LAKE TAHOE SUMMER VACATION GUIDE
Two weekends ago, Josh and I headed to Tahoe with another couple for a last minute getaway. Originally we were going to stay for two days; however, we extended our stay for three more days to make it a total trip of five days. Haha. I've been to Lake Tahoe in the Winter, but never before in the Summer. And let me tell you, I AM JUST AS IN LOVE.
When we've visited Lake Tahoe in the past, we primarily stayed by the South Shore. This time we decided to stay by the North Shore. After staying at both places, Josh and I decided we liked North Shore better. Both sides of the lake are nice, but each side offers different vibes and activities. North Shore is definitely more laid back, family-friendly and I personally think has better food. South Shore is more lively with all the casinos, hotels, and bars. (In the winter, Heavenly Ski Resort is my favorite place to snowboard in South Lake Tahoe though!) I highly recommend visiting both sides so you can decide which YOU like best.
COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS: During our trip, we practiced social distancing and wore our masks everywhere. Our group of four ate outside on patios only. At the beach, we wore our masks until we were at safe spots atleast 6 ft. away from others. This was a much needed getaway, and we felt comfortable enough to travel so we did so. If you don't feel comfortable traveling, that is totally fine too. Everyone has their own level of comfort, and that's completely OKAY.
WHERE WE STAYED:
1. AirBnB ( DAYS 1 - 4 )
PRICE: $$ - $$$ (Varies depending on where you stay; linked above is the place we found.)
PERKS: Whole House to Yourself, Space to Spread Out, Great for Groups/Couples, Kitchen to Cook In (Saves Money Eating Out), Beautiful Balcony Views
2. Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa + Casino ( DAY 5 )
PERKS: Private Beach, Beach Bar, Restaurants On-site, Spa On-site, Casino, Plenty of Pools, Champagne at Check-in, Fire Pits for Smore's, Resort Has Connections to Activities Like Kayaking, Boating, Paddle Boarding etc.
DAYS 1 - 2 // DROVE TO TRUCKEE, CA AND CHECKED IN TO OUR AIRBNB
To start off our trip, we made our way to downtown Truckee, CA. It's a super cute little town in North Lake Tahoe with tons of amazing restaurants and shops. We grabbed lunch at COMO, where we had amazing tacos. We topped off lunch by walking around the town and ended at a speciality ice cream truck called, Little Truckee Ice Creamery (They even had a dairy-free flavor!).
5 o'clock rolled around and we were able to check in to our AirBnB. That night, we enjoyed the sunset and gorgeous weather by having wine + a charcuterie board. Later around 11pm, we even had a little bear visitor that helped himself to our trash cans outside! Josh and I heard the bear as we were sitting on the front balcony, and immediately ran inside. LOL.
The next day, we slept in and made our way to King's beach in the afternoon. Of course Tahoe rarely has thunderstorms; however the few days we spent there, storms popped up every afternoon. We were only able to get in an hour at the beach before the rain hit, so we headed home and grilled out for dinner. It was at this moment, our group decided to extend our trip, since the weather shortened our beach day.
DAYS 3 - 4 // EXTENDED OUR STAY IN NORTH LAKE TAHOE
On day three, we got up early and and went back to King's beach. The boys rented jet skis, while we tanned by the water. After spending the morning at the beach, we grabbed a late lunch at Mountain High Sandwich Co. Let me tell you; THE BEST SANDWICH SHOP IN TAHOE. (TIP: Get anything with their homemade pesto, it's a must.) Afterwards, we drove to Donner Lake, a little body of water near Truckee, CA. Along the lake there are these really cool small public piers. They are first come, first serve, so you have to get there early in the morning to save one for the day! Next time we're in Tahoe we definitely want to try to grab a spot on a pier for the day.
The next morning, we slept in (again LOL) and made breakfast at our AirBnB. We visited downtown Truckee once more and grabbed lunch out on the patio at Jax. A little fun fact for ya: Jax was featured on Guy Fieri's show, Diners, Drive-Ins + Dives. I highly recommend getting one of their famous milkshakes!
After lunch, we found a small, less crowded beach called, Speedboat beach. That afternoon was one of the highlights of our Tahoe trip. There wasn't much sand, so we had to walk down along the shore, through the water to find a beach spot. From there, we made our way out into the water to sit and lay on rocks to tan. It was so cool and super relaxing. We loved how there wasn't as many people, probably because the beach was more in a residential area that was hidden. Speedboat beach is a true gem!
DAY 5 // CHECKED IN TO THE HYATT NEAR INCLINE VILLAGE
On our final full day in Tahoe, Josh and I woke up and made our way to the Hyatt Regency Resort near Incline Village in North Lake Tahoe. The front desk was extremely accommodating and were able to get us an early check-in at 11am (opposed to 4pm), and offered us champagne right off the bat. They even gave us a free Smore's kit to use at the fire pits later that evening! Such a cute little touch.
We spent the whole day on Hyatt's private beach; this was definitely the way to go. If Josh and I had to do it over, we would have stayed at the Hyatt the entire 5 days in Tahoe. All of the public beaches became too crowded by 8am or 9am (yes, even on some weekdays) and it was nearly impossible to find parking. It's much more worth it to be able to sleep in (especially on vacation, hello) and make your way to the private beach when you want to.
At Hyatt's private beach, we were seated almost like a hostess would at a restaurant, to our specific lounge chairs + umbrella that had been sanitized. We had access to a beach bar + grill to provide drinks and food all day for purchase. There was even a station to buy inflatable floats to unwind in the water. Our beach day at the Hyatt was by far the highlight of our trip, and the most relaxing day ever. Josh and I joked that we felt like we were on a honeymoon for the day. LOL.
We ended the night, by catching the most gorgeous sunset down at the private beach. The next morning, we woke up, checked out, and enjoyed a complimentary breakfast with an amazing view of the beach. Overall, I cannot say enough praises about Hyatt's resort near Incline Village.
+ We wish we could have squeezed in a hike at some point during the trip.
+ We heard great things about Chimney Beach. This spot requires a small half mile hike to the beach that leads to gorgeous views. Make sure to get to any public beach like this by 8 or 9 in the morning to ensure a parking spot.
+ We definitely would have stayed at the Hyatt the whole trip. We could have done everything we did/wanted to do by staying at the resort the entire time.
+ For the Summer, I suggest staying at a resort to be able to explore the lake and have access to a beach at all times. In the Winter, it's nice to stay at an AirBnB so there is more space for all of your ski/snowboard gear. Plus, most places don't have air conditioning in the Summer, so it becomes very hot inside the AirBnB's during the day! However in the Winter, no AC is no problem; all places have heat of course.
Tahoe really is the best of both worlds. It's an amazing destination in the Winter AND the Summer. I highly encourage you to check it out during both seasons! Who's down to go with me next?!
xoxo - ashley g.