Thursday, August 26, 2021

Mountain towns of Tahoe, Truckee lure with scenery, sport, dining

An enthusiastic sportsman does a flip from a wakeboard behind a ski boat on Lake Tahoe.
The beautiful background of mountains and trees forms a picture-perfect shoreline.

Views from hotels in the Lake Tahoe area usually have
spectacular views of lake, water, 



Eateries satisfy every taste, and many offer
views of the spectacular water. 


A breathtaking sunset before
the latest fires near Lake Tahoe
 draws the eye to the lake and
surrounding woods, now 
in a blaze of fire and smoke.

MAGIC IN THE mountains  is threatened by ferocious wild fires -- as Tahoe and Truckee fight blazes, and winds whip the Caldor Fire across 149,000 acres of this beautiful corner of the world.  We pray for control, remembering fondly the cool evenings and warm, sunny days we enjoy twice a year on our spring and fall drives between California and Montana.

Crews battle the Caldor Fire Saturday, 13 miles from the
lake. It has destroyed building. Evacuations may be underway.
                                                                             --photo courtesy ABC7 News
WHETHER YOUR ideal holiday is action packed, or simply soaking up the scenery with a cup of tea or glass of wine, you'll find both options -- and everything in between -- in the towns of Lake Tahoe and Truckee. I still remember the horrible fires of 1988 which scarred over a million acres of our beloved Yellowstone National Park. Tahoe -- like Yellowstone -- will eventually recover. 

ONCE THE FIRES are contained, there should be time to plan a late-summer or early autumn trip to these treasures in the mountains of California.  The fires are slowly being put under control and tourism is expected to be resurrected with warm weather into October. When the smoke clears, you'll find fun or relaxation to suit your taste.

Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers
take in Lake Tahoe at least once a year.
Here, they are in the woods near the lake.
TAHOE IS KNOWN for its steep granite cliff sides,  towering mountaintops, plus crystal-clear waters. This enticing combination earns the Tahoe area an international reputation with boaters, sailors, and water sports enthusiasts of all kinds. 
The Tahoe area features a large, beautiful freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, straddling the border of California and Nevada. As in Vegas, the south shore casinos are open 24-7, but in Tahoe you'll likely have a view of the mountains -- not the wall -- when you take a break from the blackjack table.
 Dining options abound from American to Chinese, Japanese to Vietnamese, and Italian, Greek and Thai. With a nod to its place in the west, you'll also find plenty of burger and steak options.
IF YOU'RE looking for glitz, glamor and nightlife, the south shore of the lake is where you'll want to locate. The casinos are clean and most have smoke-free areas.  While there is not the multitude of shows one finds in Las Vegas, there's plenty to choose from -- comedy, live music, variety, and some decent bands for dancing.
A stately home  in Tahoe's Incline Village.
THE SIGNIFICANT difference between north and south Tahoe is in the bars and restaurants.  The south shore has plenty of both, many with live music. 
The north is quieter, more laid-back, home to a more sedate community of full-time residents and wealthy "second home" people.  Tourists who stay here seek a more scenery-oriented country vacation experience. North shore towns are are smaller and more sedate, with businesses and eateries closing earlier than in the south.
Small towns such as Incline Village offer beautifully landscaped residential areas and some palatial  private homes, many with boat houses and staff to run their high-end digs.  The scenery is spectacular.
Fans of winter and cold-weather sport 
will find plenty of options in that area, too.

LAKE TAHOE is known for its beaches and ski resorts. Truckee is known for its logging, ice harvesting, the Emigrant Trail, and the tragic journey of the Donner Party, which spent a horrific winter struggling to survive and starving in the Sierra Nevada. We discovered new detail about their fascinating story at the well designed Donner Memorial State Park museum and Pioneer Monument. Hit the casinos or plan a dinner cruise on a river boat. Read a book with a view of the lake. Take to a rental boat, or grab your binoculars and take a bird watching hike. The area offers something for everyone. For more information or to help plan a stay:

A worker at a Hilton hotel, a brand which won kudos
for its groundbreaking hygiene protocol, still in effect.

UP NEXT: As summer winds down, we're celebrating labor as we've witnessed it these past months of  pandemic purgatory. Labor Day, 2021, is a time for us to express our gratitude to all those who have bravely entered into the work force -- whether in medicine and science, or at hospitals, hotels, malls, restaurants and transportation venues. Celebrating those who labor -- from taxi drivers to front-liners, up next at 
Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on travel, the arts, nature, family and more.


  1. Happy to see this beautiful photo spread, especially with the awful fires. Thank you

  2. Fun to see these gorgeous photos of our beautiful corner of the state.
    Nice story, too.

  3. Fun weekend there a couple weeks before the fire. Lovely place, so fingers crossed the fires will be quelled.

  4. Yes, the fires are a threat. But the beauty will endure and come back.