Working in the entertainment industry has its perks... including a 10 day dark week during the week of Fourth of July! And THAT, my friends, calls for a road trip. My travel buddy Jacqueline and I drove 7.5 hours from Los Angeles through the Sierras, all the way to Lake Tahoe, California. I needed a few days to just be one with nature and turn off the noise- and that's exactly what I did.
Day 1- South Lake Tahoe: Emerald Bay
138 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Our Airbnb was about 20 minutes from South Lake Tahoe so we figured we'd start the trip exploring our area. We headed to Emerald Bay and arrived around 8:30AM. The parking lot was nearly full! I definitely recommend getting there around that time, or earlier, to ensure a spot. Parking is a flat rate of $10 for the entire day. You can hike down to the Vikingsholm trail and rent kayaks or paddle boards to row out to the island in the lake. However, we just decided to hike the Rubicon Trail which led us through a cute campsite with exquisite views.
After, we headed to Heavenly. This town is adorable and full of shops, restaurants, and casinos! We ate sushi at The Naked Fish located at 3940 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. I recommend the "Rock n' Roll" freshwater eel roll! The employees were awesome and gave us recommendations galore! To finish off the day, we grabbed an ice cream sandwich at Baked Bear down the street!
Day 2- Sand Harbor + Incline Village
2005 NV-28, Incline Village, NV 89452
Another early morning for us, as we arrived at the Sand Harbor parking lot at 7:45AM to find a line of cars staked out in the middle of the road waiting for the rangers to open the gate at 8:00AM. I cannot stress enough to get there early! This was by far a highlight of the trip and I truly encourage you to not shy away from your morning alarm, as you won't regret it! Parking was a flat rate of $10 for the entire day. There is a Bar & Grill on property in case you didn't bring enough snacks! We packed a cooler for lunch.
If you make a short walk through the pathway, you'll reach the Boat Launch where you can find the Rental Shop for paddle boards, kayaks, and even jet skis! We rented paddle boards for an hour for $25/each. The water was still a bit chilly, but it is just so crystal clear and beautiful that you can't resist jumping in!
There are several coves in the park and we took our time wandering and enjoying it all. We brought a fun floaty we got at TJ Maxx to use after we returned our rentals.
We left Sand Harbor late afternoon to go explore Incline Village and took a pit stop at Susie Scoops Ice Cream located at 869 Tahoe Blvd, Incline Village, NV 89451775-831-8181. SO YUMMY. We ended up going back to the same shop the next day to get more ice cream! I'm a big fan of the 'Coffee Toffee' and 'Pistachio'.
We drove a couple miles up the road and came across Tahoe City (which is adorable) and decided to rent bikes from Willard's Sport Shop located at 170 N Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 96145. I wish we planned better to be able to leisurely ride, but the shop closed at 6:00PM and we decided to ride 8 miles (there and back) up to Squaw Valley Village... which I HIGHLY recommend. The bike trail leads along the Truckee River and the scenery is actually insane. I would've liked to white water raft down the river, but we didn't get a chance to.
After, we lucked out to find food trucks and live music on King's Beach during sunset! Such a blast.
Day 3- Tahoe City + Squaw Valley
1750 Village East Rd, Olympic Valley, CA 96146
We loved our bike ride so much, we decided to drive back to the same area. There is a breathtaking field (Passing Olympic Valley headed to Squaw Village) that we stopped at to take some fun photos!
We finished the day off by jet skiing in Tahoe City at High Sierra Water Ski School located at 1850 W Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 96145. We rented one jet ski for an hour for $120. This was a cheaper price compared to other areas in Tahoe.
I've decided that once I've had enough of the entertainment industry, I'll be moving here and opening a bed & breakfast called 'Kate's on the Lake'. So in about 10 years, reserve your room and come say hello!
Photos by Kate Mohns & Jacqueline Strejc