On the first day of college orientation I met two girls that would become my best friends. Sometimes I pinch myself because I feel so lucky to have found two girls that just get me. The sad part is though we all live hundreds of miles apart. That's why our annual girl's trip is so vital. This year we chose Lake Tahoe!
I had zero idea of what to expect of Lake Tahoe in April. We sort of just chose it on a whim, and let me tell you, BEST DECISION EVER. I've been fortunate to travel to some pretty incredible places in my life, but Lake Tahoe was honestly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Because of the insanely wet winter California is having we got to experience all of the snow in Tahoe, which made our stay in our little cabin AirBNB all the more perfect.
If you're planning a trip to Tahoe there a few things to know before you decide where to stay. The lake is straddled by Nevada and California on either side. There is North Tahoe which is in California and is about a 45 minute drive from Reno airport (about two and a half hours from Sacramento). This is the more quaint part of the lake. We stayed in Carnelian Bay. It's close to Sqaw Valley and North Star ski resorts and lots of great bars and restaurants. South Tahoe is known as the more party side of the lake. That's where all the casinos are located. We never made it down there because we were going for a more chill trip.
We stayed in the most adorable Air BnB cabin. It was the guest house for Suzanne and Stuart and while it doesn't have a view of the lake, the cabin could not have been any cozier. And our hosts were so wonderful! They even offered to cook us a home-cooked meal . With a hot tub out back, it was the perfect place for our weekend girls trip.
Once we got settled in to our cabin on Thursday, we went to Garwoods for happy hour. It was the restaurant recommended by nearly every person I talked to and they are known for their strong tropical drinks. Now I don't know about you but I can't think of any better way to watch the snow falling that with a pink drink with an umbrella. We got the infamous 'Wet Woody,' a strong and tasty frozen cocktail made with rum. There are tons of variations, all with names that will make you blush. Go for happy hour! We ate an early dinner there as well. And ended the night (an early one since we had traveled all day), with a glass of wine at Uncorked, a wine bar down the road.
Our trip was in mid-April, right around when normally the ski resorts are closing up for the season but because of the wet winter some of the resorts say they will be open for skiing until mid-summer! I am by no means a skier, but since we were in Tahoe, I felt I had to give it a go! We decided on Squaw Valley because it was near our Air BnB (we were initially planning on going to Heavenly). Squaw Valley is one of the biggest ski areas in the country and the site of the 1960's Winter Olympics. It was stunning. There were tons of slopes for beginners (like me!) and a lot of intermediate ones that I worked my up to. But pay attention to the signs and grab a trail map! Otherwise you might end up on a Black Diamond (also like me...I survived, but spent a lot of time in the snow). The weather couldn't have been more perfect, not a cloud in the ski and temperatures in the mid-40s. We skied all day, taking breaks for a cold beer at the bar. There are a lot of bars and restaurants in the resort area as well, plus shopping!
FUN FACT! If you fly in through Reno, you can ski for FREE the day of your flight. You just need to show your boarding pass at the concierge at the airport.
After a long day on the slopes, we hit up the hot tub at our cabin and headed for burgers and beers at Bridgetender.
A bit bruised and battered from the slopes, we headed out to breakfast for some much needed sustenance and Bloody Mary's! We went to Log Cabin for breakfast in Kings Beach. Everything is pretty close together along this part of the north side of the Lake but you definitely need a car to get around. After breakfast we went on a fantastic hike. Eagle Rock is a dormant volcano and only about a 20 minute hike up to the top. However, we were dealing with four feet of snow so it definitely took longer. But worth every second! The views from the top were incredible. You can see the entire lake, plus the mountains. We spend a long time taking pictures and playing in the snow. It's steep in parts so make sure you wear good shoes. There's not much in ways of a sign, so to get to it, park along West Lake Boulevard. It's just across from Idylwild Way. In the snow, there's not much in terms of a trail, but it's a popular spot so you're bound to run into other hikers if you're confused, just start heading up and you'll find your way!
The great part of Lake Tahoe is how accessible it is for others in California! Not so much for St. Louis girls like me... But our friend from San Francisco came up for the day and my boyfriend who's working in Fresno right now joined us as well! Saturday afternoon we headed up to North Star Resort for the day. Its another great ski resort but we were ready to just relax. We went to the Ritz for afternoon cocktails. If you're heading to Tahoe and are looking to splurge, the Ritz at the North Star is definitely worth it. It was stunning. The weather was gorgeous again, sunny and nearly 50 degrees, so we sat outside and watched the skiers.
For our last night, we wanted to go to a bit nicer of a dinner and got lucky with getting a table at Christy Hill in Tahoe City. There was a bit of a wait, so we walked down to the dock by the lake and watched the sun set. Christy Hill is beautiful California cuisine with an incredible view of the lake. A bottle of wine with my favorite people and a plate of incredible hamachi crudo, and I was a happy girl.
One thing I love about my friend Julianne is her spontaneity. We had a rough plan for our trip, but we were playing a lot of it by ear. On our way up to North Star resort, Julianne spotted a sign for snowmobiling. She got on the phone and found they had open spots for Sunday. I was a little hesitant, I've never been on a snowmobile, but I said yes. BEST decision ever. We fueled up with breakfast at Fire Sign Cafe and headed to the meet up spot. I have no idea what the place was called but it was right off of 267. We rode in pairs, and the guides were wonderful. They walked us through everything, and then took us on a two-hour ride. We got to go down these beautiful and serene trails. There was a frozen lake that we got to let loose and use like a track. I was a nervous wreck, so I let Matt drive ours for the most part. We then took them up the mountain for another incredible view of the lake. That's a view that would never get old to me. It was easily one of the most fun things I've done in a while, and worth every penny.
We wrapped up our trip at a cute coffee shop, Java Hut. Chatting about our weekend, and looking over photos with a delicious mocha was the perfect way to spend the last hour with my best friends.
Overall Lake Tahoe was such an incredible trip. It was the perfect place for a long weekend getaway. I cannot wait to visit again in the summer time and do all of the fun lake activities!
Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a TV news reporter. I have a love for food, traveling and all things St. Louis. This is a place for me to write about my passions.