I’m not a spur of the moment kind of girl, especially when it comes to vacations. But when this last minute South Lake Tahoe getaway came up I didn’t even think about it, I just said “Yes!” It turned out to be one of the best mini-vacations I’ve ever been on, and I’m now fully convinced that Lake Tahoe is an ideal Northern California getaway spot.
Living in Northern California, I’d been to Lake Tahoe a few times. However it wasn’t until this trip that I realized what an absolute gem it is. After packing up my twin ten-year old daughters, my ten-year old niece, my Bestie Keiko and her twelve-year old daughter, we headed for the hills and it was non-stop fun for 48 hours. Let me give you just a glimpse as to why you should head for the hills, too!
- The Gondola at Heavenly Village – It was a beautiful and sunny spring day, the last skiing weekend of the season, so the line was full of veteran snowboarders eager to get in a few last runs. The first stop at the top of the mountain offered unbelievable views of Lake Tahoe. The air was crisp and cool and perfect. No wonder it’s named Heavenly! Once we reached the summit we were greeted with the last remnants of the winter snow, a gorgeous ski lodge with ample outdoor lounge seating, and families and friends just like us soaking up nature’s beauty and perfect weather.
- Heavenly Village – This was truly the ideal location for an afternoon of relaxing. The village was full of live musicians to entertain us as we meandered through the little shops, while smells of fresh doughnuts, cookies, and gourmet pizza made our mouths water. With four Tween girls in tow it’s no wonder we ended up at the Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop. It certainly did not disappoint! It was full of every candy ever created, and shelves stuffed with sodas in flavors that we’d never heard of, like Sweet Corn and Apple Pie. We settled on a massive bag of salt water taffy, Yellow Pop and several bottles of Remune, a Japanese soda in a very cool glass bottle.
- Red Hut Café – A local favorite, this diner offers an awesome variety for every appetite. While none of us were daring enough to try the new “Jiffy Burger” (yes, Jiffy Peanut Butter!), our plates contained everything from Avocado Bacon Burgers, to strawberry and whipped cream topped monster-sized waffles, to the famous Mountain Folk Omelete filled with cheese, mushrooms, sausage, spinach and zucchini, and the best homemade hash browns known to man. The Red Hut Café on Ski Run Blvd also boasts a classic soda fountain and ice cream parlor, the perfect ending to a perfect meal!
- Mountain to Beach Bike Ride – The pinnacle of our trip was an exhilarating bike ride on a gorgeous paved path through the hills and down to the Lake Tahoe Shore. Our new friend Charlie at Shoreline of Tahoe matched us each to the perfect bike and set us off on our two-wheeled adventure. The path had its ups for sure, but the ride down was worth it all. There were constant giggles and shouts of “weeeeeee” coming from the girls as we made our way through the Evergreens, the cool wind whipping our hair as we glided toward the Blue of Tahoe. Even the shorter path from the lake back to the bike shop gave us a landscape of even more towering trees, pinecone littered pathways and wide open meadows.
- Lake Tahoe – The blueness of Lake Tahoe is enough to bring people back time and time again to this city. We spent a leisurely afternoon soaking up sun, playing in the sand and simply enjoying the view. I wished I had a canoe that day. For sure on the next trip!
- Basecamp Pizza – Our last stop was back to Heavenly Village to enjoy an unbelievable meal at Basecamp Pizza. While there was plenty of indoor seating we chose to sit in their outdoor eating area with the live music. We chowed down on a Smoky BBQ Chicken Pizza, a heavenly Mediterranean pizza, and classic Pepperoni and Hawaiian for the girls. The atmosphere was awesome and the food was the perfect ending to a perfect trip.
I honestly can’t believe it took me so long to realize how much fun Lake Tahoe can be. It was the perfect getaway location! We have all since title our weekend “The Best Last Minute Vacation EVER!!!” Go experience it for yourself!