for the action on the slopes during ski season and are not accustomed to driving in hazardous winter road conditions, opt for local transportation and choose a vacation home rental in the center of the action. South Tahoe Express offers transportation between Reno/Tahoe International Airport and South Lake Tahoe Resorts. During ski season, major ski resorts in the South Shore area provide free shuttle service daily (during ski season) to and from motels, hotels, lodges and numerous designated roadside stops. Year-round area shuttle bus service and low-cost trolleys and taxis are widely available.

What makes Lake Tahoe special?

A Taste of Lake Tahoe

There is no sight on earth like the first view of Lake Tahoe. Bordered by both Nevada and California, Lake Tahoe is unique. It is the highest alpine lake in the United States. It is also one of clearest, deep blue lakes in the world. Lake Tahoe's three trillion gallons of water is so clear that a 10-inch white dinner plate would be visible at 75 feet below the surface .

No doubt, you will want to get a taste of Lake Tahoe by land, water and air during your Lake Tahoe Vacation rental. Although it is less than 100 miles around Lake Tahoe, driving can be hazardous in the winter and summer traffic can be frustrating, but in spring and early fall a drive around Lake Tahoe offers changing vistas on each shore. By water, the M.S. Dixie II and Tahoe Queen are authentic paddlewheel cruises offering glass bottom viewing of the crystal clear waters, champagne brunches or dinner/dance cruises under the stars. By air, Balloons Over Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe Balloons and Mountain High Balloons offer the ultimate experience of soaring gracefully over meadows, mountains and skimming the blue waters of Lake Tahoe. Get a taste of Lake Tahoe and get ready for fun.

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Lynne Christen
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