Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lake Tahoe Travel Guide - A destination for any season!

One of the primary reasons I love living in Northern California is that there are so many weekend destinations around the area and so much to explore, and one such natural wonder is the panoramic Lake Tahoe. It's a name everyone in USA must have heard about, and no matter how much praise you have heard for it, experiencing it yourself will always beat hearing about it!! Heavenly and Divine is how I would describe Lake Tahoe, and if you haven't visited this lake before, read on to find out what you might be missing!!

Formed by a geological block (normal) fault about 2 to 3 million years ago, the Lake Tahoe Basin is about 22 miles (35 kms) long and 12 miles (19 kms) wide, and the second deepest lake in US after Crater Lake in Oregon. Large number of streams empty their water into this lake which is drained into the Truckee river which flows northeast through Reno and into Pyramid Lake in Nevada.

Summer Activities in Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe offers something for everyone, young or adult, and any time of the year. The other places are famous for summer campings and outings or winter sports, but this is one place which will captivate you with numerous activities throughout the year. In summer, the aqua-blue clean sparkling water of the lake invites you to take a dip into the lake or relax along its shore. Hiking, biking, camping, golf, tennis, fishing, boating and other water-sports will keep you engaged for the entire day, and the quiet night life will cater to your pleasant yet peaceful evenings. You can even go white-water rafting along truckee for some serious yet safe fun in the water. For the less adventurous people, drive around the lake's periphery in South Lake Tahoe to visit the famous Emerald Bay, and take a hike down to the Vikingsholm Castle. I also strongly recommend the Gondola Ride at Heavenly Mountains in summer for amazing views of the lake and the surrounding hills, and priced at $24 per person, it's a steal!! There are also carriage rides that take you around town, and the Emerald Bay Cruise at dinner time is ideal for a romantic evening on the lake. If this is not enough, there are museums and churches for the art-lovers, shopping and casinos in Reno for the nightlife enthusiasts, and luxurious spas and salons for those in need of a stress-busting vacation!!

Winter Activities in Lake Tahoe
As far as fun in the winter is concerned, Lake Tahoe is a paradise for skiers!! With a wide variety of slopes and mountains, it offers a huge range of skiing options for beginners, intermediates and experts. Heavenly Ski Resort is the most famous one in South Lake Tahoe, especially for beginners, and that is precisely where we went. The valley is beautiful, offers reasonably-priced ski lessons, and even if you cannot ski, the lesson ticket includes a ski-lift ride which takes you up to the mountain peak from where the view of the blue lake set amidst the white country is simply spectacular!! You can choose to ski down or come back in the lift. Snowboarding is another fun activity if you are not in the mood to ski, or you can take a sledge ride! We spent a great deal of time making snowman and sculptures in the area behind our hotel, and of course, throwing snowballs at each other was a highly cherished passtime too! Driving down to Reno in the evening is a suggested winter activity. Even if you don't gamble, the nightlife is worth the drive.

Hotels and accomodations are easy to find in Lake Tahoe and are affordable if you book in advance. There's a great rush for the ski season, so book your ski packages well before you plan to go. You can also find some houses to rent if you are going in a larger group. For more information, here are some useful sites:

Tahoe Visitor Guide
Tahoe-Best Places to visit
Things to do in Lake Tahoe

So if Lake Tahoe Travel is not on your to-do list, now is the time to add it there. Be it summer, sprint or winter, Lake Tahoe is an all-year-round destination full of activities and natural beauty that you don't want to miss!

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