Friday, May 20, 2016

South Lake Tahoe takes one back in time: delightful inn, fun dinner cruise, friendly folk, gorgeous scenery

On a half-dozen visits since 2010, we've found Lake Tahoe's scenery some of the most beautiful in the western United States.

Dixie II offers a fun night on the lake,
even on a recent rainy evening.
"It is a vast oval, and one would have to use up eighty or a hundred good miles in traveling around it. As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole world affords.” -- Mark Twain, describing Lake Tahoe in 1871


Inn by the Lake offers location and friendly hospitality.


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE has an authentic feel.
Despite being "discovered" by trendy businesses and shops, and hosting seasonal residents from large American cities, it has a laid-back, country feel.
We like that.  Visiting Keller's daughter and her partner enhanced the notion that we were "at home" in this lovely corner of the world.
Cookie and Keller kicked
up their heels on Dixie II.
Dixie II was our choice for an evening out with the kids.  The four of us
enjoyed the scenery around Lake Tahoe, a tasty meal and dancing.
South Lake Tahoe natives claim the sun shines on them more than 300 days a year.  Our visit hit on a rainy weekend (which natives welcome because of the fire danger.) Still, we had a sunny-side-up time.
THE KIDS picked us up at our comfy Inn by the Lake base. The Inn personifies the welcoming feel of the town.  We enjoyed a driving tour past a range of accommodations, eateries, entertainment, museums and galleries.  Since they're outdoorsy types, they love the skiing and snowboarding for which South Lake Tahoe is famous.

On deck of Dixie II, from left: Cookie, Keller, Kristen and Zack.
WE'D BOOKED A dinner cruise on M.S. Dixie II, a pleasant drive from our Inn by the Lake. We wound through the town and over to the lake to Zephyr Cover and the boat. The food was nicely presented and we danced to a fun three-piece band. The award-winning Lake Tahoe cruiser is the largest cruising vessel in South Lake Tahoe and a local favorite. All her cruises depart from Zephyr Cove Resort and Marina, including daytime cruises and charters for up to 300.  Friends hosted their daughter's wedding rehearsal dinner there last fall and raved about it!
Lake Tahoe's scenery is still pristine in most places.
INN BY the Lake is known for its hospitality, tucked in the picturesque mountains with a view of the lake.  We chose the inn because it is pet friend, ideal for families and fun for visiting couples, with flowers and proximity to the lake.
Our Tahoe visit combined the pleasures of this pleasant, dog-friendly motel with the lake trip and experience of Dixie II. We also enjoyed Bear Beach Cafe, near our Inn by the Lake base.  One of its specialties is the hamburger.  We can recommend the "black n' bleu" with cajun spices and blue cheese. The quesadilla appetizer was pleasantly spicy and we give thumbs up to the Beach Bear's satisfying, old-fashioned breakfast.

Jonquils were blooming during our visit.
Inn by the Lake is beautifully landscaped.
LONG BEFORE Zephyr Cove and South Lake Tahoe became favorite play time destinations of tourists and locals, the Native American Washoe people lived on the lake's tranquil shores. In 1844, American explorers Kit Carson and John Fremont "discovered" the area. Soon after, in the 1860s, silver was discovered in the Sierra Nevada.  That changed everything, as prospectors flocked in to seek their fortunes.
BUT FOR A TIME on the boat, or strolling the flower-bedecked grounds of Inn by the Lake, one feels the peace and beauty Mark Twain and the native people cherished so long ago.

COMING UP: We're savoring the fabulous red rocks of  Nevada. Come with us to a beautiful, unspoiled part of the West, just a half hour from the famous Las Vegas Strip. Then, a preview of a wonderfully directed production, "Hollywood"
Terrific actors play the parts, here Mary
 Miles Minter, portrayed by Talene Monahon.
"Hollywood" runs through June 12 at the

 internationally known La Jolla Playhouse.
on the boards at San Diego's renowned La Jolla Playhouse. Based on a real-life unsolved murder, this imaginative, superbly acted work is an homage to the noir thriller films of Hollywood's golden era. It's accompanied by a brilliant on-stage pianist.  Remember to explore, learn and live, and catch us Fridays when we post for the weekend.


  1. We are headed to Tahoe for a wedding in July. Just made a reservation at Inn by the Lake, which sounds like a perfect retreat from the hustle-bustle of the rest of our time there. Appreciate the idea, and will check out the dinner cruise too.

  2. California DreamersMay 22, 2016 at 6:52 AM

    Took the boat ride Saturday night, thoroughly enjoyed it! Will tour the "mansion on the island" later this summer. The Inn sounds lovely and we'll bring our Corgie, Charlie.

  3. San Diego sailorsMay 24, 2016 at 3:57 PM

    Beautiful place,which we enjoy every autumn. How late in season does Dixie go out?

  4. Barstow WanderersMay 25, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    Your lakeside Inn sounds up our alley, too. We travel with a lively pair of Websites, and are always on the lookout for pretty places to walk them.