Weekend at Lake Tahoe

The beauty of living in California, is not only the weather but the proximity  to the Ocean, National Parks, vineyards and mountains. Located high up in the Sierra Nevada lies Lake Tahoe, (on the boarder of California and Nevada) the largest alpine lake in North America. Lake Tahoe is known for it's crystal clear waters, beautiful vistas, Casinos (across State-line in Nevada) and the panoramic mountains that surround the lake on all sides. The lake is a major tourist attraction and home to many ski resorts that flourish in the Winter months and during the Summer is popular for outdoor recreation, boating and camping. Being based in San Francisco you can be in Tahoe within four hours (traffic permitting) and that is where we adventured too this weekend.

Basecamp Hotel

Basecamp is a new boutique hotel in South Lake Tahoe, that faces out to the Heavenly ski resort (a short 4 minute walk to the Gondola) and only a 5 minute walk to the lake. 

The hotel offers affordable motel style accommodation with cozy comforts and quirky rustic details. The staff are welcoming and knowledgable, with great restaurant recommendations (don't chance it to yelp) and fun recreational activities. The lobby features a log burning fire, reclaimed wood details and a small bar that hosts nightly happy hour. Enjoy drinks inside cozied up in front of the fire or at one of the two fire pits (one on the outside patio or on the roof terrace) where you can meet new friends and toast s'mores, which the hotel will happily provide for you (a kit will cost you $2.) The hotel also boasts a rooftop hot tub that looks out to the mountains, which is perfect for warming up on a cold winters night after your days adventure. Breakfast is included during your stay, and is served in the lobby. Enjoy fresh coffee, bagels, pastries and oatmeal to kick start your day.

Rooms are stylish and clean with boutique cabin essentials, warm woolen blankets and plenty of rustic charm. Some offer balconies and pet friendly rooms are also available, along with specialty rooms for larger groups. For those of you that want to experience the charm of camping but with the comforts of home, reserve "The Great Indoors" room. Here you can sleep peacefully, undisturbed by wildlife inside a tent with king bed. The room also features a faux fire pit, glowing stars and your own private bathroom.

The location is the perfect "base-camp" for all your Tahoe adventures.

Photography is by My JetSetter Life, except the Great indoors room which is from Basecamp

Exploring Lake Tahoe

If snow sports are not your thing, there is still plenty to see and explore whilst you are visiting Lake Tahoe. Situated just outside South Lake lies Emerald Bay State Park, Lake Tahoe's most photographed and Popular locations. During the summer months the park offers incredible beaches and crystal clear blue shores. The park houses Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion that was constructed in 1929, along with the only island in Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island which houses what is left of "Tea House", a building constructed by the owner of Vikingsholm, Mrs Lora Josephine Knight.

Emerald Bay State Park and Fannette Island

Before you enter Emerald Bay State Park, and just off the I-89 is Eagle falls trail. The hike is short and moderate, but offers spectacular views of the cascading falls into Emerald bay and Lake Tahoe. 

Eagle Falls Trail, Lake Tahoe

Another way to pass the time is to take in the beautiful scenery by driving around  Lake Tahoe, especially out of the Summer season when the roads are less crowded. I suggest you take the loop West along the I-89, which will take you through California first, with the lake directly on your right which will allow you plenty of opportunities to stop along the way to admire and photograph the beautiful vista points. The roads can be narrow and very windy so be careful.

Taking in the views from Kings Beach at North Lake Tahoe


If skiing and snow boarding are not your cup of tea, don't fret, you can still enjoy the altitude, mountain views and snow by taking the tram up 8,200" to High Camp at Squaw Valley. Enjoy warm apple cider, cocoa and lunch at "The Terrace" whilst taking in the stunning views from the warmth and comfort of your table.

After lunch explore the Olympic museum that showcases the 1960 Winter Olympics that took place here at Squaw Valley. Bundle up and step out on to one of several terraces and watch the snowboarders and ski bunnies, with the spectacular mountain views and Lake Tahoe below. The camp also provides a beautiful outside ice skating rink with stunning views of the valley.

There are plenty of misleading yelp recommendations and restaurant tourist traps in South Lake Tahoe and although Heavenly Village is walkable, the choices available are limited. Our Hotel recommended MacDuff's, a Scottish public house offering great tasting traditional pub food and freshly made wood-fired pizzas and plenty of beer. 

Another great choice was Himmel Haus, a German restaurant featuring a wide variety of German and Belgian beers and Bavarian inspired food. The Belgian Frites (twice fried potatoes) served with curry ketchup and roasted galic aioli were amazing, and if you are looking for something comforting after a long day out in the cold, then try the Kase-Spatzle- Smoked gouda, imported swiss, and aged white cheddar cheese spatzle and topped with pretzel breadcrumbs, yum. Both restaurants are drivable, and within 2 miles of Basecamp hotel.